Film-Essay “The Weaver’s Handshake”

My forthcoming book begins with thinking about Eve Sedgwick’s idea of the “weaver’s handshake” as “a tactile interrogation,” an inherited gesture for testing our surroundings, a subtle movement that measures the “rub of reality.” In my final section, I return to this idea, adding to it the “threader’s kiss”–a term I use to describe the automatic way you wet a thread before passing it through the eye of a needle. Finishing the book during the covid-19 pandemic, I wanted to encapsulate not only the once-frayed end of the thread but the feminist erotics of craft I explore in the book; the intimate action of threading a needle forms a common thread across a diverse community of makers, even as it subverts, and calls attention to, the conditions of our distance. The project was motivated by three primary ideas: the collective, the archival, and the glitchy, which I explore in-depth in the book’s conclusion. MAI: Feminism and Visual Culture published the film-essay in their recent issue on “Feminist Craft”–it’s called “The Weaver’s Handshake.”