German Arty Big Brother: Augsburg here I come

Start spreading the news, I’m leaving in less than 24 hours…

Tomorrow I’m heading off to the city of Augsburg in Germany (about 6 miles outside Munich, in Bavaria in southern Germany) to take part in what I am calling ‘German Arty Big Brother’ and what the people who run it are calling defined by___ (note the lower case d and the line where a word should be. You see? Arty!). What on earth is it? I’m not entirely sure I know myself.

Wheeeeeeeee! My name on a window! I feel like shop opening times!

Wheeeeeeeee! My name on a window! I feel like shop opening times!

Augsburg is hosting matches in the run up to the Women’s World Cup right now. If the Men’s World Cup (which is really just the World Cup, I suppose) is anything to go by, then as I type ladies are somewhere in Germany kicking a ball around a grass patch and pretending they’re mortally wounded each time one of them merely bumps into another on the pitch (I’m hoping they have more dignity). There are six countries playing: England, Equatorial Guinea, Japan, Korea DPR, Norway and Sweden.

The folks at lab binaer (more lower case) have invited six artists (yup, one of them is me) from these countries to be shoved into a glass box in the middle of Augsburg and make daily art about the city.

They say:

Between June 25th and July 10th six artists from guest countries of the Women football WorldCup will live in and redefine Augsburg through their fresh point of view . This site is a blog and will publish the artists´results in word, sound and image on a daily basis, as well as events for the supporting programme.

I say:

Blimey. Ok then. You do know I knit, right?

What I’m doing

Each day I have to produce a White Paper. It’s a piece of paper with my art on it, or in my case possibly a piece of art made from my piece of paper (I’m not really a 2D girl).

Where I’m doing it

All our work will be done and shown to the public in a glass-fronted White Room where the public can see in smack bang in the middle of Augsburg. It’s rather swanky-looking too. And also looks like every Big Brother house I have ever watched. Minus the chickens.

Margery the chicken would be proud

Margery the chicken would be proud


Where it can see seen

You’ll be able to see every White Paper we make on the defined by_____ website.

Who I’ll be with

Three artists are there right now but finish their stint this weekend. There will be two new artists cranking out the White Papers alongside me: Japan’s Keiko Uenishi (who has intimidatingly had exhibitions at Tate Britian and Sydney Opera House) and from Norway the very long-named Kaja Marie Lereng Kvernbakken (who impressively writes poems, plays and novels and she designs knitwear (she’s on Ravelry folks. Phew!)).

White Papers done already by real artists. Oh dear lord, I'm buggered.

White Papers done already by real artists. Oh dear lord, I'm buggered.


How am I feeling about it?

Bemused, confused and absolutely bloody terrified. Not in the least because the German translation of the biography I sent when translated back into English on Google reads:

Had Lauren, their uncanny powers of graffiti knitting was after you fell asleep in the London Underground (and had to deal with Derem plumbing system) discovered, is now a wanted hungry lone wolf who does not want to be satisfied with conventional knitting.

But what the hell, right? A life lived in fear of making art in a glass box with German people and lady footballers watching is a life half-lived, no?

Have giant knitted squid, will travel.

Have giant knitted squid, will travel.


What am I taking with me?

I leave armed with:

Crafty stuff

  • A full set of interchangable knitting needles
  • A small knitting mill (the busy knitters i-cord friend)
  • Odd balls of mad yarn
  • Safety eyes
  • Pipecleaners
  • Cable ties
  • Whatever else I can shove in
  • Hopefully Plarchie, my giant knitted squid (NEVER leave home without your giant squid, people!)

Tech stuff

  • Mononoke, my trusty DSLR camera
  • Calcifer, my very trusty laptop
  • Haku, my aged iPhone
  • My sleep-deprived brain still not quite recovered from that solar system knitting

I will be tweeting @deadlyknitshade, blogging here and possibly over at Purl Interrupted, Tumbling pictures of the madness (and currently my purple hair) over here, and possibly passing on other information via teaching special flight patterns to passing one-legged German pigeons.

This is going to be scary fun. Auf Wiedersehen, pet. See you in Augsburg!


  1. Knit Nurse
    July 1, 2011

    I love the idea and I’m very excited that you are going to be part of it. Don’t worry, you’ll have a fab time and they will no doubt love the arty hair! Not so sure about all the lower cases and cryptic lines, but let’s not dwell on the punctuation situation. Looking forward to your creations…

    • Deadly Knitshade
      July 4, 2011

      Thanks. 🙂

      Am going to try to sneak in some capital letters. 😛

  2. Nehtheknit
    July 1, 2011


  3. Martin
    July 2, 2011

    Hi Lauren,

    i am sure you will have a lot of fun here in Augsburg, we are looking forward to meet you and the giant squid.

    Martin, lab binaer
    ^ See, capital letter!

  4. Knitapotamus
    July 2, 2011

    Wow, that sounds epic! Have fun 😉 Looking forward to updates. . .