Beyond Algorithms – Creativity and the Digital Woman
What is creativity? What is pattern? What is cutting?
This project demonstrates my research into machine learning, creativity, and my personal relationship as a pattern cutting artist with technology during my MA at Huddersfield University.
The original designs were generated through my collaboration with DeepArt, an opensource artificial system which uses a state of the art neural network with visual recognition capabilities and a custom machine learning algorithm to combine content and style in new artistic works. While using cutting edge technology as an intrinsic part of the creative process, I have reversed the usual role of human as creator and machine as tool.
In the final exhibition pieces, four vintage sketches, with iconically fashionable silhouettes, from magazines and sewing pattern archives, represent four ground-breaking women scientists of different eras. The sketches were combined iteratively with carefully chosen images by DeepArt, creating unique illustrations. These two-dimensional designs, generated digitally by an algorithm with no concept of physical body, fabric or fashion, were then realised into wearable sculptures by creative pattern cutting using a wide variety of manual pattern cutting and sewing techniques, demonstrating the physical transition of an idea from 2D to 3D.
Referencing technofeminist theories of Donna Haraway and Judy Wajcman, I am interested in how female physicality and traditional perceptions of body affects both identity and interaction with the digital and technological worlds, exploring the possibilities of breaking rules, boundaries and restrictions, to move beyond algorithms in work and life.