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Soft Data and Common Wares Artists-in-Residence

Submitted on March 20, 2024 - 11:28am

Soft Data and Common Wares is an interdisciplinary collaboration between the DXARTS Softlab (e-textiles and wearable technology lab run by Afroditi Psarra in DXARTS) and Studio Tilt (interaction design research studio run by Audrey Desjardins in Design), that manifests in the form of a print and web publication probing the connections of working with data-driven approaches and crafting physical artifacts, by examining the intimate spaces of the home and the body. Both labs are interested in the process of collecting, archiving, and critically transcoding data from the intimate spaces of the home and the body, and the search for meaningful interpretations. They use material experimentations and prototyping as techniques to shape social identities and create intellectual and cultural commons.

The project includes two artistic residencies that will take place in Spring 2024 between the two labs that will generate a fruitful dialogue, culminating in the collaboration of students, faculty and residents. The two incoming visiting artists that will spend one month each at the DXARTS Softlab and Studio Tilt at the School of Art + Art History + Design are Xiaowei R. Wang - a California-based artist, writer, organizer and coder, and Mark A. Hernandez Motaghy - a Boston-based artist and cultural worker, as well as the co-founding director of Fortunately Magazine. The two artists were selected through an open call which received an astounding 80 proposals from artists around the globe. The goal is to engage the two visiting artists in conversations with DXARTS and Design students that will feed into a new series of zines that will be published in late 2024.

The residencies will center on topics such as: the non-neutrality of data, algorithmic bias, digital labor, the invisible infrastructures of data collection, gender and the body, networks, methods, sonic technologies, interpretative nature of data, and earth + space + body. The residencies will add to the growing collection of zines on the topic of Soft Data and Common Wares

Xiaowei R. Wang will work on the project Witch Fever during mid-April to mid-May. Witch Fever is a research based art project at the intersection of climate crisis, colonialism and violent beauty. The project elegantly combines printed textile pieces, speculative botany, textile as archive, colonial histories, and practices of repair. 

Mark A. Hernandez Motaghy will focus on the project Serv/ir from mid-May to mid-June. Serv/ir is a transmedia exploration consisting of video, sculpture, and poetry that creates a diasporic server between Montebello, California, and Colima, Mexico. This work opens questions about family heirlooms, oral histories, diaspora politics, hardware, and craft. 

This residency program is supported by a Kreielsheimer/Jones Grant from the Arts Division of the College of Arts & Sciences.

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