Category Archives: meetups

Meetup announcements.

DORKBOT SUPPORTS: Creativity & Cognition Studios: Hacking the Stage feat. Elke Utermöhlen and Martin Slawig (blackhole-factory) + Chris Bowman + Linda Walsh


Augmenting the Senses – Artists Talk

Dorkbot Sydney and Creativity and Cognition Studios present a special event of artist presentations featuring visiting audiovisual media artists Elke Utermöhlen and Martin Slawig (blackhole-factory) from Germany, Chris Bowman, Sydney and Linda Walsh.

Friday 2nd October 11am – 1pm
Creativity and Cognition Studios
Level 6, Room 402, UTS Building 11, Broadway

Elke Utermöhlen and Martin Slawig (blackhole-factory)


We use technology to expand space and develop new performance practices incorporating augmented reality environments and data visualisation and sonification. In this talk, we present examples of our installations and performances that illustrate how we understand expanded spaces: opening the boundaries of space, sensing the environment through outdoor-sensors, connecting spaces over the internet or linking performers equipped with sensors.  Most of our work uses self-deciding systems that confront the performer with unpredictable behavior. We will show some work in progress, which we will be developing during our residency in Sydney as well as talking about our use of Max/MSP, Arduino, sensors and XBee modules. These arts projects aim to examine issues of appropriation and transformation and emancipation from preformed reality.

Chris Bowman

Sydney_ExhibitionDesign2 23

In February 2015, Chris Bowman and Holger Deuter led a special interdisciplinary design studio in the UTS Data Arena for 3rd year students from UTS’s School of Design. Students from various design disciplines engaged with one of Australia’s leading choreographers, Dean Walsh who demonstrated for the first time at UTS the motion capture capabilities of the Data Arena system.  This presentation explores the concept development, visualisation and animation processes used by the students in response to the brief, the 360 degree cinematic space in the Data Arena and the choreographic data which the students rendered as prototype 2D and 3D animation assets. This special student lab extended the work undertaken by the tranSTURM collective on the short film, Heroic commissioned by Sydney Olympic Park Authority.

Linda Walsh


This presentation will describe the new work “ Blue Space” for oboe and interactive audio-visual system, that uses motion tracking, real-time fluid simulation and granular sound synthesis to create a responsive digital environment. The gestures, movements and sounds made by the oboist generate the audio-visual digital content which is projected in real-time. The interactive system used for Blue Space has its origins in the dance work ‘Encoded’, performed in 2012 by the Stalker Theatre, which used a fluid simulation system developed by Andrew Johnston at the Creativity and Cognition Studios at UTS. The addition of sound to the original system led to the earlier experimental works for oboe, Sound Stream and Airflow in 2013.
Based on Gaston Bachelard’s philosophical text ‘Water and Dreams’, Blue Space explores the relationships between water, image and sound. Taking form in many kinds of fluid, vapour, ice crystals and rain, water appears in its diverse moods, encompassing tranquility, power, life and death. While the work has a clearly defined structure, improvised sections allow flexible interaction during performance as the artists react to each other and to the output of the system.

DORKBOT AT THE MCA : Energies sensed, scavenged, harvested, experienced


Dorkbot Sydney (“people doing strange things with electricity”) presents a special event at the MCA to coincide with the Energies: Haines & Hinterding exhibition. Join artists Paul Greedy, Emily Morandini, Pia van Gelder and Peter Blamey as they discuss their explorations and experiences in making works that embrace a range of energies: acoustic, chemical, electromagnetic, psychic and beyond. Hear how these artists are engaging with energies in the arts stretching from the tangible to the intangible, via the sonic, therapeutic, geophysical and astronomical.

Thu 16 July, 6.30 – 8pm
Free, bookings essential
MCA Level 2, Veolia Lecture Theatre

Spaces limited, CLICK HERE to book early for this popular event.
Artist bios:

Emily Morandini is a Sydney based media artist, educator, and researcher. Touching upon histories of technology, her work seeks to reimagine intersections between nature, craft, and electronics. Currently she is a PhD candidate at UNSW Art & Design.

Paul Greedy is a Sydney based artist whose practice engages with the phenomenal world and the complexities of physical dynamics. Through works that mediate basic phenomena such as light, sound, air pressure, temperature etc, Greedy creates situations that seek to expand our understanding of how energy manifests and shapes our impressions of the world.

Pia van Gelder is an artist and researcher who often makes instruments that generate video and sound for performances or interactive installations. Recently, Pia’s work has been influenced by historical inquiries into esoteric understandings of the body and energy.

