The Quipus are a reading of today’s political issues through the perspective of computer algorithms. Séverine Assouline likes to say that she has been coding weaves.


Most people think algorithms are true, scientific and objective. However, algorithms repeat our past practices and automate the statu quo, making things rather static and unbalanced.


Data scientists should not be the arbitrers of truth but should be translators of ethical discussions that happen in larger society. As an artist, she has been trying to translate ethical discussions in my coded weaves.


The particular Quipu, called “Clean - big Data” is about ecology and natural cycles. Its axis is disoriented, some of its pieces are in tatters. Naive representations of animals hang next to rarefying lianas and forest creepers. A cascading icefloe of bubble wrap reminds us of the time melting away, like when we were kids, popping them one bubble at a time.

Plastic flowers stained with dark marks of oil sprout near strings of newspapers textile, unreadable to anyone but cleverly recycled to replace synthetic hair (made from plastic and oil again !). Endangered species’ beauty competes with bling alongside electric wire ready to connect or attack us like a giant tarantula. It’s about time to ring the central bell, and alert global warming sceptics their algorithm is clearly dysfunctioning.

"Suspendue à la corde tendue de la vie, les lambeaux de vie sont éparpillées. Serrés les uns à côté des autres, le radeau semble fragile. Couleurs entortillées, vent debout, les flots des migrants viennent s’échouer sur les rivages limitants deux mondes. Rouge et noir, jaunes et bleus, les opposés créent pourtant des couleurs complémentaires. Entremêlées, les tissage sont des liens accrochés pour ne pas sombrer dans la mer qui nous sépare. La peur de la différence s’exprime dans les tourbillonnements de ces ressorts qui se décrochent et où la tonicité du corps qui se ploie."

- Michael Stora

©Séverine Assouline, 2020