Op-amps, modular synths and jams!

Here is what Václav Peloušek from BASTL Instruments will be doing at this years PIFcamp!

Václav  will focus on trying to develop a new project / prototype on the spot together with other participants. He would provide already existing tools from the Bastl portfolio which can catalyse certain types of real world interfacing by providing simple translation interfaces from sensoric input into motoric, sound & light outputs. With such tools artificial ecosystems could be easily created and reconfigured. The general goal would be to not get stuck at the technological reality of inventing the tools but fully use the potential of existing modular synth tools which already provide the extreme flexibility. This would be an extension of topics he dealt with in his master thesis.

The general topic is using Control Voltages as an universal representation of anything in the world. Such voltage could be processed in many different ways by using a modular synth. This basically means analog computing.

He will also offer introductory course into analog computing with op-amps (operational amplifiers) and provide same basic insight into reading analog synth schematics.

Further his personal goal will be initiating more musical situations / jam sessions and developing new ways to play music together. 

Don’t forget to bring your instruments!

The Hacktivated Reactive Network by Luka Frelih

The Hacktivated Reactive Network will take on signals from the real world environment of the PIFcamp and its participants, react to them trough live-coded scripts and feed them back to the camp trough screens and kinetic sculptures. The physical input and output devices speaking the OSC protocol will connect trough Noise Make-up Language (NML), a web livecoding bridge, and form a living, pulsating and growing network inhabiting the camp site, its computers and browsers, not to mention the minds and bodies of campers.

hektiviranaContinuing from last year’s camp, we will be making more input and output modules based on ideas from kinetic sculpture, DIY and kids robotics, modular synthesizers and the beautiful natural surroundings. We will combine humble potentiometers, servo motors and microcontrollers, glue and sticks into abstract expression carriers capable of transforming gestures into numbers and back again. This year we will also try to develop good ways to use other projects sounds as inputs. Perhaps we’ll even manage to give the network a voice and sound. Join in!

Lynne Bruning: Intersection of Technology and Craft

Conductive thread, conductive fabric, velostat, Arduino, breadboad, Attiny, LEDs, Surface Mount LED, esistor, vibration board, Maxbotix range finder, 3V coin cell battery, battery holder, multimeter and scissors
Conductive thread, conductive fabric, velostat, Arduino, breadboad, Attiny, LEDs, Surface Mount LED, esistor, vibration board, Maxbotix range finder, 3V coin cell battery, battery holder, multimeter and scissors
A project by Lynne Bruning, creator of exclusive wearable art, eTextiles and adaptive technologies, will explore the whats, whys and hows of the connections among differing systems.
Exploration of the synaptic junction between electronics and textiles will lead to the development of new hardware and textile methodology for eTextiles, adapted traditional electronics hardware thru soldering, circuit making and prototyping, to integrate, fuse and interweave with traditional textiles.

Open Source Estrogen project


Open Source Estrogen explores the various ways that estrogen performs a molecular colonization in our society, bodies, and ecosystems. Estrogen is the most ancient of sex hormones. Therefore the mutagenic effects of environmental (xeno) estrogens disrupt species across all animal taxa, including humans. In response to our collective mutagenesis (becoming alien), the project uses DIY/DIWO estrogen-hacking protocols as a way of detecting & extracting slow violence.

Open Source Estrogen is a project by Mary Maggic and Pippo Pruscha.

A Wearable Studio Practice by Hannah Perner-Wilson


Hannah Perner-Wilson has been working on A Wearable Studio Practice project since 2015. The project packages the work environment of a typical Electronic Textiles studio into a series of portable items that can be worn or carried on the body. Providing the functionalities normally contained in static furniture and the architectural infrastructure of the studio/lab, these items allow the electrical engineer to become nomadic in her or his practice.

Now is a perfect time for electrical engineers to become mobile with their practice. It’s not just electronic parts that have become smaller and smaller, but also many of the tools used in electrical engineering (power supply, multimeter, oscilloscope, programmers… ) have become more compact and portable. Many practices closely related to hardware such as software/programming and CAD/design have been liberated from static infrastructures because laptop computers – their primary tools – are powerful and lightweight. Co-working spaces and FabLabs offer temporary workspaces all over the world. There is an awareness of the benefits of local production and site-specific development.

More about the project is available here.

PIFproject: Hacking the tuning fork

forkHacking the tuning fork is a project by Alexander Zaklynsky.

At PIFcamp I will be working on a project which will be developed for my current master program in ArtScience at the Royal Academy of Art in Den Haag, NL. I will bring a couple tuning forks which I have made from Aluminum as well as some modular electronics I am currently building at Bastl in Brno. I aim to build some devices for the activation of the tuning forks as well as manipulation of the audio for composing interactive audioscapes. Another part of my work is about natural soundscapes so I will bring various mics and a hydrophone for the river. Along with my current projects I am also excited to learn and absorb as much as possible from the offerings at PIF and see how my ideas evolve as a result.

Dinoflagellate at PIFcamp!

projekt Dinoflagelate
The project by Jože Špehar is based on special abilities of little single cell algae. This little creatures react upon a disturbance in a fluid they live in with light emission. They are called Dinoflagellates and their natural habitat is only in certain parts of the world’s oceans. The point of the project is to observe this phenomenon through creation and performance of different kinds of disturbances like air bubbles, droplets or streams of fluid and capturing this action and beauty with camera.


