For Submersion (textile)
Parachute cord, cotton
44 inches x 10 feet
Photos: Ian Byers-Gamber
For Submersion is a commissioned public artwork at LA State Historic Park. Before settler colonization, LA State Historic Park was the floodplain of Paayme Paxaayt, the Los Angeles River, that supported Tongva people and wildlife. For Submersion recalls the LA River’s importance by honoring its history as an ancestral pathway through craft and emerging technology to re-envision land.
For Submersion is both a physical work and digital artifact, which aims to re-narrativize, through yarn painting, the river’s temporalities and historicity as a watershifter. A river rock from Paayme Paxaayt was adorned in Wixárika yarn painting, a method of image-making traditionally done with beeswax, pine sap, and handspun yarn. The yarn represents a throughline to mother earth and to the matrilineal bloodline of weavers in my family. In addition, a large commissioned textile was handwoven as a companion piece using satellite imagery of historic courses of the Los Angeles River as a weaving pattern on a TC2 Jacquard loom. Works were handwoven with parachute cord to tell a story and material connection coming from the sky to earth.