The aim of this exhibition is to visualize the philosophical space between technology, meaning and experience. I developed this body of work while maintaining a digital textile printer. As I worked with the machine, I began to discover the duality of technology: both as a task-oriented instrument, and an intimate process-based experience. This idea is described by philosopher Martin Heidegger.
“Since man drives technology forward, he takes part in ordering as a way of revealing. But the unconcealment itself, within which ordering unfolds, is never a human handiwork, any more than is the realm through which man is already passing every time he as a subject relates to an object.”
During the daily ritual of cleaning the machine, I placed a small piece of microfiber cloth in the machine for the printer head to set in order to clear the nozzles of excess dye. As the cleaning swatch absorbed the wet dye, it metamorphosed into a dreamy sea of color. The swatch began to feel like an artifact, diagnosis, or mood ring, providing a portal into the deep workings of the machine. This metaphor allowed me to task my own sense of humanity onto the machine, meditating on the mundanity of daily routines and work. I contemplated the labor of the swatch, and it’s disposable but necessitous role in the prosperity of the machine.
As a continuation of the recursive relationship between me, the swatch, and the machine, I input images of the swatch to be printed by the printer that it once cleaned. Visualizing the swatch as a large-scale image, now as a product of the machine’s labor, restructured the allegorical tiers of power within this technological system that I created. The flow of control shifted through the experience, and rearranged the reality of my role in the work; as a machine, as a swatch.