World Wide Weave

A tapestry of variously colored blocks representing the Google homepage.
Rafaël Rozendaal, 2017. Part of the “Programmed” exhibition at the Whitney Museum, 2018.

Abstract Browsing 17 03 05 (Google) is a machine-woven tapestry depicting an abstract version of the Google browser’s interface. To produce his Abstract Browsing series, Rafaël Rozendaal created a plug-in for Google’s Chrome browser; available to anyone online, it reduces images and text on any website visited to colored rectangles. The artist surfs the web every day using his plug-in and compiles thousands of screenshots, which he then narrows down to a small selection to be produced as tapestries. The tapestries are created at the Textile Museum in Tilburg, the Netherlands, where Rozendaal’s screenshots are converted into a file for output by a weaving machine. His project connects layers of machine abstraction: the initial transformation of the webpage exposes a composition optimized to grab our attention, while the tapestry references the roots of computing in nineteenth-century weaving machines that automated the creation of patterns.

The Whitney Museum of American Art

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Daniel J. Wilson

I am a designer, drummer, and photographer in Brooklyn, NY.