The work in this project can be roughly divided in three groups:


  • Development of devices, that will be able to produce air bubbles of different sizes and shapes (the diameter of the bubble, that is already big enough to make the cells glow is about 0.5 mm). Bubbles can have different shapes,  from simple circles or vortex ring bubbles, we can also make clouds of smaller bubbles. Lots of work and imagination can also be used in preparation of other types of disturbance sources.
  • Hacking the remote shutter release cable for camera (dslr). Camera will be set on the tripod, shooting will be triggered trough the wire in order to get a still picture. Shutter signal will come from the electronic circuit that uses photodiodes instead of the ordinary trigger button.
  • Preparation of the container in which the algae will live in during the time of the experiment and all the objects that will come in contact with them. It should be dipped into boiling water for 15 min to sterilize the materials and prolong the life of the algae. Maybe also the pure water from Soča river will come handy here.

Human and Non-human Rhythms by INTERSPECIFICS


Dive into bio-hacking and experimental sonification with Paloma Lopez and Leslie Garcia aka INTERSPECIFICS!

“Matter and radiation exist only in and through rhythm.”
(Lúcio Alberto Pinheiro dos Santos)

Rhythm is found where there’s interaction between space, time and expenditure of energy. In this sense to understand rhythm in both the complexity of music and the very nature of sound is also to understand the frequencies that shape human experience in time space and pervade everyday life and space.

In this 5 day long collaborative lab we will explore and work on following things together:
– Collect water and sediment from different shores of the Soča River and plant samples from the forest of Trenta
– Measure our own brain signals while exposed to different environmental stimuli
– Build a microbial fuel cell and a Teensy based signal amplifier
– Culture and track the amazing slime mold Physarum Polycephalum
– Use Processing and Pure Data to monitorize bioelectrical signals, and Open Computer Vision to analyze the movement of microorganisms in a microscope
– Make sound with all and try to understand different patterns within organisms and environmental situations


With our tools built we will engage in a collective musical improvisation and try to put together the different sounds and rhythms deriving from the collected micro-organisms. The result will be presented as a live act at the conclusion of the week.

– Personal computer
– Audio Interface (optional)
– Midi or Voltage controlled Synth (optional)

– A bit of theory on vibration and sonification
– Human brain signal measurment and sonification | positive/negative/neutral exercise
– Brain & music
– Culture Physarum
– A river adventure collecting water samples
– Microbial fuel cell building and sonification
– A bit of theory on bacteria that produces energy
– Track the growth of physarum
– A forest adventure collecting plant samples and plant transplant
– Pulsum Planta(e) kit building and sonification
– A bit of theory on the amazing secret life of plants
– Keep tracking the growth of physarum
– Physarum sonification
– A bit of theory on the growth and intelligence of slime molds
– Collective improvisation
DAY 5 & 6
Collective improvisation and public concert

HCK YR FD with Dario Cortese!


To delve deep into nutritional science is to go out into the wild. Barely for two or three millennia, more precisely in a mere century, we are producing, growing and breeding too much of everything, and the trend hasn’t yet reached its peak. If we take a good look at all of the IT possibilities of development… they are so plentiful, they are practically devouring themselves. So, in order not to starve at the table full of goodies, it is wise to step out. Or, as Douglas Adams would have it: Please, step out! This is the invitation with which we shall greet you at the start of this year’s PIFadventure.

Joining Please, step out! means you will be present on food-hacking trips around Soča village, where we will be gathering edible wild vegetables, wild herbs, wild fruits, and preparing them in simple, but for some probably extraordinary ways. These wild food hikes will also represent a gateway to the nutritional, historical, economical and other perspectives in connection with (wild)food, and by the time PIFcamp is over, you will have a pretty good picture of what is food and what is not. And you might as well know now: the majority of what we consider to be food is not.

Please, step out! is held by Dario Cortese, an independent wild food researcher and author of several books on wild food and nutrition.

PIFproject #2: Prototyping Workshop by Michael Page


When designing something an inevitable stage in its development is prototyping, making a physical version of the scribbles in your notebook. This can be both fun and frustrating! The workshop will be an opportunity to discuss and demonstrate practical prototyping techniques (deciphering schematics, using breadboard, prototype board and PCB design) and talk about strategies to evaluate a prototypes success.

After a bit of this, if we are feeling brave we can attempt
… from the mythical “bag of currently unfulfilled possibility” you pick a dusty old microchip.  Your quest is to research what the chip can do then design and build a creative device (possibly an audio application, but not necessarily). You might get something with an obvious use like a 555 for an oscillator. However you might get something fiendishly boring that you really have to struggle to make funky. You can use whatever other components you need but the IC you pick has to perform the main operation of the device. If enough of these little silicon embryo’s struggle into life we could assimilate them all together into a freaky lunetta system. Hopefully we will learn something about prototyping and how different ICs work.
I think the task would be all the more noble if the ICs come from the dankest corners of the worlds weirdest workshops, and so if you have time dig deep in your junk for those logic chips you have never used or op-amps or whatever you think might be fun. Oh and I have a prize for the most inventive device!