Textile Society of America


Date of this Version



In Approaching Textiles, Varying Viewpoints: Proceedings of the Seventh Biennial Symposium of the Textile Society of America, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2000


Copyright © 2000 by the author(s).


The rhetoric around digital technologies is infused with the utopian promises of deliverance and progress - the promise of another frontier, an original uncharted space, virgin territory, a clean slate, another chance to "get it right". This notion of the frontier has almost mythic proportions in the language and literature of the West. From the 'promised land' offered in the Bible, to the lost Garden of Eden, from Columbus' arrival in the Americas, to the cowboy and Indian films of the 1950's and the space adventure films of the 1980's and 1990's, the notion of the frontier continues to engage the imagination of the West. This adoption of a frontier mentality toward the landscape and vocabulary of cyberspace provokes some interesting observations on how our visions of the future are predicated on the structures of the past.