Kids Club! Casting and Molding with Legos!

Last Friday we had a party with Legos! We got to learn how to cast with concrete. The pictures below are snippets from the class.


powerfists

lego_1

 

You can see the walls of the molds starting to come together!


lego4 Khari_1mixingface_1bevan_NAPA

Bevan, from New American Public Art, is showing off his creations to the kids!
excitement
Big Faces!

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New Classes this fall!

And as the temperature drops and nights grow longer we’re excited to announce our fall class and workshop lineup.

Our first class is the popularly-requested Introduction to GitHub. This workshop will teach all about distributing, sharing and contributing to code repositories online.

Other classes feature the Raspberry Pi computer (Intro to Balloon Mapping, Build a Retro Arcade), classes in creative coding with openFrameworks, and even a workshop to build a robotic drawBot. Take a look and sign up.

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Moving Web Hosts

We’ll be moving web hosts, so you’ll note the current URL has changed slightly (old.thehacktory.org). As we migrate our content to the new server, you’ll be re-directed to our normal URL.

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Great Day at the Barnes

Bevan Weissman at the Barnes

We had a great time presenting at the Barnes Foundation today. All of our resident artists presented about the projects they are working on, which range from wearables, to interactive performances, to phone apps, to programs that use sound (megaphones) and real-time web data in new ways. Our artist Fellow Bevan Weissman, and Hacktory Organizer Kim Brickley presented about other interactive projects they have recently been working on. Thanks again to the wonderful staff at the Barnes for giving us this great opportunity, and for everyone who came out to see our demos! Check out future Free First Sundays at the Barnes for more interesting presentations and inspiring performances.

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Survey on potential new space for The Hacktory

Hello Hacktory community,
we are exploring acquiring additional space for The Hacktory and are conducting a survey. We’re interested in finding out what equipment you’d like to use, if you’re potentially interested in what a Hacktory membership could offer, and whether you might be interested in co-working or studio space. Please fill out the survey and send along to friends!

Thank you.

Check out the survey here. It should only take you up to 3 minutes!

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Robert Spahr at The Hacktory

Tonight at our weekly free Project Night at the Department of Making and Doing we’ll have a session with Robert Spahr, The Hacktory’s first Unknown Territory Fellow.

Rob is an artist and a Professor and is visiting us from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois. His artwork features a combination of computational art, performance, installation, painting and object-making, using collage, remix, automation, indeterminacy, and randomness to bear upon the computer and the Internet as machines that regulate and restrict just as much as they can be used to disrupt and resist dominant codes of seeing and being.

Rob labels his artwork Cruft, a hacker term that implies excess junk or unnecessary computer code.

Rob’s artwork references the idea of digital leftovers – the leftover materials of the main stream media as well as the digital leftovers we create as individuals left behind on social networking sites, and scattered across the web. He creates automated computer programs that collect these digital leftovers by scraping them from the web and remixing them into a digital collage that become images, video, or text-based poetry.

Rob’s work has been shown nationally and internationally and we’re privileged to have him as our first Unknown Territory Fellow. He’s been advising our Artist-In-Residents, participating in our classes and workshops, and we’re excited to see all of the artwork he’s cooked up here as a Fellow.

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Philly Loses a Great Maker

Brendan Schrader

We are very sad to hear of the passing of Brendan Schrader, president and one of the founders of Hive76, a fellow makerspace in Philly. Brendan had a hand in making a lot of the interesting projects that attracted people to Hive and inspired Philadelphians to want to become makers, like a giant Connect 4 game. In lieu of flowers, his memorial page asks for donations to Hive76.

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Bad Website Jam new terrible websites

Last week we held the Bad Website Jam, a short burst of a jam where participants reviewed extremely basic Web 1.0 HTML and markup, checked out some geocities sites, and then spent 2 hours building their own terrible mid-90s-aesthetic website. We built our sites on Neocities, which is a really beautiful project to “make the web fun.”
I want to make another Geocities. Free web hosting, static HTML only, 10MB limit, anonymous, uncensored.
— Kyle Drake (@kyledrake) May 23, 2013

Need some inspiration? Check out the 1996-era Space Jam website.

How To Make A Website

We started with my slideshow on How To Make A Website which you can view here.

