The Silk Poems
Nanoimprinted on silk film and read as a projection with fiber-optic light, The Silk Poems is an experimental work that takes this textile as its subject and form, exploring the cultural, scientific, and linguistic complexities of silk, mending, and the body.
Silk, as a material, is compatible with body tissues; our immune system accepts it on surfaces as sensitive as the human brain. In conjunction with Tufts University’s Silk Lab, Bervin will fabricate a cocoon-sized piece of silk film with the poem written nanoscale in a six-character chain that corresponds to the DNA and the silkworm’s filament drawing method.
This project includes consulting nanotechnology and biomedical labs as well as over thirty international textile archives, medical libraries, and sericulture sites in North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.
In May 2016, Jen Bervin’s The Silk Poems will premiere in the exhibition “Explode Everyday: A Philosophical Inquiry” into the Phenomena of Wonder curated by Denise Markonish and Sean Foley at MASS MoCA.
“The Silk Poems” receives a 2014 Bogliasco Foundation Fellowship
2014: Bervin researches in Istanbul, Turkey at Topkapi Saray Muzesi Archive and in Tbilisi, Georgia at the State Silk Museum
2014: Bervin researches in Venice, Italy at Palazzo Mocenigo, Library of the Study Centre for the History of Textiles; in Como at Museo Didattico della Seta and La Fondazione Antonio Ratti Textile Museum & Library; in Bogliasco at The Liguria Study Center, Bogliasco Fellowship; and in Lucca at Villa Guinigi Museum, Palazzo Mansi and Biblioteca Statale di Lucca
2013: Bervin researches in Suzhou, China at Suzhou Silk Museum and Suzhou Silk Embroidery Research Institute, in Suzhou at the Soochow University Silk Engineering Department, in Hangzhou at The China National Silk Museum and in Tongxiang at a small-scale silkworm farm
2013: Bervin researches in Yokohama, Japan at Silk Museum / Silk Hakubutsukan, in Tokyo at the Tokyo National Museum; and in Kyoto at Orinasu-kan Museum, Nishijin Textile Center and Kyoto Municipal Museum of Traditional Crafts
2013: Bervin researches in Lyon, France at Maison des Canuts and Musée des Tissus et Arts décoratifs de Lyon; and in Paris at Bibliothèque des Arts Décoratifs and Institut du Monde Arabe / Bibliothèque de l’IMA
2013: Bervin researches at Columbia University’s Rare Books and Manuscript Library, and Starr East Asian Library and Rare Book Reading Room
May 28 – Sep 27, 2016
Jen Bervin Premieres Her Creative Capital Project "The Silk Poems"