Media Vintage

With "Media Vintage", Melissa Coleman writes/sews a memorial to obsolete media. Information stored on digital carriers is vulnerable and transient. In this respect, physical things, like books, are worth more. How might textiles work as a storage medium?

Media Vintage


Media Vintage is a series of interactive electronic textiles that contain memories. Alpha is a suitcase in which you can weave temporary secret messages in Morse code. Bravo is a tapestry that sings a song from long ago when your fingers read the embroidered Braille. Charlie is a trench-coat that reads fabric punchcards and tells you stories from an old man's life.

The project is inspired by an article by Bruce Sterling in The Book of Imaginary Media, in which he points out that new media become obsolete faster than old ones. Media Vintage is critical of the storage of digital data in black boxes, which become inaccessible shortly after another storage medium becomes the norm. It remembers a time when technology was built to last and tries to imagine how digital data storage could be visual, physical and meaningful. In Media Vintage, digital information is physically stored in textiles and read through interaction. The textiles make digital data, which is so abstract and fleeting, readable by both man and machine.

Alpha - Morse Code Suitcase


Bravo - Braille Tapestry


Charlie - Storytelling Trenchcoat


Team: Stan Wannet, Simon de Bakker, Piem Wirtz
Many thanks to Joachim Rotteveel, Meg Grant and the TextielLab Tilburg for their support.

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