Knotting the memory//Encoding the Khipu_: Reuse of an ancient Andean device as a NIME

Laddy P Cadavid
2020 Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression  
The khipu is an information processing and transmission device used mainly by the Inca empire and previous Andean societies. This mnemotechnic interface is one of the first textile computers known, consisting of a central wool or cotton cord to which other strings are attached with knots of different shapes, colors, and sizes encrypting different kinds of values and information. The system was widely used until the Spanish colonization that banned their use and destroyed a large number of these
more » ... devices. This paper introduces the creation process of a NIME based in a khipu converted into an electronic instrument for the interaction and generation of live experimental sound by weaving knots with conductive rubber cords, and its implementation in the performance Knotting the memory//Encoding the Khipu_ that aim to pay homage to this system, from a decolonial perspective continuing the interrupted legacy of this ancestral practice in a different experience of tangible live coding and computer music, as well as weaving the past with the present of the indigenous and people resistance of the Andean territory with their sounds.
doi:10.5281/zenodo.4813494 fatcat:q7hkuzcmjfb6bffcjz23xsyc2i