This post comes from Lyric Prince, who’s recently contacted the Hacktory about her next round of Manic Machine participatory art events. Artists who want to make some large interactive art with crowd participation: read on!
Manic Machine, an interactive art installation series that travels around the city of Philadelphia, is currently looking for artists and designers who are interested in creating large scale works. Not only will artists create in front of a live audience, they’ll do it with their help as well.
Here’s how it works:
Manic Machine is about beating the clock as well as crowd participation. Each event will be 4 hours long, during which materials are provided for the group to construct a work of art. Manic Machine attendees will work in groups of 4 to act in different shifts of “assistants”. Each assistant team will follow the leading artist’s directions in order to learn how to build their artwork according to specifications. As the art piece grows, more and more participants get the chance to help create something awesome that otherwise would not be possible to build in such a short time.
In short, Manic Machine is about:
If you have an awesome project that would fit within the Manic Machine show structure, or would just like to learn more, contact Lyric for more information. Also check out the official ManicMachine site, with past shows, photos, and animated GIFs detailing the process in action.
Hey don’t miss this great event coming up at NextFab this week! Here’s your chance to prepare your patio or stoop for late spring and summer by making your own planter. Mixed materials, tools, and snacks will be provided, and it’s FREE. There will also be a chance to do a show & tell, leftover material giveaway, and project swap. If you’re interested, be sure to register here.
If you didn’t make it out to ARTspiration at the Fleisher last Saturday, well… you blew it. But seriously, it was another great festival; the rain held off for us as we staffed a table with a couple new volunteers (yay! Thanks David and Kim!) and it turned out to be a really beautiful day. We had the usual oohs and aahs for our table full of old electronics to make jewelry and sculpture with. This was our 3rd time coming to ARTspiration, and it’s been nice to see the same faces that are excited to come to our table and get their hands on our electronics. Of course there are lots more chances for all ages to play with these components, it’s become kind of a staple activity for us. We’re looking forward to stocking up on supplies at the upcoming Ham Fests in the area (that’s for Ham Radio enthusiasts – their swap meets are a great place to stock up on old supplies). If you’re interested in going, let us know, you need to get there early so carpooling may be a good idea!
We had a great project night last week, nothing fancy, just some standard electronics hacking, some networking, and a little app trouble-shooting.
Tim continued working on his circuit-laden blanket (seen in the background here). Colin, a high school Comp Sci teacher came and got started learning how to program the Arduino since he missed the first session of our Arduino class series last Tuesday. As you can see he was still able to get this potentiometer working, which controlled three LEDs by twisting a knob.
I helped out a member of Quorum who stopped by looking for some advice about an app he is building. Though I can’t say I was sold on using the app myself (it was a way to chat with people in your geographic vicinity), we thought through some steps he would need to get the programming capabilities he needed.
We also had an intrepid entrepreneur interested in hacking the Apple dock connector to charge an iPad with a normally-non-charging connection.
Next week: we may have coffee, or maybe even popcorn!
The multimeter is the Swiss Army knife of electricity – with it, you can troubleshoot household appliances, car batteries, and electronics. Join us at The Hacktory for a hands-on workshop on how to get the most out of your multimeter, Sunday June 23, 10am-noon. We’ll talk about measuring voltage, current, resistance, and capacitance; identifying common circuit components; the difference between alternating (AC) and direct current (DC); and basic safety when working around electricity.
This event is suitable for ages 13+. We will have multimeters for use during the workshop; if you would like to purchase one for yourself, please select “Workshop + Multimeter” when registering or bring $15 to the event.
If you’re a regular on our blog, you are probably familiar with a workshop we created to talk about the gender gap in the tech world, called Hacking the Gender Gap. We did the first workshop over a year ago, with a great reception at the Women in Tech Summit, and have presented in many more venues, including IgnitePhilly11. You can watch a video of our Ignite Presentation above for a quick summary.
We have an opportunity now to apply for a grant that recognizes innovative programs in nonprofits that are simple, focused, and start small. We think we can make a good case for the Hacking the Gender Gap workshop as an innovative program. The application also asks for a description of how the program makes a demonstrable impact in the lives of the people it’s aiming for, which is where we could use some help. We’ve collected some surveys from workshops, but not all. If you’ve been to one of our workshops, or have followed our progress, maybe by looking at the photo sets of the stories, please consider helping us now by filling in this quick form with a sentence or two of how the workshop had an impact for you. This grant could help us match our Knight project grant, and provide funds for regularly paid staff, which we could really use to help us plan classes on a more regular basis.
Sign up for our 3-day Intro to Arduino class on June 4, 11, 18. In 6 hours you will learn to build and program your own Arduino-based project. We’ll be working with knobs, buttons, LEDs, piezo-buzzers, light sensors, and more!
Past participants have gone on to make handheld games, music instruments, wearable electronics, and even a controller for wireless robotics. Bring your ideas and we can look into how to develop these advanced projects from what is learned your first day. Our aim for this course is to send you home with a cool project to show your friends, a whole bunch of new ideas and the knowledge and resources to produce some Arduino magic!
Well, we’d like to report back that our inaugural Intro to Interactive Art class was a modest success. A good group of folks showed up, and the presenters did an awesome job talking about the pros and cons of using various software platforms to create interactive art, including Processing, OpenFrameworks, and Max/MSP/Jitter. The presenters included Matt Miller, an interactive designer and educator; Ben Farahmand, another designer, entrepreneur and artist; Paul Christian, a programmer and musician (link to his github here); and Kim Brickley and Sarah Zimmer, who form the team behind Create in Situ. (Thanks again to all of you, you really made the event a success). It was clear that the presenters had chops in their technology of choice, have spent significant time on their work, and have deep knowledge that they apply to it.
The point we wanted to get across, though, was that they way people make programs and learn in these mediums is by messing around on their own and seeing what works. To help get over some initial unknown vocabulary and learn more about communities making this work, we also made a pirate pad with helpful vocabulary and a ton of links. If you find it useful, please add your name and write a comment, or fill in more terms or links we missed (there’s bound to be quite a few). Read More »
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!