This work was created for the Mending the Museum project, in partnership with the Textile Museum of Canada, curated by Camila Salcedo and Karina Roman Justo
Coming across a fragment from the past, many things come to mind. What were the materials involved in creating this object? What histories are embedded in this piece? Thinking about lineages, I wondered what AI (artificial intelligence) might ‘think’ about this piece of crewel embroidery from late 17th century England. Collaging AI imagery, 16-17th century English paintings, illustrations, and animations of the fragment, this short film is narrated by the voice of indigo reflecting on its life cycles. It speaks in a fragmented, poetic way, sharing its time as a seed, and alludes to its relationship with histories of exploitative labor and the Trans Atlantic slave trade. Structured like a ML (machine learning) program analyzing the fragment, the film is titled "Deep Blue," referencing both the 1995 IBM supercomputer called "the first AI" and the mystical blue color that indigo dye can produce when alchemized from its natural green state. The film concludes with a sound collage of "Blue in Green" by Miles Davis and recordings of birdsong while scanned, printed images of the fragment are progressively layered with drawings, exploring material and immaterial intersections between artificial, synthetic and natural.
*this artist statement was co-created with Chat GPT