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Sarah Rosalena (Wixárika) is a Los Angeles-based interdisciplinary artist working between traditional handicraft traditions and emerging technology. Throughout her career, Rosalena has built a reputation for breaking boundaries through her hybrid forms rooted in indigenous cosmologies, re-interpreted through digital tools and her hand. Her experimental practice reconsiders craft in the context of art history and technology and suggests new possibilities as we attempt to define ourselves to innovation and computation. Born from multi-generations of women weavers, she works from her digital Jacquard loom to her mother’s bead loom, mixing hand-dyed natural colors, including cochineal and indigo, with a synthetic, pixelated palette to produce her unbordered textiles. Programming her 3D ceramic printer to imitate indigenous coil pot techniques, she fabricates "anti-vessels" that mimic the patterns of weaving and basketry. Working with image software, she creates beadwork–pixel per bead–whose surface mimics the computer screen.

 

She combines cutting-edge technologies to blur binaries between high and low tech, human and nonhuman, ancient and future, tradition and progress beyond power structures rooted in colonialism. Her recent mid-career survey, In All Directions,  examined the geopolitical effects of climate change, artificial intelligence, and extractive industries to imagine futures outside these logics, while signalling the expansiveness of the land and sky against resolutions of mapping and control—by reorienting us to the infinite. 

She is Assistant Professor of Art at UC Santa Barbara in Computational Craft and Haptic Media. She was recently given the Creative Capital Award, the LACMA Art + Tech Lab Grant, the Artadia Award, the Steve Wilson Award from Leonardo, the International Society for Art, Sciences, and Technology, and the Carolyn Glasoe Bailey Art Prize. She has had solo exhibitions with LACMA, the Columbus Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara, Clockshop, and Blum & Poe Gallery. Her work is in the permanent collection at LACMA, the Columbus Museum of Art, and the Raclin Murphy Museum of Art.

 

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