Totally different threads are woven collectively to create a “entire fabric,” which is bigger than the sum of its components: a material. For its physicality and tangibility, cloth can also be generally employed as a metaphor for what’s advanced and summary: a system or an order—the material of society, a nation, and even the cosmos. In info expertise, cloth is used synonymously with a framework or platform. Therefore, weaving—or relatively, “ordering”—connects and assigns roles and positions to every of the interrelated strands, primarily based on guidelines, boundaries, binaries, and containment that implicate inclusion and exclusion. The fashionable laptop emerged from weaving, the quintessential “girls’s work,” in line with Sadie Plant; early looms used binary code primarily based on algebra. Ada Lovelace, the “first programmer,” made the loom the vanguard of proto-software improvement. With Charles Babbage and his Analytical Engine, they laid the inspiration for algorithms and laptop expertise that got here to remodel not solely manufacturing and consumption but in addition warfare. Within the Fifties, when IBM began mass-producing its 701 laptop, the escalating competitors between East and West, NATO, and the Warsaw Pact mobilized computing machines and pondering reminiscent of cybernetics—the examine of round causality and suggestions—as they have been perceived as alternatives to catapult one’s bloc to the forefront of modernity. Within the Soviet Union, previously banned and persecuted scientific fields reminiscent of cybernetics returned with the dying of Stalin, the “Father of Nations,” because the propagandists named him, and impressed artists and designers to experiment with mathematical formulae.
Anna Andreeva, a outstanding and much-lauded designer, occupied an ambiguous place as a non-party member and accomplice of scientist Boris Andreev, Gulag prisoner and later developer of the primary Soviet laptop. Heading the Krasnaia Roza [Red Rose] silk manufacturing facility in Moscow, named in honor of Rosa Luxemburg, Andreeva “programmed” patterns for machine-produced materials. Worn by outstanding figures reminiscent of Raisa Gorbacheva and the lots alike, they have been the materials of society. These hand-drawn geometric and mathematically constructed patterns might solely exist within the realm of utilized arts, a medium through which avant-garde concepts “survived.” Solely thus might they evade being purged as “pure propaganda of abstraction.” Complicating a binary between Socialist Realism and Abstraction, these patterns employed aesthetics formally decried as “Western” and “bourgeois” to speak socialist visions. Therefore, to defend her Electrification Collection (ca. Sixties–1974) in entrance of the committee, Andreeva appropriated Lenin’s developmental slogan: “Communism is synonymous with industrialization and electrification of the entire nation.” Whereas cosmism as a utopia and philosophical motion solely continued to exist on the margins of collective creativeness, it was the technological successes of area journey that led the state within the Sixties to request patterns on the topic from Andreeva. In flip, she needed to incessantly argue that her designs weren’t about cosmologies reminiscent of moons, stars, and meteoroids—heterodox topics related to superstition, irrationalism, and mysticism. Right here materials for kids, seemingly trivial and therefore much less regulated by ideological restrictions, allowed Andreeva to additional develop cybernetic pondering and algorithmic design into analog compositional programs. Fundamental geometric shapes—little cubes [kubiki]—impressed by El Lissitzky’s Story of Two Squares (1922) amounted to a “program” that would “course of” totally different motifs, indicators, and letters. In non-aligned Sweden within the late Seventies, Charlotte Johannesson, a educated weaver and self-taught artist, traded her textile paintings I’m No Angel for an Apple II Plus laptop. Johannesson, lively within the punk and countercultural scenes, was deeply influenced by the work of Swedish-Norwegian artist Hannah Ryggen, who enhanced weaving with wool, linen, and holes as an unruly medium for social satire, non-public myths, and folks artwork. Within the Nineteen Eighties, alongside her involvement within the impartial artwork and analysis platform Digital Theater (Digitalteatern), which she co-founded together with her accomplice Sture, she produced an array of printed pictures.
These “woven digital graphics,” as she calls them, have been coded to the very same pixel dimensions of her analog loom and depicted artists and politicians like Boy George or Ronald Reagan, world maps, and abstracted and satirized political imagery in what is perhaps learn as hypothesis on a totally networked, cybernetic future. One through which binaries reminiscent of gender identities, the home and public, non-public and political, and analog and digital are razed. In 1991, after the autumn of the Berlin wall, the Cyberfeminist Manifesto, written by a gaggle of artists named VNS Matrix, demanded a brand new artwork for the twenty-first century. Because the “terminators of the ethical codes, saboteurs of huge daddy mainframe,” they claimed the clitoris as a direct line to the matrix. To deprave the discourse of the brand new establishment world (dis)order, they imagined instruments for conviviality in our on-line world: chatrooms, message boards, billboards, or an interactive laptop recreation for a dynamic area conceived by holes within the so-called social cloth. Against modernist fallacies and their colonial dimensions, artist and musician Melika Ngombe Kolongouses Geomancy (“magic of earth”) as a prehistoric re-patterning of dwelling matter, as a speculative follow, paranormal storytelling system—a system of divination. In a geomantic community, it’s believed that ley traces, as topographic constructs and hidden patterns embedded in a panorama, carry high-vibrational energetic info across the planet, a type of quantum expertise of crossroads “between worlds.”
In historical Congolese cosmologies, geomantic applied sciences are akin to the key ideas of minerals. At present, a world extractivist equipment instructions unidirectional materials flows from South to North. Right here, “Fashionable” expertise extracts and captures these electro gravitational waves; they open portals by means of their intense electromagnetic fields and magnetic conduct as high-frequency, high-power digital connectors.” Lorenza Longhi appropriates and subverts by way of re-making and re-printing client objects reminiscent of furnishings and materials from the design detritus of late modernism. A Camelia flower handmade by the artist utilizing cloth mimics the right symmetry, the “traditional and constant ordering of the petals” that has turn into a timeless and frequently reinvented kind for the style home Chanel. With its pistil changed by a micro digital camera and speaking with a display screen, right here conspicuous consumption takes place beneath “surveillance capitalism,” triggering a psychosocial kind of surveillance primarily based on the necessity for self-reflection and portrayal. A novella by Jordan Martin/Hell consists of vignettes and speculative dialogues from polycentric and non-essentialist views on energy, hierarchies, hate, and love. The subconsciouses of fictional personas mutate and alter into their precise opponents, generally till their effacement. The threads of tales are visually mirrored in sculptures and wall works that suggest parapsychological landscapes that problem any differentiation between the concrete and the summary. Right here, diversified items of material, bows constructed from ribbon, strings of pearls and pigtail braids help or spell out names, hallucinatory figures, or quotes reminiscent of Reaganism’s “9 most terrifying phrases”: “I’m from the federal government & I’m right here to assist.” Sooner or later looms, the non-division of hand and head, the continuing mutation of natural and synthetic, previous and future, technological and cyborgian, kind “the thinking- feeling-doing-matter of the cosmos.”
at Emanuel Layr, Vienna
till October 22, 2022