Open Source Embroidery: Craft and Code at HTTP Gallery

16 May 2008 – 15 Jun 2008


London, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • 4, 19, 29, 106, 153, 210, 236, 253, 254, 259, W3, W7
  • Manor House, Finsbury Park, Harringay Green Lanes

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This exhibition explores the connections between the collaborative characteristics of needlework, craft and Open Source software. This project has brought together embroiderers, patch-workers, knitters, artists and computer programmers, to share their practice and make new work. The centre-piece of the exhibition at HTTP Gallery is the HTML Patchwork developed in response to the popularity of quilting in Sheffield, the result of a participatory project initiated by Ele Carpenter in partnership with Access Space. The patchwork is built on open principles of collective production and skill-share where each person contributes a part to the whole. The final work is a collectively stitched patchwork quilt of HTML web-safe colours with embroidered codes, and a wiki website, where the makers of each patch identify themselves and write about their sewing process. Each patch is personalised by the sewer, often including embroidered web addresses. In an interview with Jess Lacetti, Ele Carpenter said about the project: The same arguments about Open Source vs Free Software can be applied to embroidery. The needlework crafts also have to negotiate the principles of 'freedom' to create, modify and distribute, within the cultural and


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