PIFcamp 2018 – All Is One!

Nowadays, easy access to a Wi-Fi is a given. Connecting to one means receiving arbitrary and basic information about the of the network. What if it wasn’t so arbitrary? Could we use it to send meaningful messages? Make ones day with a beautiful verse, a humorous pun? Could we overtake the network provider’s list and incite people to think, act? The possibility is explored in this potentially highly activistic project named Hot Ninja by Dmitry Morozov.

The blazing sun doesn’t seem to mind PIFcampers, as every day they get evermore increasingly absorbed in their work. Lovrenc Košenina and his team continue work on their custom weather station, which features temperature, moisture, UV, atmospheric pressure and wind sensors. The gathered data will be readily available online.

Several textile projects are also in the course of being completed. Maggie Kane, who hails from the USA, works on her MIDI controlled smart jacket inside the house, but she’s not the only one with a smart jacket project. Another one is being built by Sanja Hrvaćanin and Eva Pondrk. It’s designed with cyclists in mind, as it features lighting and signalling devices, which will increase their visibility in traffic, as well as notify other drivers about the cyclist’s intended travel direction.

Soča remains the go to place for socializing and cooling down. The serenity of the riverbank induces one to slow down. To better cope with our daily stress and freezing water temperatures, potential inflammations, build up our energy and focus more mindfully on the present, Tilen Sepič, who is a part of the PIFvideo team, introduced breathing sessions in the daily routine of the PIFgroup. The sessions are is based on the method developed by Wim Hof.

An improvised etching station was set up by Michael Page and Staš Vrenko in the afternoon. It seems there is always somebody eager to learn and create his own unique PCB.

To facilitate and amplify our capabilities of sensing the processes at PIFcamp , be it the ones we initiate ourselves or those from our surroundings, Vaclav organized a senseMini workshop. The various sensors needed were therefore completed in no time.

When the daily heat subsided, we were pleased warm our bones and feast our eyes on a bonfire.

PIFcamp 2018 – Everything Circulates!

The fragile ecosystem PIFcamp tries to integrate in is in constant peril. It is besieged from all angles by our ever-growing needs for resource materials and the pleasure driven commodification of nature. This heavily underscores the need to rethink the modes we operate with or within it, as every mishap can have dire consequences. In nature, everything circulates and at PIFcamp this rule applies in the same degree to ideas, skills, projects, knowledge, experiences, tasks… It is an ideology. A responsibility.

PIFcamp continues to adhere to the DIY and DIWO operating methods. Cooperation, integration and collaboration is what we nerds are great at. We sure are a handy tribe! Hands and the human ability to create take centre stage in Hannah Perner-Wilson’s Sense yourself making project as she and other participants plan to capture the processes of making with sensors and transform them to music.

In the short introduction to the project, Hannah spoke about self-awareness and our awareness of other-than-self phenomenons, be it on-going processes in our environment, other beings… She also stressed how important it is to act prudently and responsibly in regards to our raw materials and our surroundings. As gathering various resources is crucial to Sense yourself making, she distributed practical gathering aprons with big pockets she made for the easy storage of potential matter to be used in course of the project.

There was no stopping us taking our first hike with the local expert on edible wild plants Dario Cortese. We were not pleased to find out that more meadows have been mown this year than any previous year. Nonetheless, we managed to gather some common yarrow flower clusters, wild carrots and wild tarragon. Some of these plants will end up in our fermentation experiments (kimchi, kefir…) carried out under the leadership of Kristijan Tkalec and Ahac Meden.

Our kindhearted and to the hidden beauties of nature wonderfully sensitive resident electrical engineer Bernhard Rasinger, who made last year’s PIFcamp truly memorable with his laser show and oscillators, started his work on an algae experiment. He uses blue and red LED lights to promote the growth and photosynthesis of the algae he gathered from Soča river while storing them in plastic water bottles. He hopes the experiment could turn out to be a working prototype that would contribute to the amelioration of the air we breathe (a byproduct of photosynthesis is oxygen), as well as help to reverse the consequences of climate change.

Another PIFproject got started when the scorching sun lost some of its power and allowed Ljudmila’s founding father Luka Frelih to begin work on his 3D Dome, which enables scanning objects. For now the team focused on the construction of its metal frame. Later on they will continue with the installation of cameras.

The evening on the second day of PIFcamp climaxed in a pleasant jam session.

PIFcamp 2018 – So it Begins!

The fourth edition of the international hacking camp PIFcamp could do nothing but attract creatives, nature lovers, technology enthusiasts, art professionals, scientists and open culture advocates to the Alpine valley of Trenta once more. You can imagine that the promise of informed discussions, inspired activities, thought and skill provoking projects, new or renewed & brilliant friendships, as well as unforgettable adventures, collaborations and experiences in Slovenia’s Triglav National Park is more than enough to induce clever, daring, mindful and unselfish individuals to flock here from all corners of the world.

One of the several indicators of the camp’s success are all of its participants who have joyfully returned to have a second, third and sometimes even forth go. Nonetheless, there are enough new faces around to add to the excitement even further. But first things first! A mandatory dive into the what subjectively feels like freezing, yet incredibly enticing Soča river, a myriad of handshakes, introductions, laughs and a hefty meal before it’s off to work on the PIFprojects.