Peter Blamey is an artist, musician and researcher. His work explores themes of sound, energy, and the reimagining of technology through questioning accepted notions of connectivity, variability and use. His practice is typically grass roots, establishing interactions between disparate everyday technologies in order to produce performances, artworks and installations that investigate the relationships between people, technologies and their environments

Image: Pia van Gelder, Build Your Own BioSynth workshop, Performance Space, 2013. Photo: Lucy Parakhina


WHAT: “People doing strange things with electricity”
WHEN: Tuesday 31st March, 6-8
WHERE: University of New South Wales, Art & Design (formerly known as Cofa!), Fblock, Room F205 (SEE MAP AT THE BOTTOM)
COST: Freeeeeee!

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 4.59.21 pm


Ever wanted to communicate with a NASA space probe launched in 1978, or spoof a restaurant’s pager system? There are surprising similarities! How about use an airport’s Primary Surveillance RADAR to build your own bistatic RADAR system and track moving objects? What sorts of RF transactions take place in RFID systems, such as toll booths, building security and vehicular keyless entry? Wireless systems, and their radio signals, are everywhere: consumer, corporate, government, amateur – widely deployed and often vulnerable. If you have ever wondered what sort of information is buzzing around you, this talk will introduce how you can dominate the RF spectrum by ‘blindly’ analysing any signal, and then begin reverse engineering it from the physical layer up. I will demonstrate how these techniques can be applied to dissect and hack RF communications systems, such as those above, using open source software and Software Defined Radio.

I’ll also look briefly at some other systems that are close to my heart: reversing satellite communications, tracking aircraft using Mode S and visualising local airspace in real-time on a 3D map, monitoring the health of aircraft with ACARS (how many faults have been reported by the next plane you’ll be travelling on, e.g. do the toilets work?), and hunting down the source of an interfering clandestine radio transmission.

– Twitter:
– Meetup:
– YouTube: adventure around the Bay Area: USRP B200: Exploring the Wireless World



Michela Ledwidge introduces Rack&Pin, a web service platform for managing interactive experience from concept through to operations. This presentation looks at challenges and opportunities for directing creative experience in a networked world. Case studies include the ACO VIRTUAL immersive video installation (Manly Gallery & Museum 27 March – 3 May), the Power of 1 exhibition (Old Parliament House, and remixed for Canberra’s Enlighten Festival) and the dirtgirlworld TV series (ABC, BBC, CBC, PBS Sprout).

Michela is an artist and director creating interactive entertainment and live experiences. She is co-founder of studio Mod Productions and a board member of the Australian Directors Guild.



CREATE aims to provide an opportunity for its members to learn practical skills in engineering, invention and design, as well as collaborate on ideas and projects. They run workshops on microcontroller programming, 3d printing, electrical circuit design and UAV development, as well as manage hackerspaces at the UNSW Kensington and Art & Design campuses, provide a 3D printing service and source electronic and robotics components for members.

Nathan Adler, a 6th year combined mechatronics and commerce undergraduate student, is one of the founding members and current president of a student-led society at the University of New South Wales called CREATE, which has grown to over 1500 members in just over 2 years. As a member of CREATE, he specializes in UAV development, microcontroller programming, low energy bluetooth development and CAD modelling for 3D printing. Nathan is the lecturer of a self-designed weekly workshop series at UNSW on Arduino programming and interfacing with hardware and sensors. Nathan partnered with another UAV enthusiast and student Rory San Miguel as part of CREATE to research, design and source affordable autonomous quadcopter kits for interested students, which has since developed into an UAV development team. Along with founding president Sam Cassisi, he also established UNSW’s first robotics and electronics shop, weekly hackerspace and 3D printing service to cater for the needs of students with engineering and design projects.

Are you lost? We’re here!

DORKBOT SUPPORTS: DESIGN LAB: Digital Creative Practice Talks—Anthony Rowe (Squidsoup, UK)

When: Monday, March 2 @ 17:30 – 19:00
Where: ALT2 (Architecture Lecture Theatre 2), Wilkinson Building (G04) 148 City Road, Darlington, 2006
RSVP: Here


Squidsoup is an international group of artists, researchers and designers (UK/NO/NZ) working with digital and interactive media experiences. Their work combines sound, physical space and virtual worlds to produce immersive and emotive headspaces where participants can take an active role in their experience. They explore the modes and effects of interactivity, looking to make digitally mediated experiences where meaningful and creative interaction can occur.
Their work is regularly shown at festivals, galleries and events around the globe. Recent events include solo shows in Bristol and Oslo, and participation in Mapping Festival (Switzerland), Cinekid (Netherlands), Sundance (USA), TIFF (Canada), Scopitone (France), Ars Electronica Festival and Museum (Austria), Glastonbury and Kinetica Arts Fair (UK). Squidsoup have permanent exhibitions at At Bristol (UK 2012), Royal Society of New Zealand (2012) and Contact Energy New Zealand (2013).
Recognition includes include Core77 Design Awards (Professional Notable Honoree 2013), Architecture Now Interior Awards (Finalist 2013), Best Design Awards (Bronze Award 2013), Prix File Lux (Honorary Mention 2010), a BAFTA nomination (2002) and an International EMMA (2000).

