Carrier BagsInformation

String Theory

Baskets do more than carry items, they contain ideas.

In 1986 Ursula LeGuin wrote a text that later changed my perspective on what it means to be human and to live with others in a community. In The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction, she argues that instead of the spear or the flint, the first human tool was in fact the container. Not the weapon but the vessel that enabled us to gather food for one another, for those unable to gather for themselves – perhaps injured or elderly. We weren’t murderous but entangled with one another. Baskets can also contain stories, stories that can challenge the prevailing ones of unrestrained growth and consumerism in these times of ecological trouble.

The latticed image that makes up the body of the woven pots is a photograph of the plant Cattail, used in traditional basket making. Cultivating metaphorical thinking uncovers and undermines the fictions that we live by; ones that are capitalist and bent on growth and consumption. The patterns that we observe in the world are echoed in the infrastructure we build with the tools we hone. It therefore “...matters what worlds world worlds” (Donna Haraway 2016)what words we choose and what metaphors we (un)wittingly weave with.

(Network)Carrier#1-#5, 2023, Digital Weaving printed onto aluminium dibond, sizing various