5º Encontro Anual de Laboratórios Audiência Zero — Chamada à Proposta de Actividades

Desde 2009 que os labo­ra­tó­rios da rede AZ LabsaltLab (Lis­boa), LCD (Porto) e xDA (Coim­bra), orga­ni­zam o seu encon­tro anual em mea­dos de Dezem­bro. Nes­tes encon­tros reunem-se os mem­bros dos vários labo­ra­tó­rios da Audi­ên­cia Zero para mos­trar o seu tra­ba­lho e par­ti­lhar expe­ri­ên­cias de uma forma aberta e informal:

 

(Video do pri­meiro Encon­tro de Labo­ra­tó­rios AZ rea­li­zado em 2009)

 

Com a pro­li­fe­ra­ção recente de espa­ços que ligam a cri­a­ti­vi­dade à tec­no­lo­gia como hac­kers­pa­ces, maker spa­ces, fablabs e media labs, nota-se um inte­resse gene­ra­li­zado da soci­e­dade com o o empower­ment tec­no­ló­gico e cri­a­tivo do indi­vi­duo e com a cri­a­ção de comu­ni­da­des autó­no­mas de par­ti­lha livre de conhe­ci­mento. Torna-se assim para nós muito impor­tante par­ti­lhar com a soci­e­dade civil o tra­ba­lho e a expe­ri­ên­cia de campo adqui­rida ao longo dos anos pelos Labo­ra­tó­rios Audi­ên­cia Zero e a aber­tura da Rede atra­vés da cri­a­ção de novos laços com pes­soas, espa­ços e colec­ti­vos que par­ti­lham dos valo­res da associação.

Este ano o Encon­tro de Labo­ra­tó­rios Audi­ên­cia Zero irá decor­rer em Lis­boa, entre os dias 13 e 15 de Dezem­bro de 2013, nas ins­ta­la­ções do Espaço Pro­tó­tipo da Facul­dade de Belas-Artes da Uni­ver­si­dade de Lisboa.

Con­vi­da­mos assim todos os mem­bros e ami­gos da nossa comu­ni­dade a par­ti­ci­pa­rem neste evento atra­vés da pro­posta de acti­vi­da­des a rea­li­zar durante o encon­tro. As acti­vi­da­des pro­pos­tas podem ser de qual­quer tipo, desde que de alguma forma se ade­quem aos temas da apro­pri­a­ção cri­a­tiva da tec­no­lo­gia e da par­ti­lha livre de conhe­ci­men­tos, como por exemplo:

  • Talks sobre um tema à vossa esco­lha com uma dura­ção até 30 minutos.
  • Workshops com uma dura­ção máximo de duas horas que visam que­brar o gelo e intro­du­zir o público às tec­no­lo­gias do dia-a-dia dos labo­ra­tó­rios. Exem­plos: impres­são 3D, Arduino, cir­cui­tos elec­tró­ni­cos, fabri­ca­ção de PCB, sin­tese de audio, etc.
  • Mesas de tra­ba­lho temá­ti­cas onde os par­ti­ci­pan­tes se reu­nem e tra­ba­lhem em pro­jec­tos durante todo o evento. As mesas de tra­ba­lho podem ser orga­ni­za­das à volta de pro­jec­tos con­cre­tos já em desen­vol­vi­mento ou de ideias aber­tas à dis­cus­são e par­ti­ci­pa­ção de todos.
  • Demons­tra­ções de pro­jec­tos desen­vol­vi­dos pelos participantes.
  • Per­for­man­ces, con­cer­tos, ses­sões de DJ e VJ.

Inte­res­sa­dos deve­rão enviar uma breve des­cri­ção da acti­vi­dade que pre­ten­dem rea­li­zar, junto com uma lista dos recur­sos neces­sá­rios para o email info@altlab.org

Em breve publi­ca­re­mos tam­bém o pro­grama pro­vi­só­rio do evento.

Book Review: Cinder Creative Coding Cookbook

Cinder is a widely used C++ community-developed, free and open source library for professionals coding multimedia applications. Cinder Creative Coding Cookbook is all about getting started with Cinder. The book was written by Dawid Górny and Rui Madeira and published by Packt Publishing. It comes as a more comprehensive follow up to another book published by Packt about getting started with Cinder.

This book has 352 pages divided into 12 chapters, progressively covering from the most basic to the relatively advanced.

It will not teach you how to program, it will not do your project for you, it will not turn you into the uber cinder guru. What it will do is get you acquainted with the cinder developer environment, and give you a good insight on how to get the most out of using it. In short, if you’re a programmer looking to develop an interactive multimedia application with one of the hottest frameworks around this book should be more than enough to get the ball rolling for you with a small amount of time.

If you’re an advanced user of cinder looking to expand your knowledge you can find some solid example code references. The book includes plenty of example code and clear explanations of what does what. The chapters often include “there is more” sub-sections, pointing to additional information for advanced use.

I can tell you as an advanced user of cinder that this book does not cover all of the pitfalls and small annoying quirks, you will still have to put your foot in the hole and look them up on the online forum. But it does do a very good job at it’s main goal: being accessible and clear for the new user.

Some special featured sub-chapters like the MayaGui, OSC, OpenCV, Syphon integration are quite useful for folks who are interested in setting up those specific modules.

Negative mention to chapter 11, after reading the book description and considering how there were even a few chapters about getting OpenCV working with Cinder, one would expect some deeper examples on the topic of camera interaction. The examples are good, but the topic was hardly well covered, comparing for example with how well particles were. Similarly, regarding the Kinect, despite being a keyword on the book description, it’s only briefly covered in two examples, both of them using the official Windows SDK, ignoring all the work that has been done with OpenNI on multi-platforms before Microsoft launched the official SDK.

Positive mention goes out to the particles chapter(s) which are quite comprehensive. It includes both basic and more high level information, coupled with explicit example code, which you’ll find useful regardless of your prior knowledge on particles.

Overall i genuinely believe new people wanting to get involved with Cinder will find this book useful.

Catarina Mota: Play with smart materials

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”

Open Data Hackaton, 9 Dezembro, Guimarães

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.

AZ Labs @ Sapo Codebits 2012 report

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.

AZ Labs @ Codebits 2012

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:

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.

Creative Politics Residency

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.

Politiquisses apresenta: “Corrupção em Portugal por Paulo Morais” Songified

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.

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[AZSA_01] LCD Mostra-se

Summer was getting boring so i decided to make a new album and start a new netlabel.

The album is called “LCD Mostra-se” and is a collection of field recordings from the self-titled event that occured in Guimarães on the 21 and 22 of July, organized by our LCD brothers.

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).