Archives for category: Materials

With a new 3D printer at the Social Body Lab, I’ve taken to upgrading the Kegel Organ by designing and printing molds, and later casting the “insertable tech” in silicone rubber. Still playing with the design a bit, but here is where I’m headed.

My thesis project, a translucent knit canoe with handwoven fibre optics, is on display at OCAD’s Graduate Exhibition. The light behaviour is controlled by a recorded data set of wind gusts on Lake Ontario.


You can see the work at 100 McCaul Street in room 140. Look for me — I’ll be sitting in a dark corner!


This Wednesday January 25, Erin Lewis and Rachel Lane will turn conductive wool from the electric sheep shown above into conductive felt that you can make stuff out of! There is an 8 dollar materials fee if you want to make some felt, because this stuff doesn’t grow on trees.  It grows on giant electric sheep. And they bite, and kick and stuff.  No need to RSVP, or sign up or anything. Just show up. And it’s still open studio, so if you’re scared of the sheep, or just want to do some Arduino type thing, that’s cool too.

7- 10 pm in the studio.

9 Ossington Avenue


This summer I spent time working on a pre-thesis project of data materialization and the Northern Lights.  I constructed a wall-mounted loom on which I wove fibre optics and fishing line.  The LEDs were programmed with simulated data of auroral activity over northern Canada.  It was intended to be a real-time data stream, but I ran into some stumbling blocks in extracting the data from U of Alberta’s Dept. of Physics.  This is where I will pick up for the next iteration of this project.  In the mean time, a prototype for something much larger (and consequently, much more expensive):
Sept 12/12 update: If you’re interested to see where this project led me, please see my thesis project, a knit fibre optic canoe.

Wave form


Installation in progress

I don’t know where all my time goes.  I should give myself more time to experiment with materials; I’m certainly not shy about accumulating them in them in the meantime!  On my workdesk I have SMD LEDs, fibre optics, faraday film, a giant box of very slow motors, a rigid heddle loom that I’ve yet to warp, a great window-mount 12V solar panel that is just begging to be used, not to mention boxes of iron filings, chameleon flakes, xylophone parts and a rotary dial phone to be repurposed.  Sigh.  If I were completely on top of things, I would arrange for one full day a week that is dedicated to experimentation.  Alas, there are other things that ask for my attention these days, such as an independent study project for OCAD, and these upcoming workshops I’m teaching at Interaccess.  Note to self: manage time!

Lately as I think about ways to materialize data, I’ve been coming up with ideas for transposing it onto textiles.  In the QR-3D project, artists are invited to contribute their works of doing exactly that, using QR codes.  By adding this other dimension to the textiles, these encrypted messages that serve as pattern and design elements become virtual.  Using a QR code scanner we can decrypt the hidden “stories” or “clues” within these textiles, much like deciphering the histories embedded in tapestries, or the codes of weaving and basketry.  Textiles that generate their own body of data; robotic fabrics; responsive clothing wireless transmitting to the Internet.  The more I think about it, the more I wonder…what is the Posthuman textile?