Making Lab Kit
Open source kits commissioned by Making Lab are composed of a collection of materials such as electronic components, fiber, board and a manual. Rather than taking one fixed shape, these kits can be expanded to materialize various forms of ideas put forth by producers. Each set of three kits introduce core principles related to calculation, communication and interface. By assembling them, one can produce a primitive computational media device. The kits refrain from focusing on spectacular effects out of pricey materials. Instead, they have been planned to deliver maximized effects using the least number of basic components, and enable amateurs to manufacture on their own.
During the 1960-70s, Fluxus artists attempted to erase the boundary between arts and life through avant-garde activities. They self-picked and gathered everyday objects, writings and photographs into small boxes, and distributed as Fluxus Boxes that were available in market in limited quantities. Their work not only challenged the concept of originality of artworks, but also criticized a culture of mass production. Making Lab kits are similar to Fluxus Boxes in a way that the former also contains a variety of components in a small box and that the producer uses a manual as a reference, like the directing statements of Fluxus Boxes. The kits problematize mass production of general media device and contents that are triggered mainly by planned obsolescence and commodity value. They also provide easy access to everyone by incorporating a DIY approach. With the elimination of the boundary between technology and life, they intend to spread everyday hacking, that is, fixing and re-interpreting one’s own devices.
*Wish Lab Maker’s Kit* produced by KOBAKANT contains basic materials that could be used to materialize a soft textile project contrived by users. In Anyang, artists held two *Wish Lab* workshops that allowed citizens to collect ideas about their wishful electronic goods, and actually materialize them. Artists then produced kit comprised of repeatedly used core components and organized them into a manual. One can produce new work by applying *Wish Lab Maker’s Kit* as well as sample production guide from the manual. *Poetics of Circuitry Kit* of SFPC were made by assembling binary logic circuit, which is just like the basic operating principle of computers. They can be applied to adder or memory devices. *Eunpa Industries Survival Kit*, created by Eunpa Indutries + SeungBum Kim, were made based on the extreme circumstances such as natural disasters, where the needs arise either to produce electric power, call for a rescue through radio communication, or communicating with other team members. It is consisted of an energy kit that can convert solar heat to energy and a radio circuit that could both receive and transmit audio signals. Visitors to Making Lab can assemble and use all of the above three kits, and test the potential of open source hardware.
Approximately 300 Making Lab kits have been prepared specifically for the 4th APAP. As the workshops are held repeatedly, additional manufacturing is possible. Unlike educational materials for gifted children or expensive brand toys already out in the market, these kits are not for sale, because they are made specifically for workshops and for non-commercial use. However, as the kits prioritize accessibility as the most important value, in order to enable users to compose their own kits, information about circuits and the list of components and the manual are provided on the website, in addition to the quantities produced directly by artists. Making Lab kits can be used in workshops and performances held in both Anyang Pavilion and local schools or communities. Moreover, participating citizens can voluntarily apply and expand the kits to make their own works.
시적연산학교 (SFPC) School for Poetic Computation ∙
School for Poetic Computation is an alternative education project and artist collective that was launched in Brooklyn, New York in 2013. A four-member faculty and 15 students per semester work closely to explore the intersections of code, design, hardware, and theory. A hybrid of residency and research group, the 10-week program was created to overcome the limitations of conventional education programs on media technology. Its members are co-founders Zach Lieberman, Taeyoon Choi, Amit Pitaru, Jen Lowe, and the students who are newly selected every semester.
김승범 SeungBum Kim ∙
Kim majored in life sciences, but became interested in the end-user’s computing environment after meeting Alan Kay. After receiving an MA in computer education, he founded PINY (Powerful Idea jourNeY) and conducted educational projects and studies related to digital literacy and communication for the end user, including *PINY Camp and Media Art for Three 2* (Art Center Nabi; Seungjoon Choi, Kyungsoo Kim, PINY) and *Seoul U-learning Computer Club House*. Kim organizes various workshops and educational programs to help the general public understand and apply the computing media as well as provides consulting services. Recently, he is trying to expand the workshops on new media through such projects as *Lightball*, *StickyBlocks*, and *Fa.Ke.Board*, which integrate analogue, hardware and craft with digital and software media. Kim is a close colleague in learning and experimentation with artist Donghee Park of Eunpa Industries.
은파산업(