Grant Recipient

Kayleigh Perkov

Curatorial Fellowship

2020

Current craft practice can be understood through a study of the Systems Era. Crafters gave form to abstract Systems Era concepts, allowing individuals to see themselves as agents in technological control. This hastened the trend of amateurism and broad adoption of industry-grade tools seen today. The Computer Pays Its Debt: Women, Textiles, and Technology, 1965-1985 examines craftswomen who used digital technology in their practice. Craft scholarship has reacted to computer-aided design with a mixture of celebration and anxiety. Much of this discourse fails to examine the historical precedence of digital tools in craft practice extending to the 1960s. A focus on feedback between person and machine will nuance scholarship, while an emphasis on women elucidates their under-appreciated role.

Kayleigh Perkov specializes in American art viewed through the lens of craft and the decorative arts. She received her Ph.D. in Visual Studies at the University of California, Irvine in 2018. Her dissertation, “Giving Form to Feedback: Craft and Technological Systems circa 1968-1974,” focuses on pioneering craftspeople who synthesized handmaking and technology. This work was supported by The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design, the Newkirk Center for Science and Society, and a predoctoral fellowship at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Current craft practice can be understood through a study of the Systems Era. Crafters gave form to abstract Systems Era concepts, allowing individuals to see themselves as agents in technological control. This hastened the trend of amateurism and broad adoption of industry-grade tools seen today. The Computer Pays Its Debt: Women, Textiles, and Technology, 1965-1985 examines craftswomen who used digital technology in their practice. Craft scholarship has reacted to computer-aided design with a mixture of celebration and anxiety. Much of this discourse fails to examine the historical precedence of digital tools in craft practice extending to the 1960s. A focus on feedback between person and machine will nuance scholarship, while an emphasis on women elucidates their under-appreciated role.


Location

Irvine, CA

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