The Silk Poems

Jen Bervin

Silk, as a material, is compatible with body tissues; our immune system accepts it on surfaces as sensitive as the human brain. The Silk Poems is an experimental book that takes this textile as its subject and form, exploring the cultural, scientific, and linguistic complexities of silk, mending and the body in poems imprinted on cast silk pages. Drawing on contemporary biomedical engineering research using patterned silk as sensors under human skin, the artist will fabricate the book by pouring silk solution on nanopatterned plates. The resulting pages will be combined into a transparent “book” resembling a piece of microfiche film—a single small sheet, with every poem present, that can be read with fiber-optic light.