Culture Stew 2020

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Culture Stew 2020

Hack culture Taiwan + Finland Workshop, VOL2

At Taiwan Technology and Arts Center (AND) & Kårkulla Kemiö, by Dimension Plus Inc & Tuomo Tammenpää for AND & Pixelache Festival in August 2020

The first Culture Stew workshop took place in Taipei in September 2019 over three days. The next iteration of it was planned to be had in Finland in 2020 in collaboration with Pixelache & Norpas festivals. COVID-19 altered the plans to convert the 2020 gathering in Finland to two local gatherings, one in Taipei, Taiwan, one in Kemiö, Finland, and connect the smaller gatherings with online conferencing tools.

This connected “tandem-workshop” took take place on August 5th and 6th, 2020, and gathered about 30 participants in Taipei and a dozen in Kemiö. The workshop started with a presentation of Taiwan and its culture, aimed at the audience in Finland. In the nature of the “stew” in the Culture Stew workshops, we started the slow boil of Taiwanese tea eggs from the herbs received from Taiwan. 

The “Healing Shapes” workshop segment explored the culture of home remedies between Finnish and Taiwanese participants, especially the knowledge that can be preserved in sensational objects, such as Moxa, or body movement – such as back scratch & “vihtominen” in the sauna. In the hands-on part of the segment, we brewed Mogwort tea and kneaded the dough for Mogwort-bean dumplings, and cooked them for a lunch snack. 

The “Bitter is Better” workshop segment was about the exploration of the sensation of bitterness, its defensive properties, and how differently we perceive the bitter taste. For sharing our experiences over the video call, we had received a collection of herbs from Taiwan and brewed together with the same selection of herbal infusions, tasted and scaled them, and shared our expressions of faces sipping the various degrees of happiness for much of mixed enjoyment and repulsion. The mandarin saying of “Sweetness comes after bitterness” worked as a metaphor of hope in the midst of a global pandemic that separated us.

The workshop concluded with the communal consumption of the slow-boiled tea eggs to be followed with more improvised cookings, a sauna session, and a follow-up video call the next morning with a presentation of Finnish culture to the Taiwanese audience.

Workshop hosts

  • Keting Chen
  • Sari Kippilä
  • I-Chern Lai
  • Afra Lin
  • Tuomo Tammenpää


  • Ministry of Culture, Taiwan
  • Pixelache Festival


  • Norpas Festival
  • Steve Maher, video streaming
  • Sara Ilveskorpi, pop-up salve-session

Photo Credits

  • Vincent Sang
  • Fat Chou
  • Brian Chen
  • Inchy Chen
  • Tuomo Tammenpää


Culture Stew 2019

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Culture Stew 2019

Hack culture Finland + Taiwan Workshop, VOL1

  • At: Digital Art Center, Taipei, Taiwan
  • By: Tuomo Tammenpää
  • For: Dimension Plus & A.N.D.
  • In: October 2019

Cultural mash-up

Finland and Taiwan, countries and cultures 8000 km apart. One with climate in the border of the arctic, the other close the tropics. Finland, big land – few people, Taiwan small island – a lot of people. Finland bordering Big Russia, Taiwan, Big China. Potatoes, bread, and coffee versus rice, tofu, and tea. Heavy metal meets mandopop. Finns “chill” in the sauna, Taiwanese in the hot springs. Many differences – some similarities.

Great! Let’s smash them together!

Hacks, tracks, and recipes

Knowledge emerges and gets transferred in cultural encounters. The Culture Stew is a three-day workshop of learning, mixing, hacking and simmering pieces of Finnish and Taiwanese cultures. The stew is the umbrella concept – it gives us time for our ideas to mature in a slow boil. The Stew also introduces a pair of kitchen appliances well-known in their respective countries. This gives us a bit of technology to play with and hack around alternative energy sources. With tracks, we remix Finnish and Taiwanese sounds. What will it be, Enka tango or Hokkien heavy metal. We shall see. Recipes are the documentation tool. Whether it’s about food, DIY hacking tips, or musical structure, they are all recipes that store the knowledge to be passed on and remixed later

The rice cooker & the porridge warmer

The iconic Tatung rice cooker has eased the Taiwanese families in their kitchen for decades: Scoop in rice and water, flip the cooker on and forget it. Water was brought to boil and then automatically simmered ready. Easy for the busy household. Later various dishes were created for the same device, introducing stackable pots over the cooker enabling different dishes to be prepared at the same time. The Tatung cooker can be still found in most homes, traveling even overseas with the exchange students and workers. With tens of millions of units sold, TV shopping played a major role in Tatung cookers success.

