Artist Talk: Beyond Punch Cards

Co-curators Francesca Rodriguez Sawaya and Renata de Carvalho Gaui traveled to Santa Fe in 2018 to conduct a workshop called Weaving to Code, Coding to Weave for CURRENTS. “We’ve conducted this class all around the world, but never with a group that had such extensive knowledge of both weaving and coding,” says Rodriguez Sawaya. “After the first day, we said, ‘How do we teach them something they don’t already know?’” They shifted their lesson plan to include examples of radical art projects that reimagine the relationship between textiles and technology.


“That was the first part of our curatorial process,” Gaui says. “In the show, we’re asking big questions about how weaving and coding can work together to change our perceptions of the world. Can these practices converge to illustrate different identities, keep cultures and history alive, or resist obsolescence?” The curators are selecting work through a hybrid invitational and juried process. The participating artists will be decidedly transdisciplinary. Glowing textiles, robotic looms, and “woven” projections are among the densely textured and fantastically interactive works set to appear in the show.

Call for Artists: Beyond Punch Cards

Click here to learn more & submit.

Show dates: May 31-July 13, 2019
Submission deadline: March 5, 2019


The group exhibition Beyond Punch Cards offers an unexpected perspective on the relationship between textiles and technology. Curated by Francesca Rodriguez Sawaya and Renata de Carvalho Gaui of the ‘Weaving to Code, Coding to Weave’ project, the show unites an international group of artists to challenge common perceptions of both weaving and coding practices. Hosted by form & concept gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the show is an official satellite exhibition of this year’s CURRENTS New Media Festival, an international showcase for new media artists that occupies El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe for two weeks each June.

Beyond Punch Cards appears at form & concept from May 31 to July 13, 2019. Rodriguez Sawaya and Carvalho Gaui will select a number of artists through an invitational process, but are also searching beyond their networks with this call for artists. Entries may be submitted through this Google form from February 5 through March 5, 2019.


“The analytical engine will weave algebraic patterns like jacquard looms weave flowers and leaves.”
– Ada Lovelace, mathematician & creator of the first computational algorithm

The first-ever computational algorithm was inspired by the Jacquard loom’s punch card system for weaving patterns. Since that pivotal “under/over” moment, artists, designers and technologists from across the globe have awed us by creatively exploring the links between weaving and coding. As a home of age-old weaving traditions and a more recent haven for new media artists, the Desert Southwest is fertile ground for an exhibition that conceptually interlaces these practices.

The ‘Weaving to Code, Coding to Weave’ project traveled to Santa Fe in 2018 to facilitate a workshop for the CURRENTS New Media Festival. The class reinforced their awareness of the established intersection between weaving and coding, as many of the weavers that attended were already familiar with the links between the practices. Partway through the workshop, the facilitators pivoted their lesson plan to radical case studies, exposing attendees to projects that re-imagine the relationship between textiles and technology.

This experience informed the development of Beyond Punch Cards. The curators ask, how can weaving and coding present new paradigms for viewing the world around us? How can they illustrate different identities, or keep cultures and history alive? Can these practices converge and evolve to resist obsolescence?

Through this exhibition, Rodriguez Sawaya and Renata de Carvalho Gaui hope to inspire audiences, showcasing projects that use technology to explore the contemporary significance of weaving.


This submission process is open to any and all artists who explore weaving and coding through their work. There is no entry fee. You may enter up to three pieces. 2D, 3D and video works are eligible. Work must have been completed prior to application submission. Work that is available for sale is preferred, but if your project fits the theme and is not commercially available, please submit!


  • February 5-March 5, 2019: Submission period.
  • March 17, 2019: Notification of acceptance
  • May 20, 2019: Selected artwork due to form & concept
  • May 31, 2019: Opening reception, 5-7 pm
  • July 13, 2019: Exhibition closes
  • July 31, 2019: All work received by artists (unless otherwise arranged)


Renata de Carvalho Gaui is an artist, designer and creative technologist from Rio de Janeiro. In recent years, she has worked on projects involving wearable technology research and design, educational and experiential exhibit design, and female empowerment.

Francesca Rodriguez Sawaya is a Peruvian designer and educator. She uses her skills as a technologist and storyteller to craft compelling narratives about sociocultural realities. Her work revolves around connecting the digital and physical spaces around us, as a way of bringing a more human approach to our digital world.

They both graduated from the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU, where they collaborated on artistic projects regarding female empowerment and identity, building bridges between craft and technology disciplines, and educational partnerships between ITP and public schools around New York. They were both organizers and facilitators for these projects.


Jordan Eddy
formandconcept [at] gmail [dot] com

Click here to learn more & submit.