From a distance, Mika Tajima’s Negative Entropy series appears to be a collection of colorful, abstract paintings. But upon closer inspection, they are revealed to be finely woven textiles. What is even more fascinating is the subject of each piece. Each one of Tajima’s pieces is not merely an abstract work of art but an acoustic portrait, a visual image of the sounds of traditional wool weaving technology.
To create this series, Tajima visited previously booming industrial centers in Southeastern Pennsylvania and recorded the sounds of old factories, specifically of industrial textile Jacquard looms and server colocation centers –both of which represent endangered technology. The locations she visited include Langhorne Carpet Mill, Caledonian Dye Works, Material Technology & Logistics, and Philadelphia Technology Park.
A woven work from Mika Tajima’s Negative
Entropy series depicting the sound of
Langhorne Carpet Mill (Photo credit)
Tajima’s Negative Entropy series subsequently showcases artwork produced through the same process that they depict. After turning the sounds into digital images, Tajima translated the images into woven Jacquard patterns. A Jacquard weave is produced using a special loom that creates complex designs. The process for making these fabrics is time-consuming and labor-intensive and requires extraordinary skill. Langhorne Carpet Company has been around for over 80 years and specializes in Jacquard-Wilton carpet weaving. To learn more about Langhorne Carpet, click here.
In a New York Times review of Negative Entropy, Roberta Smith writes, “Not unlike the music rolls for a player piano, these [recorded sounds] become templates for softly optical Jacquard patterns that suggest waves of both sounds and lights and also have a quaint, modern, wall-hanging numbness…There is nothing very groundbreaking here, but contributions are made to the continuing discussion about beauty and the diverse ways it can be achieved and the hands-off legacy of Jackson Pollock. Object making has never been Ms. Tajima’s thing, but these imply a promising trajectory.” Read the full New York Times article.
|Installation view at Eleven Rivington, NY, 2014
Mika Tajima is a New York City artist born in Los Angeles. She received her B.A. from Bryn Mawr College and her M.F.A. from Columbia University. She exhibits her artwork all over the country and around the world. Her past exhibitions have been at Centre Pompidou in Paris, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in California, The Aspen Art Museum in Colorado, The Seattle Art Museum in Washington, Bass Art Museum in Florida, X Initiative in New York, The Kitchen in New York, Swiss Institute for Contemporary Art in New York, The Mori Museum in Tokyo, South London Gallery in London, and many other notable locations. Her Negative Entropy series was first displayed at Eleven Rivington in New York. Visit Mika Tajima’s website here for more information on her work and exhibitions.