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.

Beyond Punch Cards | CURRENTS Reception

“We’re asking big questions about how weaving and coding can work together to change our perceptions of the world,” says co-curator Renata de Carvalho Gaui. “Can these practices converge to illustrate different identities, keep cultures and history alive, or resist obsolescence?”

 

Renata de Carvalho Gaui and Francesca Rodriguez Sawaya united an international group of artists who straddle the line between weaving and coding. 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. “As a home of age-old weaving traditions and a more recent haven for new media artists, Santa Fe is the perfect place for Beyond Punch Cards,” says Rodriguez Sawaya.

Call for Artists: Beyond Punch Cards

Click here to learn more & submit.

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

EXHIBITION

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.

ABSTRACT

“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.

ELIGIBILITY

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!

IMPORTANT DATES

  • 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)

CURATORS

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.

CONTACT

Jordan Eddy
formandconcept [at] gmail [dot] com
505.982.8111

Click here to learn more & submit.

Beyond Meow Wolf.

Meow Wolf- Ultimate Santa Fe Summer Guide- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

form & concept is featured in Meow Wolf’s Ultimate Santa Fe Summer Guide! If you’re planning a trip to see the art collective’s world-famous art installation House of Eternal Return, make sure to check out all of the other sweet spots on their list. Here’s an excerpt from the guide:

As much fun as it would be to get lost in the multiverse forever, one has to come back to reality once in awhile. While in this dimension here’s our list of the best things to do during summer in (and around) Santa Fe that will keep your journey thriving.

They call us “one of Santa Fe’s most experimental gallery spaces,” which is just what we’re aiming to be! Some of our other favorite places on the list include SITE Santa Fe, Currents New Media Festival, Opuntia, Tonic, Paloma and, of course, MEOW WOLF! Browse the whole list here, and we’ll see you in Santa Fe this summer!

Inner Orbit in review.

Inner Orbit Review- Chelsea Weathers- The Magazine- Santa Fe New Mexico
Drew Lenihan, The Luau IV, archival inkjet print, 20 x 14 in.

Happy July! We’re excited to share this lovely review of our Inner Orbit exhibition by Chelsea Weathers in The Magazine. The show explores cultural or personal visions of space, so Chelsea started her review with a childhood memory:

For most people who aren’t astronomers or astrophysicists, outer space is a nebulous concept (no pun intended). How we relate to ideas like space-time, the Big Bang, and black holes often has more to do with our immediate material surroundings than with equations and formulas. My own experience of watching Halley’s Comet involves a strong memory of the vanilla-chocolate swirl ice cream cone my father bought for me when we waited to catch a glimpse of it—a moment that I don’t remember at all. On one hand, my childhood mind grasping at quotidian details reflects an inability to comprehend the enormity of outer space. Then again, everyday human life is inextricably connected to our conceptions of the universe in ways that aren’t always grandiose. I understand the rarity of Halley’s Comet because I remember that ice cream cone.

Read the full review at The Magazine, and make sure to come see Inner Orbit before it closes on July 21.

Curator’s Selection: Matthew Mullins | Inner Orbit

For the second entry in our new Curator’s Selection video series (check out the first one here), form & concept gallery director Frank Rose discussed an artwork by Matthew Mullins from the group exhibition Inner Orbit. Matt’s mixed-media painting The Sun Is In Our Bones is an anchor of the show, which explores personal and cultural visions of outer space, and it’s also an introduction to his next body of work. In late September, he’ll debut a solo exhibition called The Sun In Our Bones that will span our ground floor. Learn more about the painting in the video above, then click over to the exhibition page to discover how it connects with the themes of the forthcoming show.

Matthew Mullins- The Sun Is In Our Bones- Mixed-Media Painting- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Here is Matt’s meditation on his painting The Sun Is In Our Bones:

The Sun Is In Our Bones is a meditation on the cosmic origins of the elements that comprise our bodies. The elements in our bodies such as carbon, calcium and iron were forged by the extreme forces that exist inside stars, supernovae and other cosmic events. It’s fascinating to think about the journey our bodies’ atomic ingredients have had, and that all of those individual atoms are now working together to form you and me. These elements that have existed for eons are engaged in a mysterious dance that allows us to maintain our complicated biological processes and even consciousness, empathy and love.

