The goal of the exhibition Women, Art and Technology: Ornament and Adornment is to challenge the notion that the realm of technology is male dominated; women in current times are using these tools to create art that speaks to their own experiences, views, and values. Seven women artists who create ornament through digital processes will participate in this show and much of their work is created through digital fabrication techniques, including 3D printing, laser engraving, digital printing, or designing work in CAD (computer-aided design).
Technology has become synonymous with power because it allows us to innovate in the world of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). However, in contrast, the artists in this exhibition use technology to create objects of beauty and contemplation. The key words in the title, ornament and adornment refer to how technology can be redefined through a feminine lens. Ornament refers to decorative elements that are added to the surface of an object; whereas adornment refers to decoration of the body, through clothing or jewelry. By using digital tools, the artists are able to create complex objects that challenge stereotypes of “women’s work”.
Mary Johnson and Liz Trosper create abstract images by cropping, collaging and modifying their images, which are then printed or projected. These images are collaged to the point of ambiguity and unrecognition, forcing the viewer make judgements purely on texture and sensation, without knowledge of the actual object.
Naomi Peterson uses 3D printing, mixed media and clay to speak about human and object relationships. The connection and position of her objects are a metaphor for her own personal relationships to her family and others.
Lara Asam and Eliza Au use modular shapes to explore Islamic patterns in architecture. The repetition of these modules creates immersive spaces which are complex and layered which pose questions about private and public space.
Jihye Han and Julie Libersat identify patterns, colors and images in landscapes and maps to explore notions of place and home. Their work brings our attention to pre-existing patterns in the built environment by mirroring, modifying and contrasting images of familiar cityscapes, drawing awareness to how space is socially and culturally produced.
By bringing together artists from different artistic fields, what is revealed is a cross-section of how and why technology is used in each individual’s art practice. This exhibition highlights how digital fabrication can be used to create objects that reflect the feminine experience.