Digital complexity is turned into the comforts of home in this new series by artist Phillip Stearns, which offers up for sale pillows, tapestries, and other cozy objects woven from textiles that reflect computational processes. Computational Textiles features dynamic fabrics that come in all sorts of warping and pixelated patterns; rather than imagined through sketches or other hand-drawn prototypes, these designs and forms were all created in code Stearns wrote and then woven together by a computerized Jacquard loom. The results technically relay data, although they appear as simple geometric patterns or even dreamy, painterly compositions.
Stearns has been making textiles inspired by the digital world for a number of years: In 2012 he founded Glitch Textiles, which wove images of digital malfunctions compiled from his Year of the Glitch project. This newest series looks more broadly at computer algorithms for inspiration, making visible the systems that typically operate unseen.
“Computational Textiles is my project to further explore the discipline of weaving and the medium of textiles as vehicles for expressing certain computational processes,” Stearns told Hyperallergic. “To have visual design, structure, and texture derive from common algorithms in operation behind the scenes of our day to day lives.”
The process begins with programming: Stearns writes software that results in an image file, which is then mapped to a palette — a selection of structures that determines details such as color and warp and weft — to create a card file. That file is read by the loom’s computer, which then automatically weaves the fabric. To realize his designs, Stearns received help from the Textiel Lab in the Netherlands’ TextielMuseum in Tilburg.
Stearns is currently fundraising $7,500 for the series on Kickstarter, where rewards for backers include objects woven from the new textiles, from zipper pouches to laptop sleeves to throw blankets. They’re perfect accessories for anyone who loves the internet and all things digital but also values time away from screen. You are, after all, choosing to surround yourself with data turned material. Aside from providing comfort, Stearns hopes that his series will allow people to be more aware of how our digital world is a landscape full of hidden structures.
“Just because we are immersed in digital technologies doesn’t mean that we are in touch with them,” Stearns said. “We are disconnected, and part of this disconnect stems from the fact that digital processes are abstract, immaterial, or not readily visible to us, even if they are there right before our eyes.
“It’s not that I think everything should obviate its digitalness,” he added. “I just enjoy the challenge of expressing something that is invisible and yet has real physical effects, in a tangible form. This way our minds can grasp it in a more intuitive way.”
MTV’s The Exhibit Is Back With an Inflatable Dolphin
Episode four, in which artists tackled themes of justice and injustice, was the most lifeless of the reality TV show so far.
Florida Principal Ousted Over “Pornographic” Michelangelo Sculpture
Parents complained that the famous sculpture was shown to their sixth graders.
The Milton Resnick and Pat Passlof Foundation Presents The Feminine in Abstract Painting
Curated by Jennifer Samet and Andrea Belag, this group exhibition in NYC explores the feminine through aesthetics, as opposed to identity or gender.
Tickets to Sold-Out Vermeer Show Are Going for Hundreds
The online resale market for the Rijksmuseum’s smash exhibition is booming, with tickets selling on eBay for over $2K.
NYU Steinhardt Opens 2023 MFA Thesis Exhibitions
Taking place at 80WSE Gallery in New York’s Greenwich Village, Part I is on view from late March through April while Part II opens in May.
Miniature Worlds: Joseph Cornell, Ray Johnson, Yayoi Kusama
Through small-scale works, this exhibition at the Katonah Museum of Art in New York examines Cornell’s prominent role in the lives and careers of Johnson and Kusama.
Three Looted Antiquities at the Met Repatriated to Turkey
Nine other repatriated works were seized from Met Trustee Shelby White, whose collection was subject to a criminal investigation.
This week, the world’s lightest paint, Pakistan’s feminist movement, World Puppy Day, and were some of Vermeer’s paintings created by his daughter?
The Wider World and Scrimshaw
On March 28, join the New Bedford Whaling Museum online and in-person for a symposium on global carving traditions from across the Pacific Rim.
Who Will Decide on the Future of a Miami Native Burial Ground?
Native activists say sacred remains and objects dug up from a Brickell construction site should remain there, but mega-developer Jorge Pérez is pushing back.
How Can a Curator Approach South Asian Futurisms?
How do I acknowledge my shortcomings while reckoning with obscured histories and the exclusion of subaltern narratives in the fine art landscape? A working checklist for curators.
MCA Chicago Presents On Stage: Frictions
Will Rawls, Shamel Pitts | TRIBE, and Barak adé Soleil explore Blackness, queerness, movement, and dance in performances at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.
The Complicated Legacy of Camilo Egas
The Ecuadorian painter, a leading figure of Latin America’s Indigenismo art movement, has been both praised and scorned for his representation of Indigenous peoples.
Tom Jones Zeroes in on Ho-Chunk Visibility
“I think about the young kids, the teenagers, and I think being able to see yourself represented in art is so powerful,” says the artist.