Marianne Fairbanks will outline the three distinct yet intersecting threads of her practice, including her solo work, research into emerging textile technology and a community-based project. Her solo work investigates the connections between pliable textiles and Platonic solids; together, these mathematic logic systems serve as the springboard for bold, material-based work realized as weavings, sculptures, prints and drawings. Beyond using the conceptual and formal potential of textiles, Fairbanks works collaboratively to develop new textile technologies including a fabric capable of harvesting solar power.
Finally, there is Fairbanks’ social practice, most recently realized in a project called “Weaving Lab: Plain Cloth Productions,” which explored whether access to looms as a social destination might create community and serve as a contemporary analog to the cottage and “fireside industries” of old. She will discuss how each thread informs and strengthens the others in the symbiotic braid of her multidisciplinary practice.
About the speaker
Fairbanks is an assistant professor in the Design Studies Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her BFA from the University of Michigan. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally in venues including the Museum of Art and Design, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Smart Museum of Art, Chicago; and Museum London, Ontario. Her current work is focused on the intersections of social practice, weaving, mathematics and technology.
Fairbanks’ lecture is co-sponsored by the Department of Architecture, Department of Art and Visual Culture, College of Design and interdisciplinary design program.