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A truly meta Cosby sweater
December 4, 2012 8:20 AM   Subscribe

In a video shot at World Maker Faire in 2011, artist Andrew Salamone is shown demonstrating the knitting machine he's adapated and programmed to knit images, and displaying some of the amazing work he's produced with it: a ski mask with an image of his face on the front, a "break beat" scarf, and a sweater featuring a picture of Bill Cosby wearing a sweater with a picture of Bill Cosby on it. Salamone hopes to someday get Cosby to accept and wear the sweater he's designed. God knows Cosby can't reject this sweater on the grounds that it's in any way inferior to the sweaters he's worn in the past. Check out more of Andrew Salamone's knitted art on his web site. In my favourite piece, Salamone recreates a still from "The Muppet Bohemian Rhapsody".
posted by orange swan (38 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
love the pizzoetrope
posted by bq at 8:29 AM on December 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Please excuse the following rant

YOU DID NOT HACK THIS MACHINE, YOU MADE AN ADAPTOR. YOUR CAR STEREO INSTALLER DID NOT HACK YOUR CAR. THE BANK PROGRAMMER WHO TURNED A HEINOUS PROPRIETARY FORMAT INTO JSON DID NOT HACK THE BANK.

This is pretty cool, though.
posted by zippy at 8:45 AM on December 4, 2012 [6 favorites]


Speaking of hacks, my av software is twigging out on his blog.
posted by boo_radley at 8:48 AM on December 4, 2012


That's kinda neat. But I have to ask, how big is Bill Cosby? That jumper looks huge.
posted by Jehan at 8:49 AM on December 4, 2012


how big is Bill Cosby?

About 3 cubits high by one cubit wide.

NOAH
posted by DU at 8:53 AM on December 4, 2012 [16 favorites]


Bill Cosby is 6'1" and he's got a large frame with some extra padding on it. (He played football in university.) He probably weighs in at least 200.
posted by orange swan at 8:56 AM on December 4, 2012


He was massive in the 80s, had his own TV show, performed stand up comedy, wrote books on fatherhood. Now he is less massive.
posted by marienbad at 8:58 AM on December 4, 2012 [7 favorites]


Also pudding pops.
posted by elizardbits at 8:59 AM on December 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


He became more massive by eating the pudding pops. Now that they are no longer made he is less massive.
posted by dlugoczaj at 9:01 AM on December 4, 2012


How I misread the comment from orange swan: "Bill Cosby is 6'1" and he's got a large frame with some extra pudding on it". I think it works better that way.
posted by I am the Walrus at 9:01 AM on December 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


He played football in university.

A fullback at Temple. He also had a track-and-field scholarship and ran for the track team.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:01 AM on December 4, 2012


zippy: as much as it pains me to say this, we lost the hack/hacker argument years ago. We must retreat from our positions and establish a defensive line elsewhere. Retreat in good order, but with all due speed. If you cannot bring the heavy guns, spike them to prevent their being turned against us. Destroy all supplies left on the field.
posted by aramaic at 9:04 AM on December 4, 2012 [11 favorites]


Also, an Education PhD really builds up the triceps.
posted by DU at 9:05 AM on December 4, 2012


Illusion knitting has always fascinated me, especially the fact that you have to look at the pictures sideways to see the images. These are all hand-knitted: there is an entire group of knitters on Ravelry dedicated to creating this type of art.
posted by francesca too at 9:07 AM on December 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


The banker did, however, hack the format.

Let it go. Gay and sinister don't mean what they used to, either. Let some people play on your lawn.
posted by Bovine Love at 9:11 AM on December 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


Bill Cosby is 6'1" and he's got a large frame with some extra padding on it. (He played football in university.) He probably weighs in at least 200.
Okay, that's good then.
posted by Jehan at 9:15 AM on December 4, 2012


I have no lawn, just a yard full of rocks, but y'all are welcome to play there. You'll want to wear a sweater, though, as it's pretty brisk right now.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:19 AM on December 4, 2012


Why are these sinister gay hackers playing on my lawn?
posted by yoink at 9:20 AM on December 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


They're not playing, they're quietly hacking on everything in reach.
posted by adamdschneider at 9:23 AM on December 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Regarding the hacking thing... yes, I agree with you in principal, but there are shades here. If you look at the instructions that he followed it is slightly more complicated... these machines are supposed to interface with tandy floppy drives, and you are setting up your computer to emulate one over a usb interface.
posted by jonbro at 9:24 AM on December 4, 2012


I too dispute your meaning of hack.
posted by maryr at 9:24 AM on December 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Back in the late nineties on the Dilbert website they used to have a "List of the Day" feature, to which site visitors would contribute entries. One day the topic was something along the lines of "Most technologically clueless things you've heard said at work". One poster said he'd shown his boss how to open the word processing program on his computer, and his boss, who was delighted with his newly acquired skill, kept proudly referring to his use of Word Perfect as "hacking".
posted by orange swan at 9:26 AM on December 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


they're quietly hacking on everything in reach.

