Did you notice all the making going on at yesterday’s busy Car Free Events around the city? There were plenty of opportunities for kids to try their hands, as well as makers demonstrating their crafts right before our eyes. Here’s what I spotted:
Felt ball making outside our sponsor Plush on Main
Button making outside Regional Assembly of Text
Jesse Toso chainsaw carving
If you missed out, make sure you get along to Mini Maker Faire this weekend to see more making than you’ve ever dreamt of!
Under Sunday’s cloudy sky with patches of sun, Vancouverites came out in droves to Main St. Car Free Day. There were a ton of things to see and try — and a zillion more to taste and buy — it was a veritable feast for the senses! I could hardly restrain myself.
Car Free Day is a fantastic time to get out and interact with the community, so of course, our Vancouver Mini Maker Faire (VMMF) volunteers were there with bells on.
Here’s the highlights:
Holding down the fort at the Maker Faire booth: Michel Kakulphimp, volunteer and UVic electrical engineering student, and Liisa Hanus, VMMF Volunteer Coordinator, keep it friendly and informative.
Nate and Yum Yum from Daily Eggs (an urban chicken-coop-building company) strike it for the camera like professionals while educating the public.
Tien Wee, from Lucky Monkey Home, poses with his beautiful display of stunning jewelry and homemade, all-natural soy candles and mists. Mmmmm!
Mike Zeits and Ryan Paton show off another colourful tall bike to promote the Faire.
Yay! Robot heads!
Sophie Wyser at her lovely little Random Revival booth — making small spaces look pretty and inviting.
Lady Taiko drummers = Awesome.
And here’s what I took home: A totally awesome pair of teensy wood panel prints featuring Richie and Margot Tenenbaum, made with love by Kris G. Brownlee of A Cagey Bee (you can see them at the bottom left).
Best wishes for a Car Free Vancouver!
The Young Makers Club at the Museum of Vancouver will be postponed till Fall 2012. Come to Vancouver Mini Maker Faire on June 23 & 24 at the PNE to see some of our current Young Makers. There will also be a sign-up sheet to keep you informed about future Young Makers programs at the Museum of Vancouver.
We are excited about the future possibilities of this youth program and will need your support. If you are inspired to start your own Young Makers Club in your garage, backyard, workshop, or community centre you can find more information at www.youngmakers.org.
Check out what some other communities are doing with their Young Makers Clubs!
Three makers from the community are here to share their joy of making with a group of young people this Saturday at the Museum of Vancouver. Each of the three groups will make a collaborative project to be exhibited at this year’s Vancouver Mini Maker Faire.
The event is scheduled to happen on Saturday, June 16th from 10 am to 4 pm at the Museum of Vancouver. Interested in participating? Register now, through Eventbrite. See below for details about our Makers turned mentors and their three amazing workshops.
Kim’s team will work together to create the biggest, most hideous, ugliest doll yet to be birthed at a Mighty Ugly workshop. Participants will utilize a wide variety of materials, from cloth and chicken wire, to cardboard and yarn, and use their collective definition of ugly to create something truly unique to disgust the crowds at Vancouver Mini Maker Faire 2012, and to spark a conversation about what’s good-looking and what’s a failure, and about how these definitions affect our approach to being creative.
Kim Werker runs a project called Mighty Ugly, exploring what failure is when it comes to creativity and challenging people to embrace that idea of failure so it doesn’t get in the way anymore. And there’s ugly crafts involved. Kim is an editor, blogger, and author of six crochet books who lives in Vancouver with one adult, one toddler and a mutt.
Workshop Two: Make your own Infrared LED Pen to control Virtual Graffiti with Graffiti Research Lab Canada
Graffiti Research Lab Canada is part of the international federation of GRL’s. Their mission is “to outfit graffiti writers, street artists, and political activists with open source technologies for urban communication.”
Come learn the basics of physical hacking, basic electronics, and creative code to make digital graffiti. They will be modifying an empty spray paint can into an infrared pen, creating and soldering a simple circuit, and will learn to program a simple drawing program that people can control with spray cans.
