This research project represents a slight but significant shift in my practise an an artist. I usually work with video, and only came across a knitting machine for the first time last year, whilst filming the  NEPHRA knitting group in North Manchester. I was struck by the parallels between punchcards and film reels, stitches and pixels, and began to relate to it in terms of digital imaging as much as textiles. Further to this, I was introduced to examples of other artists who had hacked electronic knitting machines and developed software tools in order to send them digital images. I’m very much standing on the shoulders of giants in using these tools, but I felt strongly that I could bring something to this field, not as a programmer, but as someone who works with digital tools, moving images, communities and contributions. I have since outlined a series of experiments and works I will undertake over the next 6 months, including:

– collating and sharing research on field of artists working with knitting / digital
– working with the knitting group to document our own practice and discussion around – digital / textiles, creating tutorials for techniques
– creation of a large-scale knitted banner for the 8 Hour Day movement – PUNCHCARD ECONOMY, for exhibition at FACT Liverpool in December 2013
– development and proof of concept of knitted animations – approaches to moving image textiles

For more about me and work, visit my website – www.smeech.co.uk


This project is kindly supported by the Arts Council of England.


Punchcard Economy has been commissioned by FACT, Liverpool