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[Nettime-nl] dorkbotrotterdam || recensie
Peter Luining on Mon, 13 Oct 2003 19:40:30 +0200 (CEST)


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[Nettime-nl] dorkbotrotterdam || recensie


Hierbij een recensie over de eerste dorkbot die gisteren (12 okt) werd
gehouden in Rotterdam. Hij is geschreven in het Engels voor
http://netartreview.net. Omdat het hier om een toch niet geheel
onbelangrijke gebeurtenis in Nederland gaat post ik 'm bij deze naar
de lijst. 

Peter


More than interesting was yesterdays start of dorkbotrotterdam with
lectures by Esther Polak, Saul Albert and the world premiere of Alexei
Shulgin's latest work WIMP. But before I start with the review of the
presentations let me explain the dorkbot definition and concept. While
the central dorkbot (dorkbot.org) site just talks of "people doing
strange things with electricity", the word dorkbot is put together out
of the words dork, which is slang for sort of clumsy but brilliant
nerd, and bot, which refers to robot, combine these 2 words and you
have something like a brilliant automated human or maybe a brilliant
human automated. The concept of dorkbot is somehow related to the
above interpretation of the word. In the most literally sense of the
word Dorkbots (this is how dorkbot meetings are called) are gatherings
of nerds that present geeky electronic of related projects, but of
course this has to be seen in the widest sense, so on dorkbots you can
find software engineers that develop useless but funny programs to
artists that make robots dream. And that it is not at all nonsense
what they do is shown by fact that most people that do presentations
and visit the meetings know exactly what they're up to. To name but a
few "famous" dorkbotters Adrian Ward, Kate Rich and Bureau of Inverse
Technology.

Like the concept of "exploding cinema" everybody with a space can
start dorkbots, and as people and every location in the world has it's
own habits, dorkbot meetings differ per location, but what all
dorkbots seem to have in common is the same relaxed and informal
atmosphere. 

Okay, now to Dorkbot Rotterdam that was held in the space of
Uberground, a large luxury private apartment in the heart of
Rotterdam's high architecture area.

The afternoon began with Esther Polak who did some very detailed
presentations of some of her projects which all had to do with a sort
of social mediated experiencing. One of her projects "Amsterdam
Realtime" can be best described as a sort of psychogeographic project
with high tech means (gps devices) in which some inhabitants of
Amsterdam where given gps devices which in turn where used to draw a
new map of Amsterdam in realtime. But whereas the inventors of
psychogeography (the situationists) used it to understand/ get more
control of their personal everyday life, Polak uses the movement and
the traces of several participants to draw a map that results in an
aesthetic product. 

After this Saul Albert, one of the co-organizers of dorkbotlondon,
took over. He explained in a rapid tempo what dorkbotlondon does and
lead all vistors in high speed through a load of projects that in most
cases had to do with the living situation of people housed in the flat
where he lives or with the space dorkbotlondon is housed. Projects
presentated ranged from setting up a very local tv network using old
the cable network in his flat to dodecalectic badminton a game that
was developed in one of the spaces of the dorkbotlondon building and
is in fact a badminton game for 7 players.

The last but not the least interesting was the presentation of Alexei
Shulgin  who did tell an indepth story of his DX386 concept. He
explained about his preference to make a computer something more as
the dead thing it is nowadays used for, pointing to the utopian/
dystopian ideas people had about them in the past. As an example of
this he came up with the use of a computer that penetrates everyday
life and told about a project he did in the streets of Helsinki with a
PC as streetsinger. It even worked up till the degree that people
passing by where throwing money in the tray next to the computer.
After that we saw the world premiere of his latest work called WIMP.
Which is a sort of VJ tool that enables it's user to put VJ effects on
the standard elements of the Windows GUI, as for example shake or 3
dimensionally rotate windows. As in all works of Shulgin this work has
also a certain amount of irony using just the standard windows
elements makes it on one side a sort commercial Bill Gates would be
proud of, but on the other side the name WIMP (slang for dumbo) is
probably well chosen. A (still) free version of WIMP (beta) can be
downloaded at: http://www.wimp.ru.


Peter Luining
for netartreview 2003



urls:
- dorkbotcentral: http://www.dorkbot.org
- dorkbotrotterdam: http://www.dorkbot.org/rotterdam
- dorkbotlondon: http://www.dorkbot.org/london

- Esther Polak "Amsterdam Realtime": http://www.waag.org/realtime
situationists: http://www.nothingness.org/SI
psychogeography definitions:
http://www.monoculartimes.co.uk/city-tours/psychogeography/index.shtml

- Saul Albert: http://twenteenthcentury.com/cv.php?mem_id=1

- Alexei Shulgin http://www.easylife.org/
386DX: http://www.easylife.org/386dx/

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