Paul Reynolds

Notes on ‘Holes’: A Sensibility of Holes in Lace


There is an ambiguous context for the holes in lace: the lace shapes its holes, which in turn shape the lace; its ‘thingness does not lie at all in the material of which it consists, but in the void that it holds’ (Heidegger [1971] 2001: 167). Lace is a fabric that is defined by its pattern of holes, a fabric in which most of its area is made of holes and yet these holes form no part of its traditional classification system. What are these holes? Do they pre-exist the lace’s making? Do they possess a life that is encapsulated within the lacemaking process? This paper is an attempt to understand these holes in lace, not by defining them as objects or entities but rather through a sensibility; through an emotional and aesthetic appreciation of their affects, exploring the hole for what it has to say about itself. As Susan Sontag would have said, the paper snares a sensibility of a hole in words ([1964] 2018: 3). The paper takes its style and form from Sontag’s Notes on ‘Camp’ ([1964] 2018), a text on capturing the sensibility of the ineffable. Recorded as jottings rather than an essay, the paper has non-linear and non-consecutive arguments presented as a series of numbered notes each of which capture a single context for a sensibility: its plain-text codifies the authors practice-based nomadic writings that unfolded through the process of experimental lacemaking whilst the hole and the author co-made a series of lace artefacts, and the italic-text is Sontag’s own ([1964] 2018).

Keywords: Holes, Lace, Sensibility, Ontology, and Sontag.

Notes on ‘Holes’

Many things in the world have not been named; and many things, even if they have been named, have never been described. One of these is the sensibility […] that goes by the cult name of an Ontic Hole.


1. To start very generally: There are four actions necessary to become-engaged with a sensibility of holes. Firstly, to move from being a ‘psychoanalytic scarecrow, who never saw more than a hole’ (Deleuze, Guattari [1980] 2012: 42) and become a post-Dorothy scarecrow who can see a hole for what it really is. Secondly, to embrace a basic principle of holes: think of presences and not absences. Thirdly, to acknowledge the uniqueness of each presence. Fourthly, to see the hole through the aestheticism of the lace-maker. Through these four actions it is possible to see what a hole has to say about itself.

2. To emphasize the aestheticism of the lace-maker is to see in any holed-artefact ‘something in which we recognize a voice or characteristic which reaches us from a hitherto unknown but immediately familiar place; a work we discover we have been waiting for, or rather, which has been waiting for us - something which was there, imminent’ (Nancy 1996).


3. Holes have a quality discoverable in objects and the[ir]behaviour. There are holey textiles, fabrics, clothes, sculptures, sounds, novels, musical-compositions, and holey artistic-processes. This distinction is important. Not every hole can be seen. It’s not ‘all’ in the eye of the beholder.

canon of holes

4. Random examples of items which are part of the canon of Holes:

Mên-an-Tol (circa 2500 BC)
Punch-Cards (Joseph Jacquard 1801)
Un Enterrement à Ornans (Gustave Courbet 1849)
Spider-web Flounce (Emma Radford 1874)
Six Bagatelles for String Quartet (Anton Webern 1913)
Black-Hole (Karl Schwarzschild 1916)
Waiting for Godot (Samuel Beckett 1948)
I Buchi (Lucio Fontana 1949)
Electron-Hole (William Shockley 1950)
Holes (Shozo Shimamoto 1950)
4’33” (John Cage 1952)
Epidauros II (Barbara Hepworth 1961)
Very Hungry Caterpillar (Eric Carle 1969)
a hole in the sea (Barry Flanagan 1969)
Jumper (Rei Kawakubo 1982)
The Tangent Flows (Hussein Chalayan 1993)
Holes (Louis Sachar 1998)
Resin Air Space (Anish Kapoor 1998)
Norwegian Sweater (Celia Pym 2010)
Between the Lines (Iris van Herpen 2017)


5. Holes have an affinity for certain arts rather than others. Sculpture, clothes, furniture, all the elements of lace, for instance, make up a large part of the art of holes. For holey-art is often decorative art, emphasizing texture, sensuous surfaces, and style at the expense of content. Sometimes whole art forms become saturated with holes, for example, lace.


6. Many examples of holes are things which, from a ‘serious’ point of view, are either bad art or kitsch. A sensibility of holes is to perceive them as possessing attributes of intentions. These intentions are not necessarily intrinsic to the hole but rather in the extrinsic effects and affects they have on that which surrounds them. A sensibility of holes is evoked not only by a tactile appeal to the skin and the eye, but also through memory. In a hole are the past, present and future co-existing, movements from the past towards a future place that they have not been and a future time they have not experienced.


