The Smart Jacket (by Sanja Hrvaćanin & Eva Pondrk)

The starting point for the project by Sanja Hrvaćanin and Eva Pondrk is to make a Smart jacket for bicyclists with indicators (turn signals) for better visibility and bikers safety in traffic. It will combine sensors and electronics.

The plan
Day 1: e-textile basics (getting to know the basics)
Day 2: making the basic e-textile circuit
Day 3: reuse of an old garment into a smart and enhanced prototype (LEDs and sensors and more …)
Day 4: continue making the prototypes
Day 5: finishing the prototypes
Day 6: presentation of the prototypes and the Smart Jacket (or/and light)

Trivolan by Boštjan Čadež – Fšk

Joining us for the first time this year is a Slovenian artist, phenomenal VJ and the author of the classic internet game Line Rider, Boštjan Čadež-Fšk. He is going to develop a DIY haptic interface.

“Trivolan is going to be a MIDI controller, that will enable control of three parameters in relation to the position of the handle in the space. The inspiration is the haptic interface by Force Dimension, which I was able to test at the Faculty of Computer and Information Science in Ljubljana. As soon as I’ve tested it (or maybe even since a bit before that) I wanted to have something similar for my video performances. Unfortunately even the cheapest version of Omega3 starts at about 17.000,00 EUR, way too much for starving artists, who just want to control three things at once in an intuitive way. That’s why I’ve decided to build one by myself. Unfortunately I’ll have to sacrifice the force feedback function, that the Omega offers, but I think there will be no tears, realising that it costs about 200-times less.
After I’m done and the dust in the workshop settles, I will publish the plans and the code on teh internets, for other creative minds that wish for better controllers.”

Synthesizers In The Wild with Bastl Instruments

Václav Peloušek from the awesome Bastl Instruments collective is joining us again this year, check out what project(s) he has in mind!
“This year at PIF I would like to focus on making very simple circuits that can help to translate any kind of analog environmental information into useful signals for synthesizers. The previous years Eurorack module called Sense was used mainly to do these translations – either for electronic textiles (remember my magic shoes) or for other natural contacts and sensors (performance with Hannah, Mika, Andy and others). Such circuits can be easily obtained by using operational amplifiers, or simple microcontrollers – this time running on batteries. Having battery/USB/solar powered synths (we already have those: Kastle, Softpop, Nature synth …) and sensoric interfaces (lets build these!) can allow for permanent sophisticated synth installations in the wild. I was really pleased by the ease of connecting with other projects and nodes thru the Sense module last year that I was planning to do a mini usb powered version of it. Maybe I will have few prototypes with me.
For those who don’t have any battery powered synth I can offer soldering workshop for Kastle and also theory & practice on how to convert – resistance/low voltages into useful control voltages. I can also offer beginner introductions into modular synthesis.
Besides this romantic goal of trying to be as far from the computers as possible I would like to bring more synths, instruments and other gear for people to play and jam with. Evening jams were F I R E last year and would be great to continue this.”

Hacking Our Hands project by Hannah Perner-Wilson

“What wonderful contraptions, these tools attached to the ends of our arms. From coding to crochet, human making involves the use of our hands to interface with the world.” Find out what our e-textiles and wearable node host Hannah Perner-Wilson will work on this year.

In order to find out more about these fleshy machines, shall we attempt to hack them?

We can add sensors to sense ourselves making. We can add actuators to enact new actions. And lets hack our hands using local and natural materials – sewing leaf gloves, carving twig tweezers, constructing bark armor, molding mushroom pincushions …


Find more about Hannah’s project here.

PIFrecipes by Dario Cortese

Carrot salad with wild herbs 1.0

Grate the carrots and put them in a salad bowl. Add pumpkin oil, vinegar and dry-roasted sesame seeds. Then add some yarrow (Achillea millefolium) and mugwort (common wormwood, Artemisia vulgaris) flowers with some finely cut leaves of both plants. The more flowers and leaves you add, the stronger will these aromatics flavor the salad, so do not add to much, as they are truly aromatic. Decorate the salad with the flowers of annual plant fleabane (Erigeron annuus), which have a slightly pepperish taste. Mix and, yes, that’s it. Enjoy!
You may add salt too, but at least taste the salad without it first.

