Little Old Lady memory

Collaborators: Lindy Wilkins, Hillary Predko: LittleDada.ca, Alanna Predko: installation and fabrication. Tom Hobson: Textiles. Matt Nish-Lapidus: Audio. Special thanks to: Daemon Retren, Dolly Deals, Rhys Mendes, Shaughn Martel, Dani Jones, Meena Dandelion.
For EDIT Festival 2017
Role: Designer, artist, electronics and Luminaudio

This installation explores untold stories of women in the space industry, both historical and contemporary, through the construction of an interactive environment that references early computational technologies. Little Old Lady Memory, or rope core memory encoded the programs that enabled the Apollo missions, woven by women in factories. We are drawing upon the delegation of craft as ‘women’s work’, and revealing the ways these crafts have supporting advanced scientific invention. This installation also explores the relationship between jacquard looms and computation, and the ways in which the textile industry laid groundwork for early programming languages.

The work is intended as a tool for learning the rich history of innovation that brought humanity off of our planet. Audio can be explored through an interactive light tapestry, using Luminaudio technology. Custom devices are used to decode the audio signals, so listeners can interact with to reveal the unsung stories of female computer programmers.. It is through exploration that we become curious and we hope to inspire all kinds of people to imagine the possibilities beyond our atmosphere.

We created custom punch cards, based on the format of Fortran cards. Over 4000 cards were punched and sewn together, commemorating the repetitive labour that went into these early forays into the stars.

Litle Old Lady Memory, EDIT 2017 from Lindy on Vimeo.

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