7. All holed objects, and persons, contain a large element of artifice. Nothing in nature can be clever enough to possess the individuality of a hole-presence. A spider-web is commonplace and no hole within its web is individual: ‘A spider may perhaps be rationally proud of his own cobweb, even though all the fields in the morning are covered with the like, for he made it himself, but suppose a machine spun it for him? Suppose all the gossamer were Nottingham-made, would a sensible spider be either prouder, or happier?’ (Ruskin 1873).


8. Holes are a vision of the world in terms of style - but a particular kind of style, a style which is context aware. A context that weaves together a warp of ideas and a weft of behavior to inform a sensibility: the context of a hole are the spaces within, between, and in-between its linings and hosts. The same hole behaves differently in different contexts.


9. A hole responds particularly to the markedly attenuated and the strongly exaggerated. All holes have properties such as size and boundaries; whilst holes at the edge represent thresholds, part-holes, escaping-holes. Some holes are parasitic, they are always in something, they cannot exist in isolation. Fill a hole with a heterogeneous material and the hole although filled is still a hole; but fill a hole with a homogeneous material, the material of the host, then the hole ceases to exist: the hole has moved to where the filling material was removed. Holes can be disturbances found in hosts, changing the host does not affect the hole. Holes are real, not just absence of something, they happily coexist with other materials: in these places, holes are not an absence but rather a presence of a difference, manifest as a change in topology, pattern, color, texture, and surface: a complex haptic and optical heterogeneity in a homogeneous surface.

virtual, real, actual

10. To perceive holes in objects and persons is to understand Being-as-Playing-a-Role. It is the farthest extension, in sensibility, the metaphor of life as theatre. The theatre of lace-making is the studio. As a traditional lace-maker I think of holes in lace as absences bound together into a pattern by material threads and knots. These holes are ontically insignificant. As an experimental lace-maker I think of holes becoming-real: these holes pre-exist the making of lace, they were captured and trapped in the lace by the material threads and knots. These holes ontically exist in their own right. As a philosophical lace-maker I think of holes becoming-actual: all their material and immaterialities seems to be in the process of evolving through various patterns and forms. The maker is now only an instrument that holes exploit in order to express themselves. These holes not only ontically exist, they also possess an élan-vital: they are anorganic life-form.


11. Life is not stylish. Neither is nature. Holes as a presence of an absence: through movement and interaction, holes express their presence and their existence. This presence is visualized through the movement within a complement-texture, a texture that is neither the lace nor the skin, rather a place of the in-between the lace and skin where holes experience a-life. A-life visualized through the contrast between the layers, a volume of being entrapped between layers of non-being.

alive, a-life

12. The question isn’t, Are holes alive? The question is, rather, Do holes live a-life? A Woolfian concept of a body that lives a-life of its own not contained by its boundaries but overflowing (Woolf [1931] 2000: 44). Holes are intrinsically chaotic and the process of lace making is organized against this chaos (Deleuze, Guattari [1980] 2012: 373). Lace holes memorizing the materiality of previous owners which give evidence of a-life of their own (Bentham 1997), a unique life (Adorno [1970] 2002: 5). At the end of a-life, the last hole is death (Sachar 1998: 71), a hole loses its integrity, its identity (Sachar 1998: 98), merging with other holes creating spaces where new holes are born and start to live a-life of their own (Sachar 1998: 34).

13. The dividing line seems to fall … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …


14. A pocket history of a hole might acknowledge that ‘holes have birth-places and histories they can change and things can happen to them’ (Dennett, Hofstadter 1981).


15. Of course, to say all these things are holes is not to argue that they are simply that. A full analysis of holes, for instance, would scarcely equate it with lace. Current taxonomies of lace are based upon geography, methods of making and pattern-centric visual imagery, these have little relationships with the lace itself which requires an engagement with the visual qualities inherent in lace such as holes, looping or moving threads (Briggs-Goode, Buttress 2009: 75). But such an analysis cannot ignore what in lace allows it to be experienced as holes. Holes require being in order to enter into a symbiotic relationship with its host, with lace’s context.

16. Thus, the hole sensibility is one that is alive to a double sense in which some things can be taken. It is the difference, rather, between the holes as meaning something, anything, and the holes as pure artifice.


