This category contains 3 posts

Payphone Hacking in Leimert Park

Ben Stokes, François Bar and Karl Baumann at USC have embarked on what they describe as a “5-week experiment at the cutting edge of music, transmedia, hack-a-thons, and neighborhood storytelling.” They’re placing tools and payphones ready to be re-imagined into the hands of local artists, students and hackers. Some early ideas include making the quarter deposit provide access to an MP3 by a local artist, or activate a local storefront display. It’s an utterly fascinating revival of what Charles R. Acland calls “residual media,” or “reconfigured, renewed, recycled, neglected, abandoned and trashed media technologies and practices.” Payphones are a dying breed, but that’s kind of the point: they have been freed from their established meaning – specific ways of punctuating urban space, user practices, and communication infrastructures – for new kinds of “serious play.” See their website at http://leimertphonecompany.net/.

Announcement: 4S panel “From Hobby to Science Work: the Culture & Politics of Professionalized Maker Culture”

We invite submissions to a panel we put together on the professionalization of Maker culture, as part of the annual 4S Meeting in San Diego, Oct 9-12, 2013. Details how to submit are below:

From Hobby to Science Work: The Culture & Politics of Professionalized Maker Culture 

Current Participants: Carl DiSalvo, Laura Forlano, Silvia Lindtner, Thomas Lodato
Hacker/maker culture is often associated with a DIY (do it yourself) ethos and Internet counterculture — in distinction from professionalized fields such as design, scientific research, or engineering. However, in recent years, hacker cultures and professionalized fields have been brought together through the efforts such as hackerspaces, which function as collocated laboratories for citizen science engagements, new product development, or batch-manufacturing.  Events such as hackathons, start-up weekends, and accelerators allow DIY makers to move beyond a hobbyist activity and transform ideas into tangible products by exploiting an existing infrastructure of venture capital funding, corporate support and manufacturing labor. In addition to corporations, state organizations such as DARPA and governments in Asia have begun participate in these transformations in order to provide financial support for maker and DIY efforts with the goal of triggering new forms of innovation for their nations. The purpose of this panel is to bring together research that examines the conditions and issues of the transformation of hacker/maker culture from DIY endeavors to increasingly professionalized and purportedly economically-viable activities, and engages with the culture and politics of such professionalization process of the hobbyist Maker movement. We will examine how DIY maker production appropriates and remakes dominant narratives of creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship to render and for what purposes. We ask questions such as: Who is excluded and how do local manifestations of the broader movement vary? How can analytical and methodological tools from STS inform the study of interdisciplinary maker worlds that aspire to bring together science, technology and society in new ways? What digital and other material artifacts are produced along the way, where and how do they travel, and which populations are implicated in their production? We envision this panel will contribute to ongoing concerns in Digital STS and innovation studies.

We are soliciting participation in this panel (or possibly, a series of panels). If you are interested in contributing please send an email with a brief paper description to cdisalvo@gatech.edu by March 1st.

Announcement: “Hacked Matter” workshop

In April I am co-organizing together with Anna Greenspan a panel discussion and workshop on “Hacked Matter.” Confirmed Panelists include: our very own David Li from xinchejian 新车间, Amanda Williams from Wyld Collective and currently in Shenzhen for HAXLR8R, and Tom Igoe from ITP New York. More details here:

Hacked Matter: A Workshop on Shanzhai & Maker Culture

Shanghai and Shenzhen: April 6-8 2013
With support from the Shanghai Studies Symposium, NYU Shanghai, ISTC (Intel Science & Technology for Social Computing) UC Irvine, the Rockbund Art Museum and Xinchejian 新车间

This workshop aims to critically explore and examine connections between the informal networks ofshanzhai production and the open innovations of the DIY (do it yourself) maker community in China. It will take place in Shanghai and Shenzhen, hubs of China’s growing Hackerspace and Maker scene as well as critical sites in the global flows of ‘copycat’ or shanzhai technology. The workshop will begin in Shanghai with presentations and a panel discussion by leading researchers and practitioners in the field. It will be followed by a two-day hands-on engagement with the open hardware scene & shanzhai manufacturing markets in Shenzhen. In Shenzhen, we will visit the HAXLR8R event, a 15-weeks long workshop designed as a ‘startup accelerator program’ for ‘people who hack hardware and make things.’

Detailed Schedule:

Saturday April 6, 2013:  3pm – 6 pm (Shanghai):
All Tomorrows Parties (episode 6): Shanzhai & Maker Culture. Presentations and Panel Discussion at the Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai.

Sunday April 7/ Monday April 8, 2013 (Shenzhen):

A tour of Shenzhen guided by David Li (founder of Xinchejian: Shanghai’s hackerspace). The tour will include visits to Chaihuo hackerspace, the HuaQiangBei shanzhai market, and SeeedStudio. It will also involve curated conversations with Eric Pan of SeeedStudio and DIY makers currently working in Shenzhen. The workshop will end on Monday evening with a roundtable discussion (and some delicious Guangdong food).