Saturday, October 22, 2011

Multiple Formats for the Embroidered Digital Commons

Embroidered Digital Commons: Zone from Sophie McDonald on Vimeo.

The Embroidered Digital Commons is slowly taking shape, and we are working out how to collate or show each term in an appropriate format. After they are photographed, some people are keen to stitch the patches into a quilt. Other terms might form a string of bunting or a digital slide show. The fabric patches can also be pinned on a design board as a work in progress. In keeping with the spirit of the Digital Commons, it is important that the works are freely available online (although please note that this requires several hours of voluntary labour to co-ordinate and is a slow process). Although the main focus of the project is the experience of making and discussing the digital commons, and all the political contentions that this raises; it is also important for all the hundreds of individual contributions to come-together into a coherent whole.

Most importantly, the Embroidered Digital Commons examines the reproducibility of a text as an image. The project is transcribing the digital text file into textile, and then back into a digital image and digital film. This lengthy process of copying and reproducing the text is a form of close reading and close listening examining the nature of the digital commons in theory and practice. Whilst there are multiple reiterations of display, perhaps one of the most interesting is the flexibility and reproducibility of the digital format.

Sophie McDonald has been making beautiful films, which bring together the individual phrases into the complete definition of the  term. They can be viewed online, or projected in galleries. The projections can be life-size (25x25cm) or large scale. The term 'Zone' is shown above.

This Autumn people are stitching in Vienna, Chawton House Library, Sunderland, Sheffield, London and contributing to the term 'Web' through the Embroidered Digital Commons Face Book Group from as far afield as Texas!

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