What is the sound of nettles cooking (or growing)?

Edible wild plants expert Dario Cortese presents his “food hacking” node!

Dario (right) is playing some Breton tunes to Good King Henry (not seen, as the plants with this name grow below the dancer).
As edible wild plants are three to four times stronger food (especially mineralwise) than cultivated ones, it will be an interesting point to get them “voice” their power via any possible channel. This is but only one of the possibilities to include wild edibles into hacking activities in Trenta valley, not to mention that collecting and using these foods is hacking business by itself, as it goes straight to the core of food: what did we eat 10.000 years ago? Why shouldn’t we have a direct access to food, otherwise dominated by hipersupemegamarkets, and, yes, also your own garden (most of the weeds are edible and more nutritious than cultivated vegetables).
And also, how do the nettle’s stings look like from a very close distance? Interestingly enough, they also contain serotonine and acetilholine, two powerful neurotransmitters.
Hunger aside, there will also be some very straight presentations of wild edibles in the surroundings of Soča village, that means how to recognize and use them.

By the way, more than 2000 species (out of 3500+) of wild plants in Slovenia can be used as food.

Wild appetite!

Only on Open Saturday! Graphic Sound and Jam Session.

On Open Saturday the participants and guests of the camp will be able to join a workshop mentored by Lavoslava Benčič named Graphic Sound. Lavoslava works in the field of visual communication and is an active member of Čipke.

Graphic Sound

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In the course of the three-hour-long workshop of graphic sound we will shape sonic structures. The workshop is mostly directed towards those, who don’t have previous knowledge or experience in music composition.

We will start by exploring the beginnings of Graphic Sound and continue by discovering some examples from the art scene of the 20th century. The digital era has wastly contributed towards the transformation of graphic sound tools. We shall get to know them in the practical part of our workshop. We will install the software on our personal computers, prepare our selected visual data for the inclusion into the program and for the effective transformation into sound. What follows are sonic experiments, conducted by the tranformation of visual data into sonic structures. The worshop will conclude with a jam session.

It is highly recommended that the participants bring their own laptops and headphones.

What about PIFcamp Reactive Network?

Computer art node holder and ultimate open source & free software geek Luka Frelih presents the 7th project of the summer camp, named PIFcamp Reactive Network.

PIFcamp 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.


Waving robot by Marka

We will invent and make input and output modules based on ideas from kinetic sculpture, DIY and kids robotics, modular synthesizers and the beautiful natural surroundings to combine humble potentiometers, servo motors and microcontrollers, glue and sticks into abstract expression carriers capable of transforming gestures into numbers and back again. We will also bring along and repurpose the huge 19-pad stomp board from Sounds of Ljubljana which will surely add to the fun of finding the pattern that will emerge from connecting these experiments with the noise emanating from other projects at PIFcamp.

Dancing Mushrooms by Lisa Bowden

The 6th PIFcamp project by our international guest Lynne Bruning

Lynne Bruning creates exclusive wearable art, eTextiles and adaptive technologies. She teaches seamless integration of electronics with textiles, inspiring fiber artists, electrical engineer and computer hackers to embrace eTextiles and wearable technology. Ms. Bruning fosters eTextile communities via The eTextile Lounge, an online resource and by lecturing and teaching worldwide.

eTextile Explorations

Dried Flowers with LEDs for Bouquets and Center Pieces

Using traditional crafting techniques of embroidery, lace making and sewing, we will use conductive fabrics, threads and paints to transform electronic hardware into soft circuits and eTextiles. During PIFcamp we will collaborate with the other nodes to replicate their computer circuitry into functional electronic textiles and thru this process gain a greater understanding of how electronic hardware is manufactured and how to manipulate these systems into eTextiles. By exploring alternative methods of manufacturing sensors and PCBs we hope to introduce additional tools to PIFcamp’s varied electronic systems and expand our electronic component vocabulary.

Conductive Thread Speaker Coil Sewn into a Plant Leaf

The 5th PIFcamp project by Tilen Sepič

Another local participant on PIFcamp will be Tilen Sepič, a multidisciplinary designer, new media artist and promoter of open source culture. His experience with light is manifesting in light-design objects, product photography and light installations.

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His project will explore generative patterns and shapes made with overlapping frequencies of light, exactly synchronized with frequencies of sound in context of nature.

Light setup will be controlled with multiple voltage-based analog inputs including CV, PWM and sound, so that can be interconnected with many other projects.

Because the setup will be created from fundamental high-power LED parts only, it will be 5-10 times cheaper than common led show-lights.

Tilen will be building, exploring and testing scalable LED installation for lighting trees, with analog drone-based control over the frequencies and colors.

You are welcome to join him!

The 4th PIFcamp project: Oscillatorium

Another project on PIFcamp comes from our own Ljubljana-based intermedia artist Robertina Šebjanič, who in her art practise places her interest to the fields such as the humanist and natural sciences, bio-art, noise/sound art and much more, and Monika Pocrnjič, a visual art education student with interest in art, esthetics, biology, technology, anthropology and pedagogy.

Oscillatorium – Living systems oscillation

Oscillatorium

The sonification of environment, or sonification of processes, is communication; a step towards understanding inter-species’ communication and inter-species co-existence. Analogue oscillators do not exist only in the field of electronic circuits, but also in nature, which is why this project attempts to deepen and continue the research and development of natural electronic synthesizers – sound objects.

