So, you’re really hot patching synths in Reaktor. You’ve done some interactive music in Max/MSP. You think you’re really awesome. Fine. Go up against 5VOLTCORE and their knife-stabbing robot. They stake more than a reputation on this — they tempt fate and put their hand in the way of an evil robotic arm with a blade:

5VOLTCORE site (Thanks, Anton and the Pd list.)

I shudder to think what the debugging process was like. Pd (aka Pure Data, Max/MSP’s open-source cousin) is best known for music and synth applications, and to a lesser extent, interactive visual art. But the fact that it can also run a robot’s knife play demonstrates just how versatile and essentially application-agnostic these tools are.

Lest you think there’s no musical application all this mayhem, the folks of 5VOLTCORE have found equally destructive ways of creating music — like circuit bending graphics cards:

We mount cables stripped of isolation on an audio amplifier and use these to create short circuits and faulty currents on the chips of the graphic card of a computer. The intrusion of the amplified music signal in the graphic card causes the computer to get electrical impulses on parts of the hardware that are not designed to receive them. Instead of clean 0’s and 1’s, electricity generated by analog music hits the pins – and the computer tries to interpret it. A visual stream reacting in real-time to the music is generated. We then expand the possibilities of deconstruction with the help of tools like hammers and drill machines…

Here’s the video of their bent graphic card rig:

And for still more artistic chaos, see our previous report on their live computer destruction performances for Create Digital Motion.

Kids, don’t try this at home. Control a MIDI synth or something. That’s all I trust my own programming skills with.