The “Obsolescence” Project (2020)

Technology? Textiles? They’re more related than you’d think!

Behold! Obsolescence; the exploration of technology, textiles and the loss of 1980s and 90s technology to capitalist desires to constantly evolve, constantly develop. Leaving boxes of wires in their wake. You know the box of wires. Kept hidden at the back of some cabinet because they’re useless but you don’t want to throw them away. How did we evolve so quickly past the days of images loading each row of pixels at a time?

This work creates a world full of wires, wool and warp. Replacing warp of tapestries with obsolete wires and imitating a loading image with weaving. The lines between technology and textiles are blurred by translating from digital to physical or physical back into digital.

Corrupt File (2020)

Tapestry; Acrylic yarn (weft), cotton twine string (warp)

This tapestry depicts an image, suggested at the bottom of the tapestry to be a geometric wallhanging typical in Bauhaus design. However as the image progresses, the more the image becomes corruped, pixelated and glitching until total failure where a Microsoft error message appears.

Dimensions: 64cm X 16cm

Junction Box (2020)*

Tapestry; Obsolete wires (Warp), Acrylic yarn and jewellery wire (Weft)

This tapestry re-purposes obsolete wires, kept in a box for years, as the warp of a tapestry with acrylic yarn and wire wrapped around to create a tapestry. This addresses how the progression of technology creates a large amount of technological waste once something is deemed defunct.

Dimensions; 69 cm X 10 cm

*Junction Box: an enclosure of electrical wires on the outside of a house

Gremlins Lurking In The Computer Hardware (2020)*

Tapestry; Obsolete wires (Warp), Acrylic yarn and jewellery wire (Weft)

Similiar to Junction Box, this tapestry repurposes obsolete wires for the warp of the tapestry while a glitch pattern is woven around them to convey why these wires are no longer in use; faults or error in the system. The wires are stripped bare, entangled and hazardous.

Dimensions: 53cm X 17cm

*Common glitch acronym

Bugs (2020)

Digital gif

These gifs are the same gifs at two different speeds. The original photo was entangled knitted tubes and then transferred into the digital from textiles as an experiment to explore the relationship between textiles and technology, turning a loop of yarn into a technological loop which is violently glitching and corrupting

Dimensions: 50cm X 37.1cm

Boxes of Wires Series (Images 1-5)

Digital Images

Using images originally taken of knitted tubes, I took the images and transferred textiles art into digital art using Photoshop by manipulating glitches and a vintage television screen aesthetic onto the images.
Boxes of obsolete wires are left to become unrecognisably tangled, useless. By transforming the knitted wires into unrecognisable shapes, glitchy and glowing, their previous power shines through. This is something we take for granted.

Dimensions; 40 cm x 30 cm

TechWarp (2020)

Video

Continuing with the transference between textiles and technology, this film experiments with the theme of system failure addressed in Corrupt File (2020) by transforming the tapestry into a digital system that suffers a complete system shut down.

Profit And Loss (2020)*

Tapestry; Acrylic yarn, Wool, Cotton Twine String

In the 1980s, Microsoft Windows, Commodore 64 and Sega were king. Even if this was 40 years ago, this feels like a bygone era and all that was used for gaming, entertainment and work is reduced to waste, with only a fraction becoming relics in tech shop windows. Aesthetics and technology are lost social and societal progression. While technological advancements are good, it is important to consider why these technological advancements occur; profit. Bill Gates is worth $106.3 BILLION and Apple (company) is worth $1 TRILLION, are their technological advancements purely for societal progression? I don’t personally think so.

This tapestry utilizes the aesthetics of the bygone era in technology through a Microsoft pop up boarder, a tactical display unit inspired by 1980s science fiction (1980s vision of the future) and glitches inspired by 1990s Net Art.


Dimensions: 38.1 cm X 68.6 cm

*“Profit and Loss” is an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and the ideology of the Ferengi species who function in a capitalist society

Portfolio for this project available here.

Logbook for this project available here.