The Embroidered Digital Commons (EDC) is a collective close-reading and close-stitching of a text written by Raqs Media Collective called 'A Concise Lexicon of / for the Digital Commons' (2003). The full lexicon is an A-Z of the relationship between social, digital and material space. The lexicon weaves together an evolving metaphorical language of common ownership, common use and access across digital platforms. The commons has become synonymous with digital media through the discourse of free and open source software, shared production of knowledge, open access, and creative commons. The digital commons is a response to the inherent 'copy n paste' reproducability of digital codes, scripts, and files and the cultural forms they support.

Embroidery is a slow craft, and the project has been running for over ten years as and when people feel inspired. The project began in 2008 as part of the Open Source Embroidery project facilitated by Ele Carpenter and exhibited at Bildmuseet, Umea University, and the Museum of Craft and Folk Art in San Fransico.

The Embroidered Digital Commons will be included in an exhibition about the commons taking place at the MAC in Birmingham in Autumn 2020.

This website is regularly updated with new patches as they are completed. The website brings together embroideries by over 1,000 people stitching over 4,500 words, so please be patient. We aim to credit all the stitchers and facilitators, but it will take time.

If you would like to contribute to the project, please email elecarpenter at gmail dot com


Raqs Media Collective (2003) A Concise Lexicon of/for the Digital Commons, In: Sarai Reader 03 Shaping Technologies, ed Monica Narula, Shuddhabrata Sengupta, Jeebesh Bagchi, Ravi Vasudevan, Ravi Sundaram, Geert Lovink. Sarai-CDS Delhi / WAAG Amesterdam. 2003. p357-365