Strange Loop

September 26-28 2018


Peabody Opera House


St. Louis, MO

"It's Just Matrix Multiplication": Notation for Weaving

Pattern looms are often thought of as a precursor to computing because weaving has a fundamentally binary structure: when the weft interlaces with the warp, every warp thread is either up or down. However, while computerized loom systems do simply store patterns as a series of binary data, the limitations of simpler looms have given rise to a notational system which includes a couple of layers of misdirection between the input operations and the resulting structure.

In this talk, I'll cover some basic weaving terminology and hand weaving pattern notation, and show how transformations at the notation level can lead to a surprising amount of patterning complexity. This will culminate in a discussion of "network drafting," a modern style of weaving based on an obscure French math treatise from the 1930's.

Lea Albaugh

Carnegie Mellon University Human-Computer Interaction Institute

Lea is pursuing a PhD in human-computer interaction at Carnegie Mellon University. She has previously been a researcher at Disney Research, an artist in residence at the CMU STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, a Recurse Center never-alum, and a teaching artist in the MAKESHOP at the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh.