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We are one.

Though few people weave today, the development of cloth production has significantly influenced contemporary society. Computer historians trace the genesis of the modern computer from computation devices inspired by Joseph-Marie Jacquard's punched card weaving system. A woven surface's configuration--every thread is either over or under other threads--corresponds to binary code. It is the basis for all programming languages.

In her sculpture Plane Weave, Alyson Shotz interlaces aluminum in the most basic woven configuration, plain weave, and stabilizes these elements with rings. The arrangement allows for movement so these metallic two-dimensional planes drape like fabric when suspended; gravity shapes their weight into three-dimensional forms. Spacing reflective components at uniform intervals yields a presence both luminous and transparent.

Plane Weave, the result of organizing numerous pieces into a whole, presents itself as a singular entity rather than its individual parts. Like healthy human relationships, no single bit of aluminum or steel ring is more important than any other. Paul employs a similar insight when writing to the Christian community at Rome: "For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ" (Rom. 12:4-5).

By Jerry Bleem, O.F.M., a priest and artist who teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Caption: Image: Alyson Shotz, Plane Weave, 2016; punched aluminum, stainless steel rings; 120 x 169 x 36 inches. Commissioned by the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Art; photo by Barbara Katus.

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Title Annotation:eye of the beholder
Author:Bleem, Jerry
Publication:U.S. Catholic
Article Type:Brief article
Date:May 1, 2017
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