22, 528 recycled computer keycaps and 192 custom keycaps, those are the number of keyboard keys that went into the construction of TEXTile, a customized active keyboard and interactive software installation. It uses video projections and painted aluminum armatures. This interactive sculpture has thousands of keyboards keys embedded into a continuous textile. They keys actually spell out a line-by-line transcript of emails between the artist and the fabricators regarding its creation. Viewers can also type their own messages on the active keys.
The project speaks to the pervasiveness of email in our lives while commenting on the fact that, despite the modern technology of virtual communication, our written language is linked to the tactile sensation of moving our fingers over an outmoded typewriter system.
TEXTile was made by Jean Shin, and is currently installed at the Permanent Collection of Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia.