Friday, April 03, 2009

Analytical Women

Last Sunday afternoon I went to the Science Museum (appreciating the free entry) with my friend Jake. We went to see the Analytical Engine the Museum built in 1991. I was quite relieved that one of the few sections of the Museum which is not fully computerised all singing all dancing interactivity is the Computer History display! I'm not a programmer, and although the text panel explained that the engine could 'store' information in it's memory, I couldn't quite understand where this is located. However, the punch card system, inspired by the Jaquard Loom, was clear to see.

For a quick intro to Lovelace, Babbage and the Analytical Engine have a peek at Sydney Padua's, fabulous cartoon and here.

The Open Source Embroidery project has led me to some fantastic women working with media arts and crafts in many different ways. Furtherfield invited women to post about women in technology who have inspired them. So I nominated a list of women artists and writers who have inspired me in their analytical rigour, and whose work will, or should, go in the history books. Here they are (in no particular order):
Joanna Drucker / Sneha Solanki / Aileen Derieg / Kate Pemberton / Becky Stern