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City Lights: Guillermo Bert Explains His Encoded Textiles


“Contemporary Voices: Guillermo Bert”

In 2010, Los Angeles-based artist Guillermo Bert traveled to Chile for the first time since leaving the country decades earlier. While there, he worked with weavers from the indigenous Mapuche community to incorporate QR codes into traditional textile designs, an experience which transformed the mixed media artist’s bicultural perspective. The project evolved into Encoded Textiles, a collection of ten pieces whose codes link viewers to audio and video interviews with the five indigenous communities who contributed to them. The works mark a new degree of ancestral rootedness within the career of an artist known for his attention to the displacement and uncertainty that comes with contemporary urbanism and consumerism. “How do we preserve tradition and identity in a digital age? How do we find new ways to tell and preserve stories in ways that might connect to youth, without abandoning the oral traditions that have worked for generations?” These are questions that, according to Bert’s website, Encoded Textiles seeks to explore. In an upcoming Zoom discussion, Bert will talk about this and some of his other recent projects. The talk is part of Contemporary Voices, a series led by George Washington University in partnership with the Textile Society of America. The event begins on Zoom at 6 p.m. on April 6. Registration is available on the GW website. Free.


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