Extraordinary Effort, Spectacular Failure

Extraordinary Effort, Spectacular Failure opened last Friday, March 6, a group show from the Hatch artist incubator program at Chicago Artists Coalition.

I have a new piece in it, a column of knitted Kevlar and circuits, suspended on an embroidery hoop from the gallery's 14' ceiling. In order to protect the delicate circuitry, I soldered the piece onsite. Ultimately, it turned out better than I could have hoped, and really pops at night.

I feel like this is a sketch for a larger work so I don't quite have a title for it. I'll likely develop the project further as part of my upcoming Public Engagement Maker Residency at UIC/Mana Contemporary.

If we missed you at the opening, join us for the closing event, Thursday March 26.

***New City reviewed and recommended the show here.

ATTiny84 & the Tiny Programmer

I like programming my ATTinys with the Tiny Programmer. (How can you not love a tool the size of a stick of gum?) But I couldn't find info for mapping the pin connections for the ATTiny84. So I did a little research. Here are the connections:

ATTiny84  --->   Tiny Programmer

  • 1  ---> +
  • 14 ---> -- (minus sign)
  • 4  ---> (unlabeled)
  • 7  ---> 0
  • 8  ---> 1
  • 9  ---> 2

Works great. 

Passap Knitting Machines: Donation and Deep Clean

Last month, I received a phone call from Mary, one of the clever ladies who runs the InterKnit Machine Knitters Club. Someone was getting rid of some Passap Duomatic knitting machines, and would I like one? Heck, yeah! I replied, and could you also grab one for Pumping Station: One?

So, two days later Mary drops off two very heavy knitting machines, and several very heavy boxes of carriages, accessories, tension rods, and books. The machines are ancient, crusted with yellowed oil and blackened lint. Luckily, one of the books is "Be Your Own Passap Paramedic", which gave us a starting point to deep cleaning these machines.

Technologic Opening

Catching up on my blogging. Images of my works Electronic Damask and Knitted VU Meter at Chicago Art Department in October. We pulled Electronic Damask off of its frame for this show. I think people appreciated being able to see both sides, and it cast an interesting shadow.

These great images were taken by Leo Selvaggio, show curator Chuck Przybyl, and Mike Nourse. The full album is available on Flickr.

Blog to Academia

New issue of Leonardo Music Journal is out and I'm on page 77, "Engaging the Audience: A Primer for Sound Art in Public Spaces."

The article started out as the inaugural post of this very blog, one year ago.

Close One Show, Open Another

My knitted-circuit artwork, Electronic Damask, was in a gallery show, NoFi, at Chicago Artists Coalition, October 24 - Nov 13. The piece was a collaborative effort, put together through the volunteer efforts of close to two dozen PS1 members. PS1 really represented at the Oct 24 opening, and I managed to drag most of us in front of the camera for a group photo with the artwork. (Thanks to Everett for the photo!)

Before NoFi closed, Electronic Damask was tapped for another show, Technologic, opening tonight in Pilsen, from 6 - 10pm. So last night we drove the piece straight from one gallery to the next.

Technologic "celebrates making art through technology". It features some amazing stuff made with 3D printers, LCD screens, CNC watercolor painting, and of course a certain knitted e-textile. The gallery, Chicago Art Department, is located at 1932 W Halsted in East Pilsen's Chicago Art District (#8 Halsted bus runs right by it). Tonight's opening coincides with the district's 2nd Fridays gallery night, so there will be other openings all over the neighborhood. You can find preview photos of the show on the facebook page. Full info is below. The show runs until December 6.

TECHNOLOGIC curated by Chuck Przybyl Friday, Nov 14, 6-10pm

An exhibition that celebrates making art through technology. Work featured will include robotic drawing, 3D printing, laser cutting, textile circuitry, algorithmic art, image slicing, circuit bending, and prosthetics. Although often unsung – artists having access to new technologies has historically pushed and propelled creative endeavors. The exciting new technologies of today have been pushing the overall culture of DIY and propelling the Maker Movement. This is a participatory culture that embraces tools and empowers masses of people to innovate and create. Technologic explores and showcases not only how art is currently being produced with new tools, but how fringe technologies can be used in progressive and cutting edge ways.

Viewers also have an opportunity to “go deeper” to gain further insight through series of discussions and workshops as well information on the processes at the exhibit. Technologic is curated by Chuck Przybyl for Chicago Art Department.

Artists: Tom Burtonwood, Christopher Furman, Harvey Moon, Luftwerk, Jesse Seay, Nathan Davis, Christopher Breedlove, Christian Oiticica, Leo Selvaggio, Antoine Kattar, and Russell Prather

Opening Reception Nov. 14 – 6-10 PM 3D Printing Workshop with Tom Burtonwood Saturday Nov – 15 – 2-5 PM Panel Discussion Saturday Nov – 22 – 2-5 PM Chicago Art Department – 1932 S. Halsted St. Suite 100 Chicago IL 60622 USA

The "Other" PS1

In art circles, "PS1" is a center for contemporary art in NYC. Here in the Chi-town maker community, "PS1" is short for Pumping Station: One, Chicago's oldest and largest makerspace. I've been an active member of this "other" PS1 for several years now, and I've been working on ways to both encourage and harness the community spirit that it nurtures. So I'm creating work that draws on the community model of the quilting bee, updated for an electronic age.

My circuit-knit "quilt" project started with a stack of my freshly knit circuit boards and a solder party armed with wire cutters and hot chisel tips. Afterwards, though, there was still much work to be done, and that's when a few PS1 volunteers stepped up for the long haul.

Motivated by an interest in electronics, the community of a group project, a desire to support the arts, or just straight-up generosity, Jay Hopkins, Peter, and Bandit put in some crazy hours soldering and troubleshooting the 896 LEDs, resistors, transistors, capacitors, and jumper wires that drive the piece. (For the tech curious, it's 56 flip flop circuits wired in parallel, aka blinking lights.)

PS1's vice president (and resident photographer), Everett Wilson, captured one of our late-night solder sessions. Was this the night we stayed til 4am? I can't even remember.

The finished work, Electronic Damask, is stretched on a 6'x3' frame custom built by another PS1 member and volunteer, Ray Doeksen. It's in the show No-Fi, which opens at Chicago Artists Coalition tonight, October 24, 6-9pm.