Wear Patterns

The disuse of my f16 — f19 keys always makes them the first to get dusty, the visual opposite of the gloss I’ve worn onto my space bar and the scratched-off surface of my Wacom tablet. I love these little stories about computer habits, and signs of wear, trails, and artifacts of routine are some of my favorite narratives. For many activities, it can be impossible to find analogs to the smooth treads of an old staircase or the worn elbows of an old sweater, but the images below show an approach to preserving these patterns.

The light trails of this violinist give the impression that his bowing might be reconstructed from this long-exposure photo.


The drawings of David Marsh capture the plays of World Cup Soccer to make visible the complex mechanics of the game.


Using the free Java applet IOgraph, I’ve combined my mouse trails with the layout I was working with on that day to create an Etch-A-Sketch rendering of the well-worn trails and dusty corners of my screen.

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  1. It is a slight tangent but, when we look at archival jeans to replicate for our LVC line (for that matter all denim), wear patterns are replicated that present a low-tech record of the wearer’s daily life as a miner, rancher cowboy, etc. Who knew wear patterns on a keyboard and jeans would have so much in common? The world cup doodle is art…

  2. The art of patterns will never cease to amaze me. There’s something in the human mind that is drawn to patterns such as these, something that gives meaning where there is none… or is there?