What about PIFcamp 2020?

Dear PIFcampers,

After long and careful consideration we decided to carry out this year’s edition of PIFcamp, but in a (way) different format we are used to. There are several scenarios, plan Bs and alternative options for this year’s realisation, but it is clear that until the virus calms down, quarantine ends and measures in Slovenia and around the world loosen up, the event as we know it cannot be carried out. The safety and health of the participants and the team always comes first, so we ask you for patience and understanding in the next few weeks, when the options for the sixth PIF edition will be clearer.

Unfortunately, due to health reasons, there won’t be any open call for participation this year, but we guarantee that we’ll try to maintain PIFcamp’s diversity and multidisciplinarity of projects, skills and creative approaches, albeit virtually. All of the planned projects, nodes and activities will be announced on the blog, a large part of the content will also be published online.

Hopefully this year’s edition will be a one-time experiment and luckily we see each other again in the standard format next year. Last but not least, the charm of PIFcamp is also the uniqueness of each edition. For all questions and suggestions, we are available at pifcamp@ljudmila.org.

Stay healthy and hack safely,
Your PIFcamp team

Meet the node holder: Scott Kildall

Scott Kildall has been our PIFresident this year, check out what he prepared for PIFcamp!

Sonaqua Workshop

At PIFcamp, I will be leading a hands-on workshop, where you will learn how to solder electronics and build your own Sonaqua sound player, which makes audio synth sounds based on water-quality using the Mozzi libraries. This is a custom circuit board based on the ATMEL architecture and is powered by a 5V USB battery with two wires that make sounds when you put them into a glass of any water.

The workshop will take 2-3 hours, depending on your level of experience with soldering and circuits.

Unnatural Language

During PIFCamp, I will be prototyping a new project called Unnatural Language (built in a collaboration between Michael Ang). It is a network of electronic organisms (“Datapods”) that create sonic improvisations from physical sensors in the natural environment. Each Datapod has custom electronics connected to sensors, a speaker, and a wireless network. The sensed data, for example from electrodes that measure the subtle electrical variations in the leaves of plants, is transformed into a unique synthesized sound. Encased in sculptural materials (natural fiber, leather, leaves, etc) and dispersed into a natural environment, the Datapods enter into a sonic dialogue with the existing ecosystem of plants and animals.

I have built 8 of these during my PIFresidency along with several software synthesizers on the ESP32, which I will be playing with in the natural environment. At PIFcamp, I plan to build boats and other vessels to house the sensors. This project grew from my work on Sonaqua as well as experiments last year at Dinacon.

Meet Aljoša Tarandek

I’m a part of a collective where we try to expend the idea of creating real time live analogue visuals from a wide variety of different sources. But the main tool that I’m using is DIY Eurorack unit (that is not finished, that will never be finished) plugged into two oscilloscopes combined with old school video cameras and a video mixer or two or three and some other equipment that I redesigned for our purposes. The idea of creating visuals with sound is as thrilling to me as the whole process working on it. 

Besides visualising sound I’m also very keen on the idea to actually hear that sound. So yes. I’m much into sound, synthesizers and lights. Oh. I also like plants.  An idea is to combine plants and synthesizers to somehow merge them into one unit. Basically to create visuals with sound you cannot hear and with living beings. I’m more them open to participate on any workshop that has to do with sound and light. I’m very looking forward to my first PIFcamp.

Interactive sound installation by Alexandros Kontogeorgakopoulos

The project is an interactive site-specific sound installation co-created with interested members of the PIFcamp community. A series of speakers and light sensors will be mounted on the trees in the forest close to the main area of the camp in order to create a light-responsive soundscape. The installation can be experienced in the daytime due to the continuous changes of the light conditions (sun movement, clouds, leaves movement etc) or equally in the  night time where the visitors can interact with the outdoor space with torches. The second scenario will additionally give an interesting light dimension to the piece where the silhouette of the shadow of the participants will be projected on the surrounding space.

During the stay I am planning to give a workshop on embedded sound-music programming and the technologies used for the project. The interactive music system will be developed on a  small single-board computers open-source platform (the Bela platform) specifically designed for low-latency interactive audio. Bela offers high performance audio and sensor processing witch can be done in C or in Pure Data amongst other standard programming environments for computer music and new media art. With this knowledge the participants can consider using Bela board for their future projects; I recommend it especially for sound related interactive projects. Pure Data is free and open course and can of course run on a laptop and on other single board computers (i.e. Raspberry Pi) so again, this knowledge is transferable to other projects too.

With the participants we will explore soundscape composition concepts,  experiment with small patches for interactive sound processing and music composition, develop new patches,  record sounds from the surrounding environment (we could also create miniature compositions by using materials from the surrounding environment as musical instruments ) and create collectively the interactive soundscape by jamming and exploring the interaction together. In the end we will install the system in the forest with the sensors and the speakers. I will provide the Bela boards and the speakers. The participants will have to bring a laptop running Pure Data, ideas and every cool skill they have in creative projects and music. 

Find more about Alexandros here.

Makery & PiNG at PIF

Ewen Chardronnet, Marie Albert and Mona Jamois will be participating to PIFcamp as embedded chroniclers and participative observers. Ewen Chardronnet & Marie Albert will report (interviews, chronicles, photos, social media) for Makery.info online media, a member of the Feral Labs Network. Mona Jamois will collect/reflect good practices as organiser of the Summerlab 2020 that will close the Feral Labs Network 2019-2020 series.

