blog: molteninetworks.tumblr.com -"url not working"?
Maria Molteni grew up in Nashville, TN, a perochial-school misfit in the bible belt, where Protestants & Catholics settle their differences on the field or court. Aware of her mother’s childhood dismissal from tryouts on account of being “too skinny”, Maria felt fortunate to spend ten years swallowed by team jerseys bearing Air Jordan’s lucky number 23. When asked of future plans, she swore to become an “Art and Basketball Star”. Her neighbors who knew of her love for the game expressed their support, offering one of their own MOLTEN -the official olympic brand- basketballs with a bold “i” painted on the end.
Upon receiving a BFA from Boston University in 2006, these formative experiences became a source of new inspiration. This anecdote recounting an altered MOLTEN ball illustrates the processes and concepts imbedded in what has become an art-informed-by-athletic practice. Maria is interested in Art as an act of gift giving, reassessment of authorship via appropriation, social spectacle, & expression of support/protest by way of DIY or graffiti techniques.
MOLTENi NET WORKS function simply. Participants will hand-crochet basketball nets to be installed on hoops where such are missing or damaged. I've created a blog & google map to keep track of spaces where nets have been installed or have yet to be. Interested contributers may follow the progress of the project, reporting sightings and requests for nets in their own neighborhoods. Efforts have begun locally, with hoops near my Allston, MA apartment, but may contribute to additional projects such as artist Kevin Clancy's "Portable Utopia" in Johannesburg. I hope to engage other creative enthusiasts collaborating via skill shares to fabricate nets and exchange new design ideas.
Familiar with the many ways nets benefit the game, both functionally and beyond, this project is inspired by my own basketball experience and the love for sinking a "nothin' but net". As an artist I am interested in a mapping process that creates a network between communities and utilizes abandoned space as a venue. I'm also motivated by a DIY form of slow production that will restore dignity to such preloved neighborhood totems. I hope that installing a functional while quality, hand-crafted product on an industrial rim will foster creativity, encourage the questioning of standard measurement or design, & create a bond of trust between artists, athletes, & neighbors.
Funded by Boston, MA (February 2011)