Drapery FM is an audio-tactile installation that consists of a knitted piece of fabric that can electronically communicate the story of how it had been made to and through the surrounding radio receivers. The piece of fabric is essentially a micro FM transmitter that is, for the most part, made from copper wire and wool. Tuned into the right radio frequency, radios within the transmission range of this fabric receive and play out the sound recordings made during its production.
The installation proposes an atmospheric space made of airwaves. In tuning in with their personal radio receivers, moving in space or touching the fabric, participants can explore the spatial boundaries and haptic qualities of the installation. In the presence of a knitted electronic object viewers are invited to fantasize an alternative reality and speculate. What if, instead of purchasing hardware electronics we could directly knit them from scratch in our homes? In an imaginary world of home knitted electronics, how would we relate to our devices? Would we mend them with crossing threads for repair? Would we protect them with lavender sachets instead of silica gel? How would this alternation shift the way we value and prize materials, natural resources, geographical locations, personality traits, physical skills, and qualifications.
Technically, the underlying circuit is an adaption from Tetsuo Kogawa’s schematic of the “Simplest Radio FM Transmitter”. However, distinctively, electronic parts used as capacitors, resistors and the coil are made by knitting ordinary yarns together with electronically conductive yarns in deliberate configurations and patterns. Visually, the textile contains references to the ancient radio grill clothes that covered antique radios in the early 20th century.
WUK project space. May 2 2013. Vienna, AT.
V2_TestLab. November 29 2012. V2_Institute for the Unstable Media, Rotterdam, NL.
Lynne Bruning. 2013. The Future of Textiles. In: Surface Design Journal: Creative Exploration of Fiber and Fabric. “Material Science”, Spring 2013