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20 Sep


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Unique Knitwear Ltd pattern

September 20, 2016 | By | No Comments

I’ve been working on a series of knitted signs based on the signage for Unique Knitwear Ltd, our 2nd floor neigbours at Rogue Studios, Mcr. I first developed the design as part of progress, and replaced the original signage with the knitted version. Ayub, the manager at Uniwue, liked the sign but asked me if I could knit a second version with their new telephone number. I made a new sign for him, and also decided to create a few more (as part of an ‘unlimited edition’) for exhibition both at Manchester Contemporary Art Fair, and a show at Rogue later in the year.

Since the work itself is a play on the idea of originality in art and textiles, I felt it right that I share my design here, should people wish to knit their own. The design was created to knit with 4 ply cashmillion acrylic yarn (from Yeaman Yarns) to produce a 70cm x 45 cm piece (with margins for attaching to a frame. I have used the IMG2Track software to format the design and send it to the machine. The piece is 158 stiches wide over 300 rows (effective stretch 1.4).




26 Jul


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Knitted Horse Performance @ Waterside – As It Happened

July 26, 2016 | By | No Comments

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A couple of pictures of my performance of the Knitted Horse in Motion at Waterside Art Gallery as part of the opening of ROGUE AT WATERSIDE. I have to say, I was really really nervous all day about whether it would work, especially presenting it within the large theatre, but thankfully there were no hiccups. I had seom great comments afterwards about the piece, as well as a couple of safety concious reminders not to leave the iron on. For those people who enjoyed the music, the playlist was:

PIcs by Robert Walker and Simone Ridyard

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22 Jul


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Rogue at Waterside: Sat 23 July – Sat 22 Oct

July 22, 2016 | By | No Comments

My Knitted Horse Firework film is exhibiting at Waterside Arts Centre in Sale from Sat 23 July – Sat 22 October, along with some great work by other artists at Rogue Artists’ studios. It is part of an annual show by Rogue at the venue (and could be the last one, considering the current situation with ur home at Crusader Mill. I will also also be doing a live knitting performance on the the preview night (Friday 22nd July), attempting to knit and animate the Horse in Motion film from scratch.

Participating Artists – Matthew Bamber, Darren Beatty, Bartosz Beda, Margaret Cahill, Annie Carpenter, Mike Chavez-Dawson, Jane Chavez-Dawson, Jan Chlebik, Chris Paul Daniels, Claire Dorsett, Tracey Eastham, Abraham Emajaro, Sarah Eyre, Sarah Feinmann, Laura Frame, David Gledhill, John Hamilton, Michelle Harrison, Lucy Harvey, Len Horsey, Hilary Jack, Elizabeth Kwant, Ivan Leudar, Sam Meech, Geoff Molyneux, Martin Nash, Steve Oliver, Jen Orpin, Lucy Ridges, Rebecca Rogers, Jenny Steele, Cherry Tenneson, Darren Tolliday, Hannah Wiles, Ky Wooliscroft, Surplus Value


14 Jul


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Data As Culture: Thinking Out Loud: 15 July 2016 – 31 March 2017

July 14, 2016 | By | No Comments

The Open Data Institute, London presents a new ‘Data As Culture’ show – THINKING OUT LOUD, inspired by the way modern and traditional crafts are built with code. My previous work ‘8 Hours Labour’ has been re-presented as part of the show, and this time features an invition to buy my ‘work’.


Thinking Out Loud centres around musician, programmer and ODI Sound Artist in Residence, Alex McLean – made possible through a partnership with Sound and Music, through their Embedded artist residency programme – as well as ten of his collaborators. The works explore the ways in which humans have captured and encoded data throughout history, from the ancient art of weaving, and Inca quipu (a recording method using knotted strings) to live coding, and hacking woollen jumpers. The exhibition is interactive, ever-changing and radical, and includes artists who rarely exhibit in gallery environments.

There are some brilliant artists from the fields of both programming and craft, some of whom I’ve been lucky enough to meet before. Since my 8 Hours Labour banner already resided in the ODI HQ, I was asked it it might formally be included in the show, as it also explores similar themes of how data and digital tools might inform traditional craftworks.


I decided to use the opportunity to also present the extension of the work – ‘Rates For The Job‘ – an invitation to buy my labour rather than my ‘work’. A detailed Purchase Order / Contract allows people to buy a day of my knitting labour at Arts Council England recommended rates, upon the understanding that they are only buying my artistic work, and not an artwork as object. The resulting knitted banner – 8 Hours Labour – serves only as a ‘receipt’ – a proof or document of that labour, and is in itself worth nothing.

This premise was originally conceived in 2014 when ODI asked me to present the large scale ‘Punchcard Economy’ banner, which was too large to exhibit, and so I resolved to knit a sample of the work – simply ‘8 Hours Labour’. I decided to charge simply for the labour it took to make and package the work – approximately 8 hours. This idea was subsequently presented at Kinetic Art Fair, where again I invited people to buy my labour rather than an art-object. Whilst many people understood and appreciated the idea, unfortunately I left the market without a single order.

