Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wednesday Wonder: Fiber Optic Tapestry

Artists Nora Ligorano and Marshall Reese invented a technology for creating a new media art form they call fiber optic tapestry. Out of it came 50 Different Minds, which they describe as "a conversation between Bauhaus artists Josef Albers and Anni Albers" during which the color theory of the former unites with the advances in weaving achieved by the latter. 

Conceptually, it is, at its most basic, a form of communication and networking redefined in 21st Century style. The warp-and-woof or patterning of the data visualization, the artists explain, is produced with words from Twitter tweets and flight arrival and departure times at nine of the world's busiest airports. The software is programmed to display colors that respond to tweets using the hashtag #optictapestry and color words.

This video shows the custom tapestry, which comprises nine fiber optic panels and a computer controlled lighting system, as it is being woven on a hand loom, and describes the processes behind its fascinating making:

LigoranoReese 50 Different Minds from LigoranoReese on Vimeo.

The tapesty debuted in 2010 at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles.

Kickstarter Campaign for Fiber Optic Tapestry

Josef Albers (1888-1976)

Anni Albers (1899-1994)

Josef & Anni Albers Foundation

Ligorano/Reese Collaborations

"Joy of Collaborating: recipes for time-based art"

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