Maker Faire: Survival Research Laboratories

Craft & Design
Maker Faire: Survival Research Laboratories

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We are thrilled that this year, Survival Research Laboratories (SRL) will join us at the Maker Faire. Founded in 1978 by Mark Pauline, SRL is a San Francisco-based network of makers who create “spectacular mechanical performances” where “humans are present only as audience or operators.” For three decades, SRL has been a force to be reckoned with around the world, staging mind-blowing productions where audiences are assaulted by the likes of a radio-controlled walking machine outfitted with flame-throwers, a 16-foot Tesla coil spurtting blue crackling sparks, a huge air cannon blasting away at plate glass windows, or a homebrew hovercraft propelled by four four-foot-long pulse jet engines gliding chaotically across burning asphalt.

“The vision for SRL was always about creepy, scary, violent, and extreme performances that really captured the feeling of machines as living things,” Pauline said in MAKE Vol. 07.

At Maker Faire, Pauline and his cohorts, including a very special guest machine or two, will be on hand to interact with attendees. We hope you’ll join us for this rare opportunity to meet the minds behind the most dangerous shows on Earth. Who knows what other surprises these maker provocateurs have in store for us.

“Like an extension of the human psyche, machines are scary things,” Pauline told MAKE. ‘When you take the scary human psyche and magnify it hundreds or thousands of times with technology, it’s really nightmarish.”

The Bay Area Maker Faire is May 19 and 20 at the San Mateo Fairgrounds. Advance tickets are now available.

(photos by Scott Beale/Laughing Squid)

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