Loading Events

Dave Cole The Knitting Machine


  • Archive, Archive Exhibitions, Exhibition

  • June 30, 2005 - December 31, 2005
  • Galleries

On the most American of holiday weekends, MASS MoCA presented a truly monumental and uniquely American sculptural installation by Dave Cole. Starting June 30, 2005, Cole was in residence at MASS MoCA with his project The Knitting Machine, which comprised two excavators specially fitted with massive 20′ knitting needles. The product of The Knitting Machine was an oversized American flag — a flag which could be seen as both a celebratory gesture of pride and a commentary on America’s role in world affairs.

When the flag was removed from The Knitting Machine it was folded into the traditional flag triangle and was on display in a presentation case which Cole described as “slightly smaller than a Volkswagen Beetle,” accompanied by the 20′ knitting needles and a video of the knitting process.

The Knitting Machine is one part of a three-part exhibition of Cole’s work at the museum. In addition to the installation, MASS MoCA showed Cole’s Memorial Flag (Toy Soldiers) (2005), a 5’×9-1/2′ foot flag crafted of 18,000 plastic toy soldiers wrestling beneath an impermeable glaze of red, white, and blue; and The Evolution of the Knitting Needle Through Modern Warfare (2001), a convincing display of hypothetical Army-issue knitting needles — what Cole imagines Army needles would have been had the Army mandated them as combat equipment for seven wars, from the Civil War through the first Persian Gulf War.

The John Deere excavators for the installation were donated by Schmidt Equipment in North Oxford, Massachusetts.

Learn more about Dave Cole

Dave Cole, The Knitting Machine, 2005
photo: Arjen Noordeman