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25 JANUARY 2015

Soundweaving: playing traditional Hungarian folk embroidery

"At the core of the Soundweaving project is the traditional cross–stitching pattern used in Hungarian folk embroidery transformed into sound by a punch card comb music player. The cross–stitch pattern of holes on the tape in the musical box were punched by the creator, Zsanett Szirmay.

In this case, the punched tape acts as the score. Embroidered shirts and pillows from the Transylvanian Bukovina, and from Kalotaszeg and Hungary served as a basis for the patterns. As part of the transformation, embroidery patterns turned into laser cut textile pieces, and cross–stitched patterns into melodies. Soundweaving equally stimulates all senses, and calls for interaction. The project uses multiple media and communicates on diverse planes, combining the borderlands of folk art, design and music. It belongs to the analogue and digital realms at the same time as the handmade embroidery is translated into laser cut patterns. At the same time, the visual world is presented in audio, or rather the graphic aspect of music gets a role in developing the tunes. Bálint Tárkány–Kovács, folk musician and composer was instrumental in the audio mapping and developing the tunes."

(Rita Mária Halasi, Moholy–Nagy Művészeti Egyetem, 2014)










2014analogue correspondence • Balint Tarkany-Kovacs • Bucovina • Carpathians • computational aesthetics • cross-stitch pattern • design and music • design student projectembroidered patternsembroidered textiles • embroidery pattern • folk decoration • handicraft • handmade embroidery • Hungarian folk embroidery • Hungary • Kalotaszeg • laser cut patterns • laser cut textile pieces • listening to imagesMA Textile Design • melodies • Moholy-Nagy Muveszeti Egyetem • music boxmusic player • musical box • musical scoreprogrammable device • punch card comb • punch cardspunched-card systemsequencer • Soundweaving project • traditional crafts • traditional handicrafts • Transylvania • Transylvanian Bukovina • Ukrainevisual pattern • weaving pattern • Zsanett Szirmay


Simon Perkins
09 JANUARY 2013

Roberto Busa and the Invention of the Machine-Generated Concord

"This is a story from early in the technological revolution, when the application was out searching for the hardware, from a time before the Internet, a time before the PC, before the chip, before the mainframe. From a time even before programming itself.

Tasman's 1957 prophecy was no shot in the dark. His view of the future was a projection from his recent past. Thomas J. Watson, Sr. had assigned him in 1949 to be IBM liaison and support person for a young Jesuit's daring project to produce an index to the complete writings of St. Thomas Aquinas. First, Tasman's thesis, as subsequent history turned out, was a huge understatement; and second, it essentially defines the first large invention of Father Roberto Busa, S. J., namely, to look at 'tools developed primarily for science and commerce' and to see other uses for them. As will be seen, this was a case of fortune favoring the prepared mind. Redirecting scholarship, he essentially invented the machine–generated concordance, the first of which he had published in 1951.

Father Busa, of course, is best known as the producer of the landmark 56–volume Index Thomisticus. As he began this work in 1946, and produced a sample proof–of–concept, machine–generated concordance in 1951, his professional life spans the entire computing chapter in the history of scholarship. Emphasis in this article will be on the early steps."

(Thomas Nelson Winter, January 1999)

Published in The Classical Bulletin 75:1 (1999), pp. 3–20. Copyright © 1999 Bolchazy–Carducci Publishers, Inc.



1946194919511957 • analytical indexes • automatically analysing • automatically indexing • computing • concordance • concordances • Dead Sea Scrolls • electronic data processing machine • fortune favouring the prepared mind • history of computinghistory of scholarshipIBM • IBM 705 • Index Thomisticus • indexing • International Business Machines Corporation • literary data processing • machine-generated concordance • Paul Tasman • printed works • proof of concept • prophecy • punch cardspunched-card system • rapid compilation • Roberto Busa • science and commerce • St Thomas Aquinas • Summa Theologica of St Thomas Aquinas • technological revolution • Thomas Nelson Winter • Thomas Watson • tools developed for science and commerce


Simon Perkins
19 APRIL 2010

The Jacquard loom: automation through stored programmes

"In consequence of the Industrial Revolution, the late 18th century had witnessed a considerable expansion in the automation of processes that had once been the preserve of small groups of highly skilled workers employed in so–called 'cottage industries'. The textile industry was one sphere were industrialisation had rendered obsolete such skills. Whereas, prior to the development of mechanical looms and weaving machines, lengths of fabric had to be woven slowly by hand, the advent of powered tools for carrying out this task meant that quantities of fabric could be mass–produced at a far quicker rate than previously, thereby reducing its expense. There was one area, however, where the new machines could not compete with skilled manual workers: in the generation of cloth containing anything other than a plain (or at best extremely simple) woven pattern. The Jacquard Loom provided a solution to this problem so that, with it in use, extremely intricate patterns and pictures could be automatically woven into cloth at much the same rate as a plain length of fabric could be generated. The key idea behind Jacquard's loom was to control the action of the weaving process by interfacing the behaviour of the loom to an encoding of the pattern to be reproduced. In order to do this Jacquard arranged for the pattern to be depicted as a groups of holes 'punched' into a sequence of pasteboard card. Each card contained the same number of rows and columns, the presence or absence of a hole was detected mechanically and used to determine the actions of the loom. By combining a 'tape' of cards together the Jacquard loom was able to weave (and reproduce) patterns of great complexity, e.g. a surviving example is a black and white silk portrait of Jacquard woven under the control of a 10,000 card 'program'."

(Paul E. Dunne, University of Liverpool)



1801 • 18th centuryanalogue correspondenceautomation • cottage industries • devicefabrichistoryindustrial heritageindustrial revolutionindustrialisationJacquard loom • Joseph Marie Jacquard • loompatternpioneerprogrammable deviceprogrammepunch cardspunched-card systemreproductionsequencesolutiontechnologytextile industrytextilesweave • weaving machine


Simon Perkins

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