We are attempting to create a textile display for art installation. It will tell a story about the history of technology through the lens of weaving. The first computer was the Jacquard loom invented in 1804. Inspired by Jacquard, Charles Babbage designed the “difference engine” in 1822, the first mechanical computer capable of memory organization, instruction based operations, and input/output units. These functionalities trace back to the nuances of loom operation and weaving construction and have become the basis for our ubiquitous modern computers. We depend on these computers for everything from our social lives to our health care, yet this ancestor seems more distant than it actually is. By integrating antique weaving techniques and modern computer technologies, “computer1.0” is a visualization of the computer’s history from birth to the present day along with the pros and cons of our dependance upon them. We are developing storytelling for the textile display which will educate viewers about the gradient between utopian and dystopian visions of technology, and compare them to our reality, all through a historical lens.
The "display" is a large scale ribbon woven from cotton and clear tubing. "Pixels" in the display are different colors of liquids pumped through the tubing weft. These pixels zooming back and forth along the width of the ribbon will suddenly and surprisingly coalesce into patterns and imagery, and we are hoping that these will in turn trigger augmented reality interactions to assist with the story utilizing our pocket born descendants of the loom.
Computer1.0 will be on display at the AFA Gallery. Tickets to the opening event on March 1st, 2018 are available now.
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Funded by New York City, NY (February 2018)