In total, 10 websites were built during the jam. You can check them all out posted to Bad Website Jam Neocities page here. We hope to hold more of these jams again.

Avoid The Contrails
Avoid The Contrails – a conspiracy theory website

Make Your Own Turducken in 27 Easy Steps
Make Your Own Turducken in 27 easy steps – This totally reminds me of 1996 web browsing

Karl's Kronies Emporium
Karl’s Kronies Emporium – “We buy and sell all things illegal.” A scary “deepweb” sinister marketplace.

Check out the 6 other sites, from a Joe Biden Septa site to a warning about the dearth of train station spitflap signs here.

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What We’re Reading This Week

Today we present to you a roundup of articles and posts from around the web on topics of importance to us or just good reads that we’ve enjoyed recently. We hope to make this a regular feature at The Hacktory. Let us know what you’ve been reading too.

 

Why Apple’s Swift Language Will Instantly Remake Computer Programming

Cade Metz for Wired Magazine

Part of Swift’s edge is that it’s built for the average programmer. It’s designed for coding even the simplest of mobile apps, and with a rather clever tool Apple calls “Playgrounds,” it offers an unusually effective way of teaching yourself to code. 

 

Tracking The Bizarre Edits That Congress Makes To Wikipedia

Eric Limer for Gizmodo

The elected representatives you chose to represent you in the legislative branch of the United States of America aren’t just making modifications to national law. They’re also editing the Wikipedia pages for “Horse head mask” and “Step Up 3D.” Or at least their staffers are. And thanks to @congressedits, you can keep tabs on it.

 

Where Are The Women In Makerspaces? 

Georgia Guthrie (The Hacktory’s Director) for Make Magazine

If you’ve been to your local hackerspace/makerspace and noticed there weren’t many women, did you stop to wonder why? Unfortunately a common reaction is to think, “I guess women just aren’t into hacking or building stuff.” 

 

The Internet with a Human Face

Maciej Cegłowski for Idle Words

The cloud promises us complete liberation from the mundane world of hardware and infrastructure. It invites us to soar into an astral plane of pure computation, freed from the weary bonds of earth. What the cloud is is a big collection of buildings and computers that we actually know very little about, run by a large American company notorious for being pretty terrible to its workers.

 

NSA considers you a target for deep surveillance

Cory Doctorow for Boing Boing

The NSA says it only banks the communications of “targeted” individuals. Guess what? If you follow a search-engine link to articles about Tor and Tails, you’ve been targeted.

 

Secrets Of The Creative Brain

Nancy Andreason for The Atlantic

A neuroscientist’s take on where creativity and genius come from. Confirmation that intelligence doesn’t automatically result in genius, and creativity and genius are very closely aligned with symptoms of mental illness.

 

The Putter: A Meditative Video On The Art Of Making Scissors

Christopher Jobson for This Is Colossal

The film’s subject, Cliff Denton, is one of the world’s last “putters” (literally “a putter togetherer of scissors”) who works at Ernest Wright & Sons in Sheffield, a company that has been hand-making scissors and shears for 112 years.


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Guest post: Artist-In-Resident Jacob Rivkin

Today’s post comes from current Unknown Territory Artist-In-Resident Jacob Rivkin.

My work primarily focuses on issues of how we interact with the landscape. One of the main questions I came into the Unknown Territory Residency at the Hacktory with was how do we develop our collective understanding of place through experiential and metaphorical explorations. Is it through what and how we eat? Is it through our experience of different weather systems and terrains? Is it through the stories passed from family members about historical passages from one location to another?

To address these questions the staff, mentors, and fellow artists at the Hacktory have led me to explore integrating real time data from both sensors and online into my sculptural work. Harvesting data like wind speed and tide charts from data online, or comparing a current GPS location to an internal list of coordinates both seemed like something that required years of experience with coding. Fortunately, the reality is I can, and will develop these skills here. The opportunity to have access to both the resources and the knowledge base here to guide and push me to new directions with my work is tremendous. In each class we gain technical skills and the historical context for why and how these advancements came about. The fellow artists I have met here have been equally inspiring, each of us coming from distinct and unique backgrounds.

I’m looking forward to the work and ideas that we will all will continue to make and develop over the next five months!

Sketches of sculptures that use Arduino

Rivkin composite

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