The Material Turn exhibition presents international and intergenerational conversations around contemporary textile practices in the digital information age. In particular, the materiality of digital technologies is interpreted and translated by artists who mine, question and transform diverse data sources through expanded textile approaches.
The “material turn” broadly references a global philosophical impetus to address the increasing digitization of culture and society, and the political implications of this trend, including a counter response of placing emphasis on the physicality of matter. Creative material responses to questions of data control, surveillance technology, translations, algorithmic interpretations, social data mining and materializing invisible systems are some of the core interests of the exhibitors.
One section of the exhibition includes the Archive of the (Un)loved, a ‘touch gallery’, or material archive that speaks to textile processes and gathering data/information as part of the creative development. What happens with this material information afterwards is reflective of the mass of unused, collected data floating in the interstices of the Internet. What new information might we glean from sharing, re-contextualizing and forming new relationships with these materials?
Image: Robin Kang, Phantasmic Data Dawn (2015). Hand Jacquard woven cotton, synthetic yarns, hand dyed wool, plastic, metal rod. Image courtesy of the artist.