Maggie Orth

The Fuzzy Aparatus, 2013
by Maggie Orth
Patent Number: US 7,054,133 B2
Electronic Textile Touch Light Controller

Orth’s research in electronic textiles has resulted in works that juxtapose two seemingly antithetical worlds: textiles, which are stereotyped as decorative and female; and computer technology, which is seen as functional and male. The Fuzzy Apparatus is a new work that transforms the standard dimmer switch into an art object that is tactile, responsive, and whimsical. When participants touch the giant pom pom, they trigger light controller electrodes that signal the light bulb overhead to turn on, off, or dim. Throughout her career Orth has employed her patents across both art-making and business. For example, this work was created using patented technology that is commercially available through her company International Fashion Machines.

About the Artist
Maggie Orth  
b. Columbus Ohio; lives in Seattle, WA
Maggie Orth is an artist and technologist who designs and invents interactive textiles. She is the founder of International Fashion Machines, Inc., (IFM) where she created the first UL-Listed e-textile product, the patented Pom Pom Dimmer. Orth holds a PhD from the MIT Media Lab, and was named a 2007 USA Target Fellow. Exhibitions include: the San Francisco Museum of Craft and Design (2006); the Cooper Hewitt, National Design Museum (2005); and Ars Electronica (2001).


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