THE UNRULY BACKPACK
1. The Bag
The unruly backpack is an illustration of movement. Movement as vision of space.
Movement can be formalized in objects other than kinetic or motorized ones.
Movement can be drawn in illustrations distinct from two-dimensional diagrams.
The unruly backpack does that. Illustrates what conventions do not describe.
The unruly backpack has always been part of the solution; its usefulness punctuates the beginning, triumph and decline of all civilizations. Tens of thousands of years before civilizations, animal-man already carried weight distributed within a body made from an unruly material.
The need for unruly materials is older than spoken language, than fetishes, older than totems and tools from the stone age. Before recorded history, backpack prototypes were created out of animal skins, bladders and nerves, cured saps and tree fibers, which were folded and sewn together, and ventured on the efficacy of unruly materials. Matter was reorganized and the first human technology was founded: stitching / sewing.
The backpack recounts:
“Our oldest prototypes still in evidence were manufactured more than 4,000 years ago. The bag known as the oldest in the world was excavated in 2012 in Leipzig. Its brim is studded with over a hundred dog teeth. Look how elegant our disobedience was millennia ago.”
“Ice-man Ötzi, from 3,300 BC, was found intact in 1991; he wore a pouch on his hip, a fanny-pack, made of strips of calf leather sewn together with tendons. Inside, among other items, a needle made of bone for sewing and tattooing. Ötzi breaks the record for the mummy with the most tattoos.”
“We backpacks, our kind, urged the stitch that generated the fabric. In 2016 they found a string made of twisted fibers dated from 50,000 years ago. This twisting technique, still in use, predates Sapiens’ cognitive reasoning. The Neanderthal sewed!”
2. The Fabric
The ingenious fabric hangs from thread to thread, in and out, up and down of weft and warp; it sees webs and nests and intertwines itself of twigs and vines. In the shape of a basket, it pulls food and children, in the shape of bars, it shields wind, claws, sand and children.
The word weave describes history; the thread-of-life that the Moirai stitch the fate of Greeks, primordial westerners.
Stitches woven into four-dimensional planes.
“Weaving invented the universal-guide language, the binary code”, the backpack sheds light, “…the woven fabric is the foundation of the ever-construction of thought on the physical and virtual planes. Ancient looms to the most complex Jacquards looms, use programming cards just like computers. Looms catalogued information, as atoms of artifice, in 0s and 1s. In 0s and 1s information turns into surface. Humans begin to visualize dimensions through fabric-making.”
The thread – the basic element most prevalent in unruly materials.
The woven thread – The oldest artisan technology still in use.
In more use than yesterday when it wove linens that last for millennia stuck to the skin of mummies.
In more use than yesterday, in the 2nd century AC, when it embroidered 70 meters of vegetable dyed wools to chronicle the Norman conquest in England, as in the Bayeux Tapestry.
In more use than the uninterrupted production of Persian rugs, since the 2nd century BC.
3. The Carpet
The Persian rug, like the backpack, exemplifies disobedience in motion; nomadic floors, which have covered all trodden surfaces in the world and have adorned historical and mundane thrones and tombs. In their design – picture and weave, the Persian rug codifies civilization’s route from east to west. The carpet-object tells (imprints) its own geopolitical history in its motifs and fabrication. The decorative is inherent to the controversial.
“Only disobedient materials can achieve these feats” adds the backpack.
“The synthesis of the Persian rug exposes its own story… and recursive in them: the history of everything.”
Bags, rags, of silken cloths from silkworms, linens and wools, decomposed into fragments, buried, studied and dated in carbon; preserved and displayed in climatized collections. Looted stitches are presumed philanthropic, and in such presumption, contradict history and sacred.
“It is up to time to exemplify history as plunder, culture as power. Because of the greed for new unruly materials, for new textures and colors, the world has expanded and the distance between time-and-space has condensed. I traveled the Silk Road for centuries… There I saw Chinese silks travel 7,000km to satisfy Roman whims. In the Era of the Discoveries, I sailed routes that yielded new worlds and in them new materials, which were explored and sacked to nourish the economy of the empires. Ages later all that industrial luxury in the windows of the galleries of Paris in the 1820s… again new colors and textures never seen before. Two hundred years later some of those same galleries sell industrial trash in the form of faded denim” the backpack explains.
Unruly materials have prompted wars, colonization and industrializations.
“Globalization has always existed”, the backpack continues, “…and since the beginning of the Byzantine era it has been stimulated by the fetish and industry of unruly materials.”
Each stitch, each type of stitch, in the gold-wired mesh screens which insulate rockets and war vehicles; each spun fiberoptic, hemp, rubber and copper threads braided into the serpentine cables which crawl ocean bottoms since the invention of the Morse code (to this today transmitting 99% of all international data); each stitch and weave which emulate bodies and skins; weaves with malleable stitches for tents which stand and protect; stitches for thongs and socks giving warmth and protection; stitches and weaves for dams, chains and walls; for caravels, ships and galleons, which inflate their lungs to guide invasions like a hopeful scarf blowing in the wind.
Each stitch, each weave of each fabric tells the story of the world, unravels the lineage of the Neanderthals to the future trans-humans who will overcome flesh and bone (stone and iron) but will need backpacks made from unruly materials. Unruly materials do not depend on Ages to be relevant.