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February 23, 2024

Acquisition: Analia Saban, "Copper Tapestry (iSBX 275 Graphics Card, Intel, 1983)", 2000

Analia Saban, "Copper Tapestry"

Analia Saban
Copper Tapestry (iSBX 275 Graphics Card, Intel, 1983), 2020
woven copper wire and linen thread
overall: 339.09 x 181.6 x 0.16 cm (133 1/2 x 71 1/2 x 1/16 in.)
National Gallery of Art, Washington
Avalon Fund

Analia Saban (b. 1980) creates conceptual works that connect art and science. Her experiments with unconventional techniques and forms merge sculpture, textile, and technology to link our visual past and present. The National Gallery of Art has acquired Copper Tapestry (iSBX 275 Graphics Card, Intel, 1983) (2020), a work that fuses the histories of 19th-century weaving with 20th-century computer technology.

Saban’s Copper Tapestry (iSBX 275 Graphics Card, Intel, 1983) is part of a series of works that each render the image of a historically significant circuit board. For this tapestry, Saban chose the Video Graphics Controller Multimodule Board made by Intel in 1983. Capable of displaying eight-color data, iSBX 275 represented a breakthrough in high-resolution imagery. To make this work, Saban used a 72-inch computer-aided Jacquard loom, which operates on a system of binary codes. This method is one step removed from the punch card system used in the original Jacquard loom developed in 1801, which served as an early model for computers.

Saban has transformed the small computer graphics card into a monumental tapestry more than 11 feet high. The copper wire not only references the material’s use in 19th-century industry and 20th-century circuit boards, but also creates a lightweight look and overall luminosity, underscoring the clarifying role of visual art in technology-driven contemporary society. Copper Tapestry (iSBX 275 Graphics Card, Intel, 1983) adds a key work from Saban’s celebrated series to our collection of textile-based works, allowing us to better understand how technology has impacted our visual world.

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