17. This comes out clearly in the vulgar use of the word hole as a verb, ‘to hole’, something that people do. To hole is a mode of seduction. Holes hide ‘like painters hiding behind their paint, authors behind their words, officers behind their uniforms, functionaries behind their functions, politicians behind their smiles and philosophers behind their pipes, and every-body behind clothes, love behind bodies, beings behind flesh’ (Ferlinghetti 1966: 134, 56). Holes are shy entities only expressing themselves through affects and effects, through feelings, through shadows: judged by the company they keep. In order to see, feel, the shy hole’s being there needs to be silence: an absence of the maker, an absence of the wearer, an absence of the context. We don't understand holes they understand us (After Adorno [1970] 2002: ix). These holes have emotions: a happiness, a sadness, a void, a space and a boundary between times waiting to be filled.


18. One must distinguish between naïve and deliberate holes. Pure holes are always naïve. Children-book holes are naïve. They live in hosts, a chunk of Swiss cheese, they are round and have faces, arms and legs (Newell [1908] 1985). Naïve holes are full of wonder that can be woven into stories (Litton 2018).

19. The pure examples of holes are unintentional. ‘How’d you like your first hole? Well, the first hole’s the hardest, the second hole’s a lot harder […] and the forty-fifth hole is the hardest’ (Sachar 1998: 20 - 21, 57). For the lace-maker not all holes are good, some holes are right and some holes are wrong.


20. Probably, intending to be holed is always harmful. An awareness of the hole in lace does not depend upon seeing anything in it. Patterns contain known-holes and unknown-holes, gaps and see-through openings. Patterns emerge when looking at where there appears to be nothing, where holes co-operate to become-pattern. The hole-pattern in lace is kinetic, the moving-gaze and the moving wearer. Hole patterns cooperate to become-motif which provide interpretive opportunities.




21. So, again, space is to holes as matter is to threads, holes inferred from their adjacent threads. Either holes are made of material-space or holes are made of immaterial-nothing. Holes that exist in space also exist in time as memories.


22. Considered a little less strictly, a hole in lace cannot be seen because it is made of nothing. Take away all the holes in lace and they are replaced by a bigger hole – a nothing. These nothing-holes have properties like the silences and pauses in speech and music, like the space in and between words and letters. A nothingness that is a Dionysian nothing of pure zero (Bulgakov [1945] 2002: 6); or a Barthes’ nothing where the smallest of detail radiates a great deal of meaning (Barthes [1967] 2010: 243).


23. Holes, the essential element is seriousness, a seriousness that fails. Only that which has the proper mixture of the exaggerated, the fantastic, the passionate and the naïve. A hole’s materiality is its movements, silences, shadows, duration, and the unwitting testimony embedded through their making. The singing, conversations in peer-to-peer making circles, stories, value-judgements, et cetera, which subsequently interacts with skin, light and air to provide a visual manifestation of this materiality.


24. When something is just bad, it’s often because it is too mediocre in its ambition. The artist hasn’t attempted to do anything really outlandish. Each hole in the lace captures the maker’s and wearer’s movements and rhythms, encapsulated in the hole and hole-pattern as a materiality. Stillness becomes-being, silence becomes-being, the hole becomes-nomadic. Where expectations are uncertain the true nature of the hole comes to the fore as it has nothing to emulate and no guide on which to rely.


25. The hallmark of hole’s being is its difference from other things rather than a similarity with a specific thing (Scruton 2015: 529), a lace hole’s being determined by its difference from its threads, knots and hole-lining, and its heterogeneity from the textile’s homogeneity. For holes to be different from threads, threads cannot be part of the hole, holes must exist without a thread hole-lining. A hole’s shadow, a presence from nothing where an existence is disclosed (Heidegger 1978: x, 83).


26. The in-between is a place and not a space. To experience the in-between requires a sensibility of place, a quality discoverable in holed-objects and the behaviour of interacting persons. The in-between results from the counterpoint of the lace worn and the wearers skin as a third place, the intertwining of the reflections from two surfaces in which holes are encapsulated; through movement and competition of these surfaces the holes express their presence and their existence. It is in this in-between that an ontology of holes can be found: found in-between the layers of lace, in-between the holes and their context, in-between the viewer and the lace-hole, in-between the lace-maker and their threads, in-between the lace and its wearer, in-between the inorganic-lace and the organic-skin (Deleuze, Guattari [1980] 2012: 345).


