Textiles share historical connections to technology, its object oriented process serving as the blue print for the immaterial processing of computing. They also share a constructional make-up that interests me more. Knitting together codes of base-two patterns- knits and purls, zeros and ones. Cloth provides the comfort and security of an object. It is tangible code we can see and understand, while giving us the same comfort as our own clothing accessorizing our bodies.
This installation develops software that will provide motion tracking for knitting needles. The circular, looped motion of knitting will be tracked and translated into code on a screen that is also knit together. Gallery visitors will be able to knit in physical space with special motion tracking knitting needles. The motion from the knitting actions will be tracked and translated into a visualization of “knit code” displayed on the web and on screen. The action of engaging or knitting with the piece naturally produces a physical cloth, while it also shows that code is constructed from the same types of patterns to create a type of virtual cloth (or software).
However, the piece goes beyond the simple relationship of knitting to code; and also tracks the motion of the action of knitting. Visually the piece will reflect our bodily interaction with machines, tracing the circular motion of the needles to our body’s give and take of working at a machine. Cloth is often seen as an element of comfort and protection. Machines are perceived to assist us with advancing technology and communication while they are also harming our bodies with carpel tunnel syndrome, back pain, sore eyes, and other strain as we interact with them. This piece explores that delicate space in-between.
Additional works in this series will also explore this space between body and machine as a place for architectural design.
Official Website: http://www.lighthouse.org.uk/whatson/rachel_beth.htm
Added by adactio on March 19, 2008