Punchcard Economy (in production), Sam Meech, 2014
Punchcard Economy (in production), Sam Meech, 2014




From knitting machines to pneumatic contraptions, the way artists translate our data into the physical can allow us to make sense of it, or to see the absurdity of the data itself. Join us for a day of participatory workshops and live demonstrations with artists exhibited in the Data as Culture exhibition programme.

YoHa - Invisible Airs. Book Stabber (2013)
YoHa - Invisible Airs. Book Stabber (2013)

Punchcard Economy Knitting Workshop

In this hands-on workshop, you can explore the uses of the knitting machine yourself, and produce your very own knitted punchcard representing your personal working patterns.

8 participant spaces available, 2 participants per slot. Please choose a preferred time below to sign up for a workshop place.

11 – 12:15am
12:15 – 1:30pm
2:30 – 3:45pm
3:45 – 5pm

Sam Meech’s Punchcard Economy banners are large­ scale knitted data­ visualisation works, based on 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 creative 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’.

Notes: Participants must sign up to http://punchcardeconomy.co.uk/ and log their working hours for a full week prior to the workshop

Punchcard Economy has been supported by FACT Liverpool and Arts Council England.

YoHa – Invisible Airs Demonstration

Experience public data like never before through YoHa ’s Invisible Airs – a series of pneumatic contraptions converting social pressure into air pressure, Pound per pound.

Commissioned by Bristol City Council to develop an art work responding to open data, YoHa, assisted by Stephen Fortune, attempted to read the 20,000 comma-separated lines of the apparently open expenditure database. Concluding that “power revealed itself through multiple layers of boredom”, they decided to demonstrate the relations contained within the databases to the people affected by it through physical force.

Invisible Airs links data from Bristol City Council’s B-Open expenditure databases to a series interactive contraptions. An air compressor triggered by spending items of over £500 animates the machines, based on how much the council is spending in different areas.

YoHa will present and run the machine in this live demonstration, inviting you to test your aim with the expenditure filled spud gun, balance the books with open data book stabber, polish the floor with an older people pneumatic brusher and help grab the civic rains with the public expenditure riding machine.

Presentation and demonstration at 1:30 and 3:30pm

The Data as Culture programme and exhibition explores the wider implications of the culture of open data on culture itself, to challenge our understanding of what data is, and how it may affect and reflect our lives. Partnered with the Open Data Institute and FutureEverything Festival, this commission explores our relationship with surveillance, privacy, and personal data, taking a critical and sometimes comedic look at the power of open data.



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