DORKBOT SUPPORTS : DESIGN LAB: Digital Creative Practice Talks : DANIEL JONES : MONDAY February 16

Daniel Jones is an artist and software engineer whose work explores new ways in which sound and technology can illuminate our understanding of the world, producing large-scale sculptural sound installations and systems that translate patterns and processes into musical forms.

Daniel will discuss two recent works — Living Symphonies, a touring outdoor piece that grows in the same way as a forest ecosystem, and Phantom Terrains, a platform that enables its hearing-impaired wearer to hear the surrounding landscape of wifi networks — and argues that these two seemingly disparate outputs inhabit the same creative


When: Monday, February 16 @ 17:30 – 19:00
Where: ALT1 (Architecture Lecture Theatre 1)
Wilkinson Building (G04) 148 City Road, Darlington, 2006

Daniel Jones is an artist and software engineer whose work explores new ways in which sound and technology can illuminate our understanding of the world. This manifests itself in both scientific and artistic output: he has published work on process composition, creativity theory, systems ecology and artificial life, and exhibits his sound work internationally, harnessing algorithmic processes to create self-generating artworks.

Recent works include Phantom Terrains (with Frank Swain, 2014), a platform for ubiquitous sonification of wireless network landscapes; Living Symphonies (with James Bulley, 2014-), a landscape sound work that grows in the same way as a forest ecosystem; Global Breakfast Radio (with Seb Emina, 2014-), an autonomous radio station that broadcasts live radio from wherever the sun is rising; The Listening Machine (with Peter Gregson, 2012), a 6-month-long online composition which translates social network dynamics into a piece of orchestral music, recorded with Britten Sinfonia and commissioned by the BBC/Arts Council’s The Space; Variable 4 (with James Bulley, 2011), an outdoor sound installation which transforms live weather conditions into musical patterns; Maelstrom (with James Bulley, 2012), which uses audio material from media-publishing websites as a distributed, virtual orchestra; Horizontal Transmission (2011), a digital simulation of bacterial communication mechanisms; and AtomSwarm (2006—2009), a musical performance system based upon swarm dynamics.

Daniel’s engineering work includes Chirp, a platform and iOS app for sharing information over sound, shortlisted for the Design Museum’s Designs Of The Year; the 3D audio engine for mobile games Papa Sangre and The Nightjar, nominated for two BAFTAs including “Audio Achievement”. He co-ordinated the technical infrastructure for The Fragmented Orchestra, winner of the prestigious PRSF New Music Award 2008, and was more recently a fellow on the Mozilla Webmaker programme.

DORKBOT SYD : JULY 2014 : Lovid, Systhesisers and Ceramics / Semaphore and Kinect / Megaphones

WHAT: People doing strange things with electricity
: MONDAY 28th July, 6-8pm
WHERECollege of Fine Arts, UNSW, Cnr of Oxford St and Greens Rd Paddington, Outdoor Courtyard, between Block D and Block F (campus map here!)




LoVid is the NY based interdisciplinary artist duo comprised of Tali Hinkis and Kyle Lapidus. LoVid’s work combines handmade engineering with craft and fine art. Their expansive practice includes immersive installations, sculptural synthesizers, single channel videos, participatory projects, mobile media cinema, works on paper, and A/V performance. LoVid has toured and exhibited in the USA and Europe extensively. Throughout their diverse projects, LoVid continuously explores relationships between technology and the individual human body or contemporary society.

Reaction Bubble is a work in progress by LoVid commissioned by the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation and produced by Real Art Ways. For this work, LoVid invited a ceramicist and a choreographer to collaborate on an immersive installation where LoVid’s audio/video synthesizer will be encased in ceramic sculptures and activated by performers. Reaction Bubble draws inspiration from the study of proxemics, which is concerned with the distances between people depending on the relationships and contexts in which they interact.