In Finland in the late 1990s new device was introduced to families to ease their cooking. “Aromipesä” ( Finnish for “Aroma Nest”) ads were running on TV-shopping channels. The product was a simple polypropylene container that could fit most of the standard cooking pot sizes. Its insulation properties were excellent and the promise was to both save energy and time by just bringing your food to boil and leave it in the container for maturing without extra energy needed, and keeping it warm several hours, enabling the busy family to prepare their morning porridges in the evening before or keeping food warm for the kids returning from school while the parents were still at work.



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Playaround 2018 workshop on Post-Science-Fiction

  • At: C-LAB, Taipei, Taiwan
  • By: Tuomo Tammenpää
  • For: Dimension Plus & A.N.D.
  • In: October 2018

How to send messages to the future? What messages should or should not be sent? Is someone trying to send us messages from the past but we are not listening? Some attempts have been made to send warning messages of our nuclear waste 100.000 years to the future but the task seem to be impossible. In this workshop, we take more playful approach and try to map various scenarios for knowledge transfer over different timespans, from 10 seconds to thousands of years – distilled bits of our culture, maybe poems, maybe self-executable code, maybe recipies of our food, maybe rules of our games.

Michael Madsens documentary “Into Eternity”(2010) addresses the challenges of marking a nuclear waste repository hidden 500 meters under Finnish bedrock as dangerous for next 100.000 years. Same “nuclear semiotics” challenge was originally addressed on 10.000 year timescale with Human Interference Task Force on Yucca Mountain repository project in 1980’s. How do you send a simple message of: “Danger – keep away’ that far ahead in the future when the recipients likely represent completely different cultures, languages with unkown sets of symbols? This challenge has inspired artists, semioticians and physicists to come up with several solutions from inpassable landscape art to the incredible raycat solution.

Timecapsules was a workshop commision by Dimension Plus Taipei for Playaround2018 workshop in Taipei, October 2018 at C-LAB

Playaround 2018

Year 2018 marks the tenth anniversary of Playaround Workshop (PA). Launched in 2008 in the spirit of Floss Art for freedom, openness and sharing, PA has held various technology art and experimentational cross-field creative workshops in Taiwan. The workshops covered many themes and were conducted by lecturers, teaching assistants and saw huge turnout of participants, inspiring many aspiring young creators. Ten years later today, the alumni PA have made it in their respective fields. In keeping with PA’s core values, the ten year anniversary this year will also share more creative knowledge and experience and explore the possibility of pioneering experimental PA.

The theme of the 2018 PA is post science fiction. People now live in a world where the lines are blurred between science fiction and fantasies, science and construction,and art and consumption. Some things that used to be science fiction has the reality, while others are still wishful dreams. There is the fear and joy of what robotic and AI development could bring; Bitcoin’s instant-millionaire mindset; blockchain’s decentralization; big data as a double-edged sword in forgoing privacy and convenience; VR and AR being more attractive than the reality; genetic editing playing games with the forces of nature; mass customisation being more popular with the consumers; and technology art and new creative media art being squeezed into tiny hidden cameras. With all that going on in the post science fiction world, what else is left in our thinking, creating, retaliating, and preserving the past? Are humans really incapable of conquering the unknown from where they stand?

The 2018 Playaround Workshop consists of a series of events, including six inspiring short talks, eight workshops and Do-It-With-Others activities, a “Technology Art Experiment Innovation and Guidance Program” team sharing event, an experimental sound performance and a party to celebrate the tenth anniversary.

Information Physicalisation

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Information Physicalisation

Dancing Data

  • At: Taoyuan Art x Technology festival, Taiwan
  • By: Tuomo Tammenpää
  • For: Dimension Plus
  • In: October 2017

Information visualisation is a method for understanding abstract data using graphical representation. Most often this is done via printed graphs and charts or as animations on a computer screen. With some creative use of microcontrollers, servomotors and other actuators, we can make physical and kinetic represntations of chosen data. Maybe even understand the changes over time in the data better. In Dancing Data -workshop, we will do few experiments with sensor data translated to motion and make a kinetic sculpture that will perform information physicalisation for us.

