In/Out Preview: Sounds, Sights, Thoughts, and Free Protofuse Download

Rosa Menkman (NL) re-imagines her digital self; part of the visual lineup for In/Out in New York next week. What is essential or new to the craft of fabricating electronic music? Who are we, today, as digital artists? As a certain natural sameness descends on some computer-based music performance as the medium matures, artists at gatherings like next week’s In/Out Festival push out toward the fringe. And like the shifting pixels in Rosa Menkman’s imagery, these events indicate an emerging – sometimes glitchy – self-image of a scene. In/Out hits New York Friday, September 17 – Saturday, September 18. The …

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Huggable Plush Synths and Soft Circuits, and Handmade Music NYC Thurs!

Electronics and synths are hard and you can’t hug them; plush animals and toys and blankets and pillows are soft and huggable. And we won’t even get started on the slightly-absurd gender associations of soft textiles and hard, toxic electronics. Or at least, so goes the traditional assumption. But increasingly, designers are becoming interested in soft design. So in a last-minute addition to Handmade Music NYC, Richie Brown has added plush instruments – a ring modulator and two synths, which in turn can be patched together. They’re instruments you can hug. (Next step: make the connections soft, too, I think.) …

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More Hackday Goodies, with a Beer Bottle Percussion Machine

Electronics and code and whatnot are great fun, but a lot of people want to know, how can they add actual, physical motion to a project? I’ve rounded up the last few odds and ends from the London Music Hackday organized in the offices of The Guardian, and came across Alistair MacDonald and Mr. Duck’s Percussion Machine, which uses Arduino with servos to strike beer bottles. Here’s the perspective of the non-techie on the affair from the newspaper’s music blog: Beats and geeks at Music Hack Day Of course, I’ve heard from at least a couple of people that for …

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You Know, for Kids: Young Girls Create Digital Plushy Motion with Arduino

Arduino the Cat, Breadboard the Mouse and Cutter the Elephant from hmt on Vimeo. Media artists and design houses around the world: you’ve got nothing on this group of eight to eleven-year old English girls, bravely exploring interaction design, soft toy hacks, and physical computing using the open source Arduino platform to animate cats, mice, and elephants. Just how comfortable are these kids with technology? Comfortable enough that a robotic, killer elephant with glowing eyes is “cute.” Give them a couple of decades, and I think they’ll invent Cylons. I can’t wait. Thanks to Kyle McDonald and Memo Akten for …

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