Flagging, Frances Barrett with Samuel Bruce, Live Performance, 2014, Photo: Lucy Parakhina

Flagging is a live performance by Frances Barrett with sound composition and programming by Samuel Bruce. Flagging is a manifesto performed in semaphore code by Frances. Semaphore is a system of sending messages by positioning the arms or two flags according to an alphabetic code. Using a Microsoft Kinect and the softwares Processing and Pure Data, Samuel built a system whereby the computer ‘read’ Frances’ semaphore message, with each semaphore symbol triggering samples and musical phrases.


Image credit:
Flagging, Frances Barrett with Samuel Bruce, Live Performance, 2014, Photo: Lucy Parakhina



The invention of the megaphone allowed for the extension of the human voice to be heard over large areas, its earliest use resolved a means to carry out authority in cases of propaganda and crowd-control. The concept of the megaphone has well progressed from its inception, when human ancestors first cupped their hands and yelled, to even subsiding Edison’s vision. This project is an attempt to activate multi-level relationships of listening between a receiving body and a producing body via experimentation with varying conditions of “noise”, time, architecture and space. Hacking the functions of a 50W megaphone through simple reverse amplification, perhaps could allow us to re-consider ‘listening’ as a phenomenon of production and interpretation than a mere point of response and receiving, an “instrument of listening voices” over an “apparatus for amplified instruction.” Soundcloud: Pre-Dorkbot Event (If curious to listen to megaphone in a 1hour long experimental set):

Our usual “show and tell” slot at the end of Dorkbot is an invitation for anyone present something they are working on, thinking of or can’t work out! Sharing is caring.


DORKBOT SYD : APRIL 2014 : Microview Arduino / Art and Geoengineering / Robots and Graffiti

WHAT: People doing strange things with electricity
: Thursday 24th April, 6-8pm
WHERE: College of Fine Arts, UNSW, Cnr of Oxford St and Greens Rd Paddington, Main Lecture Theatre – EG02 (campus map here!)



Marcus Schappi : ‘Microview’ Arduino

Marcus Schappi is CEO of Geek Ammo and regularly hops between San Francisco, and Sydney, Australia. Geek Ammo is building the Internet of Things for the rest of us, allowing anyone to build IoT Systems. Marcus has a Masters of Design Science (Design Computing) from Sydney University and studied Mechatronics & Business at the University of Technology, Sydney.

Josh Wodak : The Shape of Things to Come: Art and Geoengineering

Models of climate change trajectories show the shape of things to come for the biosphere and its inhabitants this century. Scientific organisations worldwide overwhelmingly maintain that the window to avoid runaway catastrophic climate change is closing fast. In turn, highly reputed climate scientists and scientific organisations are now proposing radical ways to engineer the world‘s climate through bioengineering and geoengineering. How can art explore this reversal of agency: from being shaped by things to come, to how humans may shape things to come through climate engineering interventions designed to separate existing lifeforms from six degrees of catastrophe.

Dr Josh Wodak is an interdisciplinary artist whose work transforms climate science into visceral and embodied experiences of climate change, by metaphorically mapping audiovisual representations of change onto human and non-human landscapes. His ongoing body of work, Good [Barrier] Grief (2011-present), uses participatory practice in photomedia, video art, sound art and interactive installations to explore the development of post- fossil fuel futures in relation to energy production and climate change. He is currently an Honorary Research Fellow at the Faculty of Architecture, Design & Planning, University of Sydney.

Josh Harle : Robots and Graffiti

Following work with the NSW govt’s anti-terror branch – the Emergency Information Coordination Unit – and  continuing his research into “mapping ad absurdum”, Dr Josh Harle has created a robot to obsessively map and digitally reconstruct the gallery space.

You : Show & Tell

Bring something along to show!!!


WHAT: People doing strange things with electricity
WHERE: 107 Projects, 107 Redfern Street Redfern NSW 2016 Sydney Australia
WHEN: Monday 23rd of September, 2013 – 7:00 pm till 9:30 pm
HOW MUCH: Gold coins or Bitcoins

This month’s Dorkbot has been guest curated by James Nichols!


Frederick Malouf has designed a debt-free decentralised currency called Timebeats, based on time. It supports what is universal in every human being, regardless of culture, beliefs, or position: we all want to love and be loved, we all want the opportunity to create, we want what we create to be acknowledged to be of value by as many people as possible.
It is designed for users to default to collaborate and share knowledge to create the highest quality product with minimal resources in the shortest time, ultimately creating of a foundation for reputation economies.
At the core of Timebeats is crowdsourcing. People are the most valuable asset any project/business can have. Funding becomes redundant. So do lots of other things, in particular tax, poverty, crime, and most conflict.
There is no greater gift anyone can give you than their time, and there is no greater insult than wasting it.
Find out more here:

GAMESPACES: Museum of Contemporary Art is a photo‐realistic recreation of Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art as a playable video game, complete with galleries filled with paintings, sculptures, and video works.
The work was commissioned by guest curator Tully Arnot for the MCA’s 13th Artbar event entitled “Unreal!”, and was installed as a recreation of a gamer’s livingroom (complete with Dorritos) at the entrance to the museum. It explores everyday experiences of space in an age of mediating technology, framing the virtual gamespace against the physical building it indexes and is installed within. The artist plays on our ability to perceptually inhabit the gamespace, and our pleasure in doing so.

