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WEB! WEB! WEB!

Weaving meets Web. Analogue goes online. Black-and-white turns colourful. A project by the degree candidate Anna Cordasco.

On OpenHouse day the installation Web! stood at the centre of the HyperWerk showroom. A loom, three flickering tube monitors and a printing platform, which prints postcards non-stop. What’s it all about? Eyes lit up with question marks gathered around the installation, but after a short introduction and a few explanations the question marks quickly turned into exclamation marks.

There is more to WEB! than meets the eye at first sight [“Web!” is German for “weave!”]. Weaving looks back on a 300-year-old tradition in the Basel region. The first Jacquard looms were introduced around 1800 and operated with the help of punched cards – this is the link to the digital world and this is from where the project sets out.

The binary system relying on 0s and 1s is picked up in the weave process using black and white strips. The code intuitively woven by the visitor is translated into the hexadecimal system through real-time scanning – for example, the code #FF0000 stands for a rich red – so that with the help of 24 black and 24 white information points a separate colour is generated. This is indicated on the screens and then printed on a postcard, including a link to the website textilesforschen.ch.

“Institut für Textiles Forschen” is the name of a degree project by Anna Cordaso, student at HyperWerk and author at the publishing house Sedici-Verlag. It serves as an interface between the traditional craft of weaving and the postindustrial age. By confronting and combining contrasting fields with one another, the traditional craft of weaving is placed in a contemporary context in various projects.

Also included on OpenHouse day was “Vebshtul”, a project by a team of architectural students. Initial contact with the group was established at the Vienna Design Week 2016 upon which the group spontaneously agreed to take part in the WEB! project in Basel. Our aim is to intensify collaborations with projects such as Vebshtul and Institut für Textiles Forschen in the future.

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