Friendge, 2014-present

Varied materials

Dimensions: Current Length - 50 feet

Contributors: 600+ contributors nationwide

Images courtesy of the artist

Andrea Vail

Sugar Grove, North Carolina • andreavail.com/friendge

Hinged on textile traditions and techniques, my practice materializes as sculpture, installation, and collaborative exchange. I am motivated by the interplay of venerable communal activities and contemporary methods of communication, and how they may function to strengthen our interactions with one another. My research explores trends of mass-production, habits of consumption, and systems of artifice and authenticity. This type of work explores the potential of textiles’ inherent collaborative nature in an era that increasingly lacks human interaction.

Friendge is an ongoing initiative, which invites participation from the community to build an ornamental border which symbolizes inclusiveness rather than exclusivity. The piece includes the handwork of 600+ contributors nationwide who have contributed during in-person workshops or via social media and shipped their tassels through the USPS. The piece combines the tradition of fringe as a decorative element which elevates the value of or attention to an object; it is also commonly added as an outer border, defining the margin of a singular thing. The process is simple – each tassel connected becomes fringe.