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The Needle is sent bi-weekly to keep you apprised of everything happening here at L&M. An engaging digest delivered right to your inbox, The Needle includes a recap of recent articles, reminders of upcoming events nationwide, L&M announcements, and a sneak peek of what's next.
So why the title, The Needle? The L&M Newsletter is titled after a common item that plays a noteworthy role in the words of both of my project's two name- sakes: artist Louise Bourgeois and philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty. In Phenomenology of Perception, Merleau-Ponty specifically notes the needle as a base object for our experiential view, thus becoming a prime example of how we determine the spatiality of our own bodies and in turn, how we move our phenomenal selves. Importantly defined as an object our body surges toward, to grasp and to perceive, Merleau- Ponty explains: "the subject, when put in front of his scissors and needle, does not need to look for his hands or his fingers, because they are not objects to be discovered in objective space, [but]...potentialities already mobilized by the perception of scissors or needle, the central end of those 'intentional threads' which link him to the objects given."
Incidentally, Bourgeois once commented, "when I was young, all the women of my house used to sew and I was fascinated by the needles, by their magical powers. The needle is used to repair a damage: it is as if it apologizes, without hurting as pins do." While the notion of sewing and the use of textiles are old hat when discussing her work, I find it poignant that she reflects so clearly and specifically on the needle as a tender source of repair and consolation. In addition to considering the needle as an implement of action or as a grounding object for our physical selves, I couldn't help but also think about paresthesia: that sensation of tingling, tickling, pricking, or burning of our skin when our limbs have lost circulation. Informally known as "pins and needles," it doesn't take much of a leap to correlate this sensation to the effects of viewing, making, criticizing, or living with art.
Thus, The Needle was born. Enjoy!
*if you would like to view past issues of The Needle, click HERE