GRL is an agent for technology enabling, media democratization, and cultural bridging opportunities. Working within a milieu of educators, programmers, hacktavists, audio-visualists, and critical theorists, GRL focuses on the thresholds of street culture and is an active participant in the micro-struggles taking place within media ecologies. GRL is situated within the fields of tactical media, art terrorism, public intervention, Digital/DIY culture, and protest art.
Jesse Scott creates and exhibits work in the genre formerly known as new media. Under various aliases and operating within several artist collectives, he produces work for live performance, for site-specific actions, for listening, for viewing, for reading… his work has spanned the domains of a/v performance, locative media, telematics, improvisational practice, urban projection, installation design, public workshops, and the written word.
Linzee is pairing up with Public Dreams to host an amazing lantern making workshop. Inspired by the MOV’s Neon Ugly exhibit, her team will make paper and PVC lanterns lit with LED lights – re-creating new interpretations of Vancouver historic street signs. These lanterns will then go on to wow the crowds not only at Vancouver Mini Maker Faire, but also at this year’s Illuminares Lantern Festival hosted by Public Dreams July 30 @ Trout Lake.
The Bright Red Crayon is a DIY kids art collective that aims to explore playful & creative interactions between children, local artists and their communities. We encourage kids to explore, invent, try, fail, re-use, share and celebrate their unique ideas, no matter how zany!
They offer community based event services, interdisciplinary workshops and are currently working on educational kits for The Bright Red Crayon’s Young Makers program in association with Vancouver Mini Maker Faire.
Linzee Kesler (aka Zee) is a Community Artist & Organizer working out the Dunbar/Point Grey/Mt Pleasant Neighbourhoods. Her personal practice is multidisciplinary, utilizing video, soundscapes, collage & site-specific installations to explore ideas of interconnectivity as well as personal and public space. She draws endless inspiration from her work with young children and loves the idea of art in unexpected places.
Linzee is involved with Vancouver’s Public Dreams Society, as well as the Gropps Gallery Collective. She is a certified Laughter Yoga Instructor, teaches Kids Yoga & in her spare time she enjoys playing the ukelele (and kazoo) loudly (and proudly!)
Carlos Castellanos and Steven J Barnes will be showing their project Biopoiesis at this year’s VMMF. They are members of Dprime Research and Carlos is a graduate student at SFU’s School of Interactive Art and Technology. You can see Biopoiesis at the SFU booth, or check it out June 5-10 during an interactive exhibition at Gallery Gachet.
Biopoiesis is an electrical device that grows its own wires. Before I saw it in the gallery I didn’t even know that was possible. Can you tell us more about how it works and where the idea came from?
The project is based on cyberneticist Gordon Pask’s work in the 1950s on electrochemical computational devices [in electrochemical solutions electricity causes a chemical reaction]. In Biopoesis, the solution is held between two plates of glass with wires running into it. When we send electricity into it, the solution grows its own wires, or “threads” as we often call them.
The threads are made of conductive crystal structures and they grow unpredictably, but we can make them react to their surroundings by hooking the wires up to a sensor, like a microphone. So in Biopoiesis, the threads are capturing information about their environment in the way they grow. We’re also recording the growth of the threads with a video camera and using that to alter the electricity going into the solution. This is a classic cybernetic feedback loop, the threads grow based on electricity in the wires, and the electricity in the wires is altered based on how the threads grow.
The project is part of an exhibition called Proof-of-Process where visitors can interact with and change the work on display. What led you to organize a show like that?
Much of interactive or new media art is what they call “process-based”; the work is often characterized by continuous prototyping and testing. Typically the artist creates several pieces that explore a central concept, and then displays them in an exhibit.
We wanted to open that process up. Basically reversing the standard gallery exhibit, where you see the finished product but not all of the work that went into it. This is pretty common in the art world these days, and this is just our particular take on it. When we started DPrime Research we wanted to try and make interesting/weird art-science projects but also bring them and the ideas surrounding them “down to earth”. So there is this tension between our complicated ideas and theories and this sort of community-based, open-sourcing of the work, where people can come and change the art without knowing all the theory behind it. I think having that unresolved tension can be good.
