Textile Society of America


Date of this Version



Textile Narratives & Conversions: Proceedings of the 10th Biennial Symposium of the Textile Society of America, October 11–14, Toronto, Ontario


Copyright 2006 by the author.



Over the last year I have been using a GPS (Global Positioning System) device to track my trips as drawings and a personal narrative. These lines form patterns with many variations. My recent Jacquard weavings were records of satellite images of the earth, received through the process of ‘remote sensing’, performed by a machine, instructed in this task. This presentation will briefly describe GPS and satellite technologies and discuss how these different ideas link up with my earlier work as an artist.

Walking as a conceptual practice has an interesting history. It deals with a process rather than a product, and it can be interpreted as ‘narrative’. Walking as an idea also has complex relationships with nature, the focus of my Jacquard weaving for a long time. Creating drawings and patterns out of everyday activities connects me to the useful, or functional aspects of textiles and crafts. Where my GPS drawings deal with personal and localized narratives, the woven satellite images provide a global context.

Finally my work draws equally from science and art making, often confusing the boundaries of these seemingly distinct fields. Thus I follow in Ada Lovelace’s footsteps; she also shifted the separation between these categories in the 19th century. The GPS drawings take place in real life and real ‘nature’. The resulting lines have an interesting graphic quality and they are both a narrative and a scientific and accurate recording of an event. Finally, since my early weaving days, the idea of pattern as language has intrigued me.