Fragmented Memory: Tapestries Woven From Snapshots of Computer Memory


Tue, Aug 6th, 2013 20:00 by capnasty NEWS

Fragmented Memory are a series of large woven tapestries created by Phillip Stearns. The fabrics are created by taking a snapshot of his computer -- ones and zeros -- and those numbers turned into code for computerized looms to woven. Some incredible results.

A snapshot of my computer’s physical memory was extracted in a core dump (using OSXPmem). Three selections of the binary data were converted to images using custom software written with the help of Jeroen Holthuis in Processing which grouped 6 bits into RGB pixel color values (2 bits per channel). The resulting 64 hues in the images were then mapped to a custom woven color palette created by mixing 8 colors of yarn using variations on a satin weave. The resulting patterns were then woven on a computerized industrial Jacquard loom. Because of the direct mappings from binary data, to image, and from image to woven pattern, it’s actually possible to decode the original binary data sourced from my computer’s physical memory. In fact, a key to the binding patterns is provided on the back of each piece.

Textiles have long been used as a medium for imagery but are also closely connected to the development of automation and computer technology. Fragmented Memory collapses these two histories, functioning as a visual and physical medium for the storage and transmission of digital information.



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