A movable idea
This Spring, DWIG is investigating the realm of craft and folk art mediated through digital technology. And, of course, I’m stoked.
Nothing makes me crave tangible forms more than a long stint working through a medium composed of bits, powered by electrical current, traditionally output on a screen. Nothing.
Each lab member will be developing a craft (and developing a closer connection with/ deeper understanding of that word as it differs from the “art” or “design”). I jumped immediately to crochet, since I’ve got a bucket o’ yarn scraps, every hook under the sun and some ump-teen years of experience.
But then there’s…mobiles. Alexander Calder. Kinetic forms. Happy memories as a child in my father’s workshop.
I’m leaning toward this practice over textile design. Here’s a few reasons why:
- Mobiles are a medium of gestalt. The pieces are integrated with the use of surrounding space so that the impression of the whole unit is more impressive than any of its constituent parts. Kinda sounds like programming.
- Calder also went to tech school. I know, what?
- You can build a mobile from anything. Textiles, feathers, rocks.
- You can exploit circuitry and integrate wires as a critical design element. (New year’s resolution: Make peace with cords).
- Mobiles are modular. One person can start it, another person can add to it .
- Mobiles may never be “finished.” They can reflect a growing network of user-contributed forms.
- Mobiles are reactive. They act differently in different environments. They are responsive technologies.
- Mobiles can grow. The caveat is that with each addition, the structure maintains its ability to move through the space. The pieces must work in concert. Much like programming.
The Instructables post on mobile construction portrayed them as wired constructions (one more metaphor and I’m going to embolize).