Growing up in the 90s dot-com bubble, I always figured that the first computer must have been some kind of humongous evil genius computer like the one from that Matthew Broderick movie War Games. After enrolling in a computer science course in high school, I learned that the computer has much humbler roots. The first computer was actually the Jacquard Loom, a huge weaving machine that was operated by punch-cards which were encoded with whatever pattern the machine should weave. Esbat Stitches, the latest project from artist Vaka Valo, tips its (knitted) cap to the Jacquard Loom by creating embroideries based on digitally-distorted images.
Valo’s stills were captured from her television during a stint living in China. The artist scanned the images and ran them through a digital processor “analogous to subtractive synthesis.” Imagine if you had a KORG synthesizer for images that could emphasize different highs and lows of visual waves (the way you can accentuate the bass and treble in a sound wave)? The stills come out looking like night vision, except instead of that eerie green color, the images come out in an array of reds, purples, whites, and blues.
After manipulating the image to perfection, Valo runs the image through a program she created to embroider onto canvas. The tight zig-zag pattern of the finished product is something like Missoni’s trademark weave, but more Impressionistic. The further back you move from the image, the more photo-realistic the image appears. Both Monet and Jacquard would be proud.
A close up of the above image.
Images courtesy of Vaka Valo. See more here.
[via It’s Nice That]