Physical Computing Workshops and Events, 3/25/2011

Short version:

1. TRANSMUTATIONS by sonicSENSE at GAFFTA in San Francisco, opening
reception this Saturday, March 26, 7pm-12am

2. Arduino workshop by Michael Shiloh at The Shipyard in Berkeley, this
Tuesday, March 29, 5:30pm-7:30pm

3. Dorkbot at The Exploratorium this Wednesday, March 30, 7:30pm

4. BarBot 2011, an art show with Cocktail Robotics at pariSoma in San
Francisco, April 1-2 9pm-2am

5. Live Electronic Music and Sound Art Installations by CCRMA and guests
(including Trimpin!) at SOMArts in San Francisco, Saturday, April 2,
installations 4-8pm free, concert 8pm-12am $10

6. Make Magazine’s collection of Top 10 Free Downloads: Woodworking
Instructions, Print and Fold paper cutouts, Resistor Value Computer, and

Long version:


TRANSMUTATIONS: Opening Reception:
Date: March 26, 2011
Time: 7pm -12am
New GAFFTA Location:
998 Market Street @ Taylor St
San Francisco, CA 94102
Exhibition Open hours:
Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4pm-7pm

Exhibition Description:
TRANSMUTATIONS by sonicSENSE at GAFFTA is a site-specific information
ecology, consisting of a complex series of sound sculptures, machines, video
projections and sensors. Two systems drive this project: user interaction
and data visualizations. User interactivity produces a wide range of
soundscapes, data projections and mechanical sounds that collect and
distribute media into the exhibition space. Data content for TRANSMUTATIONS
consists of, data parsed from auscultation libraries, audio from the
California Library of Natural Sounds at the Oakland Museum of California,
data collected from the UCSC Arts and Physics Lab and on-site data in the
gallery space.

By taking data out of archives, pie charts and graphs and giving it a
physical form through sculptural, audio and visual means, we aim to build a
compelling experience synthesizing scientific research with new media as a
method of engaging community participation. We believe in the concept of
learning by doing, that material exploration is an important part of the
understanding process and that explaining through tangible tools, where
people can actually touch, explore and play with information, is essential
to collaborative communication and visual thinking.

TRANSMUTATIONS is the most recent iteration of the sonicSENSE platform
created by Barney Haynes and Jennifer Parker in collaboration with
Mechatronics graduate students in the Digital Art New Media program and the
Arts + Physics Lab at the University of California Santa Cruz.SonicSENSE
created by Barney Haynes and Jennifer Parker in 2008, is an expandable and
evolving site for art, culture, new technologies, digital media,
collaboration, and participation. SonicSENSE uses the creative diversity of
computational media and traditional visual art practices to cultivate space
for sharing, questioning, and exploring interdisciplinary frameworks,
methodologies, and experiences. Each exhibition of the platform is a new
iteration consisting including artists, composers, scientists and

With support from UCSC Arts Research Institute, UC Institute on Research in
the Arts, California College of the Arts, The Oakland Museum of California,
and UCSC OpenLab Network.

2. Arduino workshop

Teach Me To Make  holds regular workshops at their Open Source Computer Lab
in Berkeley

The workshop fee is $20

Open Source Computer Lab
The Shipyard
1010 Murray Street
Berkeley, CA 94710

Every other Tuesday. The next workshop is on 3/29
5:30 PM – 7:30 PM

Arduino basics are covered for any newcomers, followed by selected
intermediate and advanced topics. At the upcoming workshop we will cover:

* Interrupts
* Software interrupts
* Timer interrupts
* How to know when to use what kind of transistor, and where to use it

3. Dorkbot

7:30pm Wednesday 30 March 2011

McBean Theater at the Exploratorium in the Palace of Fine Arts

Alan Rorie – HOW TO: Build a Rocketship Engine
The Uira Engine exists at the boundary of art and science. It is
simultaneously a sculpture and experiment, an exploration of science fiction
and fact. It is a kinetic high-voltage sculpture of a rocketship engine that
serves as an experimental platform for a novel high-voltage phenomenon.

