23 Apr 2024 TBC S1, Alison Richard Building


Textiles are material objects, which are produced according to well-planned processes. Such a procedural nature favours multiple analogies between textiles and digitality – and raises, at the same time, resistance to these very associations.

Weaving has become, in current discourse, a convenient ancestor of computing. By connecting computer history to a material craft, textiles offer a useful set of mytho-poetic metaphors: media would be interwoven in data flows passing through optical fibres. But the warmth, the care inherent in fabrics, and the healing nature of weaving, knitting or crocheting, contrast sharply with the uniformity of our digital world.

The idea of this workshop is to put the textile and the digital in tension, to grasp the actual connections, and the resistances, that exist between these two wor(l)ds. How are digital tools used to conserve/expose textiles? What are the relations between arithmetic and weaving? What would be the textility of our digital media?

In an informal setting, a series of short presentations (max. 10 mins) should aim to provoke discussion across disciplines and interests. Joint proposals, innovative presentations – from any member of the University of Cambridge (with a particular focus on postgraduate students), and from any field: media studies, art history/theory, architecture, archaeology, film studies, history and philosophy of science, literature, music, computer science… – are welcome. Please send your proposals (150 words maximum), by Sunday 7 April, to Tristan Dot (td479@cam.ac.uk).


Tristan Dot is a second year PhD student in digital art history at the University of Cambridge. He is working on nineteenth century textile patterns in Great Britain, their diversification and diffusion through the Jacquard loom and grammars of ornaments. He is also interested in the epistemology, and long historiography of digital art history – in particular, its links with formalism and structuralism.


If you have specific accessibility needs for this event please get in touch. We will do our best to accommodate any requests.

Cambridge Digital Humanities

Tel: +44 1223 766886
Email enquiries@crassh.cam.ac.uk