Summary of the six selected proposals that will be carried out within the Interactivos?'12 Ljubljana: Obsolete Technologies of the Future, to be held at Ljudmila (Slovenia) from September 5 to 15, 2012.
Open call for collaborators interested in taking part in the development of any of the selected proposals. Deadline August 31, 2012.
· Domače Volt Orkester
· Autonomous Interactive Radio
· TeleVotón: An Automated Voting Machine
· Repurposing of Abandoned Printing Devices Through Physical Computing and Open Source Software and Hardware
by Saša Spačal, Mirjan Švagelj and Anil Podgornik, Ljubljana
"This is an invitation for you to become the explorer of the force of technology, to enter the realm where biological and non biological are no longer anything else but a type of material that technology as dynamic force deals with and manipulates through the hands of human beings.
By opening the mycophone, a biohacked music box, you can explore a new kind of biotech organism that makes sounds like many biological organisms do and if you pet it on its hairy mycelia fur it’s voice changes, it could be said that it starts to purr. As any other biological being it needs maintenance to exist and care to live to its highest potential.
And as any other organism it has patterns, repetitive processes, that have to be met for it to exists and to live. They are there to process the signal that has been put into the box with the energy from the windup key of the music box. These patterns are seen as visual, graphical patterns on the laminate that translates the signal and is heard as repetitive sound. The repetitions can be transformed by the biological part of the box, by the growth of mycelia as well as proximity or touch of a hand of the explorer, the carer of the mycophone."
by Matthew Gingold and Ben Olsen, Austria
"Domače Volt Orkester Explores the many facets of our relationship to domestic electronic appliances. The inherent tension between the ‘mass-produced’ and the ‘personalization’ of technology is a pervasive force in contemporary society. It is an ‘I’ phone, a ‘smart’ toaster, a ‘my’ light. Behind the obvious marketing ploys that attempt to stimulate and associate our personal desires with generic objects, there is an actual, real and personal relationship between us (humans) and our (eletro-mechanical) tools, toys and transportations.
As we voraciously consume everyday technology, some products fall by the wayside – anonymous, discarded and/or destroyed – whilst others ascend to rock star like status – fetishized, collected and coveted. What are the perceptible qualities of these obsolete and not-so-obsolete technologies? What do they look like? What do they sound like? And how do they move?
What do we own today, that we will throw away tomorrow? And what will we want back, the day after that?
Inspired by the works of Maywa Denki and Ujino Muneteru the Domače Volt Orkester seeks to re-purpose discarded technologies to create instruments and installations of new wonder. The detritus of domestic electrical goods can be given a new life, a new ‘stage’ on which to ‘perform’ afresh for us humans, or even just for themselves – hairdryers, blenders, toasters, washing machines, toys, toothbrushes, cd-rom drives, phones, printers – are all transformed into ‘orchestras’ via AC sequencers, interface hacks and interactive trickery."
by Reid Bingham and Sean McIntyre, USA
"As radio markets increasingly become corporate owned monocultures and governments slash funding to public radio, smaller communities and subcultures become underserved or cut out completely from this vital form of communication. Our project, AIR, seeks to address this problem by going smaller instead of bigger, focusing on creating a direct relationship between radio listener and radio station, turning the top down one way direction of traditional radio into a circle.
AIR, is an autonomous, neighborhood oriented, interactive, micro-radio station. The station consists of a low power radio transmitter and wifi enabled computer that is scripted to automatically download, queue, and then play, all audio files emailed to it. Files are played as they are downloaded by the station computer, and if multiple files are sent at once, they are queued in the order they are received. All files are added to a running playlist that is played and looped through continuously when no songs are being received. The content of this micro-radio station is based solely on the files people email to it. The queue system is set up to ensure a direct and immediate way to interact with A.I.R. With this project we wish to make radio a new space for neighborhood level interaction, expression, and experimentation."
by Laura Gabriela Olalde Verdes, Argentina
"My project consists on the construction of a compound eye based on multiple cells or lens inspired on the Ophiocoma wendtii organism. In this special kind of organisms, skin becomes a visual organ as well as tactil , as it is cover by light sensitive cells all over its surface.
From a biomimetic approach, this project is planned to be executed in two different steps. The first one, consists on the prototype and rehearsal of the multicamera system, and on the visualisation process resulting of the different images coming from different units. For this project, all cameras, both photographics ones and webcams will be recycled. In order to collect a good stock of them, there will be a public and open call to local community in order to invite people to bring their old cams and join the proyect.
The second step in this project consists on the construction of an sculptural object. With organic characteristics, its surface will have inserted lenses of the hacked cameras and that will build the compound eye. This object will have a semi transparent skin, mostly done in latex and with a metal structure inside that will give it support to be hold on itself. As surface is traslucid, it will be the screen in which we will see the processed images coming from an inside projector, offering this way, an unique and particular way of visualization."
by Yasmina Morán Conesa, Spain
"Televotón is a prototype of an Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) turned into a direct democratic participation device, a terminal for voting political affairs.
The votings will be possible using an electronic ID card (implemented in some European countries). We introduce our ID and pin in the same way as we do in a regular ATM. Once the identification process is completed, the daily votings will be shown to us, and we will be able to vote, as an example, a proposal submitted to the National Parliament.
As an utopia, this prototype would be part of an electronic voting network, consisting of the current ATM network (the voting functionality would be added to it), and those ATMs withdrawn during the bank restructuring due to the global economic crisis. This network would improve the electronic accessibility: not everybody has a computer at home, but everybody has an ATM just around the corner.
The prototype will consist of a real ATM frontal panel, an obsolete computer and peripherals: keyboards, a screen and a card reader. The software, which will looks like a a bank interface, will be programmed using open source software. This software will send to a web server the votings. The final look of the Televotón container will be decided during the workshop, having into account its mobility and autonomy."
by Gonzalo Ramírez Restucci, Spain
"Printers and plotters have always been one of the best sources for the harvesting of electronic components for anyone interested in the practices of DIY. From DC motors to steppers, gears and belt mechanisms, dot matrix LCD displays, power supplies, optical encoders and switches, and a huge amount of “spare” parts, such as metal rods ands mounting brackets.
Home and office printers are really cheap and disposable, it’s very common to find abandoned units on the streets lying next to dumpsters, and just by searching a little bit deeper it’s easy to find companies getting rid of old units by the means of tens or hundredths of units.
Interesting enough, is the amount of companies that are doing the same with printer’s big brother: The Plotter. Usually units older than 10 years not in working conditions anymore, nor satisfying requirements for current printing jobs are being replaced with new ones. With the bulk factor being the most important in avoiding storage of it and throwing it away in a promptly manner.
Plotters provide and excellent resource for component scavenging, usually using huge and powerful motors and much higher quality components and almost 3 times the amount of each that could be found in a simple printer. All this together with the fact that they provide a much bigger form factor, allows for ideas on creating systems based on this beasts to be much more ambitious."