My little weaving was a little pathetic. My little coding wasn’t very impressive either. But the ideas being expressed and the connections between these acts and the potential for better understanding spaces for women’s empowerment made my sad little productions seem much grander than they really were.
Much like the 0s and 1s of binary code, each move of the weft along the warp was determined by one of two possible outcomes; each action affected the next, and each “line” eventually shaped the entirety of the weaving.
Near the end of the workshop, Rodriguez Sawaya discussed the way both technologies have been used as tools for empowering women. She referred to Ada Lovelace, the 19th-century mathematician who found a way to engineer a weaving machine. As Isabella Scott points out, Lovelace is often considered “the mother of computer programming,” after having designed what was essentially a proto-computer language.1
After the workshop, I got in touch with Rodriguez Sawaya, to ask if she’d be willing to comment to a greater degree on the observations she’d shared during the class, elaborating on the relationship between weaving and coding, how they direct our attention to the people behind these tasks, and how they can be used as tools for empowering women. Revisit my blog at the end of the week to check out what she said!
- Scott, Isabella. “A Brief History of Cyberfeminism.” Artsy.net, Oct. 13 2016, https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-how-the-cyberfeminist-worked-to-liberate-women-through-the-internet. ↩