Gamespaces: Museum of Contemporary Art from Josh Harle on Vimeo.

Gamespaces: Museum of Contemporary Art from Josh Harle on Vimeo.

BitCoin is a peer-to-peer de-centralised currency that can be used as a means of semi-anonymous exchange between two parties that requires no third party clearinghouse or central bank to issue the currency. The system, called a “crypto-currency” uses an ingenious combination of cryptographic algorithms to create a true peer-to-peer network, with verified transactions.
Bitcoin transactions are verified through hash-breaking algorithms where people can volunteer computer time to put in large amounts of work to ensure the verification of the whole system. In return they get a BitCoin reward. This process is called “mining”, it generates Bitcoin out of thin air for putting in some work.
Recently there has been a lot of activity in the world of creating custom hardware for doing this mining process many orders of magnitude faster than an ordinary CPU ever could. Dan Stocks, James Nichols and Jesse Ricketson have been working on providing one such system, and will talk about their endeavours in the wild west frontier of Bitcoin mining.



WHAT: People doing strange things with electricity
107 Projects, 107 Redfern Street Redfern NSW 2016 Sydney Australia
Monday 29th of July, 2013 – 7:00 pm till 9:30ish pm


Benjamin wilI talk though his recent works exhibited as part of NEW13 at ACCA. This will be an informal conversation about language, it’s failings and it’s inherently political nature, utilising art objects as some sort of reference point. Words are broken and frail things scattered on the table like all that dust and rubble. Surplus value maybe. Concrete maybe. Maybe.


Scientist, programmer and artist, Edwin van Ouwerkerk Moria from the Netherlands will speak about the upcoming Underbelly project Ghosts of Biloela, by Creative Nonfiction, a historical drama anchored in the geo-locative technology of the future, this smartphone app blends electrifying binaural soundscapes with a choose-your-own-adventure.


MooresCloud Holiday, the world smartest Christmas lights. Part of the Internet of Things ecosystem, MooresCloud are making intelligent lighting that can not just be controlled over WiFi, but can host a web server, runs python, provides a physical UI (3 buttons), and act as an intelligent controller for your other IoT devices. You can control the colours and animations from your smartphone or tablet, or have it react to external stimulus – such as music, weather, server uptime, or Facebook likes.



Bring along your own projects for our usual show & tell session!!!


WHEN: Thursday 20th June, 6-9PM
Campbelltown Art Centre, One Art Gallery Rd, Campbelltown PH: 4645 4100
WHAT: People doing strange things with electricity

We are super excited about our awesome excursion to Campbelltown Art Centre this month. In conjunction with the ISEA2013 exhibition Catching Light in which Campbelltown Arts Centre has brought together 5 creative innovators from the analogue and early digital eras to mentor, collaborate and exchange ideas with 5 ‘new generation’ artists from various disciplines – art, sound and performance – who have chosen these technologies as the most appropriate channel of enquiry for their current work, or have a practice reliant on engagement. The focus is on conversation, participation and interaction as a means of informing us, the audience, how we communicate, or respond to art. Collaborators include: Linda Dement & Kelly Doley, Tom Ellard & Paul Greedy, Troy Innocent & Benjamin Kolaitis, Stephen Jones & Pia van Gelder, Wade Marynowsky & Michael Candy (Many of whom have presented at Dorkbot before!!!).

This amazing show and Dorkbot, all in the same building on one day!!! What will happen???!!!


Robo Dojo are a group of individuals that have teamed together to create, build and work on each others projects! Their projects are open to anything that your creative mind can imagine. They try to make things happen! Their team members have expertise in electronics, arts and craft, and woodwork. They are always keen to learn more skills.
Check Robo Dojo out on Facebook here


David is a Dorkbot Sydney officionardo who is also known for his WaterDuino project: an open source water injection for Arduino. This month he is going to present a project he has been working on which drives sound and light from a computer video port!


As per usual, we have an open slot at the end of every Dorkbot for anyone to present something. Bring something along you have made and show us!!! Could be anything! Could be broken, or unfinished or even just an idea or theory.