The black paint in this piece is made from burnt cow bones. The atoms of calcium and phosphorus from those bones, just like in our bones, were created in the stars. So, the material used in this painting was actually created in space and once provided life to other beings. The title The Sun In Our Bones is not only poetic, it can be taken somewhat literally. The bare linen that the stars seem to be growing into represents yet-to-be-created space. The handprints on the sides are traced from my hands and my wife’s hands, and represent the evolution of human consciousness from the elemental, raw ingredients created inside the stars.

Crystalline and Constellate are meditations on the subatomic world within our bodies. These paintings are nearly photo-realistic depictions of a matrix of atoms being lit up with a laser beam. The source photos that I painted from were taken with an electron microscope. I am awestruck by the intelligent orderliness, but also the mysterious fluidity, of the world experienced at this scale. Our own bodies look similar when viewed from a small enough vantage point.

Click here to browse the complete Inner Orbit exhibition on our website. The show appears in conjunction with Santa Fe Futurition, the Currents New Media Festival, and the Santa Fe Institute’s Interplanetary Festival.

Curator’s Selection: Eric William Carroll | Inner Orbit

Our director Frank Rose spent months on a national search for artists who explore personal or cultural visions of outer space in their work. The resulting exhibition, Inner Orbit, presents the cosmos not as a dark void, but as a densely layered cultural landscape. We asked Frank to discuss two of the artists who appear in the show for a new video series called Curator’s Selection. First up is St. Paul-based artist Eric William Carroll, who contributed several works from his Standard Stars series to Inner Orbit. Watch the video above for Frank’s take, and read Eric’s thoughts on the body of work below.

From Eric:

My project Standard Stars draws from three years of research at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI), located an hour outside of Asheville, North Carolina in the small town of Rosman, and surrounded by the Pisgah National Forest.

One of PARI’s missions is to collect and digitize the largest archive of astronomical glass-plate photographs, known as the Astronomical Photographic Data Archive, commonly referred to as APDA. Currently, APDA is a collection of over 200,000 public-domain glass plate negatives that have been acquired from institutions and individuals all over the world. The visual wealth of APDA is unparalleled, as it documents the history of photographing the sky from the late 1800’s until the end of the 20th century on a now obsolete medium. There is an undeniable physical beauty to these photographic objects, which explains why I have made many trips over the years to immerse myself in the collection.

With just over 1% of the archive scanned, most of the photographic plates sit in boxes and on shelves, slowly deteriorating. The emulsion peels off of the glass plate in a variety of patterns, as if nature is trying to creep back into these scientific studies. In these images I have carefully composed the flakes of emulsion and photographed them on a light table and then inverted the image. In some cases, such as NA8302, the astronomer accidentally spilled oil on the plate. In NA8075, the exposed plate wasn’t processed in enough developer solution. These errors bridge the gap between galaxy and astronomer.

All in all, I have made high-resolution scans and photographs of over 500 plates from APDA. Visually and metaphorically, APDA represents the human attempt to study, represent, and organize the Universe. The fact that this collection is in danger of disintegrating and being forgotten is sadly and beautifully poetic.

Click here to browse the complete Inner Orbit exhibition on our website. The show appears in conjunction with Santa Fe Futurition, the Currents New Media Festival, and the Santa Fe Institute’s Interplanetary Festival.

Performance: Nathan Wheeler

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The gallery will ask for a $5-$25 donation at the door in support of the artist. 

Composer and multidisciplinary artist Nathan Wheeler ensnares form & concept in a web of “ghost detection circuits”—also known as EMF meters—for this improvisational music and dance performance. The psychic energy of Wheeler and his spectators will trigger the sensors and influence swirling visuals and soundscapes. Wheeler is a New York-based artist who works at the intersection of sound design, dance, clothing design, video, and interactive programming. He has shown work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of the Moving Image, the Denver Art Museum, and at festivals around the globe.

