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 SoftLab is a space dedicated to the research and development of artistic projects using soft-circuits and wearable technology in the Center for Digital Arts & Experimental Media (DxArts) at the University of Washington, in Seattle.


Shifting Embroidery: Imbuing Movement into tapestry by Maxx Yamasaki

Shifting Embroidery: Imbuing Movement into tapestry by Maxx Yamasaki

 

Getting a Feel for a New Technique

In October I came up with this idea for a way to add unexpected motion to embroidery.

Early tests worked quite well, I was happy with the effect but have spent the last couple months playing around with how best to use the technique within a piece.

Sketch page of some possible uses/ ideas to prototype

Sketch page of some possible uses/ ideas to prototype

I wanted to use shifting for speculative work shows an alternative path for technological development but with that I can see few major directions. Creating a very literal analogue to current multipurpose displays, creating something closer to standard embroidery that has select and unexpected elements, or creating a less readable work that has more narrative in the alternative world it hints at.

 

I made prototypes of all these paths and feel most attracted to the more naturalistic motions that more like and unknown creature than an unknown interface. I think as the project continues I’ll incorporate elements of all three but probably lean less on the most literal screen. Having it be as close as possible to our current technological path seems less ad odds with the sentiment of THIS tech that offers an alternative path.

An area of this project I’d to explore further is connecting these ideas to the history of textiles and computing. Woven computer memory and the inspiration behind early circuit board design in quilting are often overlooked .

Stretch Synth: A Woven Synthesizer By Heidi Biggs

Stretch Synth: A Woven Synthesizer By Heidi Biggs