2021 — Today


Research, Weaving, Algorithmic Design

Text.iles explores the dialectic between the gestures of writing, coding and weaving, by developing different ways to encode texts that are translated into unique woven patterns.

Many similarities exist between the gestures of writing and weaving. “Text” and “textiles” share the same etymology, and even if weaving gestures actually preexisted writing systems, textiles have been fulfilling historical and multicultural functions as bearers of stories, holders of symbols and narratives.

Weaving is a craft that influenced the invention of a lot of techniques and ways of expression. For instance, it had a huge influence on the development of computers and programming: the technique inherently always relied on a binary code. It shares the same language as a computer. Any electronic device today holds information though a binary code, composed of a series of 0 and 1. Every woven textile is also made out of this binary structure, a code that instructs which thread should go up or down. The choices behind a weaving diagram generally rely on mechanical or aesthetics decisions.

With Text.iles, I wanted to explore how woven textiles could be generated, informed by informations.

What could weaving a text look like? I started looking at text as a raw material and experimented with several codes and visual alphabets.

I imagined various transcriptions, from alphabets (1) to binary codes (2). Depending on the chosen code, fragments of text can be translated into unique woven sequences. From grid paper to homemade algorithms, I then developed several tools that allow me to adapt fragments of texts into looms.With the alphabetical code (1), each letter is embodied by a shaft on the loom itself, allowing me to weave each word, hidden on the weft. Following the order of the letters, words are creating lines, forming thread by thread a textual fragment.

For the binary code iterations, I have used the existing ASCII table — a convention that was invented to transcribe letters and numbers to computers — creating series of 0 and 1 for each character. Each letter becomes a sequence of 0 and 1, directly interpreted on a 8 shaft loom.

I have developed formulas and algorithms that allow me to generate weaving diagrams from fragments of texts I introduce into the program.

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Textiles is an on-going research that was developed with the help of weaver Aurelia Le Blanc and Émile Languepin for the algorithms. 

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