Bucket-VR workshop

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Bucket-VR workshop

DIY VR headset in a bucket.

  • At: Gallery Sculptor, Helsinki
  • By: Tuomo Tammenpää /
  • For: KRUKS / Gallery Sculptor
  • In: May 2018

Tule tekemään oma virtuaalitodellisuus-katselulaite muoviämpäristä, pahvista, ja muovilinsseistä. Tutustumme samalla miten illuusio virtuaalitodellisuudesta syntyy teknologian avulla ja työnnämme päät ämpäreihin. VR-lasit saattavat näyttää monimutkaisilta, mutta periaatteeltaan eroavat yllättävän vähän ikivanhoista stereokuvien katselulaitteista – pari linssiä ja kuvapari. Kuvan on korvannut älypuhelin liikesensoreineen ja VR-sisältöjäkin voi hyvin tehdä itse. Ota uusi teknologia haltuun, älä anna sen ohjailla sinua! Työpaja on osa Mediataideryhmä Kruks:in “Haltuunotto” -näyttelyä. Työpajassa käytetään saksia ja askarteluveistä ja kuumaliimaa, nuoremmat lapset vanhempien avustuksella. Puhelimen tulee soveltua VR-katseluun. Voit kokeilla tämän hakemalle Youtubesta “360-video” -hakusanalla videoita ja jos voit puhelinta kallistelemalla katsella “ympärillesi” videossa, puhelin soveltuu VR-katseluun.

Alt.Ctrl workshop

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Alt.Ctrl workshop

Experimental Game Interfaces Workshop

  • At: Universty of Lapland
  • By: Tuomo Tammenpää & Daniel Blackburn
  • For: University of Lapland
  • In: May 2018

Game controllers for digital games have been reduced down to ergonomic but very limited devices in capturing various human gestures let alone recognising object-based tangible interaction methods. Let’s get back to the early years of curious contraptions and precarious prototypes on human-computer interaction, with the latest software and hardware tools for holistic DIY interaction design.

Emphasis of the workshop is on the experimental physical controllers, how to use various sensors for gesture and object detection, how to process the input data and send it to computer and most importantly, how these unconventional interaction paradigms change game design process. The methodology follows learning-by-doing and co-learning practicies. We split in teams with minimum three participants in each and try to scatter existing skills in different teams. Existing working groups with game design ideas can be taking in to account.

The control prototypes will be platform agnostic – it will be up to participants on what platform they choose to use their new controllers on. This workshop does not teach how to develop games on platforms like Unity3D or Unreal Engine 4. However, we will provide one sandbox scene for both platforms ready to capture the controller data and guide game design process in general.

The learning outcomes of the workshop gives the participants required skills and knowledge for game design with self-made experimental game controllers, building prototypes of these controllers, programming the middleware with Arduino-based microcontrollers and formatting the data suitable for serial input on PC game engines.

Prototyping workshop

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Prototyping workshop

Discovering Technology Treasures program

  • At: Taipei, Taiwan
  • By: Dimension Plus
  • For: Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI)
  • In: April 2017

PROtotyping Workshop is a value-adding design project on technological exhibit installation, belonging to Industrial Technology Research Institute’s 2017 Discovering Technology Treasures program. Gathering professional makers from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Finland, the PROtotyping Workshop utilizes select technologies developed by ITRI to create prototypes. The pieces will be exhibited in Taipei Int’l Invention Show & Technomart. The workshop aims to illustrate the application of innovative technologies by exhibiting new experience designs. The goal is to facilitate application and exchange from industries across different fields, and consequently drive the growth of R&D of future technological projects.

WIW#1 : Pulse sensor – Teensy – Vizor

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This is the first workshop in series “Wow – it works!?”. The idea of the series is to explore technology and our relationship with it by hacking something (somewhat) functional together, using inexpensive and accessible materials. Besides common sense and natural curiosity, no special skills should be required. Let’s see how it works. This page is a collection of resources for the workshop participants, not a guide documentation as such.


Wiw! I can hear and see my heart beat in virtual reality!

Let’s connect a hear beat sensor to small microcontroller, make it to act like a keyboard and send signals to virtual reality software, that pumps a 3D heart on a cheap cardboard VR goggles – shall we.



