The Textiles and Materiality Research Cluster recently awarded grants to a number of student cluster members:
Nicholas Shulman received an Individual Research Grant for a project entitled, A Trainable Medium: The Materiality of “Artificial Intelligence”. This research project will explore the possible art and design applications of Deep Learning — a powerful new Machine Learning technique for creating “Artificially Intelligent” software that learns and adapts to new input without direct human intervention. This speculative research project will assess the state of the art, synthesize what is possible in this medium, and explore avenues for future work by designers and artists.
Sophia Borowska received a Seed Grant (Team Funding) for a project entitled, Tactual Realities: Weaving Virtual Environments with collaborators Marlon Kroll and Cedric Laurenty. This interdisciplinary research-creation project examines the digital/material overlap, through an exploration of three-dimensional weaving in conversation with 360° video and Virtual Reality technologies. Tactual Realities will explore how VR technology and weaving can inform one another and where their similarities lie, in order to re-conceptualize these media and their potential applications through translation and transformation.
RythÂ Kesselring and Geneviève Moisan also received a Seed Grant (Team Funding) for a project entitled, American Silk. This project proposes an in-depth study of the fibres produced by the asclépiade plant, also called the “American silk” plant. They hope to gain a comprehensive understanding of the state of its development into threads and fluff, and to study its water-repellent qualities. Going out in the field, meeting with producers, and harvesting it themselves, they will experiment with the fibres collected, sample threads and fluff in weavings, and create an interactive piece that will underline its positive impact on Québec’s environmental sustainability and economy.
WhiteFeather Hunter received a Travel Grant to complete an international artist residency at the Icelandic Textile Centre, in Blönduós, Iceland as well as present an artist talk at the Iceland Academy of the Arts in Reykjavík, Iceland. WhiteFeather’s residency project is to creatively materialize biogeographical data obtained through genomic sequencing. This will include exploring geo-specific, natural/ ecological dye methods, including experimenting with using geothermal heat sources to develop new heat-set dye methods through burial. WhiteFeather will also receive instruction in traditional embroidery from the textile centre’s director in order to contribute to the local Vatnsdælur Tapestry.