I have recently been lured into the immersive world of Minecraft. As a parent of two young Minecraft fanatics, I became fascinated by the block by block creations my sons were building. I couldn’t help but ponder the obvious links between blocks and pixels, landscapes and grids, the building of blocks replicating the plotting of stitches in textiles. My core aim when carrying out participatory activities is to be accessible through process and choice of materials. Minecraft presented itself as a truly accessible tool for engagement and for exploration.
Imagine my delight when I then discovered that you can use code to control Minecraft builds. Having stumbled upon Adventures in Minecraft by David Whale and Martin O’Hanlon I dived straight into Python and adapted some of the source codes to incorporate some that I had previously used during Textiles in Flow. The use of binary code translations of weaving patterns (sourced from the Whitworth Art Gallery archives in Manchester) demonstrates a profound link with Jacquard loom technology and punchcard systems.
As my first foray into exploring the links between textile and Minecraft, I am excited by the possibilities.