PIFcamp 2017 – Day 2

On the second day a good dozen of us started our day with yoga. Gea, our flexible yoga instructor, dedicated a good portion of our session to meditation and relaxation, while the rest was spent in various poses. We definitely got a good morning stretch.

Right after breakfast Staš Vrenko took care of the mandatory morning dose of knowledge-sharing. He led an introduction to circuit schematic drawing and  shed some much needed light on the principles of etching. Some circuits will be drawn and etched tomorrow.

The electronic accordion by Vincent Groenhuis and Mojca Miklavec is getting along quite nicely, but Cindy and her group didn’t manage to fly their kites. There was no suitable wind… Their spirits are nonetheless high, and they will try again in the forthcoming days.

The group that joined Rosen Ivanov in making a carbonated mate drink added wild yeast, ginger bug, whey, water kefir and kombucha to several glasses containing mate tea with sugar that was prepared yesterday. They tried out different ratios in order to find the combination with the right amount of carbon dioxide, which would also taste good.

After lunch some of us chose to go on a short stroll along the Soča river with our wild man Dario Cortese. We searched the nearby meadows to rob them of their aromatics and other edible plants. The summer savory,  wild carrots, wild garlic and nettles we gathered ended up in salads that accompanied one of the delicious meals prepared by our lovely chefs Tereza, Maruša and Tea. They are truly spoiling us.

We were joined by Hannah and Mika from KOBAKANT today. They shared the timeline of their project in which they will combine wearables with local plant life and sounds.

In the afternoon quite a few PIFparticipants made their own simple echo sound effect under the watchful eye of Peter Edwards. As there are so many musicians on PIFcamp this year, we can expect to witness and take part in many jam-sessions and performances.

When something turns out to be an excellent idea, it is bound to become standard practice, so like the first evening we went into the woods to gather wood and make a bonfire before it turned too dark. After another delectable dinner we were graced by the visit of the local chaplain. And after that the happening transformed into a super birthday bash – chocolate cake and all. The atmosphere grew more electrifying by the minute as sounds from modular synths permeated the evening air. John Dinger, who celebrated alongside Lio, had the honour to set the vibe to the pleasure of everybody present. It was not hard for Peter Edwards and Václav Peloušek to pick it up and make this night a thing to remember.

The PIFcrowd was enthralled also by Bernhard Rasinger, who use the nearby treetops as a screen for his laser wizardry.

Time flew by as August shooting stars this sweet night of music, dancing and passionate debates, and the sky was turning back to blue when the last man standing went off to his well-deserved rest.

PIFcamp 2017 – Day 1

After the initial introductions and some time to get to know our surroundings, we lent an ear to the first project presentations and started to plan the week that approximately 50 avid lovers of technology, art and science from all across the globe will spend in the beautiful Soča Valley for the third year in a row.

Peter Edwards, an American currently living in Czech Republic, is among us once again! He works with Václav Peloušek and Tomáš Niesner, who are part of BASTL Instruments, a company and a collective based in Brno. Some of the PIFparticipants familiarized themselves with their modular synths before their first PIFdinner.

Another guest of this year’s camp is Andrew Quitmeyer, who started the day by demonstrating how to use a drone and in the evening also explained all about laser cutting on various surfaces such as plant leaves and wood.

Some also got a chance to delve into the world of oscilloscopes. The man who brought them to Soča is Bernhard Rasinger, who wants to explore ways to integrate modular synth circuits, oscilloscopes and lasers.

Our very own agricultural dissident Dario Cortese announced several walks into the wild, where there will be heaps of opportunity to gather medicinal and edible wild plants growing in nearby pastures and woods.

A novelty of the camp this year is a focus on the development of workshop programmes for youngsters, which will be led by Cindy Regalado and Kristijan Tkalec, also a part of the Rampa Lab and BioTehna team, co-producers of the 3rd PIFcamp. Cindy explained all about her PIFnode, which involves flying kites, equipped with a camera, over the PIFvenue and its surroundings. With the kites she plans to take aerial shots of the area, and combine them in order to generate its map.

