What: “People doing strange things with electricity“
Where: Performance Space, Track 8, Carraigeworks, 245 Wilson Street, Eveleigh (corner of Codrington & Wilson streets)
When: Tuesday 13th December, 7PM SHARP – 10pm
Cost: FREE – RSVP here

This month Sydney’s Dorkbot goes to Performance Space as a part of the Clubhouse Program, to present 4 incredible projects from a variety of super nerds including: Petra Gemeinboeck and Rob Saunders with their installation ‘Zwischenräume’ embeding curious robots into our architectural fabric, Michaela Davies who uses live percussion and sonified data to control motor function in performers via electric muscle stimulation (EMS), Aras Vaichas and his Micro Patch Synthesizer and Balint Seeber and Matt Robert who track planes in 3D by decoding RADAR using high-tech radio. Come along and experience a change in atmosphere and some amazing inventions!

PRESENTERS (in no specific order)

Petra Gemeinboeck and Rob Saunders – Zwischenräume
Zwischenräume (Interstitial Spaces) couples curious robotic agents with our built environment by embedding robots into the architectural skin. Each robot is equipped with a motorised hammer or a chisel, a camera, and a couple of pick-up mics to interact with its environment and network with the other machines. In this mingling of wall and machine, the wall’s anatomy becomes the milieu for the machines to develop and express their desires through knocking, producing cracks, and punching holes. Zwischenräume makes tangible our intimate and complicit relationships with the machinic ecologies we create. It is the first installation in a series of works that explore the performative potential of a machine-augmented architecture and its unfolding anatomical trauma.
The collaborative practice of Petra Gemeinboeck and Rob Saunders explores the materiality of digital processes, their agency and performativity, as well as the audiences’ aesthetic experience as they become bodily involved. Their pervasive, locative and robotic installations have been exhibited internationally, including at the Ars Electronica, Thessaloniki Biennale, MCA Chicago, ICC Tokyo, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, and OK Center for Contemporary Art, Linz. Both live and work in Sydney. Petra Gemeinboeck is Senior Lecturer in Interactive Media Arts at the College of Fine Arts, UNSW. Rob Saunders is Senior Lecturer in Design Computing at the Design Lab, University of Sydney.
Zwischenräume video docu:
Petra Gemeinboeck portfolio:
Rob Saunders website:


Aras Vaichas – Micro Patch Synthesizer
Aiming to be the world’s smallest patching synthesizer, this dual-CPU beast will curl the hairs in the ears of even the most tone deaf musician. The Micro Patch Synth takes Lo-fi to even lower levels by sporting one of the world’s lowest sample rates and low bit depth yet this device still manages to move forward with an amazing array of features for its size:
* one octave keyboard
* arpeggiator
* two voltage controlled oscillators
* low frequency oscillator
* random and noise generators
* ring modulator
* sub oscillator
* two voltage controlled filters
* envelope generator
* voltage controlled amplifier
* analog joystick
* seven patchable potentiometers
* function key
* rotary encoder
* mono audio out
* USB powered
video documentation


Michaela Davies – Subsoma
Michaela Davies is a boxing instructor, doctor of psychology and artist. Michaela uses sound sources such as recordings of seismic activity as triggers to activate electrodes placed on the performers’ bodies. Their involuntary spasmodic movements make them look like puppets.” Like puppets! This lady is clearly mad as a brush. Where do we sign up?
Davies works with electric muscle stimulation and data audification to question metaphysical assumptions affirming the existence of an intentional inner self, and the physical realm as an expression and reflection of this. Using sonified seismic data to generate involuntary movement via a custom–built EMS device, Davies’ work, subsoma, explores the lack of agency humans have with respect to global systems. This project was supported by National Science Week and performed at the Powerhouse Museum (Sydney, 2010) and CSIRO Discovery Centre (Canberra, 2010).


Balint Seeber with Matt Robert – Aviation Mapper
Ever wanted to intercept RADAR signals from air traffic control and visualise your airspace in real-time on a 3D map? While you’re at it, check how many faults have been reported by the next plane you’ll be travelling on (e.g. do the toilets work?). How about figuring out who is transmitting from any registered antenna in the country? If you have ever wondered about the enormous amount of invisible data buzzing around you, come and learn how it all works!
Seeber and Robert will show how easy it is to analyse wireless communications systems using open source software and cheap radio hardware. The focus will be on how to use Software Defined Radio to create a souped-up Mode S aviation transponder/ACARS receiver with an Internet-enabled smooth-streaming Google Earth front-end.”
More details –


YOU – Show & Tell
As per usual there is an open session at the end of Dorkbot for very informal and short show and tells. Anyone is invited to bring along something they are working on and show us your stuff! Don’t be shy now.
BTW – Last Dorkbot for 2011


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