I’ve often heard members of local makerspaces talk about how diverse the maker community is, and the School of Interactive Arts and Technology is an interdisciplinary department. Has working with people from different backgrounds had an impact on your art?
I think it has but probably not in the way I may have imagined. I should say that my background is originally in music, I never really wanted to be an “artist” in the stereotypical sense. And I have always been interested in technology. Being at SIAT is probably what got me interested in alternative modes of computation like Biopoiesis. It’s like I said to myself, “everyone else is coding all the time, let me try and NOT do that”.
What’s your favorite part of the project so far?
It’s open-endedness. All of the projects in Proof-of-Process can be configured in so many different ways. We are really looking forward to others coming in with their ideas. I’m sure they will come up with things we never would have thought of.
Interview by Emily Smith Featuring Aja from The Textile Group
This Saturday, August 6th at Noon, meet at Thornton Park (at Main and Terminal) to participate in the first ever Craft Pride Procession. The event is put on by a group of textile artists – known as the Textile Group, who were inspired to show their crafting pride – and invite anyone to participate in this event!
See the route:
1. What exactly is a “Craft Pride Procession” – and how did you come up with the idea?
Image: via Lacey Jane Roberts
I don’t think we will know what a Craft Pride Procession is until it happens. To my knowledge, this is the first! The inspiration came from a piece of writing by artist Lacey Jane Roberts that was presented at the Neo-Craft Conference in Nova Scotia and is also featured in a new book titled “Extra/ordinary; Craft and Contemporary Art”. Her ideas suggest that Craft – as a creative process and as a diverse myriad of makers – could learn a thing or two from tactics utilized in Queer theory to “acknowledge stereotypes, flip them and then subvert them to form new models of identity.” Craft as a term is defined in so many disparate ways, some of them informed solely by negative misperceptions. This procession is our way of creating agency, our own representation and celebration of our selves, our practices and diverse communities, while paying homage to the influence of Queer culture, esp. Pride Parades.
2. What would you recommend people bring to the event? Should we bring projects that we’re working on, or costumes that we’ve made? Can you give me some examples of what you have in mind for the event?
We have a list of ideas started, but we hope it’s only the beginning of what is possible. Anything you can carry, wheel or wear in parade is acceptable. If you think it’s crafty, it is! Here’s our list so far:
Giant ball of yarn, Shrine, Works in progress, Sock on a pole, Decorate your bicycle, Hair wrap, Zipper covers, Headbands, Mascots, Decorated dolly/float, fort, Fabric ribbons/streamers, Banners, Flags, Bunting, Maypole, Costumes, Crocheted shorts, Wrapping Cars in textiles, Handmade instruments, Quilts on a dowel, Weavings, Yarn garlands, Chalk/pigment, Tape, Prayer Flags, Conkers, Craft beer, Witchcraft, Non-conventional material.
image: via Lacey Jane Roberts
3. What’s your overall goal or mission in putting together this event?
To have fun! To create an exciting, inspiring event that shows the unconstrained energy of this elusive and extensive creative practice! To celebrate the ways in which we connect and the ways in which we differ from one another! To share our labours of love and brighten up the place with our endless creativity!
4. Will there be music or singing? Should I bring my boombox/stereo/piccolo?
image: via mrmarkrobson
We would love to have sounds! All kinds are welcome. What’s a parade without music? Maybe we will come up with a chant… I was thinking, “Make Lovecraft, Not Warcraft”.
5. Can you tell me a bit about your experience in the arts as well as crafting circles in Vancouver? How would say a crafting group differs from an arts group – and what’s your vision in overlapping the arts with crafts?
I live with a foot in both worlds and I no longer try to cut myself in half in order to choose which is which. I identify as an artist and I use some materials traditionally deemed craft. I know that those lines are not always clear and it suits me. I am more interested in challenging definitions than creating them. In doing all this, my hope is that people will become more free to make the kind of art/craft/work they feel called to, without concern of being marginalized by people/groups/institutions with limiting ideas.