Fabricmachine, sound tissues


Fabric is often measured by touch. When sliding textiles through fingers, the thickness of the yarn and the distance between the plot and the horde cause various sensations; the heaviness of soft wool or the lightness of smooth silk, for example. In Kathrin Stumreich’s fabricmachine , two strips of fabric run on rollers in two separate cycles, driven by a shared motor. Rather than between fingers, the tissues cycle through a LED and a photo-diode that convert the relative brightness of the material into audio signals. The speed of the engine and wheels, the position of the LED and the combination of the two bands are responsible for variations in pitch and/or rhythm. The sounds produced depend on the quality and weaving technique of the textile that is penetrated by the light. For example, an impalpable taffeta has a different brightness from a smooth velvet. Woven fabrics of various kinds are thus sewn one by one, forming a sort of patchwork stave, which acts as a highly tactile score tickled by the photo-diode’s LED light.

Chiara Ciociola