Nathanaël Lécaudé sends along a lovely video that reveals some of the brilliant hacking scene in Montreal, centering on the Foulab collective and hackspace. The mini-documentary doesn’t assume you’ve heard of things like oscilloscopes and circuit bending, so it could be a good one to pass along to friends and family who haven’t seen this stuff before. This is just one slice of what I know is a fantastically creative scene in Montreal and Québec. Featured:

  • A custom oscilloscope made from a repurposed CRT, by Andrew MacGillivray
  • A 1938 teletype machine, rescued by Redbeard
  • An original boom box made from recycled parts by Maxster
  • XC3N working with modified 8-bit game systems

The creator asks in the YouTube description:

A look into the hardware hacking community in Montreal, including the Foulab collective. Why are more and more hobbyists experimenting with hacks and circuit bends? What relationship does this imply about consumer society and technological advancement? Is this a real-world analog of ‘user generated content’?

My answers: the Internet; getting your hands dirty rocks; yes. (Feel free to add your own.)

By the way, I’m trying to figure out just what quote is getting quoted at the end. I believe it may actually be a direct quote of someone slightly changing this Marshall McLuhan quote:

“You shape your tools and they shape you. It’s a loop. You start out a consumer and you wind up consumed.”

Actually, I can tell I’m an electronic musician at heart, because that sounds pretty good to me – and suggests the ways in which the consumer tools and DIY tools are both entangled in our creative process, perhaps in interesting ways. But perhaps someone can untangle the provenance of these words – please feel free; I find the readers of this site often know more than I do.