MzTEK will be running two workshops at this years Digital Design Weekend at the V&A: Soft Circuit Robots & Introduction to Arduino…

    Come and find us in the in the Seminar Room 1, Sackler Centre.

    Saturday 22 & Sunday 23 September 2012

    Soft Circuit Robots

    Saturday 22 September
    10.30 – 13.30 or 14.30 – 17.30
    Celebrate the Alan Turing Year by creating your own cute soft-circuit chatbot with light-up eyes! Learn how to make crochet chains and buttons with conductive materials.

    Sign up here for the Soft Circuit workshop.


    Introduction to Arduino

    Sunday 23 September
    11.00 – 13.00 or 14.30 – 16.30


    Learn the basics of interaction design with Arduino, how to use it, applications for creating interactive objects or environments and how to use a simple sensor for basic interaction.

    Sign up here for the Intro to Arduino workshop.


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  2. MzTEK Library Entry No 1

    Last night we went over to ResonanceFM (104.1) to talk a little about MzTEK with Furtherfield‘s Marc Garrett.  What a fun program, jitters aside!  If you didn’t listen last night, stay tuned as a podcast will be available soon (we’ll link to it here of course.)

    Adigital_pioneerslso speaking was curator Douglas Dodd from the V&A, who discussed the  Digital Pioneers exhibition and some quite interesting facts about the history of making art with computers (think long before Photoshop, Kraftwerk, etc.)

    And lucky for us, we were able to snag a nifty copy of the beautiful exhibition book—a first entry in the MzTEK library (and god willing not the last!)

    Thanks Mr. Dodd and the folks at Furtherfield!

  3. MzTEK @ /ETC – Music & hair…

    Yes! We made music with our beautiful locks!

    First we made the mic by wiring up a mono jack to a piezo,


    then we gaffered (naturally) the piezo to a tin can.


    Then we pulled out our own hair, suffering for our art, and fixed it across the tin can. Then we plugged them into an eff off great amp and blew the roof off of HUMLab! Actually it sounded quite sweets at times and we managed to get a harmony (of sorts) coming from the speakers, but that might have just been feedback.

    That workshop was run by a cool artists from Dublin, Joan Healy. As it happens she will be performing at Shunt in London 23rd – 27th June and she said she’d be well up for doing a workshop for MzTEK while she’s in town.  SWEET!!!!  I’ll sort that out when i get back, but email info@mztek.org if your interested.


  4. Next Peer to Peer: Arduinorama

    NB:  If you would like to attend, please RSVP by email.

    Kit: If you have your own Arduino starter kit, or Arduino and sensors, bring them so you can follow along with your own tools.  You can buy them online in advance if you don’t have them.

    Or, if you’re simply interested in the tech, you’re welcome to look on!

    We recommend buying one in advance if you want to be able to take home what you’ve made and use it in your own projects, and in our upcoming workshops.


  5. P2P tinkers with Isadora

    Over the last month, we’ve kicked off a couple of awesome projects: MzTEK Unplugged pub meets and P2P workshops.  The aim?  To foster discussion and skills exchange in new media art, and explore somewhat idiosyncratic (yet  quality) alternative learning environments.  Students teach students, guest speakers present over candlelight and drinks at the local — a bit different from your average uni course.

    At our last P2P, meeting up in Bermondsey, Sophie walked us through Isadora— software that provides an interactive element to audio and visual input/output.  Isadora is a graphical programming environment that lets you easily link together effects, input, output, and other pre-made patches to create powerful interactive audiovisuals.


    Here's some visuals of our own, tapping the first known woman programmer (long before computers), with Isadora.

    The effects we played with were pretty simple, but we got the idea that this stuff can do some very, very cool things if you tinker with it long enough.  Maybe this is how I can learn to VJ?  The only downside is that Isadora will set you back about £200 (if you want to save your files).  Here’s an example of a cool video effect (sort of like difference) applied to a clip I took at the Kinetica fair :  testing-isadora-movie.

    But before we delved into Isadora, Mary — a choreographer from Devon — walked us (or should I say chasséed?) through a breezy series of physical movements and routines with the idea we could then apply these towards a project in Isadora. (Isadora, I should mentioned, is named after the famed American dancer Isadora Duncan, and its original raison d’etre was to provide dancers and choreographers with new means for interactive movement capture.)