Dr. Alan Rorie (aka Almsot Scientific) is a designer, artist and scientist
whose work focuses on the intersection between science, art and education.
He founded Almost Scientific, a science and art collaborative, after someone
told him his method of working was “very scientific.” “I know how science
works,” he replied. “This isn’t scientific -it’s almost scientific.”
Aaron Ross – Home Movies from the Noosphere: Representing Inner Perceptions
3D computer graphics and simulation technologies have a profound impact on
consciousness, the full implications of which are not yet widely grasped.
CGI is a new form of media capable of synthesizing all previous media. It’s
a communications technology revolution as important as the cave painting or
the printing press. For the first time in history, humans are capable of
creating full-motion, interactive simulations of nearly anything imaginable.
This means our ability to communicate is now limited only by our
imagination. And yet, popular media still cling to the familiar. Advanced
imaging technologies are used for anthropomorphic representations in a
conventional narrative– this year’s comic book superhero on the big screen.
What if the untapped imaginative power implicit in CGI were turned inward to
represent the ineffable visions of individual consciousness? Is it possible
to convert the deepest, most subjective personal experience to a form that
can be shared, stored, edited, re-experienced? This talk, and the
experimental animation PHOSPHENES, explores that possibility.

Aaron F. Ross is a video artist, author, and educator. His abstract computer
animation has screened at prestigious festivals and venues such as SIGGRAPH,
ISEA, and Berlin Interfilm. Over the years he has worked professionally in
various video production roles: producer, director, videographer, 3D
computer animator, editor, and sound designer. His commercial video work has
been broadcast on major TV networks such as CNN and Fox. Aaron is an expert
in 3D computer graphics and animation, and has written or co-written three
books on the subject. In 1999 he began teaching at the university level, and
in 2007 began teaching accelerated professional development courses in Maya
and 3ds Max. He currently operates a training website for 3D artists, Aaron holds a Master of Fine Arts in Film/Video from
the California Institute of the Arts, and a BFA from the School of the Art
Institute of Chicago.

Exploratorium New Media Group – Exhibiting Science Interactively
The Exploratorium New Media group develops and collaborates on exhibits that
may employ everything from tangible media and embedded computing, to
projection and networked systems in a studio atmosphere with a variety of
internal and external partners. The goal is to enable first-hand experiences
of scientific phenomena–from physics to life sciences and social
psychology–that wouldn’t be possible without such technologies. The museum
and its floor is a unique experimental laboratory for learning of all kinds,
with an adjacent shop. This affords developers an opportunity to test and
iterate exhibit prototypes with a receptive public audience, beginning at
the earliest conceptual stages, in collaboration with scientists and skilled
visitor research and evaluation staff.

Brief talks/presentations by New Media staff and fellows:
Bill Meyer (
Eric Socolofsky (
North Pitney (
Chris Cerrito (
Lotte Meijer (

4. BarBot 2011, an art show with Cocktail Robotics at pariSoma in San
Francisco, April 1-2 9pm-2am

In a world where robots and humans struggle together in the fight against
boredom… Only one event ends up with the robots dancing “The Human” while
the meat puppets (you) end up singing the praises of RoboBartenders.

This April, come hang out with some alternate life-forms at BarBot 2011 –
the fourth annual festival of Cocktail Robotics!

BarBot is a celebration of cocktail culture and man-machine interface. Get a
drink from an actual robot. Chat up a snarky electronic bartender. Listen to
some graceful tunes being played by robotic music makers. And, after downing
your sixth martini, you can finally admit that it’s the geeks who shall
inherit the earth.

These robots don’t clean the carpets. What they will do is much, much
better. They make you a drink! Let your roommate do the vacuuming. These
bots have got better programming on their mind.

Fri/Sat, Apr 1-2, 2011 – 9pm-2am
21+ with photo ID $10 advance / $15 at door
Venue: pariSoma – 169 11th Street (@ Natoma)
Tickets: Buy tickets now!

5. Modulations 2011
Sat, 04/02/2011 – 4:00pm – 11:55pm
SOMArts Cultural Center, 934 Brannan Street, San Francisco

Live Electronic Music and Sound Art Installations by CCRMA and guest
artists: Trimpin | Wobbly | Sutekh
From CCRMA: Cloud Veins | Jakes Bejoy
Tweet Dreams | Adam Sheppard
Fernando Lopez-Lezcano
Katharine Hawthorne
Luke Dahl | Locky
Chris Platz

The Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) presents its
annual Modulations festival in San Francisco—an 8-hour marathon of sound art
installations and live electronic music.
installations 4-8pm free, concert 8pm $10

6. Make Magazine’s vote for Top 10: Free Downloads: Here you’ll find
templates, calendars, posters, plans, papercraft models, and other cool
stuff you can download and use completely gratis. Enjoy!

Thanks Matt for bringing this to our attention!

Michael Shiloh
Keep informed at


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