Sock Exchange, SockOmeter and Carbon Sockprints!?


I’ve got my sock ready to take into FACT. This is another Climate for Change event.

Artist Kai-Oi Jay Yung urges us  to act on climate change through using odd socks as a weapon for change!  Yung’s exhibition at FACT, Liverpool’s ‘Climate for Change’ between 6-12 April 2009 will see her week-long series of event activities in Sock Exchange. Through video, events and one-on-one engagement, Sock Exchange invites visitors on an unsuspecting mend and marvel crusade.  Prolific artist Jay will be darning people’s odd socks as well as inviting them to create their own sock objects d’art, chances to learn how to knit with experts from local knitting fanatics as well a chance to find love in Lonely Socks;Speed Socking event. Yung will transform the visitor’s humble holey and odd socks into an exquisite sock d’art, as well as finding other uses for the finished sock- punters will never be able to trash their socks again.

Visitors can bring their holey and odd socks to the gallery on the run up to the show from the 13th March, and in residence from 6th-12th April, Yung will personally darn and lovingly embellish every sock with a signature doodle unique to each one. If sockless, visitors can delve into the multi-arrayed sock trove and quash odd sock misery by finding the ultimate sock that they may personally adorn with the array of materials to hand. The ‘SockOmeter’ enables visitors to calculate their carbon sockprint, whilst local Liverpool ‘Stitch & Bitch’ fanatics impart the latest patch up and stitch tips to out wit any knit itch.

Yung’s making environment will be filled with the visuals and sounds of Socking, a docu-video exploring the artist’s search for the origin of the sock. From birth of angora goats in Corrymoor farm, Devon to the spinning and knitting process of a Nottingham based family run sock business, Yung travels across the UK uncovering the sock’s supply chain and hinting at industry costs entailed in sock manufacturing, its price implications to our environment. The project closes with Lonely Socks, bringing together singles with their odd socks in a one-night speed-socking event; potential to find their matching ‘sole’ mate. Sock Exchange exemplifies Yung’s playful, prolific and far-reaching interdisciplinary practice. Each diverse project challenges the artist’s capacity to communicate how we are living to inhabitants, inspiring participation through performance to installation and local activity.

“Climate change is vast but we have to start somewhere. Sock Exchange enacts my yearning to connect with people on a fundamental level by catalysing their relationship with those details in life easily invisible or overlooked. Symptomatic of the shift in global trade poles is a struggling UK sock industry, that cotton fibre emits ten times its weight in carbon emissions, that we don’t know how to value the land we own or cultivate the food we eat… rethinking how we consume can necessarily begin by removing any comfort zone of the socks we pull onto our feet”.