Light Hacking workshop this weekend

Light Hacking

Let there be light hacking! In conjunction with Philly Tech Week, Join us for a two-day exploration/build session/make-a-thon that explores optics, light,and interactivity. There will be a variety of projects each day for you to play with, and some for you to build and take home with you.

Day 1 (Saturday): learn how the Old Master painters did their work back in the analog days with the help of prisms, pinholes, and other optical illusions. Play with a large-scale camera obscura, and build your own mini-camera obscura to take home, and try your hand at the NeoLucida, a remix of an old drawing aid that was funded by an amazing kickstarter campaign.

Day 2 (Sunday): Come explore the code and equipment artists use to make amazing, immersive digital installations that respond to your movement. Build your own POV kit that has a secret message that can only be seen when it moves, or a light saber! We’ll take some long-exposure camera photos once it’s dark enough and play light pictionary and make some light graffiti. (Please note there will be an additional material cost of $10-$20 for these specific items).

All ages are welcome, under 13 must be accompanied by an adult. Photo credit: Pascal Maramis.

Tickets are $10 per person or $20 for a family.

More info and ticket purchasing here.

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Call for Applications


We are pleased to announce that we are now accepting applications for our Unknown Territory Residency and Fellowship! We won a generous grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation as part of it’s Knight Arts Challenge to make this project happen, and with the help of 262 kickstarter backers, we were able to get it moving. The project consists of two parts, a residency and fellowship. The residency is an extended 6-month opportunity for Philadelphia-based emerging and established artists with a visual art, music or performance practice but little or no new media, programming or technology experience. It is aimed at artists who want to transform their current practice by exploring what is possible with new technologies. This residency consists of training on software, hardware and other materials, mentorship from fellows and others in The Hacktory’s community, and culminates in a group exhibition of all residents’ work. The fellowship is for established artists working with software and electronics worldwide. Selected fellows focus on a specific project or avenue to explore in their work during a period of 2-4 weeks of continuous onsite activity in Philadelphia, and make use of the resources and knowledge base at The Hacktory. In addition to working on a specific project, fellows teach workshops and lead programs about their work. Read more and see FAQs on our residency page. Applications for both programs are due at midnight May 1, EST. We’re so excited to finally be able to provide this opportunity to Philadelphia, so please help us spread the word!

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Backing up your Raspberry Pi boot images on your Macintosh


You’ve got your Raspberry Pi computer running smoothly. It does exactly what you want it to do with timed cron jobs and crafty python code. You’ve installed countless new apps via apt-get, and now you’re admiring your work as it hums along using a mere trickle of power compared to your aging desktop.

You think that SD card is gonna survive a million reboots? Even pulling the power plug once is enough to mess up your image with poorly stored processes.

It’s time to make a backup of your SD card, so you can reboot in an instant with a backup!

Read More »

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Rescheduled Intro to Circuits

We’ve recently re-jiggered our Intro to Circuits class, and rescheduled it for March 15. We’ll be doing it old-school style, making some lemon-cell batteries, learning how to use breadboards and multimeters, and how we interact with the basic forces of electricity every day. For those of you who were the artsy types in school and avoided as much science as you could, this course was designed with you in mind. At the end of the class, our goal is to get you feeling like this…

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Circuit Bending Music Hack Workshop

bent-pointSaturday March 1, 1-3 pm

Circuit bending is an experimental and creative way to modify audio electronics and discover unique and unusual sounds and functions within the original piece of equipment.

In this workshop, you’ll be introduced to the basic techniques of circuit bending using an Atari Punk Console noise maker that has already been assembled. Some experience working with electronics will help you in this workshop, but is not necessary.

GB_DTThe workshop, instructed by local experimental musician/artist David Talento, will include a background of Circuit Bending and Theory, live demonstrations (including using a modular synthesizer to make – and break – connections), instruction, and time to create your own circuit bent Atari Punk Console noise maker!

Check out a cool demo from our instructor’s YouTube channel here!

Circuit Bending Class Syllabus

Tickets ($50)

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No Project Night Tonight

In case you wondered, we won’t be having project night tonight. Our book swap with Girl Develop It and Code for Philly meetup are both postponed, so stay home and keep warm.

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Intro to Circuits, Feb. 15, 1-4 pm

Circuit_unreasonedDreamsHave you been tantalized by cool costumes & projects using LEDs, Arduinos, or EL-wire? Ever wondered what’s going on inside your computer, television, or vacuum cleaner?

Electricity permeates our modern existence, and learning your way around circuits is the first step in demystifying it. In this class, we’ll start with the very basics, teaching you how to identify common circuit components, use tools like multimeters and breadboards, read schematics and datasheets, and describe what’s going on with a few equations. You’ll build some simple circuits and go home with a mini-breadboard so you can tackle your own projects!

This class is suitable for ages 13+.

Tickets ($35)

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Focus Group Today Canceled

Due to bad weather and road conditions, we’re canceling our focus group scheduled for 2 pm today (unfortunately). Thank you to everyone who signed up, and we hope you can make it to one of the other sessions scheduled, which are this Tuesday the 28th at 6:30 pm, or next Saturday the 1st at 11 am. Stay warm everyone!

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Arduino Demo Night & Workshop Series

Arduino is back!

Demo Night – January 30 (Project Night, 7-9 pm):
To gear up for our Arduino workshops in February, we are holding a special demo night with instructor Tim Bieniosek. If you have your own Arduino projects to share, bring them in!

Photo: Adafruit


Intro to Arduino Workshop
3-session class on Tuesdays
February 11, 18, and 25 from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

In this class you can expect a fun crash course on everything you will need to get busy creating with your Arduino. We’ll cover all the key concepts, from learning the fundamental aspects of programming with the Arduino language, to the different types of materials you can use in your projects and prototypes. 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! All participants must have a laptop to bring to each session to work with the Arduino code.

If you have some knowledge of microprocessors, basic circuitry and/or programming, you may come to individual sessions that work best for you. Individual sessions are $40 each if purchased separately.

General tickets are $90 for all 3 sessions or $40 each.

The cost of the class does not include materials. We will have a kit with an Arduino Uno and an assortment of sensors, buzzers, and more for you to experiment with in class. This kit is an additional $45, which you can pay for online or with cash in person. After the class is over if you don’t think you’ll use them anymore, you may return the kit with all the parts intact for a full refund of $45.
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Apply to Force Field by Jan 31

Force Field is a new opportunity for artists in Philadelphia to do “large-scale installation, film, audio/video, and performance work. The work should be experimental, engage the public and no more than 3 years old.” If you’re familiar with Data Garden, then some of the amazing and talented artists behind Force Field will be familiar to you. From their website: “This project will allow emerging artists the chance to design, execute and exhibit substantial new projects. Each artist will be provided time, funding, space, and an exhibition so they can experience the full cycle of creativity from idea to public engagement. Funding for the project will be raised through Indiegogo and distributed to the selected artists. The project will benefit Philadelphia by inviting the local community of Kensington, the various arts communities, gallery-goers, and students to experience contemporary art and music like never before. We love what we do and love Philadelphia.” Heck yeah! Apply here.

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