Jacquard and Google & Arts Culture resident artists during a studio visit in Japan

PUTTING THE TECH IN TEXTILES: What does digital coding have in common with craftsmanship? Text and textiles with shared spaces?

Those are among questions a trio of international artists will explore, having been selected for a residency program launched by Google Arts & Culture and its Jacquard by Google conductible yarns.

Paris-based fashion curator and historian Pamela Golbin is curating the artist-in-residency program, meant to explore the synergies between technology, art and fashion promised by the yarns, invented by Dr. Ivan Poupyrev in 2014. They are perhaps best known for being incorporated into the Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jacket in 2017, allowing the wearer to control and connect to services such as music and maps with swipes and taps to touch-enabled areas on the sleeve.

An open call yielded more than 200 submissions, narrowed to three by a jury that included Golbin, artists and Google executives. Franco-American Chloe Bensahel, Mexico’s Amor Muñoz and South Korea’s OMA Space, a creative studio composed of Jang Jiu, Daniel Kapelian and Gil Kyoung-young, are to ready their installations for an event in Paris next October.

Chloe Bensahel and Amor Muñoz

Chloe Bensahel and Amor Muñoz  Courtesy/Leo Cannone

Bensahel, for example, plans to delve into the cultural connotations and historical interpretations of white, as a color, concept or gesture. She is collaborating with Le Mobilier National, the French entity that administers state furniture.

All of the artists have at their disposal Google’s best programmers and coders at the disposal of the artists, and the final step will be ultimately apply all the innovations back to garments. They also got to visit Japan, where traditional kimono looms are employed to weave the Jacquard yarns to be incorporated into their artworks.

OMA Space artists

OMA Space artists Jang Jiu, Gil Kyoung-young and Daniel Kapelian  Courtesy/Leo Cannone