Angelica Bonilla (A.B) Fominaya is a Colombian anti-disciplinary artist and aspiring mad scientist interested in machine co-creation, algorithmic crafts, and the intersection of these disciplines with cultural practices. She believes in an equitable and fair future for robotics and AI, and wants to find ways to tell meaningful stories that explore ethics, culture and technology.
Tell us a little about your background and your trajectory as an artist/ scholar
I was raised in Barranquilla, Colombia, where I was exposed to a vibrant carnivalesque culture in a time of political conflict at the national level. When I immigrated to the US in 2011, I became invested in retaining connection with my roots through art, research and activism. I graduated Carnegie Mellon University’s BCSA program in May 2023. Through my time at CMU, I was involved in research at RI’s Textiles lab and NASA, primarily focused on building creative fabrication tools and ethical considerations in autonomous vehicles. These avenues have influenced the themes that I explore as an artist and have led me to integrate my traditional interests in drawing, painting, printmaking and film with themes that I encounter in my day-to-day environment as a technologist. This has led me to a culture of play with tools that don’t exist for this purpose — dancing with robots, collaborating with plotters to make drawings, and programming for computerized machine knitting.
What are some of your main influences?
This list is endless, but currently I really admire the works of Madeline Gannon, Sougwen Chung, Cat Mazza, and Licia He.
What are you working on now?
This last year, I have been taking a bit of a deep dive on machine co-creation. I am really interested in finding ways in which generative art and crafts can be integrated and augmented with human creativity. As such I have been iterating through various projects that explore generative comics and layouts as a building block for stories drawn by human beings. I love the conversation that exists through various layers of information processing, and the idea that technology can be a part of traditionally labor intensive crafts — such a printmaking, drawing, painting and knitting.
Visit Angelica’s work in the Header/Footer Exhibition