Exhibition: Malin Bobeck

IMG_0719mediumThose Who Affected Me

Gothenburg Museum of Art
Malin Bobek
Dates: December 5 2015 – February 21 2016

Those Who Affected Me is an interactive light emitting textile art installation. Suspended in mid air, over 1,5 meters tall, and 2,5 meter diameter, the four winged structure invites the audience to gently touch the textile and reacts by sending colorful ripples up and down the intricate fabric.

The custom designed jacquard textile is using optical fibers connected to about 500 individually programmable color LEDs, connected to a microcomputer. Thin, electrically conducting copper threads are woven in to create touch sensitive areas inside the fabric. The 11 meters of fabric are mounted with steel rods around a steel cylinder.

IMG_9560mediumThe sculpture is exhibited in an small room with tilted mirror walls, creating a distorted universe where the sculpture is multiplied in infinity. The project started off in winter 2015 as an idea of making an interactive fabric.

Textile is a very tactile material and it invites people to touch it. During the process of creating it, Malin Bobeck thought of it as a self portrait.

“The people around me are affecting me all the time, both mentally, physically and emotionally. They are creating me, if it weren’t for them I would not be here today. This is a tribute to them”

IMG_9545mediumTechnology and media:
Custom optical fibre textile, woven on jacquard loom Conductive yarn, shrinking yarn, cotton and polyester yarn Teensy 3.1 microcontroller.
WS2812 addressable RGB LED pixels.
SLS 3D-printed optical fibre connectors. Adafruit Capacitive touch sensor

When Malin was 26 she was diagnosed with breast cancer, she felt her life took a new turn but the continuation of her work helped her keep going. She states

“I would probably never dared to go though with this project if I didn’t went through that rough time in my life. It thought me not to listen to my fear of failure and try new things just because I don’t know how to do it”
Malin Bobeck born in Lerum, Sweden. She was educated at The Swedish School of Textiles in Borås, graduating in spring 2014. She was awarded funding from Innovativ Kultur in 2014 to work on her optical fibre textiles.

In December 2015 she was awarded the “Encouragement of Culture” from Sten A Olssons foundation with the motivation:

“For those who are accustomed to thinking of the woven fabric as something quiet and controlled, the encounter with Malin Bobeck’s work will be bewildering. Her textiles careen, sparkle and switch between different moods. They arouse curiosity and invite us to be tac- tile. In her still young artistic practice, Malin Bobeck aims to create changing spatial structures in which the latest lighting and interactive technology is combined with handicraft. She is part of a broad movement in craft and design that combines traditional methods with contemporary technology, in an inquiring and inclusive way. Her approach rejuvenates the craft and also creates a new and exciting context for the achievements of engineering science.”

Videos of the works in action are available on the website

Images and text: Malin Bobeck

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