Warm Kitty, Soft Kitty @ Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago

Warm Kitty, Soft Kitty
Hyde Park Art Center
Curated by Camille Morgan
Sept 6 –  Dec 13, 2015
Press Release

For this show on the topic of touch, Dieter Kirkwood and I made a generative Processing app that provided us with algorithmically generated dress pattern instructions. As we wrestled with the imperfect app, we followed certain instructions and ignored others, eventually creating three unique dress patterns in imperfect collaboration with our code.

Featuring work from D. Denenge Akpem, Eliza Bennett, Laci Coppins and Nakia Gordon, Alexandria Eregbu, Whitney Huber, Taylor Hokanson and Dieter Kirkwood, Cole Don Kelley, Barbara Layne, Hiro Murai for Flying Lotus, Tameka J. Norris, Betsy Odom, Scout Paré-Phillips, Jennifer Ray, Aileen Son, and Fo Wilson.

Hacking the Knitting Machine (workshop) @ ISEA 2015, Vancouver


Hacking the Knitting Machine
Friday August 14, 2015 9:30am – 5:30pm
Room 4945, Simon Fraser University Goldcorp Centre for the Arts
149 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 1H4, Canada

Update: Our workshop went really well! You can read about it on vancouverisawesome and the New Media Caucus website.

Textiles are the original digital medium – It’s no coincidence that the Luddites were named for artisans that protested against the mechanization of textile production in 17th century England. Unlike their predecessors, today’s Luddites are associated with a distaste for the virtuality of modern devices. However, with the arrival of affordable 3D printing and the Internet of Things, it’s becoming clear that the technologist need not choose between digital and actual. Machine knitting is a great example of this overlap.

Dieter Kirkwood and I will demonstrate a useful modification (originally exploited by Davi Post and Becky Stern) to the Brother KH-930e knitting machine at ISEA 2015. These devices were originally released in the 1980s, so they are available relatively inexpensively on sites like eBay. The KH-930e features an early digital input capability, meaning that users could purchase patterns to communicate to the device via floppy disk. We will show how to spoof this connection, upload custom patterns, and “print” them into actual knit shapes.

Each workshop participant will get to design and knit their own custom beer koozie. Is there anything more Canadian than that? Space is limited, so email me or Dieter see this link to reserve your seat today!


Accurate isometric grid template for Illustrator

After scouring the web for accurate Illustrator isometric grids, I’ve come to the conclusion that while the existing templates look pretty good, they don’t hold up under careful examination. Here’s an AI template that I built in Rhino that’s right on the money. Let me know if you find it useful.

Here’s a PDF that you can open in older versions of Illustrator (thanks dsgoen!). I set the isometric grid lines as guides, so make sure you’ve got those turned on.

Jeez! I keep getting complaints that this isn’t working, though both of the above files open on my end just fine. Here’s a file saved for the original Creative Suite with regular lines instead of locked guides.

Palimpsest Series #2

For the second Palimpsest series I scanned a new typewriter roller that contained highly legible text. By legible I mean the letter forms are easier to see (although the text content seems to be totally random). This sits in contrast to Series #1, where the nearly invisible letter forms contain recognizable words and phrases.

OpenKnit build underway

Dieter Kirkwood and I are building an OpenKnit this summer with financial support from Columbia College Chicago.  OpenKnit is an awesome open-source project with a really generous instigator, so we’ve been emailing back and forth with project leader Gerard in Madrid to get things off the ground.  We’ll be converting the BOM for Americans, making design improvements, and having a good time.  All the data we generate will be redistributed online.

Fun fact!  Gerard initially got a takedown notice for the video above because his project documentation included visible commercial logos.  He contested and the video was restored.  Fight the power!