Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Some musings

Aside from making a novel set of controls for a stomp box, there are some actual issues which I'm trying to address by using a textile based interface.

Textiles, be they cotton, silk, wool, or any number of synthetic materials, have a very traditional place in every society. They are used to cloth and protect, provide comfort and have a mess of domestic uses.

Textiles can also be created and processed countless ways. We find them as knits, woven, felted, tassles and decorative knots, and dyed any color imaginable these days. Given all the different ways fibers can be textured, designed, built up, or shaped, I started to wonder why there weren't more artists working largely, if not exclusively, with fibers. It seems as though there are many opportunities to sculpt or even paint with these soft materials.

Certainly working with textiles has usually been seen to exist within the domain of 'craft', and until recently, there has always been a fairly sharp, elitist line drawn between the notion of 'craft' and 'art'.

But I am digressing a bit here. The point I'm making is, why not use textiles in new ways and for applications they are not usually assigned to. For example, some worlds we rarely find textiles intersecting with is that of electronics and that of sound. This is where my interests and most of my work comes from.

I'd like to rethink the way textiles are used, and the way people *expect* them to be used. Along with that comes rethinking the way we expect to interact with them.

But this is all from the point of view of textiles and fiber. What about coming from the point of view of sound? How do we expect to be able to shape or interact with sound? I think that there is a lot of correlation between sound design and textile design; each consider color and texture, and the infer the ability to compose, shape and layer. Therefore, why not directly tie the two together. I feel that wool is a much more germane interface for sound processing equipment, than knobs and sliders. I believe that the softness and physicality of sound can be made manifest through textiles. Like, say, a felted interface :)

I'd be curious to know what anyone else thinks about this however. This is just the way I feel about it and I'm curious to know if anyone else feels the same or in some way completely different.

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