Open Source Embroidery
Embroidered Digital Commons
Links to interesting things
Micro Makers Faire, Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff, Wales, UK
22-24 October 2009
The Micro Makers Faire was part of the May You Live In Interesting Times Festival in Cardiff. For information about the Many:Many event see Ele Carpenter's blog Ele Weekend.
Open Source Embroidery Fika and HUMlab Syjunta
HUMLab and the Fine Arts School, Umeå University, Sweden. Nov 2008 - Jan 2009
Fika is coffee and cake time in Sweden. Everyone takes an informal coffee break at the same time. This is especially valuable in a research lab where people are busy on their own projects, or work across a number of different departments.
The Open Source Embroidery Fika workshops were held at the Art School and HUMlab during November 2008, welcoming art and design students alongside practicing artists and crafts people to discuss their work and ideas in relation to the OSE project. The discussions are noted on Ele's Blog, with references and links. OSE Fika was open for people to make their own work or to devise a collective project. Whilst Haishu Zhang meticulously cross-stitched the HUMlab logo and Suzanne Brook Martin designed a knitting pattern for a flat screen cover, others started to design the collective GYRMBC Tent and Yarn Text.
Syjunta roughly translates as Sewing-group. The term was used as the title for the HUMlab Syjunta exhibition in January 2009 to describe an intervention of crafted code and encoded craft into the media lab. The HUMlab Syjunta sewing sessions focused on completing the Yarn Text and GYRMBC Tent.
Following the success of the Html Patchwork as a collective structure for exploring colour codes, Ele proposed a new patchwork for HUMlab based on the GYRMBC nemonic to remember the sequence of RGB and CMYK colours. Through conversations with Magnus Olofsson and Anna Dalnerta the idea of a hexagonal pyramid tent emerged as a sculptural solution. The tent could be made of six websafe colour codes to depict the digital and print colours. The HUMlab Workers (as their internal email list describes them) could then embroider the hexadeciimal colour codes, the nemonic and colour names in English and Swedish. Marita Nilsson used her fantastic sewing skills to stitch the tent, and added the missing colour black as the pole sleeves along each seam.
A stong feature of the Open Source Embroidery Fika sessions was the interest in text. Many people working at HUMlab have a background in languages and literature, and they have just established an E-Literature group. To explore the relationship between the literal and poetic understanding of material, yarn and thread, Ele suggested the Raq's Media Collective's definition of Yarn, as the content for a collectively stitched text. The work will be discussed on a new page currently being developed for this website.
Interactive Screen 07: User Friendly is Not Enough!
Banff New Media Institue, August 2007
The Html Patchworkshop at Interactive Screen was hugely popular. After days of intense discussion the stitchers fell silent as they created their patches for the quilt. The Banff New Media Institute is part of the Banff Centre for the Arts in Alberta, Canada. The centre is high up in the Rocky Mountains and has breathtaking views. People from Canada, USA, UK, and New Zealand all made patches. Freestyle embroidery was very popular, and the particpants carried on their stitching and discussion in the bar in the evening.
Access Space, Sheffield, July 2007
Ele was artist in residence at Access Space during July 2007. The residency aimed to bring together patchworkers, embroiders and Stitch n Bitch, and Access Space programmers for discussion, tea and cake and to develop new projects. Through conversations with patchworkers in Sheffield and Clare Ruddock of DAAMN, Newcastle, the concept of an Html patchwork was developed. The patchwork is an online patchwork interface which maps a collectively stitched hexagonal quilt representing the 216 Hexidecimal colours. The web-based part of the project is on the Html Patchwork page of this site, and is documented on Ele's Blog.
DAAMN Residency at Glue Gallery, Newcastle, July 2007
Clare Ruddock ran an Html Patchwork project as part of the DAAMN (Digital Art and Media in the North East). For details see DAAMN.net and Clare's Blog.
Connecting Principle, Culture Lab, Newcastle Uni, May 2007
Knitters, artists, and programmers came together to share their projects as part of Connecting Principle, an interdisciplinary event exploring creative material and social process. Clare Ruddock showed her Handstitched, Handdrawn, Handmade, teacup embroidery. Iain Clark designed a screenbased textile PHP Embroidery which he invites people to modify. The piece is output from a basic Algorithm contained in a PHP script. The algorithm is a basic loop within a loop. The outer loop produces the table rows and the inner the coloured tables cells. Iain made the work to be 'textile like'. In retrospect Iain says that "a loop within a loop does sound like a stitching technique. It was also possible to make it in 5 to 10 minutes which fitted in quite nicely with my coffee break."
Flaxarts, Belfast, August 2006
Aisling was updating the Flaxarts website. She couldn't find the Dreamweaver shortcut to open the map in a new window, so we wrote it in html instead:
<a href="flaxmap.htm" target="_blank"> Flaxarts map</a>.
Ele embroidered one black top with the link to the page; and another with the letters html.
During August 2006, there were loyalist flags outside many of the houses in Belfast, Union Jacks were strung across the streets, a makeshift stand commemorated the 25th Anniversary of the Hunger Strikers. The conflict between Israel and Lebanon was spiralling out of control. Ele stitched the words
<strong> Peace </strong>and 'ceasefirenow' with the html mark up to make the word bold.
The Star and Shadow Cinema, Projectile Film Festival, June 2006
Dominic Smith from Polytechnic gave a talk to the Anarchist Film festival about open source video editing software. Ele and Honor finished the 'Many to Many' scarf.
B+B Reunion, Wyzing Arts, November, 2005
This was the first practical Open Source Embroidery event, developed at a B+B Reunion weekend residential workshop at Wyzing Arts. Ele stitched the words Community of Users / Creative Commons on a shared language scarf as a way of introducing her research. Visitors to the open day were really interested in the project. They had never heard of open source software, and loved the craft interpretation. Ele wrote a parody of Eric Raymond's principles of open source development in terms of knitting and stitiching, and posted them up on the wall in the cafe. Sophie McDonald helped with sewing a pair of 'Many to Many' gloves.