If you’d like to buy 8 Hours Labour, you can contact me at worker[at]punchcardeconomy[dot]co[dot]uk




01 Jul


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Gillfoot No. 2

July 1, 2016 | By | No Comments

A database video installation drawing upon 2 accounts of a recent mine collapse in Egremont, Cumbria. Each interview is split into 100+ clips which are called randomly and played back with realtime fx rendering using isadora. The final piece will be shown as part of a group exhibition in Florence Mine, Egremont.

07 Apr


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Flatpack Pics – Knitted Horse in Motion

April 7, 2015 | By | No Comments

Some pics from last week’s knitting performance at Flatpack Festival. The premise – I knit Muybridge’s horse in motion from scratch, and animate it infront of an audience whilst listening to a soundtrack of 7 inch ‘horse’ singles. This is only the third time I’ve performed the piece, and im pleased to say it worked this time (thats 2:1 so far). Final animation below. Many thanks to Reuben from Sculpture (who were absolutely amazing performers in their later set) for handling the horse tunes.

2015-03-26 19_16_50

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06 Mar


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Knit RGB Disco

March 6, 2015 | By | One Comment

Pictures from the KNIT RGB DISCO punchcard installation at the Whitworth Gallery, Manchester, 5th March 2015.

Full flicker album here



The work was originally developed as part of Octopus’s Digital Media Labs residency in Barrow in September 2014. I’ve refined the system a little since then, but the bones of it are essentially the same:

  • a punchcard knitting machine
  • video camera
  • isadora camera tracking patch
  • DMX usb pro and LED par cans

The Geek Bit

The principle is to read each 24 cell punchcard row as a set of binary values. Since 8 binary values can create a total of 255, it means each punchcard row can provide three sets of values ranging from 0-255 – essentially providing any RGB web colour. These values are tracked and sent to the projector and colour changing LED lights, creating a system in which the design impetus is not so much create a knit pattern as to programme the colour space of the room.

As well as using the binary values to control colour, for this iteration I am also experimenting with ways to cue sound samples, as well as record and remix sound generated by the knitting machine. This provides the ‘disco’ element. Again, all this is done using the Isadora visual programming environment.

Knit RGB Disco v1 – Whitworth Gallery from Sam Meech on Vimeo.



01 Mar


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March 1, 2015 | By | No Comments

Upcoming Events / Exhibitions / Screenings

05 March 2015, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester
Knitting RGB Disco installation
29 Jan 2015 — 06 April 2015, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin
Time and Motion: Redefining Working Life
Punchcard Economy banner installation


Past Events and Screenings
28-31 January 2015 – Transmediale, Berlin
Panel talk – Time and Motion: Redefining Working Life
11th December 2014 – Manchester Museum
Noah’s Ark / The Great Flood – screening
14th – 18th November – Staro Riga, Latvia
Video Culture 1.1 installation
more details here
8th November 2014 – Chester Lane Library, St Helens
Libraries in Motion  / Tales & Trails premiere
2nd October 2014 – Castlefield Gallery, Manchester
LUX associates and Film Material Soup screening
details tbc
16th – 19th October 2014 – Kinetica Art Fair, London
8 Hours Labour – Rates for the Job
details tbc
19th – 21st September 2014 – Rogue Studios, Manchester
Film Material Soup – B-sides & rarities – 1st floor
details tbc
18th September 2014 – Federation House, Manchester
10 x 10
details tbc
13th September 2014 – Manchester
SUPERBYTE FESTIVAL – 8 bit knitting workshop
21st June – 30th July 2014  – Lighthouse, Brighton
EXHIBITION – DATA AS CULTURE feat. Punchcard Economy
28th June 2014  – Lighthouse, Brighton
Workshop – machine knitting working hours
from 12th June
now live @
15 / 16 April – National Football Museum
Knitted Football Scarf workshop
more info to follow
27th March – 1st April  – Future Everything, Manchester
EXHIBITION – DATA AS CULTURE feat. Punchcard Economy
24th March 2014 onwards – Open Data Institute, London

12th Dec 2013 to 9 March 2014 – FACT, Liverpool
more info

23rd Feb 2014 – Big Hands, Manchester
(part of the Whitworth Pub Crawl)
performance / workshop – more info

17th Feb 2014 – National Football Museum, Manchester
workshop – more info

15th Feb 2014 – Newbridge Project, Newcastle
screening – more info

Thursday 5th December – 4pm – Oh Me Oh My, Liverpool
more info

Saturday 30th November – Rogue Studios Project Space
more info

Friday 22nd November – 7:30pm, Blankspace, Manchester
more info

Saturday 16th November, 2pm – Grace Room, Hope University
Liverpool Radical Documentary Film Festival
more info

Friday 15th November, 6:30pm – Cornerhouse, Manchester
a film by Chris Paul Daniels made for the Virgin40 exhibition
more info

01 Mar


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Knitting RGB Disco at Whitworth – 5th March

March 1, 2015 | By | No Comments

6pm – 8pm, Thursday 5th March, Whitworth Art g/allery, Manchester

I will be showing a new machine knitting installation as part of Thursday lates. Come along and help me programme lights and sound using the punchcard mechanism.

more info here

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