Friday, June 26, 2009

OSE at Dorkbot London

Several years ago I went along to Dorkfest at the Limehouse Townhall and was nearly blown away by Mike's Electrical stuff. I also picked up a flyer by Isobel entitled 'Dorkette' addressing the 90% male community, and trying to find a point at which more women could engage critically. Her first suggestion was knitting code.... The flyer really inspired me to carry on with Open Source Embroidery, knowing that there must be lots of people interested in the relationship between craft and code. So I was delighted to give a talk about the OSE project and Html Patchwork at the 22 June Dorkbot number 62.

The other speakers were brilliant, and wove a web of ideas and projects which make the virtual material in many different ways: Iain Sharp talked about Lunar Lander his mechanical recreation of the classic arcade game. Mike Harrison demonstrated low voltage neons and high voltage musical instruments. Douglas Repetto, the founder of dorkbot from NYC traced the path of scientific research from sensational press headlines back to the original research papers. His explorations of the various metaphors for brain activity led him to build an amazing synaptic-like sculptural forest complete with birds.

The BBC Tech Website people came to film us and put together a great article about all the different presentations at Dorkbot.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Open Source Embroidery Movement

It's exciting to be featured on especially as their offices are round the corner from the Museum of Craft and Folk Art in San Francisco, where the exhibition will be shown from October this year.

In the Wired article Priya Ganapati describes Open Source Embroidery as a 'movement' which is an exciting idea. Whilst the exhibition doesn't claim to represent every aspect of art-craft-technology practice, it does capture the zeit-geist of the socio-political aspects of the field.

A 'movement' is forward thinking, distributed, utopian, and often rhetorical. Here it is explored by a network of interlinking communities of makers, programmers, artists and researchers, but has no manifesto or definition as such. I'll muse upon this further and add to this post over the next few weeks. There is something about the representation and inevitable mis-representation of a movement which could be unpicked here.

Monday, June 08, 2009

OSE launch

The Open Source Embroidery exhibition opened at BildMuseet this weekend. We had a fantastic Sampling Performance by Yusra Warsama, Jason Singh and David Littler mixing the stories and sounds of music and embroidery sampling. Stephanie Hendrick made a great film of the event (thanks Stephanie). I've also uploaded my PHOTOS of the exhibition and preview. When I went back to the gallery on Sunday there were lots of people listening to the A-Z Audio Stitching and graffiti stitching the chairs. By September they will be completely covered in dense embroidery, which I guess will turn into a tapestry of sorts.

We've all downloaded Kate Pemberton's OSE Pixel Bluetooth onto their mobile. See the giff above. It's being broadcast in the reception area of the exhibition. I'm wondering if someone will embroider the cross stitch pattern onto one of the Sampler Culture Clash chairs?

The exhibition has opened, and will change every week for the next three months as people come and take part in Running Stitch, using GPS to track and stitch their walks around the town. Now I'm off to meet Jen Southern, Jen Hamilton and Chris St Amand, the Running Stitch artists. We're going to Umea University to meet Per Sandstrom who works with the Sami and uses GPS in his research into the movement of reindeer in northern Sweden.

Monday, June 01, 2009

sketchPatch is up!

Hurrah! sketchPatch has launched. Sophie McDonald and Davide Della Casa have worked tirelessly night and day to get this wonderful website up and running. And just in time for the Open Source Embroidery exhibition which opens on Saturday.

sketchPatch is a net-based collaborative programming project developed by artist Sophie McDonald and computer programmer Davide Della Casa. The site enables people to create ‘sketches’ (programmes) with simple processing scripts to create visual, animated and interactive online drawings that can be easily shared and modified, creating a collection of networked artworks. sketchPatch makes Processing code accessible to a broad audience, through a shared learning environment. New coders are encouraged to hack experienced coders work, resampling and modifying the code to create new works. The site allows users to create a new Processing sketch, write and preview the code and save it to a gallery. They can also open an existing Sketch from the gallery and adjust its code, preview and save it as a new piece of work.

Just what we need to get coding (or is that sketching)!