27. What is extravagant in an inconsistent or an unpassionate way is not hole, […] holes and preciosity – must not be confused. Holes are not a property of lace but an element of it. When the elements of threads and knots asymptotically approach the hole the three meld together (Adorno [1970] 2002: 139). Through the process of becoming- the emptiness of the hole brings about the full integration of the elements in lace into an aesthetic unity (Adorno [1970] 2002: 139), the homogenous elements of thread and knot import the heterogeneous hole to become-motif (Adorno [1970] 2002: 145).


28. Again, holes attempt to do something extraordinary. Holes that ontologically exist in their own right express themselves through the process of evolving, becoming-different, through various patterns and motif-forms. These holes are not an insignificant absence surrounded by a presence, but a presence surrounded by a presence. Holes existence and being are determined through the effect of artefacts and their making-processes: creating resonances within, or modulating with, the viewer independent of their content or meaning.


29. Because in their relative unpretentiousness and vulgarity holes possess something touching and quite enjoyable. The embroidered hole, a puncturing the textile or pushing its threads apart to enlarge an existing hole, a repetition of form, rhythm and sequence. Embroidery explores a hole’s journey with the thread, turning, knotting, folding; the journey of the hole and thread, nomadic in the lace.


30. Of course, the canon of holes can change. Time has a great deal to do with it. But, duration has a great deal to do with it, the canon of holes never changes because the yet to be discovered holes are already part of the canon, but remain un-named.


31. What was banal can, with the passage of time, become fantastic. Thus, things are holey, not when they become old – but when we become less involved in them, and can enjoy, instead of being frustrated by, the failure of an attempt. The stitch is a moving act of puncturing, stabbing, piercing, the making of a hole; the stitch becomes- a piece of lace which moves with wearing; the stitch becomes- a unit of thread movement, the weft-needle and the warp-thread: the weft-needle moving up and down, the warp-thread moving towards infinity.


32. A hole’s incompetence (at least, lack of depth) as an ‘actress’ enhances her beauty. She’s always herself. Through form and repetition, a rhythmic harmony, that a-life is created (Deleuze, Guattari [1980] 2012: 526).


33. ‘Life is too important a thing ever to talk seriously about it’. The hole motif has natural beauty as an abstract form (Adorno [1970] 2002: 102), a motif of pure and empty form.


34. What a hole does is to offer for art (and life) a different – a supplementary – set of standards. The embryonic hole is round, it grows to become-ellipsoid, to become-allantoidal: movement in making, movement in representation. The aesthetic experience of the hole letterform becomes-movement under its gaze, ‘the work comes alive [...] being closely entwined by line and circle’ (George [1899] 2005: 40), not just motion from within its pattern but motion out of it (Waters 2005: 39 – 41).


35. Ordinarily we value a work of art because of the seriousness and dignity of which it achieves [...] in fulfilling the intention that lies behind it. The stitch has geometric beauty: gentle-curves and solid-form. Their beauty is within, hidden, normally visible only on the inside of a garment: holding things together, it repairs and it bonds, a healing process. The stitch has an infinite number of forms that are dependent upon the making material, the tension applied to material, the speed at which the stitch is applied, and the pattern the sewing makes in constructing the stitch.

a non-organic life

36. But there are other creative sensibilities besides the serious. For instance, the rhythm of stitching creates life in the hole, luminous beings surrounded by threads (Deleuze, Guattari [1980] 2012: 274). Lace holes are neither a thing nor an organism but a non-organic life (Deleuze, Guattari [1980] 2012: 454) in the process of evolving through various patterns and forms. The lace-maker does not control this evolution but are instruments that the holes, threads and knots exploit to express themselves (Deleuze, Guattari [1980] 2012: 447).

37. The first sensibility, that of high culture, is basically moralistic. The second sensibility, that of extreme states of feeling […] gains power by a tension between moral and aesthetic passion. The third, the hole, is wholly aesthetic.

lace-process environment

38. Lace is the consistently aesthetic experience of the world. It incarnates a victory of ‘style’ over ‘content’, ‘aesthetics’ over ‘morality’, of irony over tragedy. One does not look at lace, but looks through and around it, revealing shapes which take form on traversing its pattern of holes and within individual holes, gaining movement through the thresholds of holes. Lace holes come in all shapes and have a combination of boundaries and thresholds, they concealed and revealed simultaneously: positive-holes (presence) hide, and negative-holes (absence) expose, a duality of holes.