• Pulse sensor
• Breadboard
• Teensy 3.2 microcontroller
• Usb OTG cable
• Android smartphone
• Vizor – online VR authoring tool
• Cheap VR goggles


Disclaimer: I’ve done this without blowing up any parts or doing any damage to the phone. However, while it’s very unlikely to harm yourself doing this experiment, it’s quite possible to fry all the electronics used here, by wiring them incorrectly, including the most valuable part, your phone. Pay attention on the instructions and proceed with your own risk.


How to hack it together

  1. Plug the Teensy on the breadboard.
  2. Learn how to upload patches (code) on it
  3. Check out Teensy pin-out and learn where are pins: A0, GND and 3.3V out
  4. Wire the pulse sensor on the breadboard based on this info
  5. Upload this code on Teensy (reading heart beats and blinking a LED)
  6. Add few lines of code (making Teensy act like a keyboard and send keypress “g” on every heart beat). See below.
  7. Open this patch on Vizor on Chrome browser on your Android phone and put it on VR mode
  8. Put your phone on your VR goggles and plug the teensy on the phone using micro USB and USB OTG adapter
  9. Clip the sensor on your ear, put the goggles and headphones on and see&hear the 3D heart beat on your pulse
//  Where the Magic Happens
void loop(){
    serialOutput() ;       
  if (QS == true){                        // A Heartbeat Was Found
                                          // BPM and IBI have been Determined
                                          // Quantified Self "QS" true when arduino finds a heartbeat;            // Send key-press "g"
        digitalWrite(blinkPin,HIGH);      // Blink LED, we got a beat. 
        fadeRate = 255;                   // Makes the LED Fade Effect Happen
                                          // Set 'fadeRate' Variable to 255 to fade LED with pulse
        //serialOutputWhenBeatHappens();  // A Beat Happened, Output that to serial, disabled     
        QS = false;                       // reset the Quantified Self flag for next time 
        delay(20);                        // Small delay
        Keyboard.release(KEY_B);          // Send key-release "g"
  ledFadeToBeat();                      // Makes the LED Fade Effect Happen 
  delay(20);                             //  take a break

Lemonster workshop

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Lemonster workshop

Electrolysis and sound synthesis

  • At: National Taiwan Science Education Center, Taipei
  • By: Tuomo Tammenpää
  • For: Dimension Plus, Taiwan / ITRI-Taiwan
  • Participants: 10 (school kids )
  • Duration: 4h

Lemonster workshop is a half-day science workshop on electrolysis and sound synthesis for school kids. See Lemonster page for more info.

Lemonster was developed for Prototyping Factory workshops in Taiwan National Science Education Center, hosted by Dimension+ in Taipei, Taiwan October 2015.

PIKSEL11, Bergen

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(report originally for Pixelache)

The 9th edition of the Piksel Festival took place on November 17th-20th 2011 in Bergen, Norway. The festival was subtitled this year as “re:public” for rethinking and redefining public space, both as a concrete physical space, and in a larger social and political context. As previously, through the nine-year history of the festival, Piksel is firmly grounded on free/libre and open source.

Read More

M.A.R.I.N. Sensing the Baltic Sea -residency

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Sensing the Baltic Sea is the first part of the Camp M.A.R.I.N 2011 residencies starting on Kemiö island, continuing on two small islands in Naantali & Åvensor archipelago in Finland, and returning via Kemiö to finish with a workshop in Tallinn, Estonia.

The theme, Sensing the Baltic Sea refers on the one hand to how we perceive it via history, romantic or leisurely perception of the Sea and how this can be juxtaposed via looking below the surface, to understand the sea as an ecosystem. How can environmental sensors produce, besides a sea of information, potentially relevant research or experiences that may alter one’s perception of the marine environment? How can common sense be sensitized to alter practices that have environmental impacts? How can the biological and wider ecological state of the Baltic Sea be observed subjectively and technologically, and mediated through visualization, sonification, narratives, or simply, via different tactics.

Sensor Semaphore

Besides hosting the first week in Kemiö, I explored an idea of wireless sensor data “physicalisation”. My floating proto-buoy was solar charged, ArduinoFio and transmitted three temperatures, air, surface water and 1m deep water temperatures via Xbee to on-shore receiver and data visualisation unit, the semaphore.

