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people doing strange things with electricity

what: dorkbot-nyc meeting
where: Location One (Greene between Canal & Grand)
when: Wednesday, 05 January, 2011 (!?!), 7-9pm
$$$: $$$FREE$$$ (donations to Location One appreciated!)


The 01052011th dorkbot-nyc meeting took place at 7pm on Wednesday, January 5th, 2011 at Location One in SoHo.

The meeting was free and open to the public. PLEASE BROUGHT SNACKS TO SHARE!!! WE WERE HUNGRY!!! THERE WERE HOMEMADE CUPCAKES!!!


It featured technologically mediated dietary differences of:

Ted Hayes: The Dawn Chorus: Language, Emergence and Art
Much has been made of the idea of emergence in generative art and science -- software swarms, autonomous robotics, learning machines. But could emergence play a role in one of the most mysterious and yet most pervasive of all human behaviors -- language? Could machines not just speak to each other, but actually emergently construct their own language? When I was a kid, I could think of few more intriguing challenges than to invent a language of my own -- and having experimented with that, I turned later to inventing language-inventing machines. With this goal in mind, I devised The Dawn Chorus: a group of electronic sculptures that are able to sense their environment and speak, and through their interactions, emergently develop a language with which to share their experiences. Utilizing a microcontroller, radio module and an artificial neural network I designed for the Arduino, these entities autonomously establish conventional signifiers for the stimuli in their environments, associating their experiences with short patterns of sound -- or as we normally say, words. And listening to them, we can hear the echos of the births of our own, human, languages.

Sarah and Lara Grant: FSP
Felted Signal Processing is the electronic textiles lab for sisters Sarah and Lara, creating soft controllers, sensors and explorations in interface design, often (but not always) for sound generating hardware. It is also a synaesthetic exploration, an effort to make the action of shaping and playing with sound more tangible and germane to the sensual properties of sound itself.

Torino:Margolis: FreEMG
It was about one year ago that Torino:Margolis presented the new media/dance piece Action Potential at Dorkbot, which utilized prohibitively expensive, commercial Electromyography (EMG). EMG is a biomedical tool used to sense the electrical potential generated during muscle contraction and in Action Potential they used the EMG signal generated by the performer's movement and turned it into sound. An attendee at this particular Dorkbot meeting suggested we build them ourselves. Yes, we had thought about it, but were daunted by the task. The good news is that with the help of the electronics community we have succeeded in building our own EMG, a FreEMG, and will share how we did it with you!

Douglas's pics from the meeting
Roberto Tobar's pics from the meeting

NEXT MEETING: 02 February 2011

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