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Guillermo Bert: Encoded Textiles

Courtesy Ronald Dunlap
Ancestral Spirit, 2012. Wool and natural dyes encoded with Aztec bar code, 96 x 50 in (cropped). Woven by Anita Paillamil.

You've seen them in the self-checkout line at the grocery store and on the price comparison app on your phone, but have you ever seen bar codes as art? Check out Guillermo Bert's exhibit Encoded Textiles, which draws comparisons between the newest generation of high-tech bar codes that store up to 200 times more data and the textile patterns of indigenous people of the Americas. Using advanced software, Bert transcribes cultural narratives from six different leaders of indigenous communities and turns them into bar codes, which are then woven into tapestries from craftspeople of those communities.

Chilean-born and Los Angeles-based, Bert has been exhibiting his art for the past 20 years throughout the US and South America and was Art Director for the Los Angeles Times for five years.

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