“ADA” is re—inc Creative Director Tobin Heath’s sixth re—inc Collection piece. 17% of proceeds from will be donated to Black Girls Code to support women of color in the digital technology space.
Q: What is the story behind this painting’s name?
A: I was doing a lot of research for our upcoming collection theme and I wanted to understand the origins of the computer and coding. I loved learning about Ada Lovelace’s story behind computer programming. First imagined in a woman's mind, computers have completely transformed our world.
So then, when I moved to England I started watching old English shows and one of the shows was called Victoria, about the progressive queen that believed deeply in the development of technology and society. And funny enough, Ada Lovelace popped up as a character on the show. It was quite the coincidence, since I had just been researching her, and I knew that was a sign that she should have a big role in how we unveiled our Gamer Collection.
"Most of the time in our society it has been white men thinking about what other white men want. The more thoughtful you are when developing systems, you instinctively become more inclusive and more sophisticated in your design. Ultimately this leads to the creation of stronger and more beautiful worlds."
— Tobin Heath, re—inc Creative Director
Q: What was the most interesting part of bringing ADA to life?
A: For me, this painting was a personal test at not becoming frustrated with slowness. While creating the pattern, I chose to take each 0 and 1 as a single action, thought, and moment. I could have easily become impatient trying to get them all done and trying to get to the finish line… But it was important that with each action, I then got to decide the next action. It was a very slow process, but it was very thoughtful.
When we build structures, the easiest and quickest thing is to think about how that structure serves you. Most of the time in our society it has been white men thinking about what other white men want. The more thoughtful you are when developing systems, you instinctively become more inclusive and more sophisticated in your design. Ultimately this leads to the creation of stronger and more beautiful worlds.
Also, I used to have an art studio space in Portland. But when I moved, I had to get creative. This painting was created in the stairwell of my apartment building. So I guess another interesting thing about this process was getting reprimanded by the building manager for getting paint on the walls.
Q: How do you feel about the finished product compared to your vision for the work?
A: Through this painting and reflecting on my other paintings, it’s very clear that my mind works in patterns, which at first was surprising to me considering I live my life quite spontaneously. But at the end of each painting, I have such a strong desire to affect the pattern. I always struggle in that moment because it feels so significant in the creation process. I wanted to break this pattern with the number 7 because that number represents oneness and wholeness, and I think it's a powerful symbol for representation and identity.
I love the depth that this painting has and all the connection points between the layers. You can see the old layers and new layers living together and building off of each other.
Although it is a representation of the digital world, there is something natural about it. The patterned numbers almost come alive and you start to see the shape of rain or a forest of vines inviting you in. ADA is certainly meant to be explored.
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