SIGGRAPH 2008 > For Attendees > Design & Computation > Fourier Carpet and Body Blanket

Fourier Carpet and Body Blanket

Theme: Future History and SIGGRAPH Core

Fourier Carpet and Body Blanket are derived from Jenny E. Sabin's background as an artist and designer. They combine architecture, weaving, and computational systems.

Tracing the technological and cultural history of weaving reveals a link between the punch-card technologies used to automate the Jacquard looms of the mechanical age and the early binary systems used in the first computers. This link is rooted in the coded binary patterning system of warp and weft; its configuration is the weave. Because weaving exists within the space of zero and one, it is possible to weave computational designs that are rooted in a binary structure of data points.

Fourier Carpet, based on the Fourier series (a binary mathematical sequence for analyzing sound), is woven in wool using an early computational model for computers, the Jacquard loom. This combination of advanced technologies to generate craft-based industrial products confounds traditional emphasis on the hand made in the history of craft and raises provocative questions about self-generating patterning processes empowered by novel combinations of historical and contemporary technologies. Sabin’s work examines the contradictions of tradition and innovation by recombining existing albeit disparate systems.

Jenny Sabin
University of Pennsylvania