American Silk/ Soie d’Amérique is a research and publication project by graduate student, Gen Moisan and undergraduate student, RythÂ Kesselring. The project, funded the Textiles and Materiality Research Cluster as well as the Fine Arts Reading Room, involved both field research and laboratory research in the Speculative Life BioLab. In the lab, RythÂ Kesselring experimented with the antibiotic properties of American Silk (milkweed) fibre using two types of bacteria, under the guidance of WhiteFeather.
This project proposes an in-depth study of the fibres produced by the asclépiade plant, also called the “American silk” plant. They hope to gain a comprehensive understanding of the state of its development into threads and fluff, and to study its water-repellent qualities. Going out in the field, meeting with producers, and harvesting it themselves, they will experiment with the fibres collected, sample threads and fluff in weavings, and create an interactive piece that will underline its positive impact on Québec’s environmental sustainability and economy.
The research publication, a unique indexical card set with a Jacquard-woven cover, was produced in limited edition and launched Tuesday, April 4 at 5 PM – 7 PM in the Concordia Fine Arts Reading Room.