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Web Warp & Weft

Creative Work
Year: 
2001
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Web Warp & Weft was created with the support of East Midlands Arts and the backing of the trAce Online Writing Centre at Nottingham Trent University.

This project aimed to explore the ways in which women and men have woven their own stories with yarn and thread, with rugs and quilts and textiles. The website was designed to thread the ideas together and work the threads [stories] into a hypertext with pictures, sound and animation, to create a bigger picture, an overall story.

The project was based in Nottingham, which has a particularly notable history of textile creation, including frame-knitting, lacemaking, and more contemporary manufacturing processes.

There are surprising and unusual resonances within the creation of what might on the surface seem very different products: both are concerned with frames, print, pattern, layers, colour, nomenclature, technology, narratives, commerce, leisure and much more. The Luddites in Nottinghamshire in the early 19th century rendered stocking-frames unusable as a protest about the terrible treatment of the workers. The industry then was in a difficult state, as it is now. The word "Luddite" has now moved from the textile to the computer industry, becoming a term to describe all those opposed to progress in computer and machine technologies. And most recently the fall of the dot.coms has mirrored the fall of the textile industries...

Web Warp & Weft also features a collaboration between Helen Whitehead and East Midlands-based poets Joyce Lambert and Jeremy Duffield, weaving their words into the bright colours of the web.

(Source: Helen Whitehead, http://webwarpweft.com/)

This is a lovingly researched homage to the Luddites, a group of artisanal English textile workers who fought back against the industrialization of their craft. A substantial hypertext poem, it is woven from documentary information on the Luddites, excerpts from their writings and stories, HTML, Java applets, JavaScript, history, myth, and Whitehead’s vision to lend it coherence. There is so much to learn, discover, enjoy in this piece and several ways to explore it in a carefully crafted interface.

(Source: Leonardo Flores, I ♥ E-Poetry)

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Hannelen Leirvåg