39. A-hole and a hole are antitheses, à la Magritte: A HOLE Ceci n’est pas un trou: ‘hole is a hole […] the substitution is not the resemblance between things denoted but the sameness of the words used to express them’ (Freud 1915: 200).


40. Style is everything, style is like comparing something to a lace-gown: it is not identifying with a gown’s splendid totality, but rather to an incompletion, a holding together of disparate elements: the gown’s seams and patches threads, knots and holes (After Deleuze [1964] 2000: 161).


41. The whole point of holes is to dethrone the serious. One can be serious about the frivolous, frivolous about the serious. An understanding of the aesthetic qualities of lace is not associated just with its medium (Deleuze, Guattari [1980] 2012: xvii) that comes through an awareness of its territory (Deleuze, Guattari [1980] 2012: 356), but rather from viewer or wearers physical and cultural contexts and the interactions that take place between them (DeLong 1998). Lace holes have to be seen close-up, explored haptically in the thresholds of light and shadow; inspiring the imagination, engage the memory. In Deleuzian terms hole-aesthetics are not the qualities of the pure color and sound nor the symbolic-meanings associated with the lace (DeLong 1998) rather, they are discovered in the forms and structures that unfold through the making of lace-artefacts (Shaviro 2007).


42. One can be drawn to holes when one realizes that ‘sincerity’ is not enough. Every hole has a hole-lining, a Derrida-undecidable which is neither present nor absent (Gorman 2015), neither part of the hole nor part of its host, belonging to both by not belonging to either, an indeterminate threshold, a place not a space.


43. A hole introduces a new standard. The relationship between the hole and its host as tangential where both the hole and its host momentarily co-exist, not to be occupied but experienced as intensities and affects. This place is an in-between accessed haptically, feeling through the eye and seeing through touch.


44. A hole possesses a comic vision of the world […] comedy is an experience and underinvolvement, of detachment. A hole is porous and permeable, it is between the material and immaterial, between the inside and outside, between the past and present; where voids, gaps, tensions and conflicts are often mediated.


45. A hole is the answer to the problem. Holes provides a boundary between the private body and the public world; it divides two concerns.

hole as co-authors

46. A hole makes no distinction between the unique object and the mass-produced object. A hole demonstrates its being through its contribution to changes in outcomes, the maker responding to the ebb-and-flow of the holes materiality which has a force, a tension and an energy that is felt, not as an adult-child, truth-to-the-material relationship, but a peer-peer, co-authorship relationship.

whole life of a hole

47. An important element of the hole’s sensibility – the equivalence of all objects. Lace ‘is both the result of the process and the process itself at a standstill’ (Adorno [1970] 2002: 246). All objects that crystallized from the lace process possess an equivalence that comprise the life of the hole. This life follows a hole from its capture right through to its release and eventual re-capture. This life comprises a series of hole becoming-different as it passes through the stages of capture and transformation including: fabrics, sewing, wearing and eventual release as the disposal of a lace garment.


48. The connoisseur of holes is continually amused, delighted. Lace cannot be made with just one hole, lace requires a community of holes sharing a common aesthetic, a community knotted together with threads, holes and threads living together in co-operation, a symbiotic relationship. Communities only exists between beings, it opens the holes in lace to connections, it presupposes the conditions of its existence (Deleuze, Guattari [1980] 2012: 177). When one hole is cut from the community by deterritorialisation, for the remaining holes to survive as a community the lace must maintain a pattern of holes.


49. ‘What is abnormal in Life stands normal in relation to Art. It is only things in Life that stands in normal relation to Art’. Shadows are holes removed from their hosts, seeing a hole is to fill it, filling a hole makes it whole, filling a hole makes its invisibility visible. Shadows created by its threads are no more real than shadows created by its holes. Shadows, the imagined life of holes, where the past and present meet. Shadows of the lace-maker, silent, a void, a hole in history. Hole shadows are not a simply an absence of light but rather white, liquid, poignant, transient, dark, and a searching for the hidden (Woof [1931] 2000: 169, 46, 156, 136). To engage with hole’s being requires an understanding that neither the familiar (Woof [1931] 2000: 185) nor homogeneity (Mende 2000: 12) casts shadows; only the unfamiliar casts shadows. Shadows are holes in light, they ‘consist of nothing but the absence of light the sense or senses in which we see these things is quite a different process of seeing as it occurs in seeing a material object’ (Locke 1690). Beauty in shadows requires is dependent upon a variation, heavy shadows against light shadows, darkness as an indispensable element of beauty, the all-but-invisible shadow tells us how magnificent a piece of lace must be (Tanizaki [1933] 2001: 23, 29, 31).


