My artwork explores the theoretical and historical intersections between craft practices and technology. Starting with the foundation of modern computing within the art of weaving, I make historical connections between the feminine and digital media. I hypothesize that there has been a resurgence of craft practices over the past decade that is in direct correlation with the public dissemination of the Internet that began in the 1990s. This argument is developed with examples in both popular culture and DIY (do-it-yourself) communities and through contemporary art practices that respond to digital media through craft. By using quotidian objects and performative actions as primary starting points, connections are articulated through my own work, which incorporates sculpture, performance and video.
Much of my work involves yarn or needlecraft, which are coded structures that I reference to computer programming languages. Crocheting is an incremental system, a way of marking time. Janet Koplos, writing about Oliver Herring, who works in both knitting and stop motion video, says, “A knitted line is, in effect, endless, since a new filament can be imperceptibly spliced in; at the same time, it can be subdivided into innumerable repetitive actions. These individual stitches in time can be compared with the photographic frames that are the integers of films; both stitches and frames remain distinguishable, even as they build into a larger whole.” As stitches build into larger wholes, so does computer code. Code is written linearly, each line building upon the next. Code can repeat, endlessly loop, or be created in sections and then combined.
Like software, crocheting has an underlying subtext. It is built upon a coded language; loops follow loops, building upon themselves like words follow words. In my metaphorical translation of computer programming into crocheting, the terminology of crocheting patterns is the code behind the software of computers. My artwork makes these ideas visible. It creates physical objects and actions out of the inherently ephemeral.
- Jeanne Jo