The Knitting Machine MASS MoCA, 2005 (video still), video of installation at MASS MoCA, North Adams, Massachusetts, directed by Jack Criddle and produced by Larry Smallwood and MASS MoCA; installation: acrylic felt, two John Deere excavators, telephone poles, courtesy of the artist and Judi Rotenberg Gallery, Boston; crew: Dante Birch, Karen Neves, Dave Sharp, Howie Sneider, Clark Sopper, Joel Taplin Facilities; fabrication and technical support provided by The Steel Yard, Providence, RI (www.thesteelyard.org)
This video documents a spectacular event that took place in the back yard of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Massachusetts: two John Deere excavators hoisted up two telephone poles, each of which was six meters high. With the aid of a group of muscular workers, these monumental knitting needles were manipulated in order to create the American flag. The first knitting machine installation took place in Providence, Rhode Island, on the first anniversary commemorating the events of September 11. The familiar and harrowing image of bulldozers removing collapsed ruins was charged with a new meaning, related to the heroic effort to recreate the flag. The transformation of knitting from a delicate feminine action - an intimate and domestic handicraft - into a sculptural performance in the public sphere is characteristic of Cole's aesthetic strategy. His works typically produce oxymoronic images in order to undermine gender stereotypes, and to express paradoxes related to national sentiments and to patriotism.
Born in New Hampshire, 1975; lives and works in Rhode Island