Saturday, October 31, 2015

Textile Networks at Radical New Cross

The Embroidered Digital Commons continues! This autumn we're excited to be working with Rose Sinclair to consider how textiles shape communities before and after the internet at the Textile Networks as part of the 'Radical New Cross' festival taking place at Goldsmiths College, London.

We are inviting people to come and stitch the term 'Data' as part of the Embroidered Digital Commons, and take part in a public discussion about textile networks. Designer Rose Sinclair will lead a discussion on Dorcas societies of the 1950–60s, which brought together Caribbean women through textiles and acted as networks for social and economic change. The untold oral stories of Dorcas society members will be told through an accompanying installation. Ele Carpenter will introduce the Embroidered Digital Commons project and invite a collective reading and stitching of the term data.

Saturday 14th November,
1.15 - 4pm in St James Church at the end of St James's road in New Cross:
St James Hatcham Building, New Cross, St James’s, SE14 6NW

All crafters, makers, coders, hackers, artists, programmers, and stitchers are welcome! 
The event is free, but you need to book here:

Here's the text we will be embroidering:

"Data: Information. Can mean anything from numbers to images, from white noise to noise to sound. A weather report, a portrait, a shadow in surveillance footage, a salary statement, birth and death statistics, a headcount in a gathering of friends, private e-mail, ultra high frequency signals, sale and purchase transactions and the patterns made by pedestrians as they walk in a city - all of this can be and is data. Data, like coal, uranium and other minerals vital to the running of the world economy is mined, processed, refined and sold at a high price. Battlefields, early twenty first century inter-personal relationships and stock exchanges have been known to be hypersensitive to data traffic. Data mining is a major emerging industry in Delhi. The miners lead very quiet days, and spend long nights coding in low temperature zones called "Data Outsourcing Centres".

Contrarily, the word 'Data' (dãtã) in Hindi/Sanskrit is taken to mean "giver", which suggests that one must always be generous with information, and make gifts of our code, images and ideas. To be stingy with data is to violate an instance of the secret and sacred compacts of homophonic words from different cultural/spatial orbits ('dãtã' in Hindi and 'data' in English) as they meet in the liminal zone between languages, in the thicket of the sound of quotidian slips of the tongue. Errors in transmission and understanding too carry gifts and data."
Raqs Media Collective (2003). ‘A Concise Lexicon Of/For the Digital Commons’, Sarai Reader 03: Shaping Technologies, ed. Monica Narula, Shuddhabrata Sengupta, Jeebesh Bagchi, Ravi Vasudevan, Ravi Sundaram + Geert Lovink. Sarai-CSDS Delhi / WAAG Amsterdam, 2003.