M.A.R.I.N. Concept

M.A.R.I.N. – Media Art Research Interdisciplinary Network – is an initiative integrating artistic and scientific practices in researching cultural and environmental ecosystems.

For the first three years M.A.R.I.N.’s operational focus is a mobile residency and workshop program looking at marine environments, sustainable mobility, and various methods & technologies for field work.

In 2009 we realized a 3-month residency and workshop programme at the Irish Sea, working in particular around Belfast, the Cumbrian coast and Liverpool. Operations were carried out from a 12-meter catamaran sail boat and working with partners in harbour cities. We used environmental sensors and existing data sets, integrating them with artistic projects.

Participants were Andreas Siagian (HONF, IN), Nigel Helyer, Daniel Woo, Michael Lake (Audio Nomad, AU), Tapio Mäkelä (FI) with the main focus on research project Ecolocated – Littoral Lives.

In 2010 a Hacklab at the Sea took place in the Baltic Sea Finnish archipelago. Mostly working with Arduinos and Xbee networks we experimented with field work doing sensing and operating with solar power. Participants were Marije Baalman (NL), Tuomo Tammenpää (FI), Dave Griffiths (UK/FI), Jim Bollansee (BE) and Tapio Mäkelä (FI).

In March 2011 M.A.R.I.N. hosts an advanced workshop on environmental sensors and sensor networks at the Pixelache Festival on Suomenlinna island, Helsinki, hosted by Marije Baalman, Tuomo Tammenpää, Mikko Sivuoja and Tapio Mäkelä. In June, a one-month residency “Sensing the Baltic Sea” is organized at on three different islands in Finnish archipelago ending with a workshop in Tallinn, Estonia. In August another set of participants will join a residency on Cartography and Everyday at the Sea that starts in Stavanger, Norway, continues to Öland in Sweden and finishes on a Baltic peninsula in Lithuania. In November a writing workshop is organized in Riga. Main partners are Pixelache, Plektrum, i/o Lab, Kultivator, Artist Colony Nida and Rix-C.

The initial idea for the project grew out of experiences of Polar Circuit workshops in the Finnish Lapland (1997-2000), Solar Circuit residency in Australia (2002) and an idea to research the Baltic Sea using islands as field camp sites. These initiatives have been moderated by Finnish media artist Tapio Mäkelä. Marko Peljhan, with a long history in Makrolab projects joined Tapio to draft the initial M.A.R.I.N. concept. Marko had wanted to equip a boat using sustainable technologies.

While Marin association is still looking into options of building or modifying a boat as a research and residency hub, several practical experiences out of summer 2009 suggest that working in a more hybrid way makes more sense. The connected islands method of 2011 summer is based on a flexible camp + lab architecture that connects with existing facilities, mostly off-grid. It enables better concentration on the research at hand. In 2009 we discovered that sailing consumes far more energy and time from the actual research than we had anticipated. The boat would need to be much bigger to enable efficient work and living on board for more than five people.

Thus the main research strands are currently:

– Environmental sensors and sensor networks
– Cartography, mapping practices at sea and in the littoral zones
– Alternative energy production using solar, wind, hydro power
– Low power and distributed computing + DIY
– Field Camp architectures

And a side strand of:
– Designing a boat based research and residency vessel

2011 events are produced by Tapio Mäkelä and Kati Åberg, with the partner organizations, and Tuomo Tammenpää and Susanna Koskinen as co-moderators.

CAMP2011 blog
M.A.R.I.N website

Kolvi ja Koodi workshop at Lapland Uni

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The “Soldering-iron & Code” -workshop started a series of exploration of reactive space & intaraction within the Design Laboratories program of University of Lapland in Rovaniemi.

A bunch of audiovisual media MA students gathered for an introduction to physical computing with me for a couple of days. We started with the breadboard and NANDsynth for quick intro on electronics followed by bit of a soldering. Next day we hooked Arduinos and controlled the synth. Routing serial from Arduino to Flash lead to bit of a frustration – one simple-to-configure proxy to this one and I _will_ click the donate button. Some rescued toys from flea market got gutted and suddenly we had the inevitable creative chaos on the table. Here it got bit messy. I still have the tendency of focusing on emerging details when overall structure is needed.

