White Cart Loom: A generative artwork creating 7.4 billion unique paisley pearls for every human alive on earth.

Authors: Isley, V. and Smith, P.


Place of Publication: Paisley, Scotland

boredomresearch, Isley and Smith’s ‘White Cart Loom’ is a digital artwork built using real time 3D software, presented in the form of a full size reconstruction of a Jacquard loom, where the Jacquard (the mechanism which reads punch cards to control the raising a lowering of threads), has been replaced by a contemporary computer. A large HD screen is mounted behind a length of white fabric; as though in production. On this screen a digital shuttle shoots back and forth and unique forms, inspired by the paisley pattern, are fed in from the top. Once fully in view, each form is released, bursting into life with its unique motion characteristics propelling it in smooth liquid spirals across the screen. Eventually these forms drift from view as new ones are created. The forms are composed by combining geometric elements, following a bioinspired grammar and nodular construction, with modulated oscillations of scale and rotation. White Cart Loom has been produced in response to scientific research looking to interpret and understand data encoded in the biological process of shell formation in the now endangered freshwater pearl mussel. Opening a space to reflect on the interaction between industrial processes and sustainability in a world populated by 7.4 billion humans – each with a strong sense of unique identity – boredomresearch are integrating biology and computation to create a unique pearlescent paisley form for every human alive on earth. In doing so they have re-imagined the paisley pattern as if it had grown in the shell of a freshwater pearl mussel, reconnecting the design with its bio-inspired origins.

The White Cart Loom was commissioned by the University of the West of Scotland and supported by New Media Scotland, Renfrewshire Council, Paisley 2021 and Bournemouth University. The artwork was exhibited in boredomresearch solo exhibition, Paisley Pearls at Paisley Museum (Nov 2016 - Feb 2017). Other invited and peer-reviewed exhibitions of this artwork include: ISEA (International Symposium of Electronic Art), Manizales Colombia (2017); Balance Unbalance Conference Exhibition, Plymouth (2017) and Alt-w Exhibition, Edinburgh Art Festival (2016).

The data on this page was last updated at 05:12 on February 21, 2020.