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Art

500 LEDs Bring an Interactive Textile to Life

"Touch it and it will answer."

by Gabrielle Bruney
16 January 2016, 2:30pm

Photos by Yann Houlberg Andersen. Images courtesy of the artist

Fabric can be so much more than just the materials we use to keep ourselves clothed and warm. Fabric can be alive. And 29-year-old Swedish textile designer Malin Bobeck is an artist who breathes life into fabric. We last covered her work while she was still a student at the Swedish School of Textiles, weaving glowing fabrics with optical fibers. 

Her work still focuses on bringing light and life to textiles, but her latest project is on a much grander scale. Those Who Affected Me is an interactive light installation currently on view at the Gothenburg Museum of Art. 500 programmable LEDs light up the textile, which is responsive to visitors' touch. "Textile is a material that almost all human beings have closest to their skin nearly all hours of the day," writes Bobeck. "People are so used to interacting with it and I want to encourage that in my art. Have people touching, squishing, and playing around with it instead of being a "hands off" installation." 

Those Who Affected Me is displayed in a mirrored room, "creating a distorted universe where the sculpture is multiplied in infinity." Bobeck created the work as a self-portrait, a tribute to those who affected her as touch affects the piece.

"The last year I've been developing my textiles towards integrating more functions by connecting them to microcontrollers," Bobeck tells The Creators Project. "The origin and inspiration is the material itself: conductive yarn, optical fiber or shrinking yarn, but by adding electronics and programing the possibilities are endless. The next step for me is to research the possibilities to make my art mobile, to be able to put it on a body as a light emitting wearable art piece. In that way the person wearing it can experience my art from the inside." 

Related: 

Glowing Textiles Steal This Year's Stockholm Furniture Fair

Algorithmic Design Digitises Fabrics of the Future

Glowing Lights Follow You Through An Interactive Light Tunnel

Tagged:
fabric
interactive art
LEDs
installation art
textile
Malin Bobeck