Bent: The Fourth Annual Circuit Bending Festival!

bent2005_296.jpg The term circuit bending refers to the inspired short-circuiting of battery-powered children’s toys to create new musical instruments, and over the last few decades a worldwide subculture has sprung up around this amazing art form. We are very excited that for the first time the Bent Festival will be crossing America in April, making stops in Los Angeles, Minneapolis and New York.

We will bring together performers, educators, and visual artists from around the world who not only push the circuit bending genre forward but also are on the cutting edge of the contemporary music and art scenes. In addition to interactive art installations and nightly concerts, adults and children alike can participate in workshops led by some of the world’s greatest circuit benders. A direct result of experimentation and play, circuit bending requires very little technical know-how to get started, giving everyone the opportunity to experience making electronic music. “In a society that is increasingly focused on sophisticated technology, it is amazingly satisfying to get the general public ripping apart circuit boards and showing them how much fun they can have with just the smallest bit of know-how”, explains festival co-curator Daniel Greenfeld. This year the festival will also focus attention on artists who create new circuits in addition to those who modify old ones. Mike Rosenthal explains, “Each year the level of skill and creativity these artists bring to the festival increases substantially. Folks who started out bending a few years ago have been honing their skills, taking their work to the next level, and increasingly creating their own instruments from scratch. That’s something we’re really looking to highlight this year.”

The Festival will start off in Los Angeles this year, move next to Minneapolis and then come home to New York City April 26-28 with three days of concerts, workshops, and art installations at Eyebeam Atelier. The Saturday morning circuit bending intro workshop is perfect for kids and adults of all ages and requires no previous knowledge. Just come with an open mind and any old toys that make sounds that you dont mind breaking! Eyebeam is an art and technology center that provides a fertile context and state-of-the art tools for digital research and experimentation and is proud to be hosting the New York Bent Festival this year..

The 2007 Bent Festival is produced by The Tank, a non-profit space for performing and visual arts in New York City with a mission to provide a welcoming, creative, collaborative, and affordable environment for artists and activists engaged in the pursuit of new ideas. The Festival is Intermedia Arts is proud to be co-presenting the Minneapolis Bent Festival”made possible in part by Make Magazine, the first publication on the subject of DIY technology projects. And by Periscope Entertainment, a Los Angeles based film and television company that prides itself on supporting independent thought and innovative creation. This event is made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.

Bent Festival New York City – April 26-28 2007 :: Presented by The Tank :: All workshops, concerts, and installations will be held at Eyebeam Atelier 540 W. 21st Street, (between 10th and 11th Avenues), NY, NY Artwork from: Matt Durant Ranjit Bhatnagar Andreas Stoiber Stephanie Rothenberg Patrick Boblin Phil Stearns Jeff Donaldson Caitlin Berrigan Joker Nies



6:00pm: Solid Logic – With Phil Stearns. $10.: This hands-on workshop will consist of a brief intro to electricity, resistance, capacitance, RC timing and basic CMOS digital ICs.


11:00am: Intro to Circuit Bending Workshop – FREE and fun for kids of all ages! Circuit bending is a do-it-yourself sound art, which allows one to discover new hidden organic sounds in battery-powered electronic toys recycled from thrift stores and garage sales. In the Introduction to Circuit Bending Workshop participants will learn the fundamentals of circuit bending and have the opportunity to take a hands-on approach to modifying their own electronic devices. Participants are encouraged to bring their own devices for bending; this would include any battery-operated children’s toys that make sounds (keyboards, speak and spells, etc). Participants are also encouraged to bring extra batteries to use on their machines.

12:00pm: Usernomics 1.0 with Stephanie Rothenberg. $10. 2 hours The School of Perpetual Training presents “Usernomics 1.0”. Participants will learn how to interface hacked USB keyboards with Macromedia Flash and other interactive computer programs to explore alternative ways of interacting with the computer. In the first hour participants will disassemble USB keyboards and experiment with various materials and soldering techniques to create unique and unusual external interfaces. The external interfaces will be used to control the movements of an onscreen avatar. In the second hour, participants use their newly created devices in a competition to control an online “worker”. Participants are encouraged to bring their own computer and random electronics junk.

2:00pm: Introduction into The Giant Chaotic Circuit Bending Merzbau Jungle, with Andreas Stoiber. Andreas is an artist in residence for the Bent Festival and will be creating a rhizomatic structure of interactions between musical instruments and other devices. For this workshop, the audience is encouraged to plug their own instruments somewhere into the wires and learn how his installation works and how it can be engaged with. All are welcome! Bring your bent toys!

2:00pm: MintyBoost with Limor Fried. $20. 90 minutes: Participants will make the MintyBoost USB charger (for iPods, mp3 players, cell phones, etc.). Will cover basic soldering skills.

2:00pm: From Circuit Bending to Circuit Design — Intro to the Dark Arts of The Man: Circuitbending has long taken a subversive role in the world of electronics by using consumer products as a starting media. While this approach has much in the way of ideological validity, many circuitbenders find they want to learn more about how the circuits they are bending actually work. This workshop functions as a crash course in the tools, methods and theories that are actually used to design circuits from the ground up. With Todd Bailey.

4:00pm: Scavenged Analog Video Games with Ed Bear and Lea Bertucci

4:00pm: Alternative Power Sources for Bent Creations with Mouna Andraos: During this workshop, participants will be provided with an introduction to basic physical computing and make a flashlight powered by shaking motion. Participants are encouraged to bring their battery powered ‘bent creations with them, as they will learn how to power various creations using this form of energy.

4:00pm: Arc Anomino and the sono-reductronic

Evening: Jamie O’Shea: 10 min demonstrations from his famous machine research centering on the creation of a human-sized chamber with giant suspended antenna whose function will be to make its occupant famous


Thursday 4/26 (Doors @ 7:30pm) Friday April 27 (Doors @ 7:30pm) Saturday April 28 (Doors @ 7:30pm) Buy Tix Now Buy Tix Now Buy Tix Now Andrew Hlynsky and EncantithegovernmentMario de Vega Sebastian Boazarc.OzzzDie Fuchteln Pixel FormGmackrrMr. Resistor Gunung SariLorin Edwin ParkerLoud Objects Jamie AllenBeatrix*JarAndreas Stoiber Jeff DonaldsonCarlos Antenna MudboyDr. Rek PatterndiverBurnkit2600 Peter EdwardsAlias Pail.

Apr 18, 2007
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