Second-Hand and the Tacit

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Methodologies of affect and embodied materiality are key components of the second-hand embued in clothing and fabrics. These ideas are the unspoken, the hidden areas of tacit knowledge. Explicit knowledge is seen as the raw data in research, which reveals itself as strands; it is visible data driven by its transparency, such as the predictions for growth in second-hand markets over the next five years.
Making is a key component of tacit knowledge, as it is in the making where hidden knowledge can be made and embedded. The emotion and affect embodied in the second-hand can be embedded in the visible repairs or the additions that can create unique meanings within artefacts, beyond looking at the fabric manufacture, or garments on the surface. It is this hidden origin which is the tacit, and the reasons why the second-hand can have value and a unique quality not necessarily attributed to those garments made at the designer level.
The second-hand does play an important role in the original materials, where tacit knowledge forms the part of embodied materiality, encompassing the meaning of the work in making, and making new meaning in repairing. This application of tacit knowledge can be embedded, as used fabrics can be used to make new uses for materials that can hold emotional meaning. Using these seamless methodologies allows another meaning that reveals itself in the work that goes beyond the surface fabrics of the second-hand.
This article is based on reflections and discussions in a hands-on repair workshop held as part of the Second-hand Cultures in Unsettled Times Symposium, in which participants were invited to work on their own repairs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-224
Number of pages19
JournalJOMEC: Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies Journal
Publication statusPublished - 9 Dec 2022


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