A recipient of a German Academic Exchange Service grant, T’ai Smith conducted her doctoral research in Berlin and received her PhD in Visual and Cultural Studies from the University of Rochester. Her first book, Bauhaus Weaving Theory: From Feminine Craft to Mode of Design, from University of Minnesota Press (November 2014), looks at how Bauhaus weavers harnessed the language of other media—painting, photography, and architecture—to articulate through essays and textile designs the specificity of their craft. Dr. Smith has published articles and reviews in various periodicals, including Art Journal, Grey Room, Journal of Modern Craft, and Texte zur Kunst, has written catalogue essays for the Museum of Modern Art in New York and The Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, and has been invited to give lectures on textiles and contemporary art in Europe and North America.
For the summer 2014 session, she was a Senior Fellow at Internationales Kolleg für Kulturtechnik Forschung und Medienphilosophie (IKKM) at the Bauhaus University in Weimar, Germany, where she began developing a new book project provisionally titled Textile Media and Philosophy. This book will think through the use of textile metaphors and diagrams in various discourses since the 19th-century.
Primary Recipient Awards
At the Institute, she will continue working on her Textile Media and Philosophy book project, specifically tackling the questions:
- How are textiles media?
- What and how do textiles mediate?
Considering that textiles divide and define architectural space, conduct electronic signals, convey symbolic content in ritual dress, or widely operate as metaphors throughout texts of philosophy and political economy, her project will examine the way different disciplines conceive the notion of “mediation.”