MzTEK Unplugged

Hosting a range of speakers who practice computer art, new media art, activism, curation, and promotion, Unplugged is designed as an opportunity to shut our laptops for an evening, and draw on the skills and experience of the media arts community. Come join us for a drink and some interesting conversation!

Unplugged gathers fortnightly through June 2009, and is open to the public. Free.

We’re excited to host the following confirmed speakers:

Lisa Haskel
18th March 2009

Lisa Haskel

Lisa has worked with media artists over 20 years or so, originally as an organiser/administrator, and more recently giving technical support and teaching the technical fundamentals of creative work on the web including networking, programming and server administration.

Lisa will showcase examples of student projects she have supported to open up a discussion on the importance (or otherwise) of programming knowledge for media artists, and strategies for gaining these skills.

7pm – 9pm at The Brittannia Pub (44 Kipling Street, SE1 3RU)

Ruth Catlow
1st April 2009

Ruth will talk about, an independent media arts
organisation that provides contexts and platforms for creating, viewing,
discussing and learning about experimental practices at the intersection
of art, technology and social change.

Alex Zivanovic
15th April 2009

Alex will talk about the creative uses of Physical Computing – sensing and controlling the real world using programmable microcontrollers. In particular, he will talk about the Arduino (, a low cost microcontroller system specifically aimed at artists and designers. He’ll show how the system can be used to make interactive devices and installations.

Alex has a background in engineering, but is increasingly working in the art and design fields. He is a visiting tutor at the Royal College of Art and Goldsmiths. His particular interest is in physical computing and interactive robotics as art installations.

Julie Freeman
29th April 2009

Julie will introduce the politics of Open Source software and code, and will introduce some of the useful programs, packages and tools available for artists, and tools she uses in her work.

Alex McLean
13 May 2009

Alex will talk about the nature of code, of geometrical space, and the relationship between them.  This will lead into a demo of vocable synthesis, a way of controlling synthesized drums with words.

Alex is one third of the live coding band, a PhD student at Goldsmiths digital studios and co-organiser of various events including dorkbotlondon.  He enjoys computer programming as a way of making music and of interacting with the world.  More info about his projects and activities may be found at

Sarah Angliss
27th May 2009
Better living through ALife
Sound artist, engineer and semi-competent programmer Sarah Angliss (Spacedog UK) shares a handful of cunningly simple tricks, inspired by animals, that can be used to make your exhibits, programs and anything else you can dream of more sublime. Use ‘bee vision’ to track small moving objects with very little computing power. Borrow some ideas from Darwian evolution to solve problems at great speed. Give people the impression you’ve made a really intelligent robot, when there’s very little ‘under the hood’. Sarah is coming fresh from her music and automata show Electroplasm at the Brighton festival fringe, where she performed to rave reviews – you can also see her performing, tonight, for free at the Science Museum Late (20 May).
Ilze Black
3rd June 2009
Come and chill out with a cool beer and have a chat with new media artist and producer Ilze Black.

Ilze will talk about her work as media artist and producer. She has curated numerous media productions, art events and happenings in and around London during last 10 years. In 1990s post-Soviet Latvia, Ilze helped to set up the
seminal art initiative art bureau OPEN, and staged seminal events like Open, Biosport and the Untitled: subvertising session in the streets of Riga. In 2003 Ilze Co-founded new media society Take2030. Her projects focus on network populism, free wireless, open communities and transnational society.

Ilze is currently media arts curator at Watermans art centre London and is an associate of HiveNetworks, Class Wargames and Node.London.

Ele Carpenter
17 June 2009
Ele will talk about her current research project Open Source Embroidery. Please feel free to bring along your knitting and coding patterns to share and modify.
The Open Source Embroidery project was initiated by Ele Carpenter in 2005. The project has grown to support and facilitate a range of artists practice investigating the relationship between programming for embroidery and computing. It’s based on the common characteristics of needlework crafts and open source computer programming: gendered obsessive attention to detail; shared social process of development; and a transparency of process and product. Open Source Embroidery is a socially engaged art project developed through workshops and an email list: There are also groups on Facebook and Flickr.

Ele’s blog Ele Weekend documents the project and posts information about current workshops and exhibitions.

Ele Carpenter is an independent curator and researcher based in Umea in Northeast Sweden, Newcastle upon Tyne and London, UK. She is currently undertaking a Research Fellowship at HUMlab in affiliation with the BildMuseet at the University of Umea, Sweden. Her curatorial practice responds to specific socio-political cultural contexts in collaboration with individuals, groups and organisations. Her life-long interest in the relationship between creativity and political action, has been influenced by her formative years at Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp and on Cruisewatch. Fleeing the polarities of activism to join the art-world, she has continuously interrogated the relationship between cultural and political change through curatorial creative practice. Her research has written, curatorial and creative outcomes including mapping, embroidery, and research projects on this website.

Jim Prevett
24th June2009

Jim Prevett studied Fine Art (Sculpture) at Sheffield Hallam University in 1999. He works with prevett & mcArthur who have exhibited across the UK and internationally including ‘Echo City’ at the British Pavilion for Venice Biennale of Architecture 2006, The Perfect Real at King Street Arts Centre and ‘His life is full of miracles…’ videotech at Site Gallery Sheffield. Jim ran the arts programme for Access Space in Sheffield for 2 years establishing a residency programme and producing LOSS Livecode, a festival of ‘livecoding’ audio. Access Space is the UK’s first recycled technology medialab, using open source software to invigorate old computers and creativity using computers. Jim has worked with Encounters community based arts organisation in Sheffield and as part of New Dust.

Jim currently works as the Emergent Technologies Producer at SPACE media in Hackney, where he runs programmes such as the PermaCultures series of residencies and workshops and FutureTV youth media development. He is an Associate Lecturer on the undergraduate Fine Art (media) course at at Sheffield Hallam University. Jim lives and works in London and Sheffield.