Thursday, January 29, 2009

Translating the YARN Text

Today was the last HUMlab Syjunta workshop in Sweden, and several people came to finish their patches. They were posted on the design board next to patches from the USA (see Amanda Thackray's patch pictured here) and the UK (thanks to Abi Gibbens and Alex Hodby).

Karin has translated the Yarn text into Swedish, which I'll post here as soon as its typed up. We had an interesting discussion about the translation of 'Yarn' which we decided was closer to 'Thread' rather than wool or ribbon. The thread of a story makes sense, even if the 'spinning a yarn' story telling as a big fib doesn't quite translate.


Here are the HUMlab gang stitching the tent!

Here are the colours in three languages: English, Html, and Swedish:

Get: Green = 00FF00 = Grön
Your: Yellow = FFFF00 = Gul
Rabbits: Red = FF0000 = Röd
Mated: Magenta = FF00FF = Magenta
Before: Blue = 0000FF = Blå
Christmas: Cyan = 00FFFF = Cyan

Thursday, January 22, 2009

New location for the OSE website

The Open Source Embroidery website (including the Html Patchwiki) has been saved by HUMlab - thanks guys.

For some strange reason Fasthosts took it down with no explanation, and it's taken a couple of weeks to get it back and find a new home.

Sorry for the delays,

Thursday, January 15, 2009

HUMlab Syjunta January 24-30

24 - 30 January 2009
12.00 – 17.00 daily

Vernissage: Friday 23rd January 4-6pm
Syjunta (GYRMBC): Tuesday 27th January 2-4pm
Syjunta (Yarn): Thursday 29th January 2-4pm

HUMlab Syjunta is an intervention of patterned code and encoded craft into the HUMlab interdisciplinary digital humanities research lab at Umeå University, initiated as part of my research fellowship. The exhibition will present some exisitng OSE artworks (Iain Clark, Paul Grimmer, Clare Roddock, Lisa Wallbank, and James Wallbank) alongside new works in progress created in HUMlab. These will include the collaborative HUMlab GYRMBC Tent, and the collectively stitched Yarn text quilt. Individual works include Suzanne Martin’s Knitted Pattern flat screen cover, Stephanie Wuschitz’s Wireless Women, and Haishu Zhang’s meticulously embroidered HUMlab logo.

HUMlab Syjunta sewing circles will bring together HUMlab html users to stitch the RGB and CMYK hexadecimal colour codes onto the GYRMC tent, and invite the Yarn stitchers to sew their embroidered texts into a single patchwork quilt.

The one-person GYRMBC (Get Your Rabbits Mated Before Christmas) Tent has been created by HUMlab workers to illustrate the combination of RGB and CMYK colour sequences, and to recognise the need for individual creative space alongside the opportunity to collaborate with others.

During November 2008 the Open Source Embroidery Fika workshops at the Fine Art School and HUMlab inspired the stitching of the Raqs Media Collective’s definition of ‘Yarn’ (2003), which describes the metaphorical and material quality of threads, yarn and cables, and how they carry stories through weaving, stitching and bandwidth.

During the HUMlab Syjunta exhibition, I will be embroidering the script for the Patchwiki interface onto the back of the patchwork, so do pop by to say hello.

It's also a great sneak preview of some of the works in progress which will form part of the major Open Source Embroidery exhibition presented at BildMuseet, June 7th – September 6th 2009.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Open Attitude: To be, or not to be, Open Source Embroidery

The concept of Open Source is a problematic one. Not only because of its relationship to free software (GNU/GPL) and the Creative Commons, but as a concept for a development model. Open Source has been so critiqued, that I sometimes wonder if it still has currency as a title for this project. Many of the issues are explored in 'Floss+Art' compiled and edited by Aymeric Mansoux and Marloes de Valk (2008) Published (print on demand) by Goto10 in association with Open Mute.

Rather than getting bogged down in the why's and wherefore's of licensing Olga Gurinova rehabilitates the discourse of freedom and resistance in relation to free and open source software in her essay 'Autocreativity: The Operation of Codes of Freedom in Art and Culture' (p 92-117). She concludes:

"Free Software destabilised existing definitions of property and threatened certain forms of wealth because it touched upon the transformative agents involved in the constitution of relationships, subjectivities and experiences linked into the sphere of production and maintenance of the society. Free Software is not a metaphor in this text used to talk about a different set of problems, but a leap onto the grain problematic of today, the core struggles and weapons. Here what comes on stage is the question how freedom, autonomy, openness operate at different levels?"
(Gorinova (2008) In: Mansoux & de Valk, p116)

The Open Source Embroidery project sits on this stage of questioning - bringing together different approaches and attitudes to valuing creativity. The project aims to reinvestigate and muddle the gaps in the culture of creative production that include: amateur and professional, male and female work, technical and handmade, real and virtual. Rather than situating these as binary positions, they overlap into a myriad of creative activities with an open attitude, finding ways of creating structures to facilitate dialogue and culture.

Perhaps a term like 'Open Attitude' encompasses the 'fit for purpose' approach to tools in the OSE project more comfortably than 'Open Source'. It was Camille Moussette who said he has an 'open attitude' in his work at one of the OSE Fika sessions here at the Fine Art School at Umea University. An 'open attitude' makes total sense in terms of product designers moving away from attempting to patent their next new product, to designing kits for people to build and understand their own technology. The Arduino is a good example here, which is why I'm delighted that Becky Stern will be lending her Lilypad Arduino Embroidery for the OSE exhibition.

And for now the name of the project 'Open Source Embroidery' will remain as it is.