Makery is an online information media (newsletter, website, social networks) founded by Digital Art International in June 2014. It aims to cover the dynamism and give out information on the creative communities and the scene of labs, fablabs (fabrication laboratories, terminology born in the United States within the Medialab of MIT in 2001), makerspaces (for community tinkering), hackerspaces (spaces self-managed by people wanting to divert technologies), medialabs (dedicated to new media experimentation), living labs (also known as third places, they encompass users-industries co-design in processes of innovation and experimentation), biohacklabs (the scientific, DIYbio and bioinformatics version of hacklabs), artlabs (dedicated to artistic production). It is a media in DiY mode: with its small team, Makery progressively grows in an open, transparent and participative manner, following the principles of digital ethics born by the lab wave.

Nantes Summerlab (France) is a meeting, a temporary cooperative workshop, which brings together people with different motivations, cross-disciplinary disciplines (creators, researchers, activists, entrepreneurs, artists …), around themes (nodes) they interrogate together. It is a space and a moment to make, think, share, cooperate, built to allow the greatest conviviality (free, hospitality, mix, kindness, free spaces, shared meals, parties, etc.). The contents are proposed by the participants. Participation is free upon registration, without selection criteria. Nantes Summerlab is organised by PiNG.

Read the full interview by Marie Albert (Makery) below:

Surveilling nature – exploring ultra-local FM radio

FM radio is old, noisy, and often called obsolete, but somehow it seems to never die. Smartphones FM radio functionality and cheap receivers make it still easily accessible.

During PIFcamp, Klemens Kohlweis will temporarily install tiny, autonomous FM radio transmitters in the surroundings of the camp. Within a range of only a few meters, they will transmit the sounds of simple electronic circuits that amplify or react to their surroundings with microphones, light and wind sensors, creating a listening experience that is unique to a specific point in space and time. Other participants are invited to hook up their own devices to a transmitter to take part in a final soundwalk.

Pure Data building blocks by Thomas Gibbs

Pure Data is a free/libre open source software for manipulating sound and datastreams. It uses small boxes on a screen connected by lines to twist the flow of bits. This could mean synthesising sounds, processing effects or even make things move. This dataflow-oriented programming is more like shaping and molding, rather than writing down pages and pages of instructions to achieve a goal.

In this way it is more immediate and intuitive for developing instruments, sound sculptures and (interactive) installations.

This workshop comes in four parts. Each part is composed of roughly 30 minutes of theory and 30 minutes of playful discovery. They build on each other, but can be joined (or left) based on the individual level of skill. The first session will cover the basics of PD, which means installing the software, control versus audioflow, basic operations, stream and message types. This is followed by a rough overview of synthesis, i.e. making sounds and noises. The ensuing session covers audio processing like playing files from disk, recording audio to disk, creating/using filters and effects. The final part covers interaction with the outside world using the Arduino, MIDI, OSC, MIDI, and/or computer networks.

To get the most out of the workshop bring a laptop (running Linux, OS X, or Microsoft Windows) and a headphone. You can also bring a mouse, your Arduinos (and Raspberry Pis), as well as basic electronics like LEDs or switches. You will be able to play files based on different triggers and sculpt audio in realtime by processing a multitude of sources.

MIDI, flute & microcontrollers

Join Václav Peloušek in doing some crazy experiments with microcontrolles and swag musical videos!

I have been designing and making synthesizers for more than 10 years and started a company Bastl Instruments 6 years ago. I also did a lot with physical computing and programmed various microcontrollers, but my main focus was always to create tools to help me to make music. So I am a musician and this year on PIFcamp I would like to use to opportunity to create some music with other people and I would also like to make a music video as cooperation with others. I will also bring tools, sensors and interfaces that could help me or others connect things in real life into a musical ecosystems. One idea i would like to spend some time on would be a MIDI controller that could attach to a hand held microphone. The controller could be played with flute type fingering and it would send MIDI notes to alter pitch of singing into the microphone.

Multichannel Mapper by jesusonecstasy

Multichannel audio performances are fairly easy to setup when using a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) on a computer with a multichannel audio interface. In the case of a setup without a computer, a solution with Eurorack modules could be used instead, but at a higher price. Some multichannel (8 inputs, 8 outputs) audio interfaces can be used also in standalone mode (without a computer) and come with a powerful internal DSP (Digital Signal Processing with EQs, compressors and limiters) making it an appealing choice when a portable compact setup is preferred.

The Mapper is a project in which Mitja Cerkvenik aka jesusonecstasy will create a device that connects a MIDI controller to the audio interface bypassing the computer. This allows an arbitrary mapping of the MIDI parameters to the interface’s internal DSP parameters. The automation of EQs, levels and aux sends could create spatial psychoacoustic effects. Jesusonecstsy will perform a multichannel live act on the closing evening of PIFcamp, which will be accompanied by a visual performance by Kaja Kisilak and Lea Bradašević.

AV piece by Tadej Droljc

Currently I am working on a performance that includes electroacoustic music, digital visuals, custom made stage object / instrument, haze, air compressors and light from various sources (laser, moving heads, dimmers and strobes) – all these elements tangled and controlled from within computer. During the PIFcamp I plan to develop various elements of this project.


Tadej Droljc (b. 1981) is a Slovenian interdisciplinary artist and creative coder who works in the field of electronic music, computer-generated audiovisual composition and other forms of new-media art. His recent work is focusing at what he calls a pluralistic approach to real-time audiovisual composition, where various hierarchies between sound and image co-exist inside individual compositions.

For his solo and collaborative works Tadej was awarded the Edigma Semibreve Award, Shortlisted for Lumen Award 2018, Lumen Prize Student Award 2017, Dennis Smalley Scholarship in electroacoustic music and he won the Most Promising Video Artist prize at the Madatac in Madrid. He performed and exhibited his works at the festivals such as Ars Electronica, L.E.V. Festival, Brighton Digital Festival, Semibreve, Marché du Film – Festival de Cannes, Node or Athens Digital Arts Festival among others. Currently, he is collaborating with Ars Electronica’s Futurelab on the project Immersify.