Hacklab 2013: People soldered, people sewed.

Hacklab 2013: People soldered, people sewed.

Hacklab 2013: Bio-music, by Manford Eaton. Wearable interface by Monika G. Dorniak (who was also behind the recent WCOMTC). And the multi-dimensional EPhysMus system, by Ove Holmqvist.

Hacklab 2013: Bio-music, by Manford Eaton. Wearable interface by Monika G. Dorniak (who was also behind the recent WCOMTC). And the multi-dimensional EPhysMus system, by Ove Holmqvist.

Inventing technological hacks in short time is one thing. At CTM Festival in Berlin, we want to push collaborative participants to go further. First, invent the technology for performance. Then, invent the performance – and be ready to perform publicly – and it do it all in just one week.

It’s time again to join a MusicMakers Hacklab.

Last year was the first week-long event hosted with CDM, and the first at CTM Festival. CTM makes a perfect venue, a brilliant and packed showcase for adventurous sound (and in parallel with another digital media fest, Transmediale, in the same city at the same time).

In that installment, we joined together with Imogen Heap and her Gloves Team. Dancers and instrumentalists joined coders and laptop musicians and visualists; people swapped needles and thread with soldering irons. The results were wearable and playable, spawning kinetic sculpture and light and sound and instrument. See what happened in this video:

musicmakers hacklab short from CDM on Vimeo.

This year, co-facilitated with sound artist Darsha Hewitt, we’ll not only set up collaborations but also present finished performances. At Berlin’s renowned HAU2 in the heart of the Kreuzberg neighborhood, Hacklabbers will get a chance to show finished work on the last day of CTM.

If you can get yourself to Berlin at the end of January, you can apply now to be involved for free. I’d love to see you there.

And there will be chances to learn new skills. Andrey Smirnov, a top expert on early experimental music, is in town from Moscow and curating an exhibition at CTM demonstrating the pioneering efforts of Russia’s early avant-garde I will also present a live A/V work with choreographer Mirjam Sögner, inspired by Leon Theremin’s experiments with dance, and share some of our techniques and technologies. With Andrey, myself, and Darsha, we’ll be able to give participants a chance to try new technologies for interaction.

Here’s Andrey talking about Sound in Z in an interview with The Wire (highly recommend his book, as well):

Andrey Smirnov’s Sound In Z from The Wire Magazine on Vimeo.

Possible areas to explore:

  • Optical and visual interfaces
  • Gesture and movement – with connections to Theremin’s early circuits
  • The art of noise and custom electronics for sound

The hacklab is free, but space is limited.

What we’re not looking for is completed works, or even finished ideas. What we are looking for is a mix of people who can make something together. We want to know who you are, what you might like to do, and with what sort of people you might want to work.

The reward: a unique chance to come together with other people from around Europe, be exposed to a week of new ideas and new performances, working by day and soaking up music and performance at night, having your work presented on CDM and in live performance at CTM Festival, and a chance for a free pass to CTM.

Application details and full event description at the CTM site:
MusicMakers Hacklab
DIY Utopia
[The theme, the lab, and how to apply]

You can also show support and get updates by “attending” the event on Facebook. (CTM guests are welcome to check in and see what’s happening as non-official observers through the week, as well.)

CTM 2014 – MusicMakers Hacklab

Apply by December 15 (no exceptions)

Hacklab runs January 27 – February 2, daily [participants will need to be there the entire time]

For more on the idea, here’s a video shot early in last year’s edition. (That’s actually Darsha about halfway through, when they finally cut away from me rambling! She was already facilitating as a participant. This year we decided to make it official and bring her back; we were lucky to get to do so.)

  • Frank

    Hi Peter

    what are those drawings on the second picture? Can you post a link on that artist’s page? I’m interested in music based on bio feedback…heartbeat,breath…
    Thanks Frank

    • jc reus

      Hey Frank, the book is called Bio-music by Manford Eaton. It’s pretty easy to find online as a pdf.

    • Frank

      Thank you very much!

    • Frank

      really great book, last 4 pages seems like they are ripped out of my head :)

    • holminid

      hi Frank, the picture is by Monika G. Dorniak rusmon.tumblr.com/

      we were working with my biomusic system: http://ephysm.us


    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      Thanks, adding these links!

    • Frank

      Hello Ove

      Thank you. I’m curious, could you recommend any efficient way how to measure a heartbeat and get a trigger pulse on each stroke? The Polar rate sensor is so far the best solution for me but there is a delay. I’m hoping for kind of sensor which you would just grab and it will instantly sense the heart beat. Technology is not as far yet I guess.

    • holminid

      Hi Frank,

      We use our own data filtering and smoothing of the biosignals, after which various triggers are generated. I´m not really aware of similar commercial or open source products.

      I’ve also found it difficult to find affordable sensors and yes the delay is a recurring problem. It’s up to a second long now so you really have to adapt your performance to that.

      Hopefully we can improve this somehow?

    • Frank

      Ove, do you mean that with the Zephyr Bioharness you still can’t maintain lower than 1s latency in between real heartbeat and the processing? I think it’s not as big with the Polar sensor I am using. But still, I have a great idea about my heart in my palms, pulsing and visually entertaining me in different ways. It would be artificial heart of course, but it would get alive in my hands and remind me again and again that there is pumping heart inside my body on which all my being depends. And powering that heart from solar energy would be another statement of our existence in this universe. And this is just the beginning of the journey for humans. Beginning with change on personal level,meditation with our deeper being thru which we could see the connections between us. The connection can be express thru the music and sound,or light and colours….
      Last year,there was a time when I had great stream of thoughts, ideas but never the time to finish something on my own. I would like to collaborate if there are people interested.
      I still don’t have the right technology (unreliable sensors) or the right programming skills for the firmware side, but I have ideas.
      And I live in Canada, far from Europe.

      btw I like your soundcloud page and the modular biomusic

    • holminid

      Frank thanks so much! You´re onto something, so was Scriabin… I can let you know when we´ve improved our stuff so send us a mail please. Very best of luck to you!

    • Frank

      I’m glad somebody is actually working on this stuff :) I will send you my email thru the soundcloud.