You are a bad person who does bad things.
posted by elizardbits at 9:28 AM on December 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure whether it ever got finished, but some months ago in the London Hackspace there were plans afoot to hook their programmable knitting machine up to a laptop with a twitter feed. The idea was that you could send a tweet to this machine's account, and it would knit you a scarf bearing the message. I thought it was a pretty cool idea, and this is fun too.

(I want to make a scarf that encodes a stretch of my DNA, but I never worked out how to use the knitting machine, and actual knitting bores me to tears. Another one for the dead projects graveyard, alas...)
posted by metaBugs at 9:54 AM on December 4, 2012


About 3 cubits high by one cubit wide.

Right!
What's a cubit?
posted by rocket88 at 10:25 AM on December 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


So nowadays "to hack" is shorthand for "to repurpose and/or subvert and/or to make whimsical". It's a packed little term and I'm totally ok with that. Also you can still use it in the traditional manner, nobody will stop you.
posted by Doleful Creature at 10:27 AM on December 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


I want to make a scarf that encodes a stretch of my DNA, but I never worked out how to use the knitting machine, and actual knitting bores me to tears. Another one for the dead projects graveyard, alas...
posted by metaBugs


Before seeing the username I was guessing cortex wrote this comment.
posted by slogger at 10:29 AM on December 4, 2012


that's the worst fucking sweater i've ever seen
posted by ninjew at 11:17 AM on December 4, 2012


I have no opinion on the use of the word 'hack' -- except that I feel like we had this discussion somewhere yesterday.

But if there's a sinister gay hacker meet-up, I'd really would like to go to there.

Also, I would really like pudding pops to exist again, though I'm sure they are not as good as I remember.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:19 AM on December 4, 2012


orange swan: "One poster said he'd shown his boss how to open the word processing program on his computer, and his boss, who was delighted with his newly acquired skill, kept proudly referring to his use of Word Perfect as "hacking"."

Probably just Scott Adams posting under a sockpuppet
posted by I am the Walrus at 11:21 AM on December 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


That List of the Day was waaaaaay funnier than anything Scott Adams ever wrote. I have a number of fond memories of it. Another memorable topic was, "Most inappropriate gifts given out by your company", on which some of the entries were: honey-glazed hams to Jewish and Muslim clients, a free parking spot to the employee who bikes to work, a case of wine to the guy everyone knows is AA, and best (or worst) of all, a gift certificate to a tanning salon — presented to a black woman.
posted by orange swan at 11:27 AM on December 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


So nowadays "to hack" is shorthand for "to repurpose and/or subvert and/or to make whimsical"

I hacked this sock into a puppet!

To a hacker, the knitting machine project counts as a kluge in Sense 1.

This does not diminish the project - the results of kluges can be interesting, as this one is - but this reserves hack for the work being truly inventive or subversive. Here, the device wasn't subverted, it is used to knit stuff, which is its original purpose, but is now made to work in a rube goldberg way with newer support devices.

The subversion or whimsy here is using a commercial machine to make recursive Cosby sweaters, but this could have been done on the original device, so is no more a technological subversion of the device than putting a blank roll of paper into a player piano and labeling it John Cage 4'33"

posted by zippy at 11:58 AM on December 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Man, and all we do with our knitting machines at my local hackspace is just lean them against a shelf and wait for someone who knows how to use them.

Christ, I need time to learn how to use them.
posted by Katemonkey at 12:06 PM on December 4, 2012


To a hacker, the knitting machine project counts as a kluge in Sense 1.

To some knitters, the knitting machine itself counts as a kluge.

(Oh, I'm not one of them - seriously, do you KNOW how long knitting a sweater takes?)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:19 AM on December 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


(Oh, I'm not one of them - seriously, do you KNOW how long knitting a sweater takes?

Long enough for the relationship to end?

Thank you, folks, I'll be here all week.
posted by zippy at 9:24 PM on December 5, 2012


Long enough for the relationship to end?

In some cases that's a consummation devoutly to be wished.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:14 AM on December 6, 2012


....because then you get to keep the sweater for yourself!
posted by orange swan at 7:43 PM on December 6, 2012


You know, I could really use a cozy for this bodkin.
posted by maryr at 10:48 PM on December 6, 2012


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