“What if the fabric of space-time was actually a fabric?” This question is the inspiration behind Fabric of Space-Time, clothing that embodies different theories of quantum gravity, created in collaboration with Gabriela Barreto Lemos. String Theory, Loop Quantum Gravity, and Causal Sets are represented by the patterns and textures of six different outfits.
Loop Quantum Gravity
Each collection assumes a distinct style, using fashion to show how the theories compete in science. Viewers are able to connect with a theory based off their aesthetic preferences and beliefs, through the approachable lens of clothing.
This more traditional collection features prominent textures to celebrate the music and motion of a universe comprised of tiny, vibrating strings.
The Supersymmetric (SUSY) Dress uses embroidery to emphasize particles that have been found and the outlines of their yet-to-be-discovered partners.
The 11-Dimensional Track Suit is a nod to String Theory's popularity in the 90s, and its tendency to take place in 11 dimensions. The top visualizes particle interactions. The pants and sleeves are made up of stringy material.
Those who prefer a modern yet elegant look and feel are drawn to this theory's flexible layers of loop textiles that move together to create a lively composition. Each fiber only exists through its relationship to others, forming intricate networks.
The texture of the Planck Tank refers to space-time existing in discrete pieces, not a continuum.
The Spin Foam Skirt is the result of Loop Quantum Gravity's superimposed loops. When space-time itself is not smooth, there are holes where there is no space and no time. The different layers are like frames in a movie, showing how space changes with time, and creating a foamy texture that bends to your lifestyle.
The Spin Network Sweater and Pants showcase a spin network, which is a snapshot of relations in space at a given time.
The geometric perspectives and vivid designs of Causal Sets make it a match for those interested in bolder statements. Tree-like structures emphasize the blossoming of events from one point to a number of possibilities.
The Causal Jumpsuit assumes a partial ordering pattern, where we can only trace some of the green events back to others.
The Ancestral Jumpsuit illustrates how events cascade as a sort of family tree, with time traveling down the suit. Your Ancestral Jumpsuit pattern would look different than anyone else's.
Fabric of Space-Time was shown in New York City at Figment Festival in June 2018, in the form of a pop-up boutique. We posed as stylists and helped viewers choose a theory that matched their identity, both aesthetically and scientifically (with some overlap). The exhibit was the outcome of a residency with Guerilla Science, with the goal to expose the general public to science.
Kayla matching a participant with Causal Sets
Gabi speaking to a participant about String Theory
Clothing designed by Kayla Lewis and produced by Doctor Gabriela Barreto Lemos (a physics researcher at the International Institute of Physics in Natal, Brazil), Denise Laender, and Atelier Cotton de Fadas by Cristina Daher.