PIFcamp 2018 – Images and Sounds!

The envisioned and realizable PIFprojects are about to be completed. Another contribution to the long list is the Library of Missing Parts and Inclusive Circuits, a humorous database of missing graphic representations, which illustrate our relationship to technology. The sensor building workshop led by Hannah and Vaclav is going along nicely. We managed to build several sensors from textiles, which will sonify our work through modular synthesis.

Klemens Kohlweis is another artist who made it possible to listen to our immediate surroundings. He used several parabolic microphones to isolate and amplify selected sounds at great distances. The sound of wind takes center stage in Juan Duarte’s project Aeolian Artefact. Januš Aleš Luznar (Yanoosh, Ohm Fat) is also fast approaching the rhythm of his heart with the help of two stethoscope-looking  microphones he built at the camp.

Two participants, both working at the intersection of sound and visual art are Connor Haynes, an audiovisual artist from UK and Juan Manuel Escalante, best described as a nomad. Both were making field recordings in places around PIFcamp, manipulating them and producing accompanying visuals. Escalante envisioned a graphic album and created a series of refined artwork, which reveals various locations where he made the recordings. He considers releasing the project in a fanzine form.

The Slovenian visual artist Tisa Neža Herlec focused on the sonification of her drawing table, which she managed to accomplish with a few contact microphones. Music and sound also drive the Sonance Garden interactive installation by Inna Thoman, an Austrian artist working under the artist name Lino Leum. She will be able to manipulate the sound in the installation by changing the degree of light, moisture and temperature.

We are also trying to grasp the concept of time. For Anna Sircova, a psychologist working and living in Denmark, time has been the subject of intense research. An enticing glimpse of the future is provided by Jakob Scheite and his Fortune Telling Machine. A sample of a donor’s urine is used to measure concentrations of the donor’s hormones and these measurements collectively are used to predict an individual’s future.

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.