Gentle and Kind Things is an outgrowth of my work as an artist-activist and my commitment to using art practice as a model for leaders to think more holistically about the implications of their actions and the power of using multi-sensory listening and dialogue within crisis situations. In January 2020 I joined a working group with international security experts exploring the prevalence of Hybrid Warfare in our domestic lives. In short, the strategy of Hybrid Warfare is a multilayered manipulation of the weaknesses inherent in a democratic country’s culture, shaking the unaware civilians’ faith in the structures of their society so much so that it will bring about its own demise.
Gentle and Kind Things is a series of handmade cloths that serve as a proposed table setting for dialogic activations. Whether at the working group’s first meeting, in a gallery setting, or in an open public space, a series of handmade fabrics serve as an anchor for the reflective conversations we could have if we choose to take a hard look at our own culpability in the structures of our society. Created on a hybrid loom, the table runners and napkins, while pleasing handmade cloth, are embedded with quotes from archival texts outlining the goals, tactics, and foundations of hybrid warfare. The quotes are drawn from military texts, newspaper articles, philosophical writings and words from indigenous futurist artists. They are encoded and repeated, mantras revealed as embedded in the structures that surround us.