“This work began when I inherited forty years’ worth of slides from my father and when I realized that our daughter’s wedding pictures were on floppy discs. I knew that each floppy disk, like every slide my father took, represented a time, a place, and a person – with images, documents, and memories. Much like my great-grandmother’s quilts made from clothing scraps; each scrap of cloth holds memories of the person who wore the garment. The buttons my mother, grandmother and I accumulated provide another layer of meaning. I began creating quilts using floppy discs, and slides. I felt like I was stitching my family back together.
In this time of escalating technologies, the thrill of ‘THE NEW’ can cause amnesia of the once vital relationship we had with the old technologies. The idea that something can exist and be vital, then suddenly not be important, and begin to disappear raises questions about the ontology of objects. If an object’s existence is only relative to their relationship to humans then do we have an obligation to them or to the history with which they are endowed? I seek to frame the once important connection we humans had with these older technologies as a memorial to the images, documents, and data stored on them by holding hostage these kidnapers forever frozen in time.”
Leatha Koefler received her Bachelor of Fine Art degree from the University of Cincinnati and her Master’s degree from North Carolina State University. Her studio practice is primarily working with found materials. She builds sculptures and wall art from outdated technologies such as slides, VHS tapes, film and floppy disks.
What appeals to me about Leatha Koefler’s work is its timelessness and reminiscence. As a very young girl, I remember slide shows of adventures my dad and uncle went on in the mountains out west and I remember eagerly waiting for my favorite Disney VHS to rewind so I could watch it again. Koefler captures moments and memories in her sculpture, quilts, and garments, transforming them into innovative works of art that inspire and ignite the imagination. I hope her work moves you to take a moment to reflect and dream.