Artist Projects

Knit for Defense

Cat Mazza

Knit for Defense (2012) is an animation at the intersection of craft, labor and combat, exploring the aesthetics of war in film through an experimental visualization of knit stitches. Knitting garments for combat troops was popularized during World War II as a domestic effort, which activated knitting circles into a feminized labor force. Knit for Defense is created from archival footage and historical artifacts, sounds from knitting machines and textile processes, threading together footage from World War II, Vietnam and the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, when wartime knitting was in practice. Knit motifs of tanks, planes, ships and drones animate a cinema of combat, reflecting on war from a pixelated distance. The sound designer for this project is Jesse Stiles.

Project Updates

  • 2012: The animation Knit for Defense is featured in 40 Under 40: Craft Futures and acquired into the permanent collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC

  • 2012: Clip of Knit for Defense presented at Maine College of Art in Visiting Artist Lecture

  • 2012: Clip of Knit for Defense presented at Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore in Visiting Artist Lecture

  • 2011: Clip of Knit for Defense presented at Queens College, City University of New York in Visiting Artist Lecture

  • 2011: Knit for Defense exhibits at the California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA in a Craft Forward presentation

  • 2010: An early iteration of Knit for Defense is exhibited at Rhode Island School of Design

  • 2010: Mazza collaborates with a sound designer Jesse Stiles to create an original soundtrack for Knit for Defense using knitting machine noises

  • 2010: An early iteration of Knit for Defense is exhibited at Oberlin College

  • Artists

    Cat Mazza

    Cat Mazza is an artist whose work combines craft with digital media to explore the overlaps between textiles, technology and labor. Her Creative Capi…


  • Events

    Jul 20 – Feb 03, 2013
    Cat Mazza featured in "40 under 40: Craft Futures" at the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Renwick Gallery in Washinton, D.C.

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  • Project News

    July 16, 2012
    Project Premiere: Cat Mazza's "Knit for Defense" at Smithsonian's Renwick Gallery

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