Indira Allegra is the founder of Indira Allegra Studio—a performative craft design studio using weaving as a ritual, conceptual framework to craft living structures off the loom and in the world.Artist Bio
TEXERE is an art-based mental health app that weaves digital memorial tapestries from words, images, and soundbites about people’s losses. “Texere” is a Latin verb that means “to weave”, and is where the words “text” and “textile” originate from. In fact, the use of weaving to record human stories is 30,000 years old. When you visit TEXERE, you are invited to choose from a menu of losses that relate to your own story. You might choose the loss of sleep, the loss of respect for someone who once helped you, or the loss of one’s indigenous language. Once you select a focus, you make an anonymous entry about how that loss makes you feel. TEXERE then transforms that entry into a digital thread that is woven into a larger digital tapestry of entries from people all over the world who are grieving that same loss. Each time anyone engages in the simple ritual of making a new entry, the composition of the tapestry changes. The tapestry can be changed an infinite number of times. Through woven patterns, TEXERE is a new kind of memorial experience that provides a visual archive of how we collectively change and grow in relationship to our experiences of loss. Images of the memorial tapestries can be viewed as reminders that we are not alone in our grief processes —all from the comfort of a phone or computer.
Indira Allegra is the founder of Indira Allegra Studio—a performative craft design studio using weaving as a ritual, conceptual framework to craft living structures off the loom and in the world. This approach to design uses poetry as a method to “read” environments for clues “hidden between the lines” or clues hiding between what is being clearly articulated by a site and what is not. Of importance are desires for transformation that haunt sites and beings experiencing them. Thinking as a poet, threads of connection between disparate experiences can be discovered. Moving as a weaver, the fates of seemingly disconnected stories, objects, and beings become interlaced and transmuted into a greater whole.
Poetry and weaving are universal techniques for bringing different materials into conversation for a precise kind of call-and-response so that new structures of knowledge might be expressed. A living structure can be performed as a memorial, a text, or the movement of human and nonhuman behavior across a rolling planet. Rather than focus on “human-centered” design, the Studio situates human concerns within a broader network of more-than-human desires and ecological temporalities.
Allegra’s work has been featured in Artforum, Art Journal, BOMB Magazine, the San Francisco Chronicle, and KQED, and in exhibitions at the Museum of Arts and Design; the Arts Incubator in Chicago; the Center for Craft, Creativity, and Design; the John Michael Kohler Arts Center; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts; and the Museum of the African Diaspora, among others.
Allegra’s writing has been featured in Theater Magazine, TEXTILE: The Journal of Cloth and Culture, American Craft magazine, Manual: A Journal About Art and Its Making, Cream City Review, and Foglifter Journal, among others. They have been the recipient of numerous awards including a United States Artists Fellowship, the Burke Prize, the Gerbode Foundation’s Choreography Award, an Art Matters Artist2Artist Fellowship, a Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts’ Artist Project Grant, a Lambda Literary fellowship and the Joseph Henry Jackson Literary Award.