Standard Candle


Sarah Rosalena 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.

Artist Bio

Standard Candle rethinks astronomical observatory instrumentation through feminist and decolonial perspectives by using digital weaving and indigenous beading to reinterpret telescopic images in textile form. Cosmology is deeply entwined in imperial aspects of science and technology through the act of observation. Mt. Wilson Observatory in southern California is ground zero for measuring our universe and proving that our universe is expanding, providing a conceptual vantage point where men of science produced precise instruments for observation, claiming political and cultural power over knowledge and science. Their female co-workers—often referred to as “computers”—made their research possible by classifying and cataloging star light as data, but they remain largely uncredited and unknown. Standard Candle weaves data collected by these unrecognized “computer” laborers as woven form through space and time, imaging historical observations of celestial places that are now obscured by light pollution. The resulting textiles and beadwork reveal a tactile connection to the pixels they signify, tracing their own production. Standard Candle is a research-based project that encompasses an exhibition of digital weaving and indigenous beading; a companion virtual exhibition; and a symposium.


Discipline
Craft, Digital Media
Award Year
2022
Status

In Progress


Creative Capital Carnival 2022

A brown skinned woman with long dark brown hair, wearing silver earrings and a black jacket, sits in front of a gray background.

Sarah Rosalena

Los Angeles, CA

Sarah Rosalena (Huichol) is an interdisciplinary artist and researcher based in Los Angeles. 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. They collapse binaries and borders, creating new epistemologies between Earth and Space. She is Assistant Professor of Art at the University of California, Santa Barbara in Computational Craft and Haptic Media. Her research focuses on Indigenous scholarship and mentorship in STEAM. She was recently awarded the LACMA Art + Tech Lab Grant; the Steve Wilson Award from Leonardo, the International Society for Art, Sciences, and Technology; and the Craft Futures Grant from the Center for Craft. She recently had a solo show at Blum & Poe and her work in the permanent collection at LACMA.