I’ve been aware of the existence of Yarn Bombing for a pretty long while now. Back in the days, I remember the hot topic concerning the very first yarnbombers, the originals. Since then, Magda Sayeg has clearly won the battle. Or at least in the media: all newspaper articles or blog posts covering yarn bombing I have read (and I read a lot) make it all start with the Texan lady. But post-modernistic thinking made me recently requestion her possession of the ‘patent’ for the original idea. And I found what I was looking for.
-Magda Sayeg, as written on knitta’s blog, has started guerilla knitting in 2005, and founded Knitta Please, said to be the first collective, a little while afterwards.
-Surfing and browsing on the internet made me stumble upon artist Robyn Love‘s website. And look what I found: Yarn bombing projects dated way before 2005, as old as 1997!
She might not call it that way, but the practise is clearly the same (see the other example below if the graveyard cozy doesn’t convince you).
By bringing this up, I don’t want to take away anything from Sayeg’s work and discourse, which I aspire to. But rather, I wish to enlighten everyone on the erroneous way of building History as a timeline with a start and an end. History is man-made storytelling, and most of the time it can be reviewed and revisited. Who cares who really started the movement? Knitta Please can still be considered an important figure for popularizing the practice and developing it wonderfully. Trivial matters such as the “original” title should not even be given any thinking. Originality is fundamental to Yarn Bombing in the audience’s surprised reaction to the work, it should not be some kind of value given to a certain individual as copyrights. What matters, for all yarnbombers, is to get out there as a unified group.
As a matter of fact, that’s also why I envisionned this site. “Just another unnecessary blog” is what you might think of this little low-budget space, but to me it is the very reason I prefer Yarn Bombing to every other type of street art. Because, really, everyone is doing the same thing (except for Olek, but we’ll discuss her case soon enough). And regrouping is the best way to aknowledge this fact.
So, yeah, I’m doing the exact same thing guerilla knitters are doing all over the world. For me and everyone else, it all started with inspiration from a photograph on the internet or a live encounter. For everyone except one person. But that “inventor”, whoever she is, probably got her idea from somewhere, right?