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27 Mar


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Exhibitions: Punchcard Economy

March 27, 2017 | By | No Comments

My knitted data-visualisation banner Punchcard Economy – is on show at the following exhibitions:

9th March – 9th April – part of ‘Digital Labour’ exhibition at Biennale Internationale Design St Etienne, France
*Nominated for the Prix Innovation Jeunes Designers Award*


Machine knitted cotton banner, 5m x 3m

Reinterpreting the heritage of NW textile industry, whilst documenting the current reality of the ‘work’, Punchcard Economy is a machine-knitted banner based on the ‘8 hours labour, 8 hours recreation, 8 hours rest’ slogan coined by Robert Owens of the Eight Hour Day movement. The design incorporates data collected from a range of ‘workers’ in the digital, creative and cultural industries. The final work is produced on a domestic knitting machine using a combination of digital imaging tools and traditional punchcard systems.


Previous Exhibitions:
February 2015 – Time & Motion: Redefining Working Life – Transmediale 15’, Berlin, Germany
January 2015 – Future Everything, Manchester, UK
November 2013 – Time & Motion: Redefining Working Life – FACT Liverpool, UK

27 Mar


Screenings – Ceci N’est Pas Un Spectacle

March 27, 2017 | By |

My knitted animation CECI N’EST PAS UN SPECTACLE is screening at the following festivals:

1st March 2019 (1pm) CECI N’EST PAS UN SPECTACLE screens at BEST OF REAL TO REEL FILM FEST – PREVIEW, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK


The film was developed as part of my Montreal Human Futures residency in 2015 with Mutek, National Film Board of Canada, quartier des Spectacles and FACT, Liverpool. It forms part of a larger body of works entitled On est tous un groupe d’amis ici” (we are all friends here).


23rd – 25th February 2018 – screening at ONE MINUTE NORTH WALES – Balaclafa Carn, Caernarfon, Wales

4th May 2017 – screens at Crafts Council Real to Reel Film Festival, London, UK

28th-29th April 2017 – screens at Le Mup Film Festival, Montreal, Canada



21 Sep


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Rogue Project Space @ The Manchester Contemporary 2016 – Sep 22-25

September 21, 2016 | By | No Comments

LAUNCH: Thursday 22 September, 5.30-9pm
CONTINUES: 23-25 September 2016

Rogue Project Space is excited to be exhibiting work by Rogue Artists’ Studios (Rogue) members; Jan Chlebik, Hilary Jack, Sam Meech, Evangelia Spiliopoulou, and Mike Chavez-Dawson with Shaw & Shaw at The Manchester Contemporary 2016.

I’m really pleased to be respresenting Rogue Artists Studios and Project Space at The Manchester Contemporary art fair this weekend. It’s a chance to show some of the work that artists at Rogue develop, and re-state the importance of Rogue in the Manchester art ecology, and indeed the importance of all affordable space for artists in supporting practice.

That said, I have some reservations about showing my work in the context of an art market, as I’m not used to exhibiting in order to ‘sell’ work. My experience at Kinetica Art Fair in 2014 was enlightening, though financially costly (£566 on materials, travel, acoomodation and stall fixtures), and only emphasised to me that on the whole I do not make things for market, but instead survive through the commission itself, or more often sharing the process through workshops. The truth is, I am no craftsman, and I cannot make things that are good enough to sell; instead I make works that exist to prompt an idea or question, usually in a specific context. At Kinetica I tried to approach this by offering my artistic labour for sale – an idea that many people felt was conceptually engaging (one chap said that my work was “the closest thing I’ve seen to art in here”), but which failed to translate into any actual bookings for me to ‘work’.


This time round, I have decided to look at the notion of value again, but this time questioning the value and originality of the art object in the context of the Art Fair. I have produced a number of knitted copies of the UNIQUE KNITWEAR LTD sign belonging to our Rogue neighbours at Crusader Mill. Each sign is exactly the same (bar mistakes and dropped stitches), and is part of an ‘unlimited’ edition. They are essentially stock – no one sign is special, there is no ‘series’. I can knock these out whenever I like. I have also priced them based on measurable variables – materials, overheads, and of course, labour, plus a 20% agency fee for Rogue. It is a practical and economic approach to an absurd environment in which value is often ascribed and opaque.



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


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.

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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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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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