Wheeler isn’t a ghost hunter, though he’s on the trail of something just as ephemeral in his innovative performance artworks. “My work often taps into the supernatural as a source of inspiration and healing,” says the New York-based artist. “What sort of energies do we project, and how can I use technology to make them perceptible?” He tackles that question in a new improvisational performance piece at form & concept, which utilizes EMF detectors and other technology to influence audiovisual aspects of the work. “We’re constantly casting psychic energy into the world. My audience at form & concept will be able to see it and hear it,” Wheeler explains.

Wheeler will perform among the artworks of form & concept’s Inner Orbit group exhibition, which appears in conjunction with the Santa Fe Institute’s Interplanetary Festival and the Currents New Media FestivalHis appearance is part of Futurition Santa Fe, a month long series of festivals and events that brings art, science and technology together.

This Week: Three Events!

Emerging Media Alliance- Launch Party- Currents New Media Festival- Santa Fe New Mexico

Launch Party

Emerging Media Alliance

Thursday, June 14th, 7-10 pm

Currents New Media Festival
El Museo Cultural De Santa Fe
555 Camino de la Familia, Santa Fe Railyard

June is Emerging Media Month in Santa Fe, as declared by this rebellious crew of new media pioneers! We’re proud to be part of the Emerging Media Alliance, along with local legends such as Meow Wolf, Simply Social Media, Descartes Labs and SITE Santa Fe. This launch party for EMA offers an inside look at the Currents New Media Festival exhibition—and an opportunity to mingle with our new mayor, Alan Webber. This is a free, registration-only event. Sign up at the link below.

Register for this event.
RSVP on Facebook.

Image: Parallel Studios.

Debra Baxter- Tooth and Nail Exhibition- Closing Reception- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Closing Reception

Debra Baxter: Tooth & Nail

Friday, June 15th, 5-7 PM

Join Debra Baxter for a last look at her solo exhibition Tooth & Nail at this closing reception on Friday, June 15 from 5 to 7 pm. The show officially closes on June 16, 2018.

Baxter frequently picks up materials she’s never used before, searching for novel ways to engage the histories of sculpture, jewelry, weaponry or drapery. For Tooth & Nail, the events of the #MeToo movement have fed into her continued interest in the strength, vulnerability and the raw power of the female voice. The courage of these women has activated work with a blend of toughness and vulnerability. “These contrasting materials carry a similar spirit,” she explains. “My sculptures sometimes look delicate, but when they’re finished, they are structurally resilient.”

Learn more on our website.
RSVP on Facebook.

Image: Debra Baxter, Basta, alabaster, cedar, quartz crystal, 9 x 10 x 13 in.

Nathan Wheeler- Performance Art- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Performance

Nathan Wheeler

Saturday, June 16th, 7-8:30 PM

The gallery will ask for a $5-$25 donation at the door in support of the artist. 

Composer and multidisciplinary artist Nathan Wheeler ensnares form & concept in a web of “ghost detection circuits”—also known as EMF meters—for this improvisational music and dance performance. The psychic energy of Wheeler and his spectators will trigger the sensors and influence swirling visuals and soundscapes. Wheeler is a New York-based artist who works at the intersection of sound design, dance, clothing design, video, and interactive programming. He has shown work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of the Moving Image, the Denver Art Museum, and at festivals around the globe.

Learn more on our website.
RSVP on Facebook.

Image: Nathan Wheeler.

Artist Talk: Inner Orbit

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Join Inner Orbit artists Matthew Mullins and Drew Lenihan for this interactive tour. They’ll engage with Frank Rose and Jordan Eddy of form & concept in a conversation about the show’s themes.

Inner Orbit spotlights contemporary artists from across the United States who meld fine art and craft mediums with technology for deeply personal looks at the firmament. The show appears in conjunction with Santa Fe Futurition, the Currents New Media Festival, and the Santa Fe Institute’s Interplanetary Festival. Inner Orbit opens on Friday, May 25, 5-7 pm.

Learn more about this exhibition.

Image: Marcus Zúñigalines (detail), 2017, mural, led string lights, marker, dimensions vary.