Sarah Rosalena: Pointing Star
On view April 16 - July 30, 2023
The solo exhibition by Sarah Rosalena, Pointing Star, is a series of textiles and ceramics that refigure eight-pointed star motifs used across Turtle Island — here in Wixárika patterns — as a template for weaving images of stars. Works are viewed as hybrid forms, both created by hand and programmed software. For example, Spiral Arm uses a Hubble telescope image of the Milky Way, where the artist reinterpreted each pixel of the digital image into a set of complex weave structures, then handwoven on her loom.
The exhibition also incorporates eight-pointed star motifs in ceramic, directly taken from the textiles. As the title suggests, the star motif is not an axis or compass, but rather an entrance into the boundless, which contains all conceivable and inconceivable directions at once. The design points in all directions, representing the entirety of the Universe beyond measurement and borders. The woven works point to the infinite as glitch, generating new possibilities for geospatial edges and digital color (RGB).
An acclaimed feature in Rosalena’s work is her use of weaving and digital fabrication across mediums of clay and hand-dyed fiber, demonstrating the process of the creation and mastery of string figures possessed in mathematical thought toward infinity. Generated works are constantly becoming, providing new aesthetic modes of thinking, making, and being. Their patterns can trace long networks that enable technological formations and infrastructures based on the origin of the computer: the Jacquard loom. Each pattern has its own human subjectivity and outcome of a historically specific practice that has symbolic resonances within their materialization.
Sarah Rosalena (Wixárika, b. 1982, Los Angeles) is Assistant Professor of Art at UC Santa Barbara in Computational Craft and Haptic Media. Her work deconstructs technology with material interventions, creating new narratives for hybrid objects that function between human/nonhuman, ancient/future, handmade/autonomous to override power structures rooted in colonialism. She has received awards from Artadia, Creative Capital, the LACMA Art + Tech Lab Grant, Carolyn Glasoe Bailey Foundation, the Steve Wilson Award from Leonardo, the International Society for Art, Sciences, and Technology, and the Craft Futures Grant from Center for Craft. She has presented her work and research at places such as LACMA, Blum & Poe Gallery, Frieze LA, New Wight Gallery, and Ars Electronica. Her solo exhibition For Submersion, with Clockshop, is currently on view at Los Angeles Historic Park. Upcoming solo exhibitions include LACMA/Mount Wilson Observatory and Sarah Rosalena: In All Directions at the Columbus Museum of Art. Her work is in the permanent collection at LACMA.
Special Thanks: Carolyn Glasoe Bailey Foundation, Laurie & Marc Recordon, Sienna Miller, Artadia, Joel Ferree, Bobbye Tigermann, Kris Paulsen, Summer Camp
Image: Sarah Rosalena, Spiral Arm, 2023, hand-dyed cochineal wool yarn, black cotton yarn, 33 x 41 inches. Courtesy the Artist.