Naturally we are excited about all PIFprojects. Yair Reshef and Zohar Messec-Fara will create electronic lollipops, for example, and the Dutch-Slovenian connection – Vincent Groenhuis and Mojca Miklavec – are working on a modular accordion. We are also waiting impatiently for the arrival of Hannah Perner-Wilson and Mika Satomi from the KOBAKANT collective, as they will design and execute a new and “all-natural” wearable technology.

The nutritional enthusiast Rosen Ivanov completed some of the initial phases in his quest to find ways to use carbon dioxide formed in the course of fermentation in the creation of fizzy drinks. He plans to use wild yeast, whey, water kefir and kombucha. We might get to try out his creations from yerba mate by the end of the week.

A proper anthropological study of the knowledge-sharing processes at PIFcamp by Ahac Meden is apparently forthcoming. No wonder, since PIFcamp encourages all forms and the creative use of modern technologies while emphasising active project co-creation and the free distribution of knowledge, ideas and experiences.

Looking forward to the coming adventures!

PIFcamp is almost here! Information for visitors.

A weekend is all that separates us from the beginning of the first Slovenian international hacker camp, when on location in Trenta (Soča village, house number 25) more than 50 participants will join forces and work on 12 projects from the fields of DIY electronics, circuit-bending, bio-hacking, e-textiles, wearable technologies, computer art, light interventions, food hacking and all other “ordinary” hacks of life!

We invite all, who are interested in this sort of activities, but are unable to attend for the whole week of PIFvacations, to visit us on Open Saturday (AUG 8) and join us in the activities throughout the day and PIFproject presentations.

There will also be plenty of guaranteed opportunities to converse with the unique, sagacious, resourceful and playful individuals, who participate in the camp.


It should be noted that all PIFcamp visitors have a special 20% discount, if in the time of the PIFhappening they choose to set up their tents in the nearby Jelinc camp (tourist tax is not included in the discount). You are able to get this offer, if you bring proof of your visit to the PIFcamp, which you will receive on PIFcamp location.
Looking forward to seeing you!

Let's plant a PIFcamp web-tree!

In his project Tomaž Strgar, a graduate of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, as well as a post-graduate student on the Faculty of Arts (both in Ljubljana), who develops alternative principles of display and organization of on-line content, restores and designs smaller pieces of furniture and much more, questions the foundations of contemporary tendencies of web, technologies and society in general development.

»Web 3.Tree«


The theoretical part will predominantly include hacking of the concepts of our web future, all of which have been accumulated under the term »Web 3.0«. We shall discuss the production of web tools and technologies, the intelligence of machines and people, the meaning of semantic web and content organizing, and visions, such as the intelligent networks of intelligent machines. As needed, we will enlist the help of Descartes, Darwin, Turing, Huxley, Hegel and other spirits to the discussion. With the help of the visitors from the interested participants of other PIFcamp projects we shall gather ideas and material to develop our PIF web tree.

Practically speaking, we shall perform a radical cut into the foundations of modern web aesthetics. A web page will no longer be a scroll, but will always – just like a poster – be visible in it’s whole; the interactive elements will following a click open a new page with same characteristics. With the combined use of standard and non-standard tools we shall plant the PIF web tree, which will function something like this. You are warmly welcome to collaborate!

More light on PIFcamp!

Another project group be mentored by Michael Murray (IE), who is an arts technologist working in the technical areas of Theatre, Circus, Music and Video with a background in electronics and computer technology and a true passion for  lighting, and Tom O’Dea (IE), a Dublin-based artist, whose work encompasses sculptural works and mixed media installation across sound, electronics and video and is currently a researcher at the Arts Technology Research Laboratory in Trinity College Dublin.



The project aims to explore the idea of comparative rupture within the natural environment through the use of structured geometric lighting and sculptural installations, driven by data from local or networked sources. The aim of the project is to explore and deconstruct the claims towards neutrality and objectivity inherent in the data structures of the ‘hyper-real’ systems of global computing and communication technology by drawing them back into the affective and asignifying register of the natural environment.

The project will make use of various LED lighting technologies to create a system by which we can explore with other PIFcamp collaborators the effectiveness of different aesthetic strategies for reconstituting data as an affective or subjective entity.

The project also aims through collaboration to generate discussion about how a particular technology can act reflexively on the artist to shape their practice, through the setting in the natural environment, PIFcamp forces the project to coexist with elements outside the control of the technology’s parameters.


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


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.

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.


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

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