ArtHackDay-DELUGE-web

Approaching Pioneer Works in Red Hook, Brooklyn, this past Saturday evening, you wouldn’t have had any idea what was waiting for you inside. The 20-degree weather combined with a slight windchill ensured there was no one lingering on the block who didn’t need to be. But upon opening the door to this otherwise discreet former iron works facility, you were immediately confronted with what was waiting for you inside:

This God of Blinky Infinity was one of 26 artworks, installations, and interactive projects by more than 50 makers, hackers, artists, and designers, for the latest installment of Art Hack Day, called DELUGE. Since launching in early 2012, Art Hack Day has successfully promoted three events per year in cities as distinct as San Francisco and Stockholm, Paris and Providence. For this first occasion of 2015 the “event for hackers whose medium is art and artists whose medium is technology” returned home to Brooklyn.

Somewhere between a “secret ingredient” hackathon and a curated art show, it felt like there was more planning compared with previous Art Hack Days. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, only that what was previously a little scrappy and quick felt rounded-out and polished this time around. Overall, the vibe was good.

The thread connecting each work was a reading of the title theme: DELUGE. That could be interpreted as anything from the inundation of data to the very physical destruction of property by flooding waters (like Hurricane Sandy, an event still resonating in the area, especially in coastal towns and neighborhoods like Red Hook).

Web Warp by Audrey Fox, Cameron Ketcham, Kawandeep Virdee, James Donovan

And data and water isn’t just a conceptual pairing either. The piece Web Warp by Audrey Fox, Cameron Ketcham, and Kawandeep Virdee used two small fountains of water to act as a controller, or switch, in normally open status. When a human — or series of humans — connected or “closed” the loop between the two spigots, the switch was activated and a laptop connected to a projector streamed through an abundance of images, screenshots, dashboards, and visual data:

Deluge, indeed.

Other works were much more subtle, or even tongue-in-cheek, but each showed that it’s possible with technical and time constraints to generate new, novel, and innovative artworks that address or comment on the world we live in today.

#Drowning by Alan Schaffer, Eve Weinberg, Omer Shapira, David Gomez-Urquiza, Alejandro Crawford, Amelia Winger-Bareskin

#Drowning by Alan Schaffer, Eve Weinberg, Omer Shapira, David Gomez-Urquiza, Alejandro Crawford, and Amelia Winger-Bareskin

#Drowning immersed two challengers in Oculus Rift environments at sea. Opponents were asked to give responses to trivia-like topics based on trending news stories from 2014 — i.e. “Africa,” “Ebola.” Depending on which opponent’s search results (in Google) returned the most results, the other would “drown” a little more in his or her virtual environment.

WiFi Taser by Max Henstell
ArtHackDay-DELUGE_wifi-taser

Built with an A-version BeagleBone Black, this WiFi Taser by Max Henstell turned a Pringles can into an antenna gun of sorts, using Python to send deauth packets to knock nearby laptops off wi-fi.

Flight Lines by Ellie Irons, Dan Phiffer turned time-lapse frame-by-frame images into quite pleasant watercolor paintings.

Flight Lines, by Ellie Irons and Dan Phiffer turned time-lapse frame-by-frame images into quite pleasant watercolor paintings.

Climate Economies, by Sam Hart, Phillip Stearns, and Chris Woebken, combined market-driven algorithms with projected design elements to comment on fluctuating real estate prices, notably "waterfront" properties.

Climate Economies, by Sam Hart, Phillip Stearns, and Chris Woebken, combined market-driven algorithms with projected design elements to comment on fluctuating economies like real estate prices, notably waterfront properties.

handycammy by Chris Allick and Paul Christophe uses a 3D-printed adapter for iPhones to make sure you see the world around you while looking down at your phone's screen.

handycammy, by Chris Allick and Paul Christophe, uses a 3D-printed adapter for iPhones to make sure you see the world around you while looking down at your phone’s screen.

Three Minutes to Midnight, by Alex Dodge, Genevieve Hoffman, and Jan Mun.

Three Minutes to Midnight by Alex Dodge, Genevieve Hoffman, and Jan Mun. One imagines this was calculated to spill over at exactly 11:57pm. Unfortunately, someone stepped in the pool before that time arrived.

Last Robot Left Alive by Bradley Rothenberg and Adam Mayer. The installation postulated the resurrection of a broken security camera that fell to the ground likely due to wind sheer from Hurricane Sandy.

Last Robot Left Alive, by Bradley Rothenberg and Adam Mayer. The installation postulated the resurrection of a broken security camera that fell to the ground, likely due to wind sheer from Hurricane Sandy.

WSSID by Jonah Brucker-Cohen and Justin Blinder is a "wireless hotspot that broadcasts the weather as its network name."

WSSID, by Jonah Brucker-Cohen and Justin Blinder, is a “wireless hotspot that broadcasts the weather as its network name.”

Continuing with the weather theme, Rory is a "pocket weather station" that prints almost-ludicrous, Douglas Adams-esque expressions like "stay calm. Stay Calm. Stay CALM."

Continuing with the weather theme, Rory is a “pocket weather station” that prints almost-ludicrous, Douglas Adams-esque expressions like “stay calm. Stay Calm. Stay CALM.”

TV Helper by Dave Lublin, David Newbury, and Blair Neal. This rolling cart TV stand mix-n-matched clips with close-captions, splicing topics from sports, news, politics, humor, crime, nascar, religion, and horror together in an endless stream of assisted television watching.

TV Helper, by Dave Lublin, David Newbury, and Blair Neal. This rolling cart TV stand mix-n-matched clips with close-captions, splicing topics from sports, news, politics, humor, crime, nascar, religion, and horror together in an endless stream of assisted television watching.

The tentacle-finger controller for God of Blinky Infinity (seen earlier) by Sofy Yuditskaya, Uttam Grandhi, Michelle Chandra, Kirill Shevyakov, and Joelle Fleurantin.

The tentacle-finger controller for God of Blinky Infinity (seen earlier), by Sofy Yuditskaya, Uttam Grandhi, Michelle Chandra, Kirill Shevyakov, and Joelle Fleurantin.

My silent favorite of the show wasn't operating optimally, but I know where this one comes from. Monster Mash by Olivia Barr and Ariel Cotton turned upcycled junk into a creature from the Gowanus Canal, a nearby Superfund site with record levels of pollutants.

My silent favorite of the show wasn’t operating optimally, but I know where this one comes from. Monster Mash, by Olivia Barr and Ariel Cotton, turned upcycled junk into a creature from the Gowanus Canal, a nearby Superfund site with record levels of pollutants.

You can view a complete list of all participating makers and artists at the Art Hack Day: DELUGE website.