Beyond Punch Cards
A satellite show of CURRENTS 2019
May 31- July 13, 2019
Opening Reception: Friday, May 31, 5-7 pm
CURRENTS Reception: Friday, June 7, 5-7 pm
Artist Talk: Saturday, June 8, 2-3:30 pm
The artists behind the traveling workshop project Weaving to Code, Coding to Weave curate this international group exhibition. The show features glowing tapestries and robotic looms, offering unexpected perspectives on the links between technology and textiles.
Santa Fe, NM—The group exhibition Beyond Punch Cards was inspired by a woman who changed the world. Mathematician Ada Lovelace studied the complex engineering behind the Jacquard loom to invent the first computational algorithm in 1840. “The analytical engine will weave algebraic patterns like Jacquard looms weave flowers and leaves,” Lovelace said. Since that pivotal moment, artists, designers and technologists from across the globe have explored the links between weaving and coding. In Beyond Punch Cards, an official satellite show of the CURRENTS New Media Festival 2019, independent curators Francesca Rodriguez Sawaya and Renata de Carvalho Gaui unite an international group of artists who straddle the line between these intersecting disciplines.
Sawaya and 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 forthcoming list of 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.