Core Memory is presented as two exhibitions in visual dialog, exploring how information is remembered and how the handmade labor of weaving is a foundation for understanding analog and digital logic. All of these artists deploy geometry and numerical systems of pattern in the process of creative expression.
Gathering the work of four artists, Core Memory: Encoded explores the emergent field of systems-based textiles and marks a contemporary shift in art towards computational process and fiber arts. Faig Ahmed, Robin Kang, Beryl Korot and Ahree Lee use handloom weaving as a compositional framework imbued with history and precision. In works that range from painterly tapestries to sculpture, and from video to embroidery—these artists reflect on the cultural impact of modern communications on craft, and emphasize the role of the human body in building images and symbols. For Ahmed, Kang, Korot and Lee, handcrafted textiles represent a critical technology and a fundamental writing system upon which machine logic is based. The interlaced surfaces of the works on view are encoded with patterns that connect women’s labor, engineering and the natural world. These pieces, held in tension with tradition, reimagine the grid as a space of insight.
The exhibition also includes examples of core memory panels manufactured by hand in the mid-20th century. The first digital computers, developed at MIT in the 1940s, used magnetic core memory to read, write and store processed information in a binary language of zeros and ones. The pathway of communication for these early electronic components relied upon handwoven metal wiring and tedious manual assembly.