(b. 1989 Pittsburgh, PA)
Discarding physical material and leaving trails of digital information are an inevitable part of being human in the 21st century. Jenna Boyles works with textiles, circuitry, and found objects using craft based techniques and DIY approaches to address the subject of waste as it pertains to current political and environmental issues. She traces her relationship to accumulation back to growing up in rural southwestern Pennsylvania and investigates her own personal history with waste. Inspired by public trash and obsolete machines she is driven by a desire to collect and sort through both digital and physical refuse. Responding intuitively to shape, form, and color, Boyles employs spontaneous play and meticulous organization to articulate the ubiquity and resonance of unwanted things. Her practice includes research in electronic textiles, particularly DIY soft circuitry and thermochromic (heat sensitive) fabrics.
Jenna is currently a New Media Artist in Residence at Mana Contemporary Chicago, a lecturer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the Art and Technology Studies Department, and adjunct assistant faculty at University of Illinois at Chicago in the Department of Art & Art History. She is also a member of the experimental Chicago based collective Bad Fabric with Clare Brennan, Astro Escudero, Fran E. Gallagher, and Nicole Rinde.