I am fascinated by our daily collaborations between machines and how our hands hold them.
The history of textiles creates an image of a woman working alone. I can see her, passing thread between wooden bars, her hand manipulating fibers into a specific image. Now, my hands have a different connection to my digital tapestries: they articulate code, scroll through reference images, type poetry, they connect hydraulics to my Thread Counter Loom. Pressing the keyboard of my computer, I plan my image, I control the outcome. Through my hand’s actions, I make the decisions while the robotized loom facilitates. I too am a woman alone with her hands, grasping the tools before me, even as the methodologies shift with time.
In my piece, Known Touch I considered the tangible qualities of textile. In particular, I was interested in the collective knowledge of their texture and warmth, as well as how these materials are made. The central image appears to be a floating hand, fingers evenly spaced. Around the thumb and bottom edge, seams are depicted, telling that the subject is both a full hand and a taut glove. We have the hand and its protector, a softer, more perfect silhouette of what should be underneath, A symbol of warmth and protection, giving little clue to its wearer.
Known Touch is a digitally woven jacquard tapestry made of cotton and wool threads. Its dimensions are 140 cm x 86 cm x 0.3 cm, and it was made in 2018 at the Sellgren AS in Innvik Norway.