Sandra Kosorotova Explores Post-Fordism with a Digital Textile Printer

Each week we ask one artist to speak about a tool that is integral to their practice. Here, artist and designer Sandra Kosorotova explains how she uses a digital textile printer to create her subtly political textile works.

Sandra Kosorotova’s work spans art and design, as she uses printed textiles to create installations that explore the ways we—and art—survive within late capitalism, with a particular focus on psychology. The Tallinn-based artist has exhibited in group and solo shows in Estonia and Russia and is participating in the upcoming Riga Biennial.

“I am an artist with a BA in graphic design and an MA in fashion design. The digital textile printer initially helped me to transition from digital image-making to producing wearables, and has stayed in my artistic practice as my primary tool of production. A digital printer might seem a dubious choice for artistic production: the artwork can be reproduced mechanically and some might argue that there is no original, no ‘aura’ of the artist.

Despite having used the technology for many years, until last spring I had not actually seen or touched the physical digital textile printer myself—files were always sent via email and, a few weeks later, a package would come from abroad.

After my graduation however, I used my Erasmus+ grant to apply for an internship at the Centre for Advanced Textiles at The Glasgow School of Art, which is known as a centre of expertise in digital textile printing. During my internship I regularly operated the digital textile printer to print orders for the company’s clients, as well as using the opportunity to print the works for my solo show Precarious State of Mind, which looked into the effects of post-Fordism. Working with the digital printer did not feel like post-Fordism. There is in fact not much that is ‘digital’ about the printer either. It is a heavy machine, which uses manual labour and sometimes requires substantial physical power.”

RIBOCA: The Riga Biennial