Maker Faire Aarhus 2021 Loves The Brain!

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Maker Faire Aarhus 2021 Loves The Brain!

Maker Faire Aarhus is here, October 16th & 17th! Each year since 2014 (excepting the last) the city of Aarhus, Denmark’s second largest, has welcomed makers from across the country and across Europe to share their creations at the marvelous DOKK1 library.  The library itself is a wonderland for makers and as renown for its innovative programming and interactions as it is for its spectacular architecture and waterfront location. This playground by Mostrum is a fantastic example of how they activate the space to support makers and making year round.

Have a look inside the brain!

For the 7th Edition of Maker Faire Aarhus coming up October 16 & 17th, the producers have chosen a special focus: THE BRAIN! Here’s a sneak peak and introduce some of the stuff you can look forward to at Maker Faire Aarhus this weekend!

“We have decided to dedicate the whole faire to the one thing that drives all makers: The brain. We salute all kinds of brains – the alternative thinking ones, the weird ones, the analytic ones, and the creative ones. We have suggested to our makers, that they create something that goes along with this theme, and we are kind of in love with all their creations! And we’re sure that you’ll love them too.”

Sometimes you don’t have to interpret a theme in some delicate and indirect manner. Why not just go literal and create a big brain?! That is what the Aarhus-based artists from A Secret Club did – and the results are amazing as you can see in the feature image. They have created a 1.8m square brain…so big that you can crawl into it and stand up straight when you’re in there. The space inside the brain is inspired by alchemy and what that period of time represents, before “magic” became science.

“We love “wunderkammere” and alchemy – both phenomena that we reject as silly, but we actually owe these things a lot. When you find yourself inside the brain, we have created a room where you can discover your thoughts, memories and ideas.” As they discuss on their website, these makers are dedicated to one of the most important concepts of Maker Faire, and the Maker Movement in general: PLAY!

“In Scandinavian languages, there are two words for play: One meaning to play a sport or a game – a competitive, goal oriented activity, and the other meaning to play, as in playing with toys – an activity that is collaborative and exploring. We think the latter is the more interesting: There are three possible outcomes to a game: Win, lose or tie, while collaborative play is open ended. A secret club plays in the second sense of the word, because collaborative play strengthens creativity and social skills – abilities we find crucial to solve some of the problems our world is facing.”

Listen to the plants

We know that all living creatures have a brain, but what about plants? These years we are discovering more and more about how plant life can communicate with each other – and maybe also to humans. At Maker Faire Aarhus this year you get the chance to listen in on plants talking to each other when Growing CoDesign exhibit their plant radios at their booth. They describe it like this:

“In Growing CoDesign we work with plants and technology, and at our booth you can try out our plant-radios on different plants. You’ll see how every plant is unique in their behavior – almost like they have some kind of ‘plant-sonality’.”

Curious about getting to know some new “plant-sonalities”? Then visit Verdensrummet at Maker Faire Aarhus, where they’ll have their very own plant-universe.

The digital brain

Another way of looking at the brain is seeing it as a digital place where information can be stored and put into use. Yes, you guessed it: A computer.

The Danish maker Andreas Refsgaard is an artist and creative coder based in Copenhagen. He is working in the field between art and interaction design and uses algorithms, coding and machine learning to explore the creative potentials of emerging digital technologies. At Maker Faire Aarhus he will, together with psychologist and expert in the creative mechanisms Mads Korsgaard, host a talk where they talk about the creative potential within technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.

“We want to show how these technologies can expand the human brains creative abilities, for example when algorithms can write poems, create pictures and interact with the human participants at our talk,” explains Andreas Refsgaard and Mads Korsgaard.

A picture of Andreas Refsgaard and Mads Korsgaard created by an algorithm.

More than that, Andreas will also host a workshop where you can try to draw your own musical instrument – and play it afterwards! He calls it “Doodle tunes” – a software application that uses computer vision and convolutional neural networks to analyze a piece of paper and recognize hand drawn instruments. You can see a video of Doodle tunes in action HERE.

If you want to both join the workshop and listen to the talk, you need to attend Maker Faire Aarhus on Saturday (or even better: Just show up both days where we’re open from 10 AM – 16 PM ).

More Makers + Activations

Check out more makers, workshops and talks on the website. And keep and eye on their social channels all weekend! 

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Jennifer Blakeslee keeps the Global Maker Faire program running smoothly and has been a maker at Maker Faire since 2011. Among other things, she really likes to travel, write, cook, hike, make big art, and swim in the ocean.

View more articles by Jennifer Blakeslee