A maker of things and open-source advocate, Catarina Mota is co-founder of openMaterials.org, a collaborative project dedicated to do-it-yourself experimentation with smart materials. This is a new class of materials that change in response to stimuli: conductive ink, shape-memory plastics, etc. Her goal is to encourage the making of things; to that end, she teaches hands-on workshops on high-tech materials and simple circuitry for both young people and adults–with a side benefit of encouraging interest in science, technology and knowledge-sharing. She’s working on her PhD researching the social impact of open and collaborative practices for the development of technologies. In other words: Do we make better stuff when we work together? She is also a co-founder of Lisbon’s hackerspace altLab.
“Probably the most disruptive element of this technology is not the tools themselves, but the maker culture—the community of people who sell, use, and adapt the tools of digital fabrication.”
from “R&D: A Strategist’s Guide to Digital Fabrication”
No dia 9 de Dezembro de 2012, realiza-se no Laboratório de Criação Digital em Guimarães um evento aberto ao publico com o objectivo de dinamizar o movimento de Open Data em Portugal.
O evento inicia às 10 da manhã, nas instalações do LCD no Centro para os Assuntos da Arte e Arquitectura (CAAA), junto ao mercado municipal. Da parte da manhã serão realizadas algumas apresentações sobre o estado da Open Data em Portugal e movimentos civicos relacionados. Convidam-se os presentes que estejam envolvidos em projectos desta natureza a preparar apresentações de 5-10 minutos para apresentação dos seus projectos.
Segue-se um almoço convivio para discutir informalmente questões relacionadas ao desenvolvimento do Open Data em Portugal.
Da parte da tarde retornam as actividades ao LCD Guimarães para sessão de desenvolvimento em conjunto (o chamado hackaton) nos diversos projectos presentes até às 18:00 da tarde. Convidam-se os presentes a conhecer melhor os diversos projectos em desenvolvimento e descobrir formas de colaboração e entre-ajuda.
Por favor divulguem a quem esteja interessado em participar no evento.
Seems us folks from the AZ Labs survived Sapo Codebits 2012. Thanks to the organizers and other participants for the good times and massive ammounts of sleep deprivation.
The talks had moderate attendance as usual, most of them are already available at sapo videos. So if you missed some, or couldn’t make it to the event, go check them out! Lots of interesting stuff being presented.
The hardware den was a big success this year, some of our members spent most of their time there, giving workshops, offering support or working on their hardware related projects. Folks seem to be getting alot more into physical computing at Codebits, this year with special focus on the RaspberryPi and Ultimaker.
We also worked on some projects for the 48 hour competition, not as successfully as last year.
Speaking on a personal level, a hard lesson learned from our No Ninjas Story Slicer project presentation was not to ever prioritize impact over communication again. Our trailer presentation video was rushed and after 40 hours from working on the projects it became hard to be objective that it wasn’t actually explaining the project properly. Which was sad considering all the work we put into developing the editor and the game. In the end just showing the website and talking through the concept of the developed editor and developed game would have worked better.
Sapo Codebits 2012 is starting tomorrow and you can expect AZ Labs presence in the talks, workshops, projects and more. We will have members attending from all our 3 labs, LCD, xDA and altLab. So if you’re attending Codebits and are interested in learning more about our medialab hackerspaces activities and projects this is a great opportunity to get in touch.
We will mostly be located on the tables around the so called hardware den, where the workshops about hardware stuff take place, so look for us there. Besides giving support to the workshops by Mitch Altman and Erik de Bruijn we will have some presence of our own:
- Belmiro will give a workshop on Android NFC connections
- Tiago will give a workshop on Kinect OSCeleton
- Guilherme and the Artica posse will talk about his robots and later also give a workshop about it
- Filipe will also give a lightening talk about open data in Portugal
- the altLab gang will give a workshop on hands on Arduino
- The other Filipe will give some workshops and talk about the internet of things
- Pedro will talk about computation
And ofcourse we’ll be working on some projects to hopefully take the 48 hour competition by storm again. See you there! If you’re not coming to Codebits don’t feel bad, you can still follow the talks through the stream videos later.
Some members of the AZ Labs community have been gathering in artistic residency in Guimarães once more, the topic for this residency is Creative Politics, meaning to come up ideas and projects connecting the citizens back with the political system. Complaining is easy, presenting solutions is harder. Citizens feel disconnected with politics and disengage themselves from these issues. We are trying to counter that with artistic or otherwise useful projects and proposals.
During the first weekend we had running at LCD a parallel event named Antropocode, part of the Atlantic Arc Summer of Labs 2012. During the weekend over a dozen artists and hackers from Portugal and Spain were gathered developing concepts and projects in a hackaton about the borderline of body and technology. Some of the projects were also related to the creative politics theme.
The hackaton is now over but the Creative Politics artistic residency continues with a dozen other folks, mostly folks from Portugal but also including some foreigners. The first days have been focused on brainstorming project ideas. You can find more information on our wiki.
Some examples of projects currently being developed:
- Reclaiming Data
Research and documentation of open data initiatives in Portugal, the end goal is to develop a viral video calling for more active participation and involvement from the citizens or a webtool to request missing data.
- Hacking Urban Resources
Research and documentation of ways to hack urban resources to improve the way of life at a local level in Guimarães, bringing back the control of the city to the citizens. A sample book on how to re-appropriate, re-use local resources and also on how to re-learn useful old skills.
- Political Manager
A web based game where you play the role of a rising politician and have to improve your skills to build your career without succumbing to the pressures of the dark side.
- Comparative News
The goal of this project is to help citizens understand the trends and tendencies in the political discourse that the media present to them everyday. The strategy is to compare different sources of information, like newspapers, radio and television using data visualization. The intuition behind this project is that comparing sources enable people to see the big picture, to identify what’s important and what’s not.
During the July project exhibit that occured at Guimarães some of us took the opportunity to also do a little get together and brainstorm some ideas for projects for upcoming events such as the Creative Politics Residency happening in October and Codebits happening in November.
Many issues were brought to the table that night thinking about why our society is in this crisis and how to fix it. Some claimed the problem lies on the elected officials, others stated the people were not interested in politics enough to cast well grounded votes, that the whole process was a propaganda façade. There is no accountability for void campaign promises. So every election boils down to another propaganda campaign and focus group promises. The truth is the majority of voters don’t have time, nor interest, to get to know what their representatives are doing while in office, nor do they know their real intentions. ARTV exists, but people don’t watch it.
One radical idea one of us had was to pass a law to make every member of parlament sing before speaking at the assembly. Singing brings joy. Soon the concept morphed into another, hack the ARTV stream and realtime songify everything that was being said, that is, making automated music out of what is being said. And yes, it’s possible. Might get a bit boring after the first few minutes though.
A few weeks later i found this app for iphone that did just that, turn realtime speech into song. It’s called Songify by Khush Inc. They also have a Rappify app which does the same but turning it into rap instead of pop. As soon as i tested the app an urge came over me to bring this idea into a concept album asap. And now that i finally found myself with a couple days of free time, here it is.
The concept slightly mutated to songify a televised talk about corruption in Portugal. To make things clear: the point is not to mock the talk about anti-corruption, but to bring more awareness to it.
Summer was getting boring so i decided to make a new album and start a new netlabel.
It’s available free for download as the first release of Audiência Zero Sound Archives, the newly formed netlabel dedicated to release audioworks related to our Audiência Zero labs network (LCD, xDA and altLab).