Fragmented Memory by Phillip Stearns
Fragmented Memory (2013) is a series of three large woven tapestries by American artist Phillip Stearns. The production of the work combined digital practices with the physical act of weaving and explores the intersection between data visualisation with textile design.
Using a variety of software such as Processing and Pmem the artist took a snapshot of the physical memory on his computer and was able to convert that binary data into visual data. This was then fed into the programme for a computerised Jacquard loom to produce the three pieces of textiles (pictured above). The colours have been translated from the source data in such a way that it is possible to decode the textiles that have been produced.
I’ve been looking into a number of different art projects that combine digital technology with textiles lately as I look to develop my Unicorn Dating project. They currently combine hand embroidery with online digital content that is accessed through embroidered QR codes. As I look to develop the project I’ve been exploring the possibility of using glitch data from image files, the appearance of which is often similar to the data that has been visualised in Fragmented Memory.
As well as having produced this triptych of textiles Phillip Stearns is also the founder of Glitch Textiles who provide woven and knit wall hangings and blankets incorporating patterns developed from glitch data. You can also find some great examples of glitch imagery on his Year of the Glitch blog too.
This short video shows some of the processes involved in creating Fragmented Memory: