Skip to main content

Wikipedia gets stitched up in the name of art

It's a stitch up

British artist Cornelia Parker has created a 13m long embroidery of the Magna Carta's Wikipedia page.

To deal with the fact that Wikipedia pages change all the time as people add and remove "facts", she chose the page as it stood on the Magna Carta's 799th birthday last year.

Over 200 people contributed to it, each stitching words or phrases that were important to them. Jarvis Cocker chose "Common people", obviously, while Jimmy Wales took "user's manual" and Edward Snowden "liberty".

"I love the idea of taking something digital and making it into an analogue, hand-crafted thing", Cornelia explained.

"I wanted the embroidery to raise questions about where we are now with the principles laid down in the Magna Carta, and about the challenges to all kinds of freedoms that we face in the digital age. Like a Wikipedia article, this embroidery is multi-authored and full of many different voices. "

The embroidery goes on display at the British Library today as part of the Library's celebrations of the Magna Carta's 800th anniversary. But it's still a 13 metre-embroidery of a Wikipedia page. Art is a funny thing.