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cyber/fiber



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.



Illustration published in Donna Haraway’s 1985 “A Cyborg Manifesto”

The internet dial-up modem sound, translated into a spectrogram visualization and knit.


Excerpt from Donna Haraway’s “A Cyborg Manifesto” translated into binary code.

A swatch knit with the binary code.



Image released 7/14/22 by NASA from the James Webb Space Telescope of the galaxy cluster SMACS 0723, knit

A page from the newsletter published by Computer People for Peace, an activist group of technologists in the 1970s.



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