Making/Breaking the Binary: Women, Art, & Technology 1968-1985

Kelsey Halliday Johnson



Beryl Korot, Text and Commentary, 1976-77, Collection of the Museum of Modern Art, Installation view at Museum Abteiberg, photo by Achim Kukulies.


Suzanne Ciani in performance, 2016, Red Bull Music Academy. Photo by Maria Jose Govea.


The Buchla instrument, invented by Don Buchla. Photo by Jamie Alvarez.


Sonia Landy Sheridan, Sonia through Her Bra, c 1970s, 3M VQC on paper, Collection of the Hood Museum of Art.


Jennifer Bartlett, Fixed/Variable (Summer '72), 1972, enamel over silkscreen grid on baked enamel steel plates. Photo by Tom Powel, courtesy of Locks Gallery.


Suzanne Ciani in performance, International House, 2017. Photo by Jamie Alvarez.


Suzanne Ciani, International House, 2017. Photo by Jamie Alvarez.


Suzanne Ciani in performance, International House, 2017. Photo by Jamie Alvarez.

Curator Kelsey Halliday Johnson will present the exhibition Making/Breaking the Binary: Women, Art, & Technology 1968-1985, surveying a generation of pioneering female artists and relating their work to the technology innovators who helped shape the information age. The exhibition will include visual artists such as Jennifer Bartlett and Lynda Benglis, and video and media art pioneers Sonia Landy Sheridan, Joan Jonas, Lynda Benglis, Shigeko Kubota, and Dara Birnbaum. To accompany the exhibition, Johnson will create a reading library that will place these artists into direct dialogue with a broader history of women in technology, with the aim to "further the scholarship of technology and art surveys in which women are under-represented or not contextualized in the field of their peers," Johnson says. Featured technologists include Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer; Katherine Johnson, NASA's "human computer;" Mary Allen Wilkes, inventor of the operating system; and Rebecca Allen, the first Emmy Award-winning computer animation artist; among others.

Additional unrestricted funds are added to each grant for general operating support.