A Thread of Execution presents the work of artists who work primarily with textiles and attempts to link the threads of weaving and fabric to the threads of digital code. The exhibition illustrates similarities in processes between two vastly different working systems that share several common attributes.
In computer science, A Thread of Execution is the smallest sequence of programmed instructions that can be managed independently by the operating system. The implementation of threads and processes differs between operating systems, but a thread refers to a single component of a system’s process. The layering of executing threads ultimately produce commands which make software possible.
When thinking about these sequences that build layer upon layer of digital instructions, a link emerges between lines of code and threads of a piece of fabric. Threads in both systems are laid in a sequence to build a structure. This structure becomes a larger organism in the form of a web or fabric form made up of hundreds of thousands if not millions of lines. These forms, for example, may render imagery in similar ways using a cross-section of grids like the warp and weft of the loom or the digital light pixel grid on a video monitor. The metaphors between the two systems are many and not always obvious, but the connections to how humans have been making things for millennia is quite striking. These connections shed light on the building blocks of mathematics and its influence across centuries on our ability to design complex structures.
A Thread of Execution also brings awareness not only to the connections between these two systems but their forgotten histories. From twenty thousand years ago when women were making and wearing the first clothing created from spun fibers. To the women mathematicians who pioneered the foundations for computer code.
Special thanks to Jessica Silverman Gallery, Steve Turner, and Stellar Projects for their support with this exhibition.