Americas

Margo Wolowiec
Not This Time

Wolowiec’s textile work Not This Time (2015) translates pixelated images into sensuous fabric and ink based forms that are at once beautiful in their abstraction and anxiety-ridden in their visualization of a malfunctioning digital world. In order to produce this work, Wolowiec selects a grouping of digital images from web-based sources that have a glitch, an aberration in which a short-lived technical fault results in distortions in an image’s display. Through a dye sublimination ink process, the images are printed onto strands of thread pixel by pixel, which the artist then weaves into a final work. The resulting textile piece resembles a stunningly diffuse landscape of amorphous greyscale forms that alternately reference blurry screens and darkly portentous night skies. By translating these visual blips and aberrations into permanent forms, Wolowiec challenges our assumptions that digital phenomenon can only exist in the ephemeral, and her modern tapestries feel both familiar and startlingly innovative. Towards the bottom of the work, Wolowiec marks the fabric with a brown cross, gesturing towards the practice of selecting photographs on a contact sheet with an x. This mark not only becomes a sign of the maker’s hand – it is also a graphically symbolic representation of the increasingly narrow gap between ancient handcrafts such as weaving, traditional imaging making practices such as photography, and contemporary digital/new media techniques.

Margo Wolowiec is a post-emerging artist who works predominantly with textile. Her abstracted fiber wall hangings reference patterns found in Navajo rugs and Bauhaus weavings; often rendered in black, white, and greyscale, they could be interpreted as Modernist tapestries. Wolowiece’s handwork, however, is anything but retrograde and her forms are largely sourced from visualizations of glitches and aberrations found on Internet-based social networking platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Tumblr. In translating pixelated images into fiber art through painstaking technique of hand dye and weaving, Wolowiec offers a wholly original response to producing art in the digital age by narrowing the gap between traditional practices of handcraft and contemporary modes of image making offered through new media technologies. She has exhibited domestically and internationally at venues such as Jessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco; Lisa Cooley, New York; and di Rosa, Napa. Wolowiec received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her MFA from California College of the Arts.