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MIDI Scrapyard Challenge Workshop

Jonah Brucker-Cohen & Katherine Moriwaki

The Scrapyard Challenge Workshops are intensive workshops where participants build simple electronic music controllers (both digital and analog inputs) out of found or discarded "junk" (old electronics, furniture, outdated computer equipment, appliances, turntables, monitors, gadgets, etc..). Participants also build simple drawing robots or "DrawBots" with motors, batteries, and drawing markers that can be connected to Serial or MIDI interface. At the end of the day or evening, the workshop participants have a small performance/concert where they play their instruments together as a large ensemble. No electronics skills or any experience with technology is necessary for the workshop.

Jonah Brucker-Cohen is a researcher, artist, and Ph.D. candidate in the Disruptive Design Team of the Networks and Telecommunications Research Group (NTRG), Trinity College Dublin. He worked from 2001-2004 as a researcher in the Human Connectedness Group at Media Lab Europe. He received a Masters from the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU and spent two years there as an Interval Research Fellow creating interactive networked projects. His work and thesis focuses on the theme of "Deconstructing Networks" which includes projects that attempt to critically challenge and subvert accepted perceptions of network interaction and experience. He is co-founder of the Dublin Art and Technology Association and a recipient of the ARANEUM Prize sponsored by the Spanish Ministry of Art, Science and Technology and Fundacion ARCO. His writing has appeared in numerous international publications including Wired Magazine,, Print and I.D. magazines. His work has been shown at events and venues such as DEAF (03,04), UBICOMP (02,03,04), CHI (04) Transmediale (02,04), ISEA (02,04), Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) in London (04), Whitney Museum of American Art's ArtPort (03), ZKM Center for Contemporary Art (04), Ars Electronica (02,04) and others.
Katherine Moriwaki is an artist and researcher investigating clothing and accessories as the active conduit through which people create network relationships in public space. She received a Masters from the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU and was formerly a Design Fellow at Parsons School of Design. Currently a Ph.D. Candidate in the of the Networks and Telecommunications Research Group at Trinity College Dublin, her work has appeared in IEEE Spectrum Magazine, and numerous festivals and conferences including numer.02 at Centre Georges Pompidou (02), Ubicomp (03,04), Transmediale (04), CHI (04), ISEA (04) and Ars Electronica (04). She is a 2004 recipient of the Araneum prize from the Spanish Ministry for Science and Technology and Fundacion ARCO. Making weird stuff out of electronics and junk is tangential to her research, but she does it anyway.

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