The enthusiasm of the participants brought that. We decided to do make a demo at oh-so-lovely Kauppayhtiö -club on saturday evening. Accelerometer in an eightball was connected via Arduino to Quartz Composer on laptop which rendered the Magic Eightball -answers on retro-TV for curious audience. Hours of fun, for ages 18andUp. The Shy-guy rotated towards anyone who approached it with trembling behaviour. Surprisingly humane piece of plastic. Few bent toys to play with and we had nice demo set-up for the evening crowd.

I had great time. Quartz Composer was a new environment for me so I learned a lot too. Superior multilayer rendering of visuals compared to Jitter / Gem. Definitely my new weapon-of-choice for next resource-intensive graphics. Thanks TomTom and Aku for great intro on that one.

Apologies for anyone who feel this was a waste of their time. I’ll try to improve my workshopping skills with every iteration but every setup is unique. This one was bit too unstructured from my part. Still, I feel the flux nature enabled other opportunities. Strict format is not always the best either.

Thank you Rovaniemi. Thank you friends, the old & the new. I’ll be back.

Pop-up Landscapes, Bristol

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Pop-up Landscape Phase-1 was wrapped up in Pervasive Media Studio in Bristol with a seminar and workshop day. We got good feedback and encouragement for continuation and some nice presentations from artist Duncan Speakman, Dr. Simone Abram and Dr. Constance Fleuriot. Big thanks for the Peter Tattersall for wikiplanning workshop, pmstudios, participants and the Finnish Institute in London once again from their support.

Workshop @ NYC

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Tables were full when young makers of New York started beeping with solar energy and electronic sound. Yet again without prior knowledge of electronics they quickly figured out the breadboard logic and the basics of solar energy. The duration and the complexity was almost perfect this time since no soldering was involved. In the end of the afternoon we recruited bit older kids as well.

Pop-up landscapes, Mação, Portugal

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Pop-up landscapes toured to rural town of Mação in Portugal for set of workshops and showing the installation. Mação is situated between the transitional climate zones of the Atlantic and Mediterranean. The area is famous for its pre-historic art examples some of which are the richest in Portugal and in Europe. Over the last ten years the region has suffered from severe droughts, which have radically changed the landscape. In addition the area not only suffers from a physical desertification but also from human desertification. The region has approximately 8,000 people, spread over 400 sq kilometers, the majority of which are over 50+ years. In the 50’s and 60’s a combination of influences resulted in massive migration towards Lisbon and decreased use of land for pasture and agriculture.

In Mação we focused on developing a set activities with members of the community (senior citizens, master archaeology students and primary school children). The aim of these activities was to gain a greater awareness of how a community would transmit a sense of its place. For example, what sites would it choose to show to someone as an example or memory of Mação? What changes have occurred in the town? What have people been happy to lose? What would they like to preserve?

Working with the photo archives collected by the Museu de Arte Pre-Historica e do Sagrado no Vale do Tejo we used these images as a starting point. We selected a general vista image taken in the town 70-100 years ago and along with other archive images used discuss with the senior citizen their memories of changes in the town. We also asked the senior citizens to select a place in Mação their favorite place, which they would like to preserve and show to others from outside of the town. Five sites were selected from which we choose one of the most popular the Praça Gago Coutinho to work on in more detail.

Taking the Praça Gago Coutinho as the main site selected by the senior citizen, we presented the archaeology students with two snap shots –  one past image and one current day image. We also presented the project aims to the student and asked them to carry out a visual analysis of the present day image from an archaeological perspective. This resulted in a deeper awareness of some of the key transformations that occurred in Mação. The analysis also provided the stimulus for discussing the students experiences and personal accounts of living in Mação.

Taking the current day image of the Praça Gago Coutinho and blowing this up to A2 size we described to the young people the process of how this image was selected by the senior citizens and analyzed by the archaeology students. We asked the young people to image that they were living in 2109 and sending a postcard from Mação of this spot. What from their perspective what would survive in this site, what kind of culture would exist and lifestyles would exist?

The outcomes of the workshops and our period of research and development in Mação was exhibited in a beautiful former primary school. We used the archive images, current day photo impressions and the young people’s future imaginations of Mação as the timelines, which we played in the Pop-Up Installation. Exhibition was a success, opening apparently new perspectives even for the city mayor. Most importantly we managed to connect different generations of the citizens together around the theme of their environment.

