Mika Tajima

Mika Tajima, Negative Entropy (installation view of “single” panels), 2012. Cotton, wood, acoustic baffling felt. 27 x 35 ½ inches each. Photo credit: Carlos Avendaño.

Mika Tajima collaborated with FWM to produce Negative Entropy, a series of six woven acoustic portraits of local Pennsylvania industries that engage with old and new technologies. These objects are images of the condition of their production, and Tajima inscribed the passage of industrial production from physical material to immaterial abstraction in its making.

Tajima recorded sound with FWM staff at several industrial locations that employ textile Jacquard looms (a precursor to digital technology) and computer data centers that constitute the new economic infrastructure. Companies included Edward J. Darby & Son, Inc., Langhorne Carpet Co. Inc., Caledonian Dye Works, Inc., Material Technology & Logistics, Inc., and Philadelphia Technology Park. Orkan Telhan, at the time Assistant Professor of Fine Arts at the University of Pennsylvania, transmuted the sound files into black-andwhite digital spectrogram images using linguistic audio software. Tajima then assigned colors to the waveforms using Illustrator and Photoshop in conjunction with FWM staff. Weaving technician Joy Alaoui, Head Designer at Material Technology & Logistics, developed the woven structure for the image files. Tajima made the final Jacquard woven designs into custom acoustic panels. This body of work served as the beginning of an ongoing series for Tajima.

Artist Bio

American, born 1975, lives and works in New York.  

Mika Tajima received her MFA in 2003 from Columbia University, School of the Arts, New York, NY. After completing her BA in Fine Arts and East Asian Studies in 1997 from Bryn Mawr College, she became an Apprentice in the Post-Graduate Apprentice Program at the Fabric Workshop and Museum. In 2011, Tajima was invited to begin an Artist-in-Residence with FWM, 14 years after her original apprenticeship. Tajima’s artistic practice translates extensive research of socio-political and theoretical concepts into physical objects through sculpture, painting, and installation. Her extensive solo exhibitions have been shown at the Kitchen, New York (2008); Seattle Art Museum (2011); Sculpture Center, New York (2016) and Borusan Contemporary, Istanbul (2018). Her collaborative work has been featured in The Pedestrians with Charles Atlas at the South London Gallery, UK (2011); Today is Not a Dress Rehearsal with Charles Atlas and New Humans at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA (2009); and the Whitney Biennial (2008).