Artist Commissions

Control Shift are thrilled to announce two commissions that will be developed over the coming months. Arjun Harrison-Mann and Benjamin Redgrove will explore ideas of radical accessibility, directly responding to the current health crisis. Knitwitter, a participatory project by Wisterlitz, explores our relationship to data through the tangible medium of knitting.

Watch us in a discussion with commissioned artists at the Pervasive Media Studio lunchtime talk (aired on 5 June).

Arjun Harrison-Mann and Benjamin Redgrove

image of work: person with a phone strapped to their chest

London-based art and design duo Arjun Harrison-Mann and Benjamin Redgrove explore forms of Accessibility through wearable accessories and custom built video-conferencing software. Their work is grounded in the Social Model of Disability, which proposes that social structures and attitudes define disability, rather than people’s impairments.

Recent enforced measures for staying at home illuminate how some of the systems and structures that define how people experience the world can be disabling. Arjun and Benjamin are programming a series of performative walks using Power Tools to explore issues around power, presence, access, and inclusion.

During limited outdoor time, pairs of walkers are invited to take part in remote discussions on the Social Model of Disability. Through opening up these discussions to wider audiences, Power Tools asks us to consider the importance of Accessibility in people’s lives.

Knitwitter by Wisterlitz

image of work: photo of ipad with KnitWitter page

Wisterlitz (Liz Lister and Becky Hurwitz) make playful, interactive work exploring relationships between science, technologies, and society. Their work reflects on the position of women in relation to these areas, often looking afresh at invisible histories through a contemporary lens and combining physical making with digital mediums.

Women have used knitting to encode secret messages since WW1. Now, encoded messages are sent all the time in the form of data. Instant, digital, text-based communications are made from millions of hidden zeros and ones that we entrust our phones to interpret for us and keep secret from others.

Knitwitter will be a collaboratively made knitted artwork highlighting our intimate yet intangible and complex relationship with data. What if we could encode our own secret messages as an everyday item, something innocuous, hiding in plain sight?

👇 How to get involved

Participate in this project by visiting the Knitwitter website, and encode your own message in a piece of knitting. Wisterlitz will collect, curate, and display the knitted messages into a collaborative artwork. Note: Wisterlitz will not decode your messages; the data will stay hidden in the knitting.