Knitting Machine Hack & Glitch Knit
Glitch Knit is a project by Tokyo based artists Nukeme, So Kanno and Tomofumi Yoshida. For this project the team hacked a Brother knitting machine which is used to transform glitch data into something physical and beautiful.
Glitch is data or digital information that is damaged or corrupted. You might have seen this visualised if you have ever come across a digital image (.jpg or similar) that had been damaged and presented blocks or bands of colour across parts of, or all of the image.
There is a small community of visual artists who are using glitch to generate art and textiles. Whilst much of this makes use of corrupted files artists are also finding ways in which to deliberately generate glitch data from a variety of sources.
Nukeme describes the knitting machine hack project as both the “corruption of data and the corruption of the machine” but sees both acts of corruption as preparing both elements for play. The team behind the hack also damaged the structure of the knit which results in the holes you can see in the knitting that has been outputted by the machine.
I’ve become more aware of means of integrating digital and traditional methods of production since starting my cross stitch project six months ago. Whilst I’m using digital platforms to generate content for my work I’ve not taken that step into digital production but ideas about ways to engage glitch have started to crop up.
This hacked knitting machine is available to use at FabLab Shibuya and details of the hack are published on Github should you wish to attempt to hack your own machine.
Find out more about the Glitch Knit project here – www.glitchknit.jp