Punchcard Economy

(2013), Knitted banner, knitting machine and documentary film, smeech.co.uk
in collaboration with FACT, Liverpool part of Time & Motion exhibit

Reinterpreting the heritage of the textile industry in the north west of England, whilst documenting the current experience of the freelance creative, Punchcard Economy comprises of a machine-knitted banner based on the ‘8 hours labour, 8 hours recreation, 8 hours rest’ slogan coined by Robert Owen of the Eight Hour Day movement. The design incorporates data collected from a range of ‘workers’ in the digital, creative and cultural industries, auditing contemporary working patterns within the digital economy, and revealing the shift from Owens’ ‘888’ ideal. The final work is produced on a domestic knitting machine using a combination of digital imaging tools and traditional punchcard systems.