There are some amazing things being done with technology in the art world. The above work is by an artist called Prince Mio, who writes, “This choreography is about the duet of dance and interactive media. My inspiration is to investigate different possibilities to melt organic hiphop dance with projected light — searching for new shapes, transisition, identities and meanings. It is a portray of urban artists giving a computer the acces to their very private natural flow.”
The piece uses a kinect, a computer, and a few different bits of software built in OpenFrameworks. But if you’re new to this world of art you may have no idea where to begin. What’s a kinect? What’s OpenFrameworks? How can I possibly make art this way if I don’t know how to code? If you have any of these questions you should definitely check out our Intro to Interactive Art class this coming Wednesday, from 6-8 pm. It’s a quick intro to the terms and tools available to start making works of art in this new field, and it’s not as complicated as it may seem right now. We’ve also invited several local artists who have made and exhibited interactive works using Open Frameworks or other similar software. Ben Farahmand, a designer and interactive artist, and Sarah Zimmer and Kim Brickley, the team behind Create in Situ, are just 3 of the artists who will be speaking about their work. I’ll add a few more blog posts this week discussing these artist’s work in more detail, but be sure to get a ticket now, they are only $10!
Come learn the fundamentals of sound generation with Free Libre Open Source Software! This two hour course will cover a brief history of early electronic music, some physics about sound, subtractive synthesis, and will end with the class designing some sounds of our own. Learn the basics of electronic music with free, open source software that you can take home. Bring a laptop!
Got a neat project occupying your time and/or mind? Want to tinker in the company of some like-minded maker-types? Every Thursday night is an open project night at The Hacktory. Here’s a recap of what’s been going down:
An ongoing area of interest with few of our regulars has been software-defined radio (SDR), specifically the surprisingly useful radio chipsets found in some uber-cheap TV-tuner dongles. We looked at an upconverter circuit designed to extend the tuning range of the SDR, and in the woodshop, progress was made on a wooden enclosure to house both radio boards.
An enterprising engineer brought in an Arduino-based project designed to operate the signs and lights around his steam-powered model train sets. We discussed the pros and cons of servo motors vs. stepper motors, and open-loop and closed-loop control. Because strong steppers were available and easy to work with, we brainstormed ways of sensing the stepper’s position (optical sensor, mechanical switch, magnetic switch…) and prototyped some code to automatically return the stepper to its “home” position.
Twinkle, twinkle little hoodie…
With the Program Your Hoodie class taking place this month, several students brought their projects in to snip, stitch, code, and discuss the finer points thereof. We saw some beautiful sewn designs and clever LED arrangements. Participants from our class and other hoodie classes held around the city will show off their work this Friday at the Philadelphia Science Festival Astronomy Night at Franklin Square.
We also saw some of our Philly maker friends work on a computer game in Java, talk about shape-memory alloy muscle wire linear actuators, and a few Hacktory organizers brainstormed ways to make our coin-and-paper money donation jar more fun. (Are you excited? I know I am…)
Is everyone ready for Philly Tech Week? It kicks off this weekend with a slew of events, including the second annual Philadelphia Women In Tech Summit, Saturday April 20 at Philadelphia University! This year’s program features an exciting lineup of panels and workshops on UX, Big Data, mobile apps, and more. Hacktory organizers Steph, Sarah, and Georgia debuted Hacking the Gender Gap at last year’s WITS, and we’re impressed by the talented speakers and presenters participating this year. Tickets are $50 for students, $80 for general admission; proceeds from this year’s event go to TechGirlz.
There’s a long list of cool stuff going on this weekend, but a couple of highlights:
Our friends at Data Garden are holding a workshop this Sunday to teach you how to get sounds from plants. “During this workshop facilitated by Data Garden, participants will gain an understanding of how to graph real-time data streams from the metabolic processes of plants for use in creating generative electronic music. Individuals with basic experience in electronics, visual programming languages like Pure Data and Max MSP as well as digital audio workstations like Ableton Live will get the most from this workshop though all are welcome. Efforts will be made to pair up participants who have complementary skill sets.” It’s from 11 to 1:30 pm this Sunday at Bartram’s Garden, and FREE, though limited to 25 participants. Read more here or RSVP to Leslie Gale, firstname.lastname@example.org, 215-729-5281, ext. 110.
Hacking electronics and everyday items sure is a lot of fun, but the idea of hacking Earth and space on a larger scale brings forth a different level of excitement entirely. On April 20-21, 80 cities in 44 countries will provide a location to participate in such an opportunity – the International Space Apps Challenge, organized by NASA. Equally thrilling is the fact that our city’s location, the new ExCITe Center at Drexel University, will be the global main stage for this event!