This year’s projects and activities promise everyone will get to fully satisfy one’s inner nerd. Hannah Perner-Wilson, our cherished Austrian multimedia artist, pedagogue, as well as a wearables and e-textiles researcher pitched her concept for a well thought-out and engaging project that definitely got our childlike probing juices flowing. Another PIFcamp bastion is undoubtedly BASTL Instrument’s Vaclav Pelousek, a modular synthesis professional who hails from Brno (CZ) and can’t fail to impress with his extensive list of planned activities, workshops and ideas, which are all informed by his broad understanding and his signature playful humour.

We feel very fortunate to be able to include Dmitry Morozov ::vtol::, a Moscow-born and based new-media artist, musician, sound engineer and sound system designer with an impressive portfolio to our international PIFcamp family. While we hope to squeeze out as much knowledge from him as possible, he will work on developing his already beautiful and sometimes clandestine Mobile Terminal for Guerilla Communications.

Fresh faces round out the roster of the local team. The recognized Slovenian new media artist, phenomenal VJ and awarded game developer Boštjan Čadež- Fšk promises to build Trivolan, an Omega 3 by Force Dimensions inspired, but accessible haptic interface for use in visual performances. Januš Aleš Luznar, a Slovenian electronic music producer working under the artist names Yanoosh and Ohm Fat will work on his Symphony of the Heart, a project that explores the effects of the heart beat and various images on our brain waves and the cardio-vascular system.

A staple of the PIFdiet remains hacking our food habits and therefore our own wild herbalist and botanist Dario Cortese has once again thought of a programme to test and impress our taste buds while not in or around the kitchen, store or the local market.

 

Video Sonification and the Manipulation of Field Recordings

Connor Haynes will be exploring different compositional techniques in this project, using the environment both sonically, and visually to produce A/V compositions. With emphasis on field recordings as a raw sound source, such sounds will be manipulated in concrete fashion and mixed with sound produced from video to sound patches inside Max Msp/Jitter, using the environment to create the sonic landscape. The A/V compositions may hopefully be completed at the camp but perhaps they may be finished at home and shared online depending on the camps time constraints. 

The Symphony of the Hearth (by Yanoosh)

The Symphony of the Hearth is a project that explores the effects of the hearth beat and various images on our brain waves and the cardio-vascular system.

With the use of multi-channel sampling, the hearth is used as an instrument. These get modulated in real time and thus become the basis of the audio performance. “I will also use an Arduino pulse sensor to trigger the visuals and to control the tempo of the composition, the tempo of the sampler and the effects.”

The Space of Futurization – building a prototype

The Space of Futurization is a project by Anna Sircova.

This immersive interactive installation is envisaged to create a space where a person would physically feel what type imagery and associations people have with the term ‘futurization’. It will allow to physically experiencing the contradictions embedded in the present and uncertainty of moving towards the future by architecturally constructing the space that would influence the human body and senses.

During the PIF camp I’m planning to concentrate on creating a prototype and test some of the elements for the final installation. I would like to explore how to create a certain interactive emotional space, through visuals and sounds (possibly smells), that in one part of the installation would enhance one particular emotion / feeling and something different in another part.

Radical Listening (w/ J. M. Escalante)

Juan Manuel Escalante will explore the intersections of field recordings, mappings, graphic notations and concrete sound explorations using a modular synthesizer.

“I plan to record different sounds at different locations and map them accordingly on my sketchbook. Based on those sounds, a graphic notation will be generated and used as a tool to arrange sounds in time. Sounds might be remixed using a synthesizer (either at the camp or back home). Either an OP-1 or an eurorack modular synthesizer.

The result could/might be shared online as an interactive map or browser piece similar as our previous “Radical Listening” exploration.”

Wi-Fi poets and hotspot ninjas

Dmitry Morozov ::vtol:: will fully exploit the ESP8266, a low-cost Wi-Fi microchip with full TCP/IP stack and microcontroller capability. Project will be developed over 3 stages, from very simple to more advance.

First stage of project is focused on creating hot-spot poetic machines, an autonomous micro-device which distributes Wi-Fi masked as wireless network, visible to any gadget such as a smartphone or a laptop. The device is automatically renaming its network every 10 seconds, taking as its name various lines of poems by famous poets.

The goal of the second stage is to create crazy Wi-Fi name SSIDs spam machine, similar to this one.

The third round of the projects gains to create a machine that can be used to create your own network, chat,… your personal internet actually. Hot Ninja is a multifunctional network device for autonomous activity in the city environment. Its main function is communication and propaganda through the Wi-FI wireless standard. This is the hacktivism DIY response to attempts by the authorities in different countries to control the Internet. And should be fun to try it out in the mountains!

Do you want to participate in The Mystery IC Challenge?

Know more about Michael Page will do at PIF this year!

 

 

“At PIFcamp I will generally be assisting with DIY electronics. As a creative technologist, artist and educator I have the following skills and interests to bring to the party: Simple circuit design, CMOS tricks, PCB fabrication, Manhattan style, advanced kludging, electro-mechanical implementations, deep thoughts & sassy dance moves. I am currently designing a CMOS groovebox & I will probably still be working on that during PIF. If time permits I will also host the greatly anticipated THE MYSTERY ICHALLENGE!!!”