The Computer Pays its Debt

The Computer Pays its Debt
Women, Textiles, and Technology, 1965-1985

Curated by Kayleigh Perkov
Center for Craft, Asheville, NC
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The Computer Pays its Debt: Women, Textiles, and Technology, 1965-1985 illuminates the direct connection between computing technology and weaving, and is now on view at the Center for Craft following a three-month closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Computer Pays its Debt at Center for Craft. Photo courtesy Black Box Photography

Weaving lies at the heart of the Information Age. Many cite the Jacquard Loom as inspiration for the first computers. Yet this is where most histories stop, a move that positions craft’s influence on technology as a curiosity. Works by ten artists, including Janice Lourie, Sonia Sheridan, Sonya Rapoport, Lia Cook, and Katherine Westphal, highlight the shared concerns and approaches that unite textiles and technology.

The Computer Pays Its Debt tells the missing stories of women’s creative contributions to early computing while scrutinizing how corporations leveraged metaphors of craftwork and domesticity for commercial gain.

Read more about the exhibition and see the artists’ work…


Please find below documentation of a talk presented by the Center for Craft on August 14th, 2020.

Ask the Curator features 2020 Center for Craft Curatorial Fellow and The Computer Pays Its Debt curator, Kayleigh Perkov, who will lead a conversation with Elissa Auther, Chief Curator at the Museum of Arts and Design, New York; Bobbye Tigerman, Curator of Decorative Arts and Design at LACMA; and Lisa Nakamura, Director of the Digital Studies Institute at the University of Michigan.