Portugal and Mação treated us with warm hospitality. Special thanks to Casa Velha’s Donna Mena for The Food. Obrigado e adeus.

pop-up-landscapes flickr feed
• my flickr feed

ClimateHack workshop at Transmediale09

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The formal manifesto:

The Climate Hack workshop brought together a team of researchers, designers and artists dedicated to reframing the international political climate using means well-outside the traditional political rhetoric. Driven by the often-absurd nature of politics and the collective creativity often generated from equally absurd artistic mediums, the workshop rallied around the task of hacking Cotton Candy machines. Custom and hacked electronics, connected to live political news and weather feeds, informed and animated the project.

We have documented several different methods for manipulating candy floss which we discovered during the workshop and during the several weeks of experimentation that took place beforehand. The methods that we will be demonstrating at Transmediale Salon include the Candy Floss Tornado, Candy Floss Crystals and Candy Robot.

In my own words – it was even better. The dynamic Kibu team (Adam Somlai-Fischer, Melinda Sipos, Eszter Bircsak, Christopher Baker, Marton Juhasz and Simon Forgács) had done an outstanding prep-work by hacking and experimenting with candy floss more than a month prior to the workshop so it was a flying start. Massimo Banzi & John Nussey from and Bengt Sjölen from Teenage Engineering injected their experience in and we were boogie. The Pixelache posse from Deep North, included Juha Huuskonen, Aleksi Pihkanen, Miska Knapek and myself.

Intense three-day period prior to TM09 event involved climate data research, both environmental and political, candy floss machine hacking, robotics, design work and loads of hot sugar in the air. We experienced through numerous possibilities how to route external data in to the process. Due to somewhat chaotic and most importantly quite slow process of floss cumulation, none of the tests produced results that would be realistic to realise in workshop context: automated, data driven floss making that is. That did not let us down one bit. We continued with three discoveries that emerged from the process.

1. Sugar Crystal Accumulation (SCAâ„¢)

Chris discovered interesting and more controllable side effect on our floss process. The spinning sugar cumulates to any surface around the machine. By gradual motion of the capturing surface, any realtime data could produce fragile layers of melt sugar.

2. Sugar Twister and the Disasters (< - free glam-punk band name, anyone?) Aleksi, our aerodynamics engineer developed a turbine cylinder, which with the power of two candy floss machine, produced enough lift to make continuous stream of floss propel up. This alone was quite an aesthetic performance and a subtle reminder of fragility and systems, but even more so with our tagline: "Energy Talk = Sweet Hot Air" made a link to the absurd "Carbon Jargon" in the times when action is needed.
3. The Church of Carbon Syndicate

Since the act of making your Candy Floss and eating it is quite rewarding performance, can this be used as symbolic action for our cause. Yes. Based on your carbon footprint, even an average, your debt to the planet can be calculated. If you are not exhausting the earths resources, you get a dose of sugar that produces normal size candy floss. Anything more wasteful increases your “measure of sugar” leading to lengthy process of contemplation when the floss is building up, not to mention the confrontation and eating of the mother-of-all-sugar-döners on your hand.

For me, the candy floss as a material and as a process combined with the theme of (political) climate discourse were most rewarding as performances. We were quite aware of our climate debt just as a result of flying to Berlin, with the little extra consumption of the hot machines themselves, let alone the impact from the sugar industry. However, creative beings, us all basically, will need to live and to meet in order to innovate. Billions of us will still more likely stumble on some quite serendipitious environmental innovations than all the scientist in the world. Otherwise we just end up in the grim deduction of “killing ourselves for saving the planet” as pointed out in the Environment 2.0 talk in when the meaningfulness of artists solving the climate crisis was questioned.

Thanks again for all the sweet fellow hackers and see you in Pixelache09 for continuation!

Pop-up landscapes, FI08

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Pop-up landscapes project started properly when Teresa and Pedros from LOK workshopped in Finland. Intensive week started with a few days in Suomenlinna residency in Helsinki where we defined the common ground for our working. Overwhelming, but highy educative for me was to open up and deconstruct abstractions behind architectural mechanisms. Some excellent examples from existing work was shown, links to their work in the end.

