On June 4th, 2011 is the 4th Annual Experimental Garage Sale! This craft fair focuses on circuit bending and DIY musical instruments at the Experimental Sound Studio space with 12 sellers who will have plenty circuit bent devices, un-bent toys, electronic parts, kits, experimental instruments, contact microphones, guitar pedals, art, and more. The sale will begin rain or shine at 12:00 PM and last until 6:00 PM.
Reformat the Planet is a feature-length documentary that focuses on some of the personalities behind the 8-Bit / chiptune scene in New York City, featuring some of our favorite Game Boy artists, notably Bit Shifter.
Reformat the Planet (RTP) is a feature length documentary which delves into the movement known as chip music, a vibrant underground scene based around creating new, original music using obsolete video game hardware. Familiar devices such as the Nintendo Game Boy and Nintendo Entertainment System are pushed in new directions with startling results.
…After documenting several live chip music performances in New York City and being invited to film the first year of the now annual Blip Festival, it was clear that they stood before a rich cultural mine that few were tapping in any long-form projects. The decision to focus the film on the varied personalities of the NYC chip music scene was a quick and obvious one.
OK, I’ll admit CDs in general are pretty boring and kind of outdated now that broadband and MP3s are standard. However, Matt Moldover of Controllerism fame has definitely spiced up the concept of the CD with his latest release of original work that’s also a theremin-like toy (!) The track names are even embedded in the circuitboard. Mad hot. Get this thing! It’s available in 3 editions at $10, $25, and $50 in varying degrees of awesomeness.
Here’s some great gifty stuff for geek girls, chem-bots, and engineers that features earrings like floppy disks, cell phones, and microscopes. It’s a side project of the tech jewelry line, Zelle (mine): Gnerdy Jewelry.
I used Drupal to build the site, with a long list of modules like CCK, Contemplate, Captcha, and TinyMCE. The design elements may remind you of this very blog (shapes created from electronic schematic symbols.) Digg and share!
The creators of OhGizmo! (the niche, gadget / technology / weird things blog) have spun off a blog devoted entirely to robots. Not only is robotic technology ever-innovating, more and more people have come to develop a humanoid soft spot for our cybernetic friends (just do an Etsy search for Robot and look what pops up), so the OhGizmo! people definitely have their finger on the pulse.
It’s appropriately titled “BotJunkie,” and features the tagline:
BotJunkie obsessively chronicles Man’s inevitable descent into cybernetic slavery.
One robot at a time.
While it focuses mainly on small, consumer-oriented robots like the evil Hello Kitty Robot, I-Sobot (shown), and Spyke, there are some pop culture robot references, like “The top 50 movie robots”. No word yet on if they’ll cover military / industrial use robots, or go ga-ga over the adorable Pleo, but the blog is super new so it remains to be seen.
Gnerdy Jewelry (pronouced “nerdy jewelry”) brings us a line of earrings made from technological fetishes including obsolete computer media and mobile electronics. Take, for instance, floppy disks. While wearing actual floppy disks as earrings would be neat in concept, it’s actually really tacky in execution (see photo at left), especially hanging from the ears say, of anyone over the age of five.
Fear not, there is a more tasteful way to wear those floppies and not get a citation from the Fashion Police: cast-in-sterling Floppy Disk earrings ($40) from Fractalspin. Not only do they get a stylish upgrade by being cast in a precious metal and scaled significantly smaller, they come with the thoughtful addition of clear stoppers to prevent them from accidentally slipping out of your ear (and how many of us haven’t been crushed to discover only a single earring remaining at the end of a night on the town?).
Another made-obsolete-by-technological-progress icon that gets the jewelry treatment is calculators, in the form of Silver Calculator Earrings ($30). Kraftwerk expressed their love for the mathematical gadget that replaced the slide rule in “Pocket Calculator”, and now you can express your admiration in the same way but through your adornments. In an especially math-club touch, the display of each of the calculators shows the first few digits of pi (3.14159).
And the device that’s responsible for the downfall of the pocket calculator is likely the modern cell phone. Since most phones these days incorporate a calculator application, there’s no need to stash a mini calculator in your purse or bag for those restaurant-check-division emergencies. Celebrate the advancement of communication technology by wearing these super-miniature Cell Phone Earrings ($45). While these are far smaller than the tiniest cellphones on the mass market, and quite close to your eardrums, the only thing they share with their functioning cousins is that they open and close like a real flip phone. And they’ll even stay in whatever position you set them in so you can wear them both open, closed, or in totally different positions, and they’ll set you back far less than buying two iPhones.
While the cell phone earrings are quite tiny, they’re still visible to the naked eye, unlike many of the micro-elements studied in the sciences, like examining the solder joints on a circuit board, studying the functions of neurons, and watching the cell-replication of aquatic specimens. And if your daily grind involves happily doing any of those things, you might as well express your ingrained love of science with Microscope Earrings ($22).
Ties and Father’s Day seem to be intrinsically connected, but why settle for getting dad a fugly one that matches all the other fugly ones he owns? Help his style quotient increase and get him one of these super trendy designer ties from Cyberoptix, a Detroit-based design studio who makes some really wicked ties. These over here are based on the Synth-E, one of the very first portable synthesizers that fit in a suitcase and was battery powered, forging the way for the modern laptop musicians of today. It’d be a perfect gift for an electronic musician, or a retro-synth enthusiast. They come in a staggering array of color combinations, and you can choose from either a synthetic microfiber or silk. And, if you’ll notice, the favicon for the Cyberoptix is a red Speak-N-Spell with horns, which makes them even more cooler in my book.
Mehmet ErkÃ¶k, industrial design lecturer at Ä°stanbul Teknik has designed interesting cell phone modifcations by removing parts of the case and inserting clear plastic elsewhere. On the one hand they look either half-finished or dismantled / broken, but the clear plastic makes them look like industrial manufacturing equipment. Very cool–I’d love to see more people take on this sort of extreme modding that looks as good as this does.