Ahree Lee: Pattern : Code

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Artist Statement:

    Pattern : Code reactivates the innate connections between weaving and computing, and examines the interrelationships between technology, craft, and women’s labor. In order to create a comparison of modes of technological production by women in factories and offices, archival footage is edited together from industrial weaving and computer operations overlaid with weaving and punch card patterns. Computing and weaving are inextricably connected. The word “technology” comes from the Greek “techne,” meaning “art” or “craft.” The first computers derived from the same technology that runs Jacquard-weaving looms. Weaving is binary, either a warp or a weft thread is on the surface, essentially a zero or one. However, weaving and computing differ in their gender associations and the value of labor. Women were instrumental in the development of computing, writing the first computer programs and filling the ranks of programming jobs in the early years. Currently, the technology industry is dominated by men earning significantly more than their female co-workers do. Textile production drove technological advances from prehistory through the industrial revolution. Yet, the history of textile production is also a history of how women and those without power were exploited for economic gain. Conceptually both computing and weaving are based on patterns. The discrepancy between the relative values of computing and weaving labor are also the result of a history of thought, behavioral, and societal patterns over time.



Ahree Lee – Pattern : Code from ACM SIGGRAPH on Vimeo.

Other Information:

    Computing, Gender, History, Textiles, Weaving, and Women’s Labor