NASA is inviting people of all professional backgrounds and a wide range of skillsets to participate in this free two-day global hackathon. The projects and resources, which vary for each location, are already provided on the event site to help you decide on a focus area ahead of time. There will be an Opening Reception on April 19 at First Round Capital from 6-8 pm, with a special opening by Derrick Pitts, NASA Solar System Ambassador and Chief Astronomer and Planetarium Director for the Franklin Institute. Prizes will be awarded by Derrick and other select judges at the end of the hackathon.
Sarah Guck, organizer for the Hacktory, participated in the planning phase and contributed to the list of project ideas. The available projects for Philadelphia are as follows:
As of this post, registration is still open. Now, head to the About page and click to view the source code to lift your excitement off the ground that much more! If you’re attending, let us know what you’re interested in working on in the comments section.
You’ll be making maps and launching balloons along with members of Hacks Hackers Philly, The Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science, and The Hacktory. The event is on Wednesday April 24 from 9:30a-3:30p. Location TBD.
Read more about balloon mapping and example uses on The Public Laboratory’s website. And check out recent balloon launches by Hacks Hackers members Sean McGinnis (video and maps) and Dana Bauer (images/video and maps).
This workshop will be a full-day event, with a morning session focused on building the rig and flying the balloon, and an afternoon session focused on using open source software to stitch the images together to make a map. The morning session will be outdoors in the city, so please dress accordingly. Lunch and the afternoon session will be indoors at a location TBD. It is possible for participants to attend either the morning session or the afternoon session or both.
We’re charging $10 to cover the cost of supplies and lunch. Please bring cash to the event. Sign up here.
As part of the Science Festival, The Hacktory is hosting Hardware Freedom Day (HFD) events on Saturday April 20th at 3711 Market St to help Philadelphians celebrate Open Source Hardware (OSHW), learn about Open Source, and get hands-on with a variety of projects. There are several free public events scheduled at The Hacktory for HFD.
11AM to 12Noon: “Why Open Source Hardware?”
Come by for our “Why Open Source Hardware?” talk. Far McKon will cover the basics of what is and is not Open Hardware. The talk will cover how to find and buy Open Source Hardware, and some of the reasons that OSHW is important.
12Noon to 1PM: Lunch Discussion
Lunch break! Meet at The Hacktory by 12 to join a lunch conversation about OSHW at one of the nearby restaurants. Bring along Open Hardware projects you have, or just your curiosity.
1PM to 3PM: Open Source Hardware Hackathon
In the afternoon, join our Open Source Hardware Hackathon. Bring your own Open Source Hardware projects, or pick up a DIY Open Source project ($15 – $35) at the event! For beginners, this is your chance to grab a soldering iron and build your first Open Hardware project. For experts, this is a chance to bring and show your projects, and maybe even find some helpers.
RSVPS are appreciated but not required; this event is free and open to the public.
Project night started off with a visit from a biochemist who works in the Science Center and took a class at the Hacktory. He didn’t have time to stay for the evening, but did offer to help out if anyone is interested in DIY bio. After he left, more people arrived to work on their various projects.
Christalee continued working on the website for Hacking the Gender Gap, mostly the form for online visitors to enter their stories. She also laid out and cut fabric for a pillowcase. My brother practiced his soldering by building a Drawdio. I helped with the soldering, and read about NURBs, towards eventually implementing them as part of the Diagrams library.
Far, with help from Sharp, set up a mail server for himself, as part of a broader plan to be less dependant on Google services. Steph cut fabric for hexaflexagons, and gave me some great advice on where to learn more about patternmaking for sewing.
(Is sysadmining a word? When I spell it like that, it looks like “sysad” is some sort of ore.)
What: A talk with Georgia Guthrie about art, making, and experimentation When: Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 7-9 PM Where: The Hacktory at The Department of Making and Doing, 3711 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
*We’re sorry to say we have to postpone this event because our presenter is sick. We’ll reschedule for Wednesday, April 10th at 7 pm.
There’s a growing movement of tinkerers, self-taught engineers, and artists, experimenting on their own, in groups, and at spaces called maker or hackerspaces. What they’re doing is changing how our country thinks about art, learning, and where innovation comes from. On Wednesday, March 27, the Director of The Hacktory, Georgia Guthrie (Philadelphia’s 2012 Hacker of the Year) will talk about this movement and more. In 2012 The Hacktory was awarded a Knight Arts Challenge grant to support artists who want to experiment with technology and incorporate it into their creative practice. Learn more about this project that will put Philly at the forefront of this new wave of creativity and innovation, and how you can contribute.
This event will take place in The Hacktory’s new space at 3711 Market Street (you may know it as NextFab’s first location). We’ll also share some details about The Hacktory’s new partnership with Breadboard, Public Workshop, and NextFab to create the Department of Making + Doing. The event will wrap up with some time to play with an interactive installation that uses the kinect to sense body motion. Light refreshments will be served.