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Mary March

Art Explosion Studios
2425 17th St, SF, CA
Studio number: 2A
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Artist Statement:

I walk a tightrope between defined states in all of my work. My work exists in spaces between "art" and "craft", "high tech" and "low tech", so-called "womens work" and "mens work". Sometimes the expression of that liminality is in the concept, sometimes the materials. In the case of my interactive pieces, the participant enters liminal space during their interaction. They hover between definitions, making choices within a system which express something of their identity and experiences. The results can be something like data visualizations. Though I work in many mediums, fiber is increasingly dominant in my work. Individual fibers become lines for drawing and ways to create connections between objects or ideas, to literally tie things together. Different fiber techniques express concepts by their nature and history, like the way stitching expresses a technique for holding both fabric and the damaged body together, or how embroidery was used for centuries to record histories both national and personal. Among the fiber techniques, weaving is the most compelling to me. It is one of the earliest marks of civilization and at the same time the basis for computing (Jacquard looms were arguably the first computers). This makes weaving an ideal medium for exploring the intersection of high tech and craft. Process has always been important to me and I usually make it notable in the work if not visible in real time. The labor of the handmade, the texture and layers, the improvisations and fumbles are all important expressions of humanity to me, especially in the face of the digital world. Since coming to the Bay Area my work increasingly explores the intersection and exchange between the digital and the human, how binary data and computer interaction mediate and re-frame human experience and self image. The root of my work is exploring both the individual person and humanity through identity, relationships, diversity, and commonality. How do we define ourselves and each other? How to we frame our experiences? How much of our humanity can come through in a data format? Through our symbolic images? Our words? Our definitions? Our bodies? These are the questions I delve into again and again.