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If weaving is a form of soft computation why was it never considered alongside media theory in the late 20th century? This talk looks at the emergence of the fiber art movement in exhibitions in the 1960s and ’70s to consider how a calculated form of participation in a fine art space curbed understandings of textile design, limiting readings of artists’ objects. In this talk, Dr. Mills proposes a new spectrum of textility and examines how a media language of textiles not only informs artists’ practices today, but also moves them into an interdependent relationship with craft, domesticity and traditions of gendered labor. She argues that we are in the midst of a burgeoning second wave of textile art that demands new methods of contextualization. Artists investigated include:  Samantha Bittman, Christy Matson, Marianne Fairbanks, Sarah Rosalena, Beryl Korot, Lenore Tawney and Anni Albers.

Sarah Mills is an assistant professor of art history at San José State University. She specializes in modern design and contemporary art with a focus on textiles and fiber practices. Sarah’s research was most recently supported by fellowships at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. She writes for, the Journal of Modern Craft and Textiles: Cloth and Culture. In the fall, Dr. Mills will teach a textile history and theory course with the collection of the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles.




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