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Beatrice Giles

Reading the Core. Installation, projections, photography. Slide projector on plinth. (Slide projector provided). Forty hand stitched slides.

Many early computers ran on what was known as magnetic core memory. This was a tightly woven sheet of chain-link grid with multiple fine wires threading through. As magnetic core memory became a dominant form of RAM in the late fifties and early sixties, Scandinavian and out of work Lancashire textile workers were enlisted to hand weave these chain mail memories. During the first Apollo missions the job of weaving core memory was in the hands of women. NASA hired skilled women from the local textile industry, the job required such precision. The project title Reading the Core comes from the definition of resetting the core memory machines, to read the core is to reset memory and therefore create a new one. Why is it not collectively known that the success of the moon landings was in the hands of textile workers? There are 40 slides, all hand sewn, variations of cross pattern over the images to resemble the magnetic core memory. When the light is shone through, depending on the slide less or more of the image is visible. On the slides are images of the Apollo 11 moon landings, and space related imagery. The purpose of sewing over the slides is to both simultaneously conceal and show parts of the events, creating a new representation and shedding light on the women that wove the memory, yet we don’t remember them as part of the space mission.

Artist Bio

I'm a Bristol based artist, 2022 UWE Photography Graduate. My work centres on photography, craft based methods and archival images, with a particular interest in the relationship of the physical act of stitching and its transformative methods when used on images. Tracing over significant parts of an image, creating physical pieces of work that can be held as an object and viewed from both sides.

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