Inhabiting the Hack

Inhabiting the Hack

The Hacks About CCN+

17 Jun 2015
Sonic Pattern Symposium

Sonic Pattern and the Textility of Code is a series of events (symposia, performances, exhibitions) curated by Karen Gaskill (who until 2016 lead the Innovation strand of the Crafts Council) and Alex McLean. Through these events we bring people working variously with threads, sound and code together, for discussion and practice focussing on the cultural-technological role of pattern in their work.

As part of the Inhabiting the Hack series, we joined with the AHRC Weaving Codes, Coding Weaves project and Crafts Council to fund a symposium, evening of performances and group residency.


The symposium brought together six artists to talk about their work, chaired by Karen Gaskill, and with David Littler and Alex McLean leading two group discussion sessions.

Amy Twigger Holroyd – Knitting/Numbers - Amy Twigger Holroyd is a designer, maker, researcher and writer. Through her craft fashion knitwear label, Keep & Share, she has explored the emerging field of fashion and sustainability since 2004. Amy will talk about the centrality of mathematics and number patterns to her knitting practice, from the design of fabrics and garments to an obsession with ratios which emerged while exploring the challenge of changing gauge as part of her PhD research.

Mattias Jones spots and draws patterns, including tessellations, space filling curves and tiling patterns, by hand or via handmade robots. He often works in collaboration with psychologists, mathematicians and musicians, across multiple media.

Gemma Latham – Participatory Textiles - Gemma Latham is a participatory artist who expands and magnifies textile processes in the creation of installations and interventions, inviting the public to join in the making. Interested in capturing moments of flow, Gemma has been exploring code as a form of co-production in the interpretation of participants’ experiences during making.

David Littler is a sonic visual artist and curator. His work explores the connections between people, place, making, materials and sound. He is a founder member of the sonic arts collective sampler-cultureclash and has recently curated Yan Tan Tethera: songs of textilefolk in conjunction with the English Folk Dance and Song Society. David lead the following discussion with Amy and Gemma:

Theo Burt – Batch Transformations and Euphoria - Burt makes extensive use of automatic processes in his audio/visual work, creating ambiguous and liminal situations that explore our urge to read narratives within even highly abstracted events and the contradictions this creates with our phenomenal experience. He will talk about his remix works for the Automatics Group, beginning with Summer Mix (2011, Entr’acte / Death of Rave), including offline processes, disrupted symbols and mass data generation/curation. This presentation was not filmed.

Sharon Mossbeck is a conceptual artist whose work focuses on themes of death and religion, often presented in a vibrant, hedonistic manner. Mossbeck works in a variety of media, including painting, sculpture using found objects and textiles. She is currently artist in resident at Bank St Arts in Sheffield, where she is working on a large scale sculptural piece using cross stitch methods and inspired by DNA patterns and Byzantine church domes.

Francesca Sargent is a researcher and technologist as part of FoAM Kernow in Falmouth, which collaborates on the Weaving Codes project with the University of Leeds and the Copenhagen Centre for Textile Research, including creating the Pattern Matrix for tangible weavecoding.

Alex McLean is an interdisciplinary researcher and practitioner based in Sheffield, UK, with focus on pattern in music, computer languages and textiles. He works across algorithmic music and digital arts, and has organised many international events including chairing the first International Conference on Live Coding, the International Conference on Live Interfaces, and the Sonic Pattern symposia with Karen Gaskill. As a musician he performs widely through several collaborations, using the TidalCycles live coding environment which he created, and is now a vibrant free/open source project. He has co-lead several Arts and Humanities Research Council projects, most recently the Weaving Codes, Coding Weaves project. Alex lead the following discussion with Francesca, Gemma and Matt:

The Hacks About CCN+