Barbara Layne: Untitled Wall Hanging

  • ©,




    Untitled Wall Hanging



    Handwoven fabric with LEDs and other electronic components woven in


    9' x 34"


Artist Statement:

    Handwoven on a floor loom, Untitled Wall Hanging builds on a long tradition of textiles and technological innovation. By weaving elec­tronic components into a large, flexible circuit, the fabric extends the ways in which cloth is able to communicate. Textiles have an extraordinary ability to impart meaning through a material language of structure, design, fibre substances, and the history of wear. The multiplicity of readings can include social, political, emotional, and intellectual content, which can become even more complex as en­vironmental and human experience invest the surface with evidence of use.

    Untitled Wall Hanging consciously considers cloth as an evolving form of communication. An ultrasonic sensor responds to the loca­tion of the viewer, triggering an LED display that presents images that shift between traditional weave structures and narratives related to the venues the piece has visited. The texts build over time, making reference to the site of production in Montreal, to its gallery installa­tion in Lincolnshire, England (where it was first displayed in a former seed warehouse) and its most recent iteration, the exhibition at SIGGRAPH 2006 in Boston. This integrated and animated surface triggers both an immediate change, and at the same time recalls its own personal history, opening a complex space for multiple interpretations.

Technical Information:

    The fabric is made of black linen yarns, woven in a traditional 2/2 twill pattern to give the fabric a soft drape. Insulated wires are woven alongside the yarns to create a flexible circuit. At times the warp yarns (lengthwise) change position with the weft yarns (crosswise) to follow the schematic diagram of the complex circuit. A metal stud is added at each 90 degree shift of direction. Water weights are used as a “low’tech” solution to adjusting tension temporarily on individual threads and cables as needed.

    All digital components were incorporated during the weaving process, using wire wrapping to make connections. An ultrasonic sensor detects the distance of the viewer and triggers changing messages through the woven LED array. The hanging is powered with a 5-volt adaptor that is plugged into the wall.