Dorkbots @ EF04


Fond of getting their electrical freak on, The International Dorkbot ‘movement’ is an interconnected hard & software hacking community of sorts, spread from Barcelona to Mumbai, Rotterdam to Melbourne and San Francisco. Members of Dorkbot Ghent, the Belgian node of the Dork community are visiting the upcoming festival ( sep 27-0ct 4 in newcastle ) and took time out to zap these replies:

What strange things can ‘grown-ups do with lego’?
How about : break their fingers … ? Seriously, they can build quite complex howiedork.jpg
robots that can track colors, follow patterns, produce sound and crawl onto walls. The Lego Robotics series is actually pretty sophisticated, since the engines underneath can be controlled through various software modules. Just to give you an example, Lieven – aka “the Quiet One”, my second half at the Electrofringe gig – has built a little machine that wanders across a large canvas reading the color values of the paint that had been smacked onto it by 3-year olds – and turning all that info into sound… it’s boyz & toyz really.

What about electricity?
It can really sting, duh.

Good skaters fall well. How do good experimental electricians recover?
They don’t. they just wear rubber boots.

What do you think about a globalised electricity grid?
Hmm. Politics. But what about a sense of ‘place’ then? Moreover, I kinda like all these little adapters and peripherals that come with the problem. Watch us wrestle with plugs & currents come Saturday 😉

What are you doing at electrofringe?
We’ll be ‘feeding the pet’- a litte text/sound toy built, using director, flash, cps and bidule, where I write live lyrics and The Quiet One knobs the sounds. What I write translates into a little dancing skeletal structure that responds to the sounds being produced, in turn being modified by the sort of language I use. It’s something we built from scratch and is still very small and vulnerable. We’re giving electrofringe the first live try-out. After all, ‘this is not art’ is it ? Apart from that experimental gig we’ll take part in a roundtable on ‘new networks’, talking about AND we will host a masterclass on vision & sound, based on tinkering I’ve been doing over the past few months using a microscope, macromedia director and cps.

Upcoming projects that excite you?
Uh, Australian elections ?

Meet A Dorkbot
Potential Dorkbot magnets are well advised to head to Electrofringe in Newcastle this week ( Sep 27- Oct 4), where International Vjs, DIY musical robotics experts, dee-jayz, workshops, masterclasses, zinefairs, installations, screenings and under the bonnet ginger beer fulled tweakage with people from every state in Australia – will happen over a motion-blur weekend. Sunday nite should be a piss-funny round-up exclamation mark for it all, with the ‘Plover Idle’ talent quest on offer by the Dual Plover record label.

Autobot Roulette:

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