In the field of natural sciences, predominantly biology, the use of natural oscillators is dedicated to the study of the ways of functioning of the natural world within its temporal structure. A simple example of this is the functioning of the heart and circadian rhythms, which represent the information flow from the working processes in our brains. Circadian rhythm enables us to understand and monitor time and helps us to maintain our everyday rhythm on the basis of electro-chemical oscillation of the cells. Within this project we would like to concentrate on the study of various living systems (animal and plant species) and through them establish a specific oscillation for each of the species, which we would then assemble into a sonic-visual experience.

Theoretically we would be referring to work of botanist Jakob Johann von Uexküll, more specifically to his A Foray Into the Worlds of Animals and Humans, with a Theory of Meaning. Von Uexküll introduced biosemiotics as a research field and defined the term umwelt (milieu, situation, embedding – lit. German for environment). The expression usually refers to the so-called “self-in-world” subjective reference frame. The biological basis at the heart of his studies originates from a reflection on the communication and discerning of the meaning of what is human and what is animalistic. The fundamental thought of Uexküll’s theory is that organisms can have different umwelten, even when they share the same environment.

The project Oscillatorium is in its development phase and will debut at Kiblix festival 2015 (produced by Kibla). The collaboration at PIFcamp will be in the form of debates, experimentation and research.

Key words:
bio-sonification, natural oscillation, vibration, analogue, bio-analogue

The 3rd PIFcamp project and another international guest!

How to hack your holiday

How to hack your holiday

Michael Page is an artist/inventor who has been refining an electro-mechanical music sequencing machine for the past few years. After confronting the fact he enjoys performance but not studio recording with his machines, he started thinking about documentation, and how a happening or recording of an event can be the outcome of a project. He believes an event or a recording of an event is something with realness about it and appreciates the real incidental aspects – it all happens in a real place and time and is rich with “free data”, such as room / PA acoustics, performance errors, background noises, birdsong etc.

His project on PIFcamp will tranfer his outlook on documentation to the happening on the camp. Do you know how people’s holiday photos pretty much just show the good stuff? Or when people make their kids catch a Frisbee for a photo, but don’t actually play a proper game with them? Do they do this to conjure some sort of hyper-real hyper-idyllic family scene or something?

Michael’s project will try to remove as much of this bias as possible, by having photos, audio and video taken at arbitrary intervals. A starting point for exploration will be camera set to time lapse mode taking documentation every half hour or so, with the resulting material compiled into a very honest holiday slideshow. The project will investigate the physical process of hacking an audio/video device to record at arbitrary intervals and hopefully start discussion around the subjects of documentation and the consumption of media and experience.

Thrilled to announce another participant and the 2nd project!

Our team is growing fast! Another confirmed project on PIFcamp is that of Sebastian Frisch whose interest belong to the fields of sound, space and acoustic ecology.

 

Sebastian Frisch: disCharge

 

disCharge

 

Sebastian started his journey into controlling the sound making capabilities of wood a few months ago. He discovered that if the moisture inside a wooden piece reduces, the material tries to shrink, but can’t because of its stiffness. The result is the cracking of wood. Using a heat-wire stitched inside a wooden piece all who will experiment with Sebastian will apply electricity to the wood, heating the wire and so reduce the moisture inside it. The wood will thus start to sing and to catch its tune (even in the subtlest of forms) microphones, amplifiers and speakers will be used. What follows is experimentation with different types of wood, different ways of inducing the wood song and the building of multiple wood-crackling objects to play a sonic texture of crackling wood… A concert.

The content of the 1st PIFcamp project disclosed!

Peter Edwards: Soča Synthesis
The analog synthesizer in the wild

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Because of the analog synthesizer’s dependence on electricity it has evolved in a way that is strongly related to the locations where a reliable flow of electricity is available. Namely inside buildings. In keeping with this they have developed predominately for desk top use in clean, controlled environments. This project will question the conventional format of the synthesizer and investigate the impact and inspiration of the outside world (in all of its dirty, rainy, windy and endlessly moving glory) on the format, use and experience of the audio synthesizer.

Each team member will build a simple but powerful “classic” analog modular synthesizer containing 2 VCOs (voltage controlled oscillators), 1 VCF (VC filter), 1 VCA (VC amplifier) and a special sensor interface. This interface allows any of the synthesizers many parameters to be controlled using a wide range of signals from the outside world.

The first goal will be to build a powerful and flexible synthesizer circuit that can be used during PIFcamp and long after. Through this process we will learn about how voltage controlled synthesizers work (and why they are awesome!) and then investigate how our physical engagement with the circuit (knobs, buttons etc.) shapes its functionality. Following that we will use these device throughout the wild, with other PIFcampers, with a cooperative squirrel, with no one at all. Through this we will explore how the activities and life of the forest, river etc. can impact how we create and experience sound….music will be made, unruly fun will be had, synthesizers will get dirty.

Ready for more?

The Home Team is growing! Joining us at PIFcamp is Dario Cortese, a herbalist and a wild plants expert, so be prepared to utterly hack your everyday existence on long walks and nutritious talks. Cortese will also be joining forces with Marc Dusseiller and empirically satisfy all who wonder how nurturing these wild plants really are.

We are also excited that one of the participants in the camp is Marko Peljhan, who will collaborate, instruct, help and perhaps even take you fishing.