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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

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Background

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.

 

 

08 Jan

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Knitted Horse Firework

January 8, 2014 | By | 2 Comments

Knitted Horse Firework

A knitted animation loop, created for the Crystallize show in  November 2013.  Eadward Muubridge’s Horse in Motion is codec-wrecked with firework.

28 stitches x 4878 rows

(272 frames, 11 seconds duration, 13 metres length).

Developed as part of the Knitting Digital research project.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

24 Apr

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Deep Repository

April 24, 2013 | By | No Comments


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Deep Repository is an attempt to design a solution for a final resting place for digital media. An archive for the post-apocalyptic. The concrete module may contain master formats (eg dv tapes, hard drives) securely insulated and encased, whilst associated documents other formats are stored on a read only SD card, accessible via the waterproof usb adaptor. The work was developed as part of a residency at Florence Mine, Egremont. The title is a reference to a proposed method of storing nuclear waste at nearby Sellafield in Cumbria.

19 Feb

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View From Here – Florence Mine

February 19, 2013 | By | No Comments

A film documenting views achievable from the vantage point of Florence Mine shaft no. 2, overlooking Egremont, Cumbria. Filmed using a traditional manual titling system bought on Ebay and lettraset to create analogue equivalent to motion graphics typography. Created for the ‘Unearthed‘ exhibition, Florence Mine.

30 Dec

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Composite Video

December 30, 2012 | By | No Comments


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Performance with video titlers

Composite is platform for the real-time presentation, annotation and re-combination of ideas.

The Composite Lectures format presents 3 short papers, each lasting about 5 minutes, followed by a final summary of the ideas shared in that session. Since the indivisual talks are annotated on analogue video titlers, the final summary itself becomes an overlaid remix, a video text cut-up.

The title refers in this case the yellow ‘composite’ phono cable I have used to connect the devices, from the camera, through the daisy-chained video tilters, through to the projector at the end. It is these through these cables and devices that the presentations are relayed visually, annotated, and finally summarized.

Composite 01 was devised by Sam Meech and Nathan Jones, and supported by the Cornerhouse Microcommissions scheme.

30 Dec

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‘Archive’ – video installation

December 30, 2012 | By | No Comments

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‘Archive’ is a single screen database video installation about the preservation and cataloguing of memory. Made of 16 reinforced file boxes, all backed with architectural tracing paper to form a simple back projection screen. Into these boxes are projected various films from the NWFA collection, footage of the NWFA itself, plus other bits and bobs exploring my own personal experiences in relation to preservation.

Shown as part of the Co-operative exhibition, Liverpool Biennial 2010 – http://thecooperative.info/

Like much of my work this is built using isadora to trigger and arrange a database of over 100 video clips. The patch arranges the videos in compositions to fit the grid created by the boxes. As a result, some lovely combinations occur of archive footage amongst the filming cabinets of the NWFA.

I don’t usually think of myself doing ’sculpture’ or ‘installation’, but as soon as you project anything the piece takes on a spatial dimension that has to be negotiated and in that sense becomes architectural (I have become very fond of the screen I have constructed from ‘R-Kive’ boxes). This piece was a way for me to document my experience within the North West Film Archive and explore the idea of selection and preservation in a much looser, more formal way than I could in Noah’s Ark.

It also let me bring in some other stuff taking place in my life whilst working on Noah’s Ark – namely the deterioration and death of my grandma, which I documented along the way. It is perhaps strange and morbid to do this, but it gave me some ownership of her memory, and infact some of the images are fascinating.

Photos of the ‘Archive’ used courtesy of Alex Wolkowicz