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2013 September

15 Sep

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Punchcard Economy

September 15, 2013 | By | One Comment

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Reinterpreting the heritage of NW textile industry, whilst documenting the current experience of the freelance creative, Punchcard Economy is a machine-knitted banner based on the ‘8 hours labour, 8 hours recreation, 8 hours rest’ slogan coined by Robert Owen of the Eight Hour Day movement.

The design incorporates data collected from a range of ‘workers’ in the digital, creative and cultural industries, auditing contemporary working patterns within the digital economy, and revealing the shift from Owens’ ‘888’ ideal. The final work is produced on a domestic knitting machine using a combination of digital imaging tools and traditional punchcard systems.

You can see the development of  the Punchcard Economy project at www.punchcardeconomy.co.uk

The banner will be on display at FACT as part of the TIME & MOTION show until March.

see also – Worker In ProgressKnitting Digital

 

Some facts about the banner:

  • It measures 5m x 3m
  • It was intended to measure 4.6m x 2.7 m. Clearly the standard tension sq for a 10cmx10cm sample has margin for error at that scale.
  • It is constructed of 9 columns, each with 1270 knitted rows, plus hems
  • The end columns measure 117 stitches per row, and the middle columns 168 stitches per row
  • Thats 1,790,700 stitches altogether
  • The design contains 221 weeks worth of data from 116 participants
  • Thats 5304 hours / stitches to make the basic info-graphic pattern repeat

 

A huge thankyou to everyone who contributed to the design by logging their hours.

Many thanks also to Iris for showing me how to knit, Tim for documenting the process (film will be in the exhibition), Hannah for finishing the final hems, and to Castlefield Gallery for providing me with space to knit

Thanks also to Mark and Andy for installing it today, to Mike, Ana, Emily and Lesley at FACT for supporting the idea so enthusiastically, and to Rob at Interconnect IT for sorting out this cracking website.

Special thanks to Davi Post and his IMG2Track software & tutorial that made it possible to develop the design digitally and send it to the 950i

Thankyou also to Arts Council and National Lottery England for supporting this work and the broader Knitting Digital research project.

 

 

 

 

 

15 Sep

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Punchcard Economy – Worker In Progress

September 15, 2013 | By | One Comment

10am – 6pm, 18th – 22nd September at FACT, Liverpool. I will be working in the FACT Connects space with the knitting machines, showing developments for the Punchcard Economy work, alongside experiments with digital knitting. I will also be trying to sign people up to logging their working hours via the Punchcard Economy website.

Feel free to drop by and see the work, take part in the Punchcard Economy piece, and even have a go yourself on the knitting machines.

WIP-slider

 

15 Sep

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Drop-in Taster – Machine Knitting

September 15, 2013 | By | No Comments

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Thursday 26th September 2-5pm at Purl City Yarns (62 Port St, Manchester, M1 2EQ)

Fancy having a go on a knitting machine, or discussing the possibilities of digital imaging and stocking stitch? Come along and meet myself and Iris from the NEPHRA Knit and Natter group, New Moston. We’re starting a dedicated Machine Knitting group in October, and we’re keen to encourage some new faces to come join us.

Purl City Yarns have kindly allowed us to set up a couple of machines upstairs for the afternoon on the 26th, so that anyone can drop in and find out more and also try their hand. Looking forward to meeting you!

05 Sep

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Research project – Knitting Digital

September 5, 2013 | By | One Comment

I’ve finally bit the bullet and put in an Arts Council app, and I’m pleased to say that I’ve been awarded to funding to develop some new work, with a new tool – the Knitting Machine.

http://knitting.smeech.co.uk

This research project represents a slight but significant shift in my practise an an artist. I usually work with video, and only came across a knitting machine for the first time last year, whilst filming the NEPHRA knitting group in North Manchester. I was struck by the parallels between punchcards and film reels, stitches and pixels, and began to relate to it in terms of digital imaging as much as textiles. Further to this, I was introduced to examples of other artists who had hacked electronic knitting machines and developed software tools in order to send them digital images and information. I’m very much standing on the shoulders of giants in using these tools, but I felt strongly that I could bring something to this field, not as a programmer, but as someone who works with digital tools, moving images, communities and contributions. I have since outlined a series of experiments and works I will undertake over the next 6 months, including:

– collating and sharing research on field of artists working with knitting / digital

– working with the knitting group to document our own practice and discussion around – digital / textiles, creating tutorials for techniques

– creation of a large-scale knitted banner for the 8 Hour Day movement – PUNCHCARD ECONOMY, for exhibition at FACT Liverpool in December 2013

– development and proof of concept of knitted animations – approaches to moving image textiles

 

 

 

 

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05 Sep

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FILM – Knit and Natter

September 5, 2013 | By | No Comments

The NEPHRA Knit and Natter group is based in New Moston, North Manchester. I began making this film last year, but only found time to edit it recently. What I’ve tried to do is give a sense of knitting the film together, by using four interviews and stitching together discussion of techniques and personal gripes, so that the final piece is an absurd narrative created through structure. It’s quite a formal approach to film-making, but I think it works well in this case, giving a feel of the knitting group, rather than an factual overview of it.

Part of the Knitting Digital project