Penelope

A tapestry loom that automatically weaves when the sun rises and unweaves with the sunset. In ancient greek burial rituals, the deceased one was dressed in a full length white shroud – as if the closer the loom gets to have the piece done, the more Penelope is confined to her own imprisonment.

The Odyssey’s excerpt about Penelope and the weaving loom points out a powerful moment of women empowerment in Homer’s famous literature. Penelope finds her own way of being in control of the situation – despite being in a mythological and misogynous context, in which women are not only submitted to fate but also to the dominance of men over decisions.

Penelope from Renata Gaui on Vimeo.

The weaving loom consist on pulleys that guide the thread and two thread reels mounted on stepper motors, connected to an Arduino. The microcontroller is connected to a web sketch, that is accessing the geolocation of the piece and the time of the sunrise/sunset, controlling according to this information the direction in which the motors are working.