Carrot salad with wild herbs 1.1

Prepare the carrots and add pumpkin oil, vinegar and roasted sesame seeds, just like in 1.0. Then add unripe fruits of one big inflorescence of wild angelica (Angelica sylvestris) per salad bowl. Mix and enjoy.

Tomato salad with raw nettle sauce & wild carrot

Put some olive oil and vinegar in a big bowl, cut three or four tomatoes, put them into the bowl and add quite a big bunch of nettle shoots (Urtica dioica) and/or young leaves. Three or more pinches of chopped wild carrot leaves (Daucus carota) won’t hurt. Salt a bit more than usually, as this works as the sauce aka some kind of nettle gazpacho for the tomatoes.
Mix in a blender until you get something like a semi thick liquid sauce.
Cut more tomatoes and put them in an appropriate salad bowl. Pour the nettle-gazpacho-sauce over them and add a bowl or two of wild carrot flowers without their stems. Mix with a spoon and let it sit for a while so aromas develop. Decorate with wild carrot flower(s) and if there is some wild garlic around put its flowers and flower bulbs on top.

Ice matea with burnet

Put 3 tablespoons of yerba mate in 2 liters of cold water and stir. Crush a bunch of burnet (Sanguisorba minor) leaves slightly with your hands and add them to the cold infusion. Leave it to stand for at least a couple of hours or overnight. Then strain it, chill it or add ice cubes and taste the wild ice matea. The aroma of burnet leaves is not that far away from melons and cucumbers. And yes, the taste of mate is also very present.

Fresh cheese spread/dip with calamint

Combine one kilogram of fresh cheese, e.g. cottage cheese, with half a kilogram of sour cream. Add a handful of finely chopped calamint (Calamintha brauneana or any other Calamintha species) leaves and flowers, some olive oil and salt. Mix well and let it stand for a while, preferably for a few hours or overnight. Serve as a spread on bread, as a dip with chunks of raw vegetables, with cooked potatoes, as an addition to salads etc.

Nettle chips

Collect as much nettle (Urtica dioica) tops as you can. The flower buds with older leaves are also excellent. Collect them just before they start to flower and trim their tough stem away.
Heat some oil (e.g. coconut oil), lard or ghee in a pan and fry the nettles for a short while; around a minute is usually enough. Take the nettles out as soon as they become crunchy and the fat stops foaming. The aim is to keep them (dark) green; if they are turning brown, it is really high time to take them out. Sprinkle with salt, mix lightly and enjoy.

Roseroot pifmethamine

Collect 20 roseroot (Rhodiola rosea) stalks and trim off the leaves. Put them in a blender, add a liter of apple/pear brandy or vodka and blend well. Leave the mixture standing for a while, so the crushed leaves settle on the bottom of the container. Then pour off the liquid and store it in a closed bottle. Drinking 30 to 60 milliliters of the concoction has a nice and invigorating effect. Do not throw the crushed leaves away, but use one or two teaspoons as an addition to any tea.

 

Want to know more about the plants mentioned here and their uses? Check them out on the internet. Wikipedia is a quite nice basic informative source. The easiest way to be sure you are reading about the right plant is to type in their Latin name.

The 3rd PIFcamp is over!

The third edition of PIFcamp has ended successfully and if we rely on the testimonies of PIFparticipants and guests, we can safely state it has been the best yet. We would like to give thanks to all who made PIFcamp possible starting with the organizational team from Ljudmila, The Projekt Atol Institute and this year’s co-organizers BioTehna and Rampa Lab.

Immense gratitude is due to our team of tireless cooks for our delicious meals, to the photo and video team for their stunning documentation of the PIFhappening and PIFprojects, to the scout clan Zmajev rod for giving us extra shelter and working space in the tent, the local community of Soča village for every imaginable support and to the UCSB or MAT program for being there for us in key moments. Thank you!

Naturally it would be very hard to do it without the support of the Municipality of Ljubljana and the Slovenian Ministry of Culture, as well as all our sponsors and donors. Big thanks goes out to the HTE  store for all electronic components, to Iskra for potentiometers, to the Conrad store for all the tools, and to Radio Študent for enabling us to be heard!

