Workshop: Materializing Data with Macrame

In celebration of Ada Lovelace day 2020, ETHOS will be hosting a workshop on

Macrame and Data Feminism with Vasiliki Tsaknaki, Assistant Professor in Digital Design, ITU

The history of computation is filled with contributions made by women and their ingenuity, crafts, and art. But so often the kinds of contributions that are feminized are also marginalized. The close relationship between computation and weaving, as seen for example in the jacquard loom, or with knots and tying has often been overlooked when recounting the innovation of computational artifice. More recently, work in “data feminism” has drawn attention to the ways that we feminize and marginalize particular ways of working with and visualizing data. Particular aesthetics of objective totalizing visions are privileged over partial and embodied ones.

 In her talk, Vasiliki will tell us about her own work collaborating on digital technologies with craft artists and working with soft and textile forms of programming and designing computation. 

The talk will be an inspirational point of departure and an introduction to some of the ways that knots, tying, and textile arts like macrame, have (might) contributed to computational aesthetics and thought. 

In the workshop, through exploring possible paths to visualizing gender data with macrame knots, we will reflect on how data is produced, designed and communicated. We will also be working hands on with macrame to explore how tying and knots might be a way of transmuting and interpreting data on gender representation at our own institutions. Attempting to materialize data in macrame, we will reflect on what happens when we put data into our hands to think and work with through string, beads, and tying knots.

Ada Lovelace Day (ALD) is an international celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). It aims to increase the profile of women in STEM and, in doing so, create new role models who will encourage more girls into STEM careers and support women already working in STEM.
This independently organised Ada Lovelace Day event is a part of a global celebration of women in STEM. To find out about other events around the world, and more about Ada Lovelace Day itself, please visit or follow @findingada on Twitter.

Co-head of Lab and Associate Professor Marisa Cohn has designed the conceptual workshop with Assistant Professor Vasiliki Tsaknaki and Lab Manager Marie Blønd