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The Embroidered Computer

The Embroidered Computer

Irene Posch

The Embroidered Computer is an exploration into using historic gold embroidery materials and knowledge to craft a programmable 8 bit computer.
Solely built from a variety of metal threads, magnetic, glass and metal beads, and being inspired by traditional crafting routines and patterns, the piece questions the appearance of current digital and electronic technologies surrounding us, as well as our interaction with them.

Technically, the piece consists of (textile) relays, similar to early computers before the invention of semiconductors. Visually, the gold materials, here used for their conductive properties, arranged into specific patterns to fulfill electronic functions, dominate the work. Traditionally purely decorative, their pattern here defines they function. They lay bare core digital routines usually hidden in black boxes. Users are invited to interact with the piece in programming the textile to compute for them.

2 Beads moving

logic-diagram-controll-unit-1_small
Schematic drawing of the computer logic

Read more on Irene Posch’s website


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