Watch a wild light show controlled by textile punch cards

German artists from Lab Binar have created an elaborate light show exhibition set in an abandoned textile factory. It’s aimed at showing the “schizophrenia” of the textile industry – the beauty of fabrics versus the brutality of making them. The trippy production (below) was created for a textile museum in Auburg, Germany, and is divided into two parts. The first features a noisy score using samples of the original weaving machines and staccato, black and white projected images. The second, set to Kraftwerk-style synth music, shows colorful fabrics created in the factory between 1806 and 1988.

The production methods even complement the two styles. In the first, the projectors are controlled by the original punch cards used to manufacture towels in the factory, while the second, more gentile half leaned on modern digitization methods. (Punch cards were used to control “Jacquard” textile looms as early as 1801, and inspired Charles Babbage’sanalytical engine.) By contrasting the harsh with the pleasant, the team aimed to show that “conditions for the workers have been and still are pretty questionable… though far away for most of us.” We did mention they were German, right?

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