Media Theory for the 21st Century

January 13, 2008

Week 2 Presentation – Alicia Felberbaum’s “Holes, Linings, Threads”

Filed under: Discussion,New media art — jjpulizzi @ 11:55 pm

Hi All,

On Tuesday (1/15), I’ll be discussing Alicia Felberbaum’s Internet-based piece “Holes, Linings, Threads” during our seminar. You can read Felberbaum’s summary of the piece at her website (select “Projects” from the upper right-hand list, and then click on the first image).

Felberbaum pieces together text, photography, and audio accounts of the invention of the Jacquard Loom, which used what we would now call punch cards to automate the operation of the loom. This technology was an important precursor of twentieth century computer programming. You might also think about the role that women played as operators of the loom and then again later in the earlier development of the modern digital computer.

I have attached Sadie Plant’s essay “Weaving Women and Cybernetics,” which Felberbaum says inspired her project. If you have trouble accessing the PDF, you can also find a copy online through Sage Publications online.

Also, Felberbaum’s work makes heavy use of Shockwave and Flash, so you will need both plug-ins to view the piece. If you happen to use an Intel Mac (like myself), you will quickly realize that Adobe has not issued a native version of the Shockwave plug-in. To get around this, you’ll need to install the Power-PC plug-in, and then select the “Open Using Rosetta” option on your web browser’s information panel in the Finder (select the application in the Applications directory, hit command-i, and then check the box).

See you all Tuesday,



  1. Thanks, James. Some images that your post brings to mind: [1] [2] [3]

    Comment by rraley — January 14, 2008 @ 4:01 am | Reply

  2. If anyone is more interested in Ada Lovelace, and/or ways she has been reimagined and reshaped to become a digital matriarch, check out “Conceiving Ada.” It is a film by Lynn Hershman (some of whose work is on the new media reader cd) and stars Tilda Swinton. Also, it can be easily located via netflix, enjoy.

    Comment by JCohn — January 16, 2008 @ 4:03 pm | Reply

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