October meeting of Dorkbot DC, Oct 28


Next Meeting:
28 October 2008
7 PM – 9 PM (ET)

Smith Hall of Art, Room 114
(Map of Block)
George Washington University
801 22nd St NW
Washington, DC 20037

Schedule for next meeting
Image layout of some of Philip Kohn's video works Philip Kohn : Interactive video art: Harnessing 15 Seconds of Fame

It is human nature to “ham it up” on camera, especially if the recordings will be publicly displayed. Maybe evolution has created a basic need to leave a mark on the world, be it dog pee, graffiti, or art. Over the last 6 years, Philip has made 4 interactive video art installations that attempt to harness this desire.

Philip will talk very briefly about “Once Upon a Time” an interactive video story, “The Looking Glass” a wall hanging mirror that distorts space and time in a way that causes people to dance, and “Your Two Cents” a kiosk that records interviews, then manipulates them. Then he will show his latest piece “MockTV” which puts participants into 60’s TV shows. During its month at Artomatic 2008, it recorded 2919 videos. His Top-10 will be shown, as well as a live demonstration.

Creative and technical aspects and some new ideas will be discussed.

A bad electric shock at age 3 gave Philip an intense fear of electrocution, but also an even more intense desire to learn everything he could about electronics. By the time he was in elementary school, Philip was building high voltage induction coils. His interests spread into chemistry, computers, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, and graphics, pretty much everything I thought I’d need to achieve my life’s ambition became to be a mad scientist–not angry, just a little crazy…in good way. As every good mad scientist knows, one’s ultimate goal should be world domination. He sees the power of art as a means to this end. Interactive video gives him complete control over space, time, the visual, the auditory, the horizontal, the vertical, but most importantly it allows him to manipulate people. What he strives for is art that causes spontaneous regression back to a more playful age. For Philip, art is play, and he likes to use art to bring people into his sandbox and get them playing.

Best of Instructables cover

Gareth Branwyn : The Best of Instructables, Volume 1

Instructables.com has become one of the most popular magnets for makers and DIY enthusiasts of all stripes. Now, with more than 10,000 projects onsite, the Instructables staff, editors of MAKE magazine, and the Instructables community itself have put together a collection of some of the best how-tos found there. The Best of Instructables Volume 1 (available now for pre-order) includes plenty of clear, full-color photographs, complete step-by-step instructions, and tips and tricks, covering over 120 projects. Gareth (contributing editor for MAKE and lead editor on this book) will talk about the prosess of creating it, working with the worldwide Instructables community, and some of the projects covered. He’ll even have some of the projects with him, like the flashlight and dot matrix business cards.

Gareth Branwyn is a writer on technology and fringe culture. He is a contributing editor to MAKE and the Make: Blog, and is an editor for O’Reilly’s Make: Books imprint.



If you–or someone you know–has an interesting announcement or something to share (5 minutes or less), we’ll make time to fit you in.

After the presentations, the exchange continues over food and drink at a nearby eatery.

Dorkbot DC

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at garstipsandtools.com.

View more articles by Gareth Branwyn


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