Broder La Machine

2019 - 2020
Various sizes
Tapestry embroidery
Presented at

Tanja Boukal & Carmen Pfanner | Bludenz | Nov - Dec 2021

Le monument, le labeur et l’hippocampe | Mulhouse | Sep - Nov 2020

Society is changing. Large parts of manual work were taken over by machines. The fewer jobs there are, the greater the feeling of powerlessness. Machines determine our lives, international corporations our future.

But there are still things that cannot be produced by machines.  The old technique of tapestry embroidery can only be created by hand. What happens if we embroider the machines? What does this release in people whose history and identity have been shaped by these machines?  What does it do for people who have no work due to this shift in employment? Or in people who feel powerless in the face of social change?

Can we regain the feeling of control by being able to do something machines can’t?

Twenty pictures of DMC production machines were printed on Stramin. The embroidery frames were set up at different locations in Mulhouse and people were invited to participate.  There was a lively participation from various social classes. The joint embroidery work created a basis for discussions and stories. The workshops were both a place of encounter and productive work.

This new creation of the machines was taking place voluntarily and unpaid in many hours. Thanks to all the participants.

Video Tutorial
Tanja Boukal has created a tutorial to explain the embroidery techniques around her work “Broder La Machine”

TV reports
L’ Alsace: Marathon de broderie au café Tilvist avec Tanja Boukal à Mulhouse (French)
France Télévisions Canal 3, De la broderie collective a la Kunsthalle de Mulhouse (French)

2019-09-27 L´Alsace (PDF): Broderie Babel au café Tilvist
2019-09-18 L´Alsace (PDF): Un atelier ouvert á tous pour broder des conversations mulhouseiennes