Hacklab 2013: People soldered, people sewed.

Hacklab 2013: People soldered, people sewed.

Hacklab 2013: Bio-music, by Manford Eaton. Wearable interface by Monika G. Dorniak (who was also behind the recent WCOMTC). And the multi-dimensional EPhysMus system, by Ove Holmqvist.

Hacklab 2013: Bio-music, by Manford Eaton. Wearable interface by Monika G. Dorniak (who was also behind the recent WCOMTC). And the multi-dimensional EPhysMus system, by Ove Holmqvist.

Inventing technological hacks in short time is one thing. At CTM Festival in Berlin, we want to push collaborative participants to go further. First, invent the technology for performance. Then, invent the performance – and be ready to perform publicly – and it do it all in just one week.

It’s time again to join a MusicMakers Hacklab.

Last year was the first week-long event hosted with CDM, and the first at CTM Festival. CTM makes a perfect venue, a brilliant and packed showcase for adventurous sound (and in parallel with another digital media fest, Transmediale, in the same city at the same time).

In that installment, we joined together with Imogen Heap and her Gloves Team. Dancers and instrumentalists joined coders and laptop musicians and visualists; people swapped needles and thread with soldering irons. The results were wearable and playable, spawning kinetic sculpture and light and sound and instrument. See what happened in this video:

musicmakers hacklab short from CDM on Vimeo.

This year, co-facilitated with sound artist Darsha Hewitt, we’ll not only set up collaborations but also present finished performances. At Berlin’s renowned HAU2 in the heart of the Kreuzberg neighborhood, Hacklabbers will get a chance to show finished work on the last day of CTM.

If you can get yourself to Berlin at the end of January, you can apply now to be involved for free. I’d love to see you there.

And there will be chances to learn new skills. Andrey Smirnov, a top expert on early experimental music, is in town from Moscow and curating an exhibition at CTM demonstrating the pioneering efforts of Russia’s early avant-garde I will also present a live A/V work with choreographer Mirjam Sögner, inspired by Leon Theremin’s experiments with dance, and share some of our techniques and technologies. With Andrey, myself, and Darsha, we’ll be able to give participants a chance to try new technologies for interaction.

Here’s Andrey talking about Sound in Z in an interview with The Wire (highly recommend his book, as well):

Andrey Smirnov’s Sound In Z from The Wire Magazine on Vimeo.

Possible areas to explore:

  • Optical and visual interfaces
  • Gesture and movement – with connections to Theremin’s early circuits
  • The art of noise and custom electronics for sound

The hacklab is free, but space is limited.

What we’re not looking for is completed works, or even finished ideas. What we are looking for is a mix of people who can make something together. We want to know who you are, what you might like to do, and with what sort of people you might want to work.

The reward: a unique chance to come together with other people from around Europe, be exposed to a week of new ideas and new performances, working by day and soaking up music and performance at night, having your work presented on CDM and in live performance at CTM Festival, and a chance for a free pass to CTM.

Application details and full event description at the CTM site:
MusicMakers Hacklab
DIY Utopia
[The theme, the lab, and how to apply]

You can also show support and get updates by “attending” the event on Facebook. (CTM guests are welcome to check in and see what’s happening as non-official observers through the week, as well.)

CTM 2014 – MusicMakers Hacklab

Apply by December 15 (no exceptions)

Hacklab runs January 27 – February 2, daily [participants will need to be there the entire time]

For more on the idea, here’s a video shot early in last year’s edition. (That’s actually Darsha about halfway through, when they finally cut away from me rambling! She was already facilitating as a participant. This year we decided to make it official and bring her back; we were lucky to get to do so.)