50. Who is the bearer of this taste? The hole stores the lace-maker as a presence of memory (Sachar 1998: 32). Through a performative liberation of holes comes the libérer la dentellière, their aura liberated from the hole, ‘the memory of the hand that, tenderly, almost caressing, passed over the contours of the work and by articulating them, also modified them’ (Adorno [1970] 2002: 292). Encountering the lace-maker through a sense of identity that is encapsulated through their processes of lace making. Working with an artefact so that the voice of the liberator and the voice of the maker become- an indistinct zone of indiscernibility so one is never sure who is speaking (Marks 1998: 24): liberating the presence of the maker by being open to affects.


51. Creative, that is, in the truest sense: they are creators of sensibilities … … …


52. Every sensibility is self-serving to the group that promotes it.


53. In the modern era, each new style, unless frankly anachronistic, has come on the scene as an anti-style. A hole cannot be photographed because it does not reflect or interact with light. A photograph of the transparency of the hole is recorded as an opaqueness, in the photograph a nothing becomes-something, a Hegel’s becoming- in which absence (nothing) becomes-presence (being). Photographs of the lace are an artefact in their own right, they have become-different lace with their own textures and their own language, they have become-surface.


54. The man who insists on high and serious pleasures is depriving himself of pleasure; he continually restricts what he can enjoy. Holes in clothes can be the unwanted loss of textile through wear and damage, these holes are absences. However, holes in lace are part of its design, part of its material construction, they are necessary, these holes are presences. Repaired holes in clothes appear homogeneous but its pattern becomes-heterogeneous, the filled holes still exist. Holes in clothes change shape and size through wear and tear; two identical articles of clothing worn by different people produce different hole-location, hole-size and hole-shape, these holes grow through the life-force of the wearer’s being transferred to the textile.


55. A Hole is generous. It wants to enjoy. An Adorno's viewpoint where holes become-alive by crystallizing themselves as something unique rather than complying to the existing norms of the living ([1970] 2002: 308).


56. Taste is a kind of love, love of human nature. It relishes, rather than judges, the little trials and awkward intensity of ‘character’ … holes in clothes come with a-life of experiences. The lace needle penetrates and is penetrated, the thread penetrates the needle, the needle penetrates the lace-base: Sartre’s two bodies that fit together with a desire to fill holes ([1943] 1984).


57. Taste nourishes itself on the love that has gone into certain objects. In lace, holes create an experience or an opportunity to explore, they defined shape, and afford a flow through and between. In lace, holes have a perimeter and continuous boundaries, except at the edges where they escape. In lace, holes hold light and air to become-material themselves.


58. The ultimate hole statement: A hole is not just an absence but rather a complex haptic and optical heterogeneity in a homogeneous surface. Of course, one can’t always say that. Only under certain conditions, those which I’ve tried to sketch in these notes.


An appreciation of holes has no system and no proofs […] Any sensibility which can be crammed into the mold of a system, or handled with the rough tools of proof, is no longer a sensibility at all. It has hardened into an idea (Sontag [1964] 2018: 3). A hole is not an idea but a sensibility, for no one who wholeheartedly shares in a given sensibility can analyze it […] to name a sensibility, to draw its contours and to recount its history, requires a deep sympathy (Sontag [1964] 2018: 2); this sensibility of holes is understood through the practice of lacemaking and articulated through a context necessary for feeling this sensibility that is open to what a hole has to say about itself. Through this process a hole’s sensibility that emerges is that it can be understood not as an absence but rather a heterogeneity in a universe of homogeneity; the relationship between the hole and its host is not a boundary or lining, but rather a tangent, an in-between, where both the hole and its host momentarily co-exist. Holes are individuals, they act and behave as singularities; holes have agency they can participate in authoring; and, holes have a presumption of ontic existence even if this existence, at a minimum, is the presence of an absence.


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About the Author

Paul Reynolds is a lacemaker and PhD researcher within the Fashion & Textiles Institute Falmouth: University of the Arts, London. His research practice encompasses the whole-life of a hole as a series of becomings through the process of its capture and accumulation of experiences as it passes through the stages of the lace making process. This whole-life comprises waves of hole-becomings: becoming-found, becoming-captured, becoming-image, becoming-fabric, becoming-costume, and becoming-released.

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