An artist has created an exhibition featuring working electronic devices knitted using metal threads.
At Springwise, we have seen a variety of innovative electronic materials, including peelable circuits and an aqueous battery. Now, Vienna-based designer and artist Ebru Kurbak has developed electronics made from textiles. Kurbak’s project is called Stitching Worlds. It consists of five separate works that were put together over four years. The works were recently showcased at Istanbul’s Yapı Kredi Culture Centre during the Istanbul Design Biennial.
Kurbak’s pieces include a working 8-bit universal electromechanical computer that was embroidered from gold. It also incorporates linen, silver, copper, hematite and wood. The working computer has a capacity similar to early mainframe computers from the 1950s, and does not include any traditional electronic components. Kurbak also created a magnetic ‘tape recorder’ that can record and play sounds on yarns containing steel fibres. The Yarn Recorder resembles wooden spindles once used in hand weaving. It is meant to be a playful commentary on the role of technology in society.
The projects on display also include a set of four tools designed to be used to create electronic textiles, and electronic components, including as switches and logic gates, that were crocheted out of conductive threads. The final piece is called called Knitcoin Edition. It is an adaption of Monopoly. The game compares the modern use of cryptocurrencies with traditional craft skills such as brocading and hand-weaving. It uses play money called ‘knitcoin’ – when players need more play money, they must knit it. The installation invites the audience to speculate on the consequences of such a system.