Night-scented Flower I&II
infrared photographs translated into tapestries
wool, cotton, light-reflective yarn, 190 x 147 cm.
The Analytical Engine weaves algebraic patterns
just as the Jacquard loom weaves flowers and leaves.
- Ada Lovelace
Moths have a strong fascination for artificial sources of light. They are less active, feed less, and pollinate fewer flowers when drawn to light at night. Lamps can distract them to the extent that they forget about everything else, perhaps similar to the way in which humans are drawn to screens.
At night, I made infrared photographs of several night-blooming plants that moths feed on. With the help of a computerised Jacquard loom, I then translated these infrared photographs of nocturnally blooming flowers into woven tapestry. The photographs were downloaded into a software program that translated each colour into a combination of threads.
The tapestries refer to the moth that got stuck inside the machine that computer pioneer Grace Hopper and her team worked on in 1947, this moth has been described as the first software bug.
Produced at the Textile Lab of the Textile Museum in Tilburg (NL).