Open Sewing Circle

Open Sewing Circle

Location: HV Galleri, Handarbetets vänner (Association of Friends of Textile Art), Djurgårdsslätten 82-84, Stockholm

Opening: 11 September 11 am-4 pm

Workshops: Stitching together 12 September 11 am-4 pm

Open Sewing Circle I, Many, Many,
13 September 11 am-4 pm

Open Sewing Circle II, Embroidered Digital Commons, 14 September 11 am-4 pm

Seminar: 13 September 6 pm with Ele Carpenter, Kristina Lindström, Åsa Ståhl, Louise Waldén

The exhibition may be viewed in the gallery's display window 28 August-3 October

Many artists emphasize the connection between textiles and digital technique. Cable, thread and wool mediate stories and contexts.

The traditional sewing circle’s social openness is recreated in electronic networks using freeware and open source codes. Based on these conditions three artists will hold open sewing circles at HV Gallery. Handwork is combined with discussions about networks and communication.

In connection with the project a seminar will be held with the participating artists and Louise Waldén Ph.D., (SE), womens historian.

Participating artists and researchers:

Ele Carpenter Ph.D., (UK), is an artist, researcher and curator. In her research she explores the connection between artistic activism and newer media. In her practise she utilises the potential of craft and handwork as social activity and artistic medium. She has curated the exhibition Open Source Embroidery at BildMuseet in Umeå and at the Museum of Craft and Folk Art in San Francisco 2009-10. Carpenter literally picks up threads. She binds together and connects to others who have developed the common history of textile craft, digital technique and communication.

Ele Carpenter will present two workshops as part of her ongoing Open Source Embroidery project:

Monday 13 September 12–4 pm. Many:Many Sewing Network
The Sewing Circle is an open forum for individual and collective creativity, sharing ideas and stories forming the social fabric of life. A hub of activity combining amateur and professional networks connected through 6 degrees of separation.

‘1:Many’ is a ratio for a network topology that describes a centralized network, where one person broadcasts to many people, like traditional media such as radio and television. Bertolt Brecht in The Radio as an Apparatus of Communication (1932) called for the radio apparatus to be used as a transmitter as well as a receiver, enabling people to become producers and not just consumers of culture and information. This ‘Many:Many’ network model enables many people to broadcast to many people, and was illustrated by Paul Baran in 1964 as a distributed network. Baran saw the potential of a distributed communications network to withstand nuclear attack, or a breakdown in any single connection. Today the Internet forms an important part of our social and communication networks collapsing and extending distance between communities and across continents.

In this workshop groups are invited to share their stories and ideas, and to stitch their social network topologies through a myriad of connections to produce a Many:Many embroidered net of people and ideas.

Tuesday 14 September 12–4 pm. Embroidered Digital Commons (Gift).
The ‘Embroidered Digital Commons’ is based on the crafted language of the Concise Lexicon of/for the Digital Commons by the Raqs Media Collective (2003). The full lexicon is an A-Z of the interrelationship between social, digital and material space. It weaves together an evolving language of the commons which is both poetic and informative. The decentralised embroidered version of the Lexicon is a practical way of close-reading and discussing the text and it's current meaning. Each term is chosen in relation to the specific context of its production through group workshops and conferences. The 26 terms in the lexicon are: Access, Bandwidth, Code, Data, Ensemble, Fractal, Gift, Heterogeneous, Iteration, Kernal, Liminal, Meme, Nodes, Orbit, Portability, Quotidian, Rescension, Site, Tools, Ubiquity, Vector, Web, Xenophilly, Yarn, and Zone. This workshop invites people to form a sewing study group to stitch a term from the lexicon.

The Digital Commons concerns how the digital is common to all, and what it means for the digital to be commonly owned, commonly accessed or available. But, like common grazing lands, commons require agreement on certain principles. The idea of the commons has become synonymous with digital media through the discourse surrounding free and open source software and creative commons licensing. The Digital Commons is a response to the inherent 'copy n paste' reproducibility of digital codes, scripts and files, and the cultural forms that they support. Instead of trying to claim ground or restrict access, the commons invites open participation in the production of ideas and culture. Where culture is not something you buy, but something you do.

Kristina Lindström and Åsa Ståhl (SE) are artists and doctoral candidates at K3, Malmö University. In their joint research they oftern return to questions dealing with borders and the relation between public/private, digital/analogue, fast/slow, fleeting/long-lasting, tradition/innovation, hand/machine.

Stitching together is a sewing circle in which the participants are invited to embroider a text message from their mobile phones. These brief, often fleeting messages are made more long-lasting through embroidery and are also put together into a patchwork that grows during the research project. What happens during the encounters at the HV gallery and the experiences gained will become a part of their joint doctoral dissertation. The working title is Gemensamt kunskapande i och genom vardagligt berättande (Communal knowledge creation in and through everyday storytelling) and deals with new media, communication, publicity and depiction forms. 

Louise Waldén, Ph. D., (SE) is a womens historian and researcher. Her doctoral dissertation was titled Genom symaskinens nålsöga: teknik och social förändring i kvinnokultur och manskultur (Through the eye of the sewing machine needle: technique and social transformation in womens culture and mans culture) in 1990. She has researched embroidery, handwork and sewing circles as a form of hidden in womens public domain and the mediation of knowledge. She was co-editor of Den feminia textilen: makt och monster (The Feminine Textile: power and pattern) that was published by the Nordic museum in 2005. Waldén wrote the lyrics to one of the women’s movements most well-known songs Innerst inne är du en riktig kvinna, Louise (Deep inside you are a real woman, Louise) that was interpreted by Marie Selander on the the album Sånger om kvinnor (Songs about Women) in 1971.

Curator: Margareta Klingberg (SE)
Klingberg is a visual artist who works with textile, text and photography. Her exhibition On the Move is currently on at Norrbottens Museum in Luleå (21 August–19 September). In this long-term art project she has followed guest working berry pickers and their pendular movements inner Norrland and their home countries: Thailand, Poland, Lithuania and the Ukraine. Their lives are portrayed in photographs, objects and videos. Klingberg also participates in the exhibition Kvinnor och Krig (Women and War) at Härnösands Konsthall, 11 September–10 October. She is a contributing editor of the Internet art magazine Volym.

Öppen syjunta, tre workshops i HV Galleri, september 2010
Kristina Lindström, Åsa Ståhl, Stitching Together, kollektivt maskinbroderi, work in progres, detalj
Embroidered Digital Commons, workshop i HV Galleri med Ele Carpenter, 14 september 2010
Öppen syjunta, tre workshops i HV Galleri, september 2010
Embroidered Digital Commons, workshop med Ele Carpenter, HV Galleri 14 september 2010
Kristina Lindström, Åsa Ståhl, Stitching Together, work in progress i HV Galleri
Kristina Lindström, Åsa Ståhl, Stitching Together, kollektivt maskinbroderi, detalj
Ele Carpenter, Embroidered Digital Commons, workshop i HV Galleri, vernissage 11 september
Ele Carpenter,2010,Baran Diagram,broderi på duk, detalj
Many,Many, workshop i HV Galleri med Ele Carpenter, 14 september 2010
Many,Many, workshop i HV Galleri med Ele Carpenter, 14 september 2010
Embroidered Digital Commons, workshop i HV Galleri 14 september

Pils Design