cyber/fiber (2021-) is an ongoing project exploring the links between computation and knitting. The work involves a modded KH-930e knitting machine connected to a computer running open source software from All Yarns Are Beautiful (AYAB). I use both design software and code to create the designs.
In one experiment with language and code, I translated words into binary code that was punched manually into a punch card and then knit a swatch on the knitting machine. In another experiment with sound and code, I translated an audio recording of the internet dial-up modem sound into a spectrogram visualization and then knit it.
Both knitting and coding are fundamentally procedural: The process of creating a pattern based on a finite set of specifications has resonances with writing lines of code. Picking up a dropped stitch on the machine is something like debugging code. Writing a for loop that cycles through an array of elements is like repeatedly running the knitting carriage over a bed of needles. Repetition and discipline results in something like a piece of handmade electronics.
Excerpt from Donna Haraway’s “A Cyborg Manifesto” translated into binary code.
A swatch knit with the binary code.
The internet dial-up modem sound, translated into a spectrogram visualization and knit.
A page from the newsletter published by Computer People for Peace, an activist group of technologists in the 1970s.