Material Codes: Ephemeral Traces

Jefferies, Janis K. and Thompson, Kelly. 2017. Material Codes: Ephemeral Traces. Textile, 15(2), pp. 158-175. ISSN 1475-9756 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

New forms of digital imaging such as GPS and satellite mapping have had significant impact on our collective senses of orientation in space and time. Similarly, digital software such as that used for Jacquard weaving allow for new forms of collage, superimposing, combining, repetition, and fragmenting of imagery, which further disrupt a stable perspective. This article links concepts of global data circulation and collection with contemporary data visualization and materialization approaches in the field of digital humanities.

Kelly Thompson’s multifaceted project Material Codes: Ephemeral Traces, established in 2014, translates various forms of data through digitally assisted Jacquard weaving. With data visualization, the artist’s subjective process of beautification can make an audience feel emotionally engaged by the rendering of phenomena that may otherwise be beyond the scale of human senses. What is beyond reach becomes tangible. In Thompson’s research-creation work, the intangible concept of digital data is both visualized and materialized into the literally tangible, as tactile cloth. This conversation between Janis Jefferies, (London, UK) and Kelly Thompson (Montreal, Canada) over a period of 10 months proposes questions around code, data, image, weaving, and research engagement.

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jacquard weaving, code, data visualization, satellite mapping, digital humanities

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12 May 2017Published Online

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Date Deposited:

10 Oct 2017 14:27

Last Modified:

03 Nov 2017 15:05

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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