From Suomenlinna we traveled to Turku to meet Turku2011 coordinators and present Pop-up for potential collaboration with them. Next stop was Turku University Geographical department and a discussion with Dr. Niina Käyhkö explaining us some academic threads behind landscape research in Finland, most inspiring session. From Turku we continued to Kemiönsaari and three days of concentrated writing and modeling the first drafts for Pop-up experiments.

Project description

Pop-Up Landscapes is an intermedia art and research project about interdependence and survival. The project is currently at an early stage of conceptual development and will be realised in various stages, over the coming years (2008-2011). The core aim of the project is to create a public intervention which connects two landscapes together (e.g., Finland and Portugal). Within this intervention, people can explore their interdependencies to each other and their environments. Alongside the proposed public interventions other outputs will include exhibition, workshops, DIY project templates and publications. The project has been initiated and is lead by artist-researcher, Teresa Dillon (IRE/UK) and realized in collaboration with designer and media artist Tuomo Tammenpää(FI) and lok Arquitectura (PT/ES).

Concept diagram pdf

LOK arquitectura
Polar Produce

SummerSchool & Konstrundan jamboree

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(photo: Nathalie Aubret)

Pixelache SummerSchool’08 took place August 7th-9th in our Kimito-Dojo. Ten creative minds played two day and nights with solar panels, analog electronics and hacked toys. The rainy days prevented the planned garden soldering but we rewarded ourselves with an assault to local flea market and among it’s goodies. The result: avant gardened singing horticulture, solar powered dinosaur, lullaby-toy on acid among others. Thank you very much Nathalie, Ami, Juha, Toni, Pinja, Jari, Richard & Robert, top job all of you!

some photos from:
Tuomo, Nathalie & Toni

The hectic workshop continued with Konstrundan 08 event and more soldering and solar panels, this time by kids. There was also a strange breed of solar animals spotted in our forest. Do they come in peace, what is their objective, we shall see.

Pixelache Summerschool 2008

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I’ll be hosting The first Pixelache Summerschool in our school on the magical Kimito-island. Join us for some outdoor electronics with makers, shakers & breakers. Preliminary date August 7.-8. 2008 + the weekend for cultural wonders of Konstrundan. Accomodation?: tent, floor, tree, sauna, shed, Transport?: Save the nature and take a bike to the train and see the wonders of Finnish archipelago. +20% more.

Google map destination.

Microcontrollers & modules

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Basic Stamp


PicAxe (FIN)

ooPic (FIN)

Arduino (open hardware project)
check the clones as well

CATKit (open hardware project)

Check also:
• Atmel microcontrollers
• Texas Instruments microcontrollers

Sellers & sources for components & stuff

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Bebek (FIN)
Radioduo (FIN)
Yleiselektroniikka (FIN)
Partco (FIN)
Biltema (FIN, tools)
Clas Ohlson (FIN, tools)
Maplin (UK)
Radioshack (US)

Kouluelektroniikka (FIN, check this first, nice prices, quick delivery / store in Rauma)
SP-elektroniikka (FIN, store in Oulu)
Farnell (needs account, pricey, next day delivery, massive catalogue)
DigiKey (US, import taxes added, probably even bigger catalogue than Farnell)
Robot electronics (UK, sensors, servos etc.)
Active robots (UK, all robotics, radio, sensors, kits)
MUTR (UK, smart materials!)

DIY, electronic instrument -workshop

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// workshop is full //

Electronics crafts day with cheap components and soldering. We’ll build an “analog synthesiser” with just a few parts and take a peek inside electronic toy instruments to make some noise out of them. You don’t need prior experience on electronics but it would be useful. You can bring your own small electronic toy instrument if you want to see it’s dark side, but email some info on it before the workshop.

Keywords: square wave, CMOS, circuit bending, hacking

Workshop by: Tuomo Tammenpää

Time: Saturday, 1.12. klo 10 – 17
Location: ForumBox, Helsinki
Workshop is free, material cost possible
Participants: 10

The workshop is supported by Pixelache University

0.0 Physical computing -workshop call

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WORKSHOP #2 “Introduction to physical computing”
WHEN: 18 – 19 July
BY: Tuomo Tammenpää & Daniel Blackburn
Interested in making a custom hardware interface for your software instrument or embedding electronics to your art project but don’t know where to start? Two intensive days will give you an introduction to physical computing. We will push buttons, lit LED’s, make sounds, detect movement and interface with computer.