Open Source Embroidery - Ele Carpenter

The way women traditionally share needlecraft techniques compares to the manner in which computer coding skills are circulated - largely by men. Both are inherently open source activities, but while we have at least some idea of what's involved in sewing, for many, coding remains shrouded in mystery.

Based around needle and thread, rather than screen and keyboard, artist-curator Ele Carpenter has established an itinerant sewing circle to literally and metaphorically thread its way through the seams of craft and code.

To date, the global participants of Open Source Embroidery projects (which range from events to exhibitions and workshops) have built systems for successfully sharing all sorts of crafting and coding skills as part of the same learning fabric.

Html Patchwork, now on show at the National Museum of Computing comprises hexagonal patches each representing a hexadecimal colour code. Its online counterpart Patchwiki - a wiki designed to manage the collaborative aspect of the work - resembles a virtual patchwork of crafting and coding techniques.

Another project, A Concise Lexicon of/for the Digital Commons, a poetic examination of the language of a digital commons (the principle of access-all-areas knowledge) is being meticulously materialised; an exercise in close-reading as close-stitching.

Find out more about artist-curator Ele Carpenter.