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Textiles (MA)

Carolina Estrada

Carolina Estrada is an artist and researcher who studies matter as culture. An example of such research is how a sensory interface connects people to technology and myths. She reflects on the relationship between technology, culture, and nature to challenge and expand our understanding of ecological systems. Her work crosses a wide range of disciplines, drawing on the humanities, sensory studies, and indigenous knowledge.

She worked for two years with traditional artists who are also politically engaged indigenous community leaders, convinced that indigenous knowledge can help us face persistent global and social problems.  She experimented using backstrap weaving (a Peruvian textile technique) and handlooms. Currently, she is expanding her research, seeking the tactile effect as a powerful sensory medium to scale it up using different techniques.

She studied visual art and social communication.

In 2021, she participated in the exhibition "Pallay Pampa: Andean Crossroads "at IFA gallery Berlin (Internationale Funkausstellung), Gallery Berlin, Germany. In 2019, she participated as a speaker at "Making Futures VI: People, Place, Meaning: Crafting Social Worlds & Social Making” organized by the British Council Plymouth College of Art, Plymouth, Devon, UK. In the same year, she exposed at the 3rd Hangzhou Triennial of Fiber Art, "Boundless Encounters", Hangzhou, China.

  • BFA, Painting. National School of Fine Arts, Lima, Peru
  • Bachelor in Social Communication, specialised in Audiovisual, National University of San Marcos, Humanities Faculty, Peru


  • British Council Grant to participate at "Making Futures VI: People, Place, Meaning: Crafting Social Worlds & Social Making", Plymouth College of Art, Devon, UK.
  • Award of Distinction. Passport for an artist XXI, Embassy of France in Peru.
Concept image

I am an interdisciplinary artist and researcher who explores textiles as a web of embodied connections between land, bodies and climate change. Proposing new narratives to understand the different layers of knowledge that feed both contemporary and ancestral practices. I examine the aesthetics of indigenous cultures, power relations and interactions between ecologies and technologies, and the environmental impacts of extractive operations.

My practice explores textiles in relation to sound, biomaterials, and electronic devices, all of which are essential elements in the production of speculative projects. These speculative projects explore the relationship between technology, culture, and nature to challenge and expand our understanding of ecological systems. In this sense, I see textiles as an interface that connects people to intercultural perspectives where matter is conceived in relation to technology and myth.

My process is based on a holistic perspective that embodies indigenous knowledge to stimulate haptic imagination. Haptic imagination encompasses touching as media. Touch can create immediate and intimate relations with materials, bodies, landscapes, and other cultural thinking. Touching as a means of interaction augments emotions and memory. I am currently looking at pre-Columbian notations, namely tattoos, as a medium to open intercultural perspectives around technology. By creating mechanisms and tools, I am trying to bring contemporary relevance to ideas of healing, activism, and environmental issues.

By combining technological tools and processes –such as robotics, open-source hardware, digital embroidery– with traditional practices –such as handloom, waist loom (traditional Peruvian technique), hand embroidery, natural materials lab, and engraving– my aim is to create patterns that link past and present, but also point to our dependence on the earth and our human limitations.

Writting of lost bodies

The project proposes a robotic arm that mimics human touching. This robotic arm triggers an action in two fingers based on data from the Human Defender Rights database. This database is comprised of people who were killed for defending land rights. The project points out traditional tattoos as a medium that connects indigenous land protection and data. The project highlights the ancient tattooing technique as a healing tool between humans, other living organisms, and the environment.

Writings of lost bodies
Tattoo diagram
Body 1
Writing 1
Writing 2
Robotic arm
Touching as media
Haptic sense is based on touching producing proprioception and spatial sense. This means making our awareness about the place where we are occupied. A Bolivian writer and artist Elvira Espejo point out that touch allows ‘material to get into the body. This is particularly important because it alludes to how the human body perceives reality through the senses, introducing a kind of knowledge through haptic experience. This means the haptic has the potential to redefine subjectivity.
Mapping experience
Extension 2
Lady's Cao system of tattoing
Extension - Augmentation Map – Based on Lady Cao's tattoo, a mummy who was found in the Peruvian desert
Craft Augmentation 2
System of doingI settled my process as researcher who links facts and confirmed knowledge to speculate different possibilities. I design my process of making, taking as reference the illustration of speculative design proposed by Dunne & Raby. However, as you can see in the diagram, the cone is looking to the left, where we tend to situate the past. A key part of my methodology is questioning: how much do we know about the past? When it has been written by others. Who do these stories favour.
I understand textiles as a web of connections. A kind of interface connecting humans to an intercultural perspective where the material is conceived in relation to technology and myth. Here I show concepts that I am connecting. The way I work is based on a holistic perspective which seeks to embody indigenous knowledge.
Choreography StitchAny thread can be related to a particular sound and this can be embodied in an experience. The fabric will then be composed of a multilayer of sounds. As a strategy, I translate any daily movement into a sound record. Thus, translate these different sounds into a visualization. As a reflection, if we understand stitch as a choreographed notation or as a language that we are able to write and read, we will be able to communicate other types of sensorial knowledge.
Notation 1
Movement and time