My Heart Is in These Medicine Bundles

Museum of Arts and Design (MAD)

October 9, 2021
October 7, 2021
Conversation and workshop: October 9, 1–3:30pm

Museum of Arts and Design (MAD)
2 Columbus Circle
New York, NY 10019
United States

This two-part public program takes Mary Holiday Black’s Ceremonial Basket, Black, Red, White (c. 1998) in MAD’s permanent collection as a catalyst for collaboration. Facilitated by Diné (Navajo) artist Damian Jim and members of the Brooklyn-based Interference Archive, this event highlights the importance of collective-making processes in crafts and celebrates the unexpected results of co-creation. 

My Heart Is in These Medicine Bundles will begin with a conversation on the significance of baskets in Diné culture. These objects—used for everyday tasks and ceremonial purposes—are woven through labor-intensive practices that are usually carried out in community. Bringing people together as they work, baskets also function as storytelling vehicles and life maps. Jim, who between 1995 and 1999 collaborated with more than fifteen weavers in his native Utah, will be sharing how they all came together to create hundreds of designs that won multiple awards. The conversation will be contextualized by articles from Indigenous newspapers in Interference Archive’s collection to expand on themes of preservation and tradition as generative forces. 

During the second part of the event, attendees will learn how to screenprint by experimenting with a series of posters designed by Jim with MAD and Interference Archive on the occasion of this convening.  

1–2pm: Conversation (onsite and online) 
Nora Almeida, Volunteer, Interference Archive / Jen Hoyer, Volunteer, Interference Archive / Damian Jim, Visual Artist and Designer / Moderated by Gabriela López Dena, Manager of Public Programs, MAD 

2–3:30pm: Screenprinting workshop (onsite only)  
Led by Interference Archive, Damian Jim, and MAD’s Education Department 

In-person tickets here, online tickets here.

*For teachers: New York State educators participating in this program onsite are invited to attend a post-workshop discussion session from 4–5pm. Join fellow teachers, MAD staff, and Interference Archive for a lively discussion about how the program’s intersecting themes may be applied in the classroom. Educators must attend the conversation, workshop, and discussion to earn 4 CTLE hours. Please register for an in-person ticket and email Irin Mahaparn at irin.mahaparn [​at​] to let her know that you will be joining as an educator. 

About the facilitators
Damian Jim 
is a Diné (Navajo) artist and graphic designer from Bluff, Utah. He works with acrylic and oil on canvas, ink on paper, and digital photography in a printed format. Jim has received numerous awards and has been featured in many publications, markets, and shows. In 1995, Twin Rocks Trading Post hired him to create new basket designs based on Diné stories and imagery. His work with the basket weavers accelerated the explosion of new basket designs. Utilizing a computer, Jim illustrated the weavers’ concepts and composed scores for new pieces. Jim is also the co-founder and manager of 1Spot Gallery, the only all-indigenous art gallery in Phoenix. He also helped to create Ziindi: Indigenous Art Zine featuring contemporary indigenous artists from across the country.

Interference Archive explores the relationship between cultural production and social movements. This work manifests in public exhibitions, a study and social center, talks, screenings, publications, workshops, and an online presence. The Brooklyn-based archive consists of many kinds of objects created as part of social movements by the participants themselves: posters, flyers, publications, photographs, books, T-shirts and buttons, moving images, audio recordings, and other materials. Through their programming, they use this cultural ephemera to animate histories of people mobilizing for social transformation. They consider the use of their collection to be a way of preserving and honoring histories and material culture that is often marginalized in mainstream institutions. Interference Archive is a collectively run space that is people-powered, with open stacks and accessibility for all.   

My Heart Is in These Medicine Bundles is curated by Gabriela López Dena with assistance from Angelica Pomar.