Lace School is a collaborative gameplay scenario by Jesse Kauppila which celebrates craft culture and stimulates creativity — while generating real lace in real time. In this installation, participants play a strategy game, whose patterns are then translated into knitted lace. Lace School is a tool to gain insight into a vernacular craft idiom. The produced lace acts as a record of the collaborative social environment in which the lace was created.
Lace making, like many forms of craft, is inherently social. Lace School’s objective is to create a new lace vernacular through gameplay. Using computer vision, the Lace School system translates video of gameplay into punch cards, which are then printed and read by a lacemaking machine.
Lace School was created with support from a microgrant from the Frank-Ratchye Fund for Art @ the Frontier (FRFAF) — an endowment founded to encourage the creation of innovative artworks by the faculty, students and staff of Carnegie Mellon University. With this fund, the STUDIO seeks to develop a cache of groundbreaking projects created at CMU — works that can be described as “thinking at the edges” of the intersection of disciplines.
Jesse Boardman Kauppila is an MFA student in the School of Art at Carnegie Mellon University. More information on the Lace School project can be found at the artist’s web site and in this Flickr photoset.