Lastly and perhaps most importantly, the biggest RECOGNITION and THANKS goes out to this year’s participants and to the whole PIFcamp community for the selfless, benevolent and heartfelt sharing of knowledge, ideas, experiences, talents, courage, ingenuity and magic <3

See you next year!

P. S. We want your work zeal to outlive PIFcamp, so make sure you take full advantage of the 15% discount on all on-line purchases offered by Conrad.

May hacking live forever!

PIFcamp 2017 – Day 6

The end of the camp is getting closer, which is reflected in the projects, as they are all in their final phases. After breakfast we therefore took some time to hang out by the river. We went to the Great Soča Gorge, a truly fairy-tale-like location, where one can bask in the emerald sheen of Soča, take deep plunges into the river or just enjoy sitting by the gorge and relax with the light effects of Václav’s modified fidget spinner.

After Václav explained all about the history of flashing stroboscopic effects with psychedelic results, which inspired his modification of the fidget spinner, he led the participants of his Kastl workshop to the shade and continued explaining the various practical uses of the synths they made yesterday.

Back in the base Peter led the second part of his echo synth building workshop, and other continued work on their projects.

Hannah and Mika have also reached the final phase of their costume creation. We had a tasting of the fermented mate drinks and were most pleased with the ones which were flavoured with thyme, oregano and calamint.

After supper it was time for a Nintendo tournament.

Even the youngest tried out various instruments. We listened to music and socialised by the fire, which was a spot perfect for watching another laser show. This time others joined in its creation, as they threw corn starch (amongst other things) towards the laser beam to form a kind of a Milky Way effect. The frolicking went on long into the night.

 

PIFcamp 2017 – Day 5

Cindy left our camp in the morning. A part of the group attended Gea’s yoga session, a fine way to stretch their feet all sore from yesterday’s hike to Krn Lake. The daily dose of wasp stings is becoming mandatory. Andrew got stung in his tongue right after yoga, but it wasn’t fatal. His swelling went down in a few hours and he was back in shape again.

The crew of the Slovenian National Television came to visit. Before lunch we gathered ferns and other plants that will be incorporated into two costumes created by Hannah and Mika (Kobakant) for their ritual performance. Their team is getting bigger, as they have been joined by Andrew, Craig, Miro and many more.

Miro made a pair of stilts and Hannah was already practising walking on them in the afternoon. We got a good idea about the two costumes and their future form by the evening.

The ingeniously humorous Václav spent some time in making insoles for his sneakers. With the help of Hannah he equipped them with conductive strips and sensors, which control the sound coming from his modular synth. He also held a workshop. Ten participants were able to make their very own Kastl synths, a mini modular synths with an input for headphones.

Like every day there was a lot of swimming going on in Soča, and some even took to kayaking.

A large segment of the happening is taking place in the evening, as it is quite hot during the day. The brother Jure and Marko Lavrin graced us with an incredible pop-synth musical performance, Jure continued with Dario and Brgs on their excursion into psychedelic music, then it was time to listen to some noise generated by Staš and Peter. They were soon joined by Kleemar, and all of the aforementioned contributed to the making of diverse electronic harmonies that went on until the small hours of the day. The energy was phenomenal. Some danced like nobody was watching, others immersed themselves in the laser visualisation Bernhard projected on the nearby tree. A small performance was given by Andrew, who fitted right into the visual content of the evening with his costume and some simple lighting effects. Another visual performance was the work of Klemens Kohlweis who projected onto the wall behind the band.

It was high time to discuss the program of this year’s Open Saturday, when PIFparticipants present their projects to the public. Yair and Zohar are planning their lollipop presentation for noon, Dario will take us for a walk to and on the nearby meadows, and we will also get a chance to try out the fermented mate drinks created by Rosen and his team.

The Rampa team is working on several different nodes for our youngsters. On Arduino use in combination with sensors and visualisation, so one can visually imagine all the data gathered by the sensors from our environment, for example. Others are also working on their project presentations. Vincent and Mojca will upload a song to their accordion, so we will be able to play along the pattern of its LED lights. Vaclav and Bernhard will perform as Laser Bros (lasers and modular synths), Peter and Vaclav will also be performing together, and Hannah will make a presentation of the video she made about her last year’s project on PIFcamp – PIFpack. We will have our traditional picnic, and you will be able to screen print your own PIF T-shirt.