vera castelijns

A screen of Textile



A screen made using the lost craft of weaving. Counting, coding, threading and dyeing. Threading a weaving loom to create
 a pixel-screen for an ephemeral image, composing words at a time.

With the advent of modern technology, crafts are lost. Weaving is such a craft and it has been discarded for a long time. The history of weaving is impressive. Not only was it part of our culture, it was deeply social in its execution: we wove together. Now, I want to exploit its properties and show that weaving has been unreasonably discarded. I want to examine what its possibilities really are. Can I make a screen of textile? In some sense, the quilt can be seen as a screen avant la lettre: a sheet carrying information through imagery. A woven fabric,however, is not considered in the same way as a screen, it is not something where we like to read information from. Can we show and hide at the same time in a piece of fabric?

My textile screen has the shape of an eight-meter-long carpet that is put under a mechanical plotting machine. The threads of the hand-woven carpet are coloured with heat sensitive pigments. As the plotter will move over the carpet and locally heat the fibres physical pixels will appear. The viewer will be able to send a text message to the plotter, and in a pixel alphabet, its message will appear on the quilt. This work is not about displaying in the same way as a modern screen. It shows the craft as a screen. The timeless message of the human through a screen of textiles that wants to disappear.

By combining woven fabric and the concept of 
the pixel, I question how stories are woven in fabrics. They are activated by heating and erased by human intervention, or simply fading over time.
 A translation from threads to stories.
 By weaving threads, we code a story in the fabric.
 An invisible story told through the threads, colours and processes; only known to those who have woven it, but present in the memory of the fabric.

Materials: Handwoven pixel screen, 6 km of cotton yarns dyed in thermochromic pigments,
electronics, wires, heating elements. Dimensions: 880 mm x 5000 mm.