Punchcard Economy

Sam Meech 2013

Exhibited across all three Data as Culture spaces, Punchcard Economy banners are large­-scale knitted data­ visualisation, based on the Robert Owen’s 8 Hour Day Movement slogan: ‘8 Hours Labour, 8 Hours Recreation, 8 Hours Rest’. The work incorporates contemporary data about working hours within the ‘digital’ economy, collected via a virtual punchcard on the project website,­ to map the shift from Owen’s ideal. Translating work patterns into knitting patterns using the similar punchcard technology, each misplaced stitch represents an hour of work done outside of the 8 hour ‘contract’.Visitors are invited to contribute to the project by using the website to track their own working hours. The work has been created using a Brother KH950i electronic domestic knitting machine (produced 1988), and uses the DaviWorks IMG2Track software (daviworks.com/knitting) and PPD cable hack to transfer digital image files from the mac to the knitting machine. Punchcard Economy has been supported by FACT Liverpool and Arts Council England.


ODI: 3.5 x 0.5m knitted banner, FutureEverything: 5 x 3m knitted banner & knitting machines


Data as Culture 2014
March 2014 – February 2015 at the Open Data Institute

Data Types

Anonymised, Personal, Processed, Shared, Static, Temporal

About the Artist

Artist and Videosmith. Born in Huddersfield 1981, Meech studied at Liverpool John Moores University (BA Multimedia Arts), and lives and works in the North West. Frequently collaborating with others, Meech explores the role of analogue technologies…
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