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Making House

My computational practice is feminist practice. My work points to the long history of computational fabrication's birth from craft traditions such as weaving, ceramics, and embroidery. As a computational artist, I recognize myself as part of a community of knowledge that has been going on for centuries. As a feminist practice, my goal is to complicate the histories of computation, to examine, to deconstruct, and find avenues to reconstruct computation as a practice for everyone who wants access.

As long as advertising has existed, products and appliances have been advertised to women as essential tools in running their households and creating “home.” In ads from the 60s and 70s, seductive women in evening gowns recline in new age kitchens with ovens promised to remake their lives, to liberate, to seduce, to help the housewife fulfill the multiple expectations of her family.  I began to wonder, what would have happened, what might be different now, if advertisers had decided that computers were the essential appliances of the successful homemaker? What would women do with the computers? How would their home making change? Would the home have additional (maybe even exponentially more) potentialities for resonance?

Making House is a generative code created installation designed to explore these questions. All of the imagery including the virtual reality world was created by writing custom software in the Processing computer programming language. Images were then printed as custom fabric, pillow cushions, t-shirts, and metal wall hangings.

This work has had multiple iterations and it has been exhibited in multiple forms. The focus is always to use algorithms to bring new imagery into the world in honor of the women who wanted different more powerful appliances.

Selected stills from the generative software

Selected imagery from the installation

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