Ahree Lee

Fall 2019 Artist in Residence

Pattern : Code
presented by artist-in-residence Ahree Lee
On view Sept 14– Dec 7, 2019

Pattern : Code reactivates the innate connections between weaving and computing, and examines the interrelationships between technology, craft, and women’s labor. It features weavings and computer-generated videos that draw on code, algorithms, and self-generated labor data. 

Computing and weaving are inextricably connected. The word “technology” comes from the Greek “techne,” meaning “art” or “craft.” The first computers were derived from the same technology that runs Jacquard weaving looms. Weaving is binary, either a warp or a weft thread is on the surface, essentially a zero or one. 

Weaving and computing differ in their gender associations and value of labor. Women were instrumental in the development of computing, writing the first computer programs and filling the ranks of programming jobs in the early years. Now the technology industry is dominated by men earning significantly more than their female coworkers. Textile production drove technological advances from prehistory through the industrial revolution. Yet, the history of textile production is also a history of how women and those without power were exploited for economic gain. 

Ahree Lee is a multi-media artist working in video, new media, and textiles. Her commissions include the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, the 01SJ Biennial, the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, the 2006 International Short Film Festival in Leuven, Belgium, and the Sundance Channel. Her Webby-nominated video Me was shown by Steve Jobs as a demo for YouTube on Apple TV, and is in the permanent collection of the Museum of the Moving Image, New York.

Lee’s honors include a forthcoming artist residency at Santa Fe Art Institute; a Rema Hort Mann Emerging Artist Award nomination; an Artist Fellowship Grant from the state of Connecticut; and an artistic career development grant from Asian American Renaissance funded by the Jerome Foundation. Lee received her B.A. from Yale University and M.F.A. from Yale School of Art.

photos by Gilda Davidian

Events & Workshops

Exhibition Opening of Pattern : Code by Ahree Lee
Saturday, Sept 14, 4pm–7pm

Join us for the opening celebration of Pattern : Code by Ahree Lee!

Crafty Hour
Wednesday, October 9, 2019, 7–9 pm

On the occasion of Ada Lovelace‘s birthday, let’s celebrate women at the intersection of technology and craft. Drop in and enjoy some light refreshments and crafty company. Bring your own craft project or make a tiny weaving with the provided materials.

Digital Weaving, Physical Computing
Saturdays, 3–6pm, October 19, October 26, November 2
$60 Regular / $45 Members

Sign up for an introductory workshop series in creative coding and electronic textiles. Over the course of three workshops, we’ll draw and create patterns using Processing, we’ll learn and apply computational concepts to transform patterns, and finally, we’ll bring a weaving to life with electronic microcontrollers. Participants must bring their own laptop but all other materials will be provided.

Ahree Lee in Conversation with Kayleigh Perkov
Wednesday, October 23, 2019, 7–9pm

Join Ahree Lee and art historian Kayleigh Perkov for a conversation on textiles and technology, weaving and computing, gender and labor.

View the video recorded conversation here.

Hands-on Weaving
Wednesday, November 13, 2019, 7–10pm
$5 Regular / $4 Member

Learn to weave a wall hanging with the Southern California Handweavers’ Guild! This fun workshop will show you the basics of weaving while allowing you to create a totally original decorative piece.

Women, Technology, and Power: A Workshop to Design the Future
Saturday, November 16, 2019, 10am–1pm
(no one turned away for lack of funds)

Use the design thinking process to design a world where all labor is valued equally.

Pattern : Code Closing
December 7, 2019, 4–7pm

Join us for the closing event of fall artist in residence Ahree Lee’s exhibition Pattern : Code!


Women’s Center for Creative Work’s Artist in Residence program is made possible with support from Pasadena Art Alliance.

View other WCCW Artists in Residence and learn about the program here.