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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




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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Exhibition: Punchcard Economy at HKW

March 1, 2015 | By | No Comments

The Punchcard Economy project and banner is part of the Time and Motion: Redefining Working Life exhibition at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin. The show was launched as the guest exhibition as part of Transmediale 2015, where I also was able to do a machine knitting workshop exploring some the methods and concepts behind the banner. The show also features work by Tuur Van Balen & Revital Cohen, Ellie Harrison, Tehching Hsieh and Oliver Walker.

The exhibition runs from 29 Jan – 6 April 2015

web_PCE-TM-exhib-051 web_PCE-TM-exhib-070 web_PCE-TM-exhib-060 web_PCE-TM-exhib-057 web_PCE-TM-exhib-049

14 Nov


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Video Culture 1.1 @ Staro Riga Festival of Light 14 – 18 Nov

November 14, 2014 | By | No Comments

vid culture install testVideo Culture 1.1 installation at Staro Riga Festival of Light. A projection-mapped video installation developed using generative feedback systems, lasers and isadora and masks modelled on the Art Academy Lativa.

This is the first proper manifestation of an idea that’s been rattling around me head for 4/5 years, and that I began to prototype recently at Digital Media Labs in Barrow.

Video Culture 1.1 presents recordings of several experiments using live systems to ‘grow’ video feedback. Using a combination of lasers and colour tracking systems, the artist has cultivated 3 independent but competing strands of analogue video feedback, allowing them to evolve before our eyes. These feedback experiments have been modelled on the geometry of the facade of the Art Academy of Latvia, with the final recordings projected back on to the building itself.

18 Jun


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Data As Culture + Workshop at Lighthouse Brighton

June 18, 2014 | By | No Comments

The Punchcard Economy project will be touring with the Data As Culture exhibition to Lighthouse in Brighton.

The show opens on 21st June and runs till 2oth July.

As with the ODI show, the venue is again too small to showacse the full banner, however, an ‘8 Hours Labour‘ sample banner containing the same dataset has been knitted especially for the Brighton venue.

I will be running  a machine knitting workshop as part of the show, on Saturday 28th June – if you’re based in Brighton and would like to knit your working week and a punchcard pattern repeat, then visit the Lighthouse site to sign up.

see some images of the workshop at Future Everything

pce 8hrs workshop

12 Dec


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Time & Motion – FACT, Liverpool

December 12, 2013 | By | One Comment


The Punchcard Economy knitted banner project is in the following exhibition:

Thursday 12 December – Sunday 9 March – FACT, LIVERPOOL

more info on the FACT website

Time & Motion will be the first showing of the completed knitted 888 banner.


A Time & Motion Study is a scientific method – developed by Frederick Taylor and later by Frank and Lillian Gilbreth – used to analyse work procedures and determine the most efficient method of operation. This approach has been used extensively in workplaces including factories, hospitals, retail, and banks since the industrial age.

Using this as a starting point, the exhibition Time & Motion will use artworks, research projects, archival materials and interventions to track our journey through the world of work, from clocking on at the factory gates to checking in online from our home office or local entrepreneurial networking space. As our industrial economy has given way to a service and knowledge economy, producing ideas and experiences rather than artefacts, how have our patterns of day-to-day working life changed? 



10 Oct


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Film Soup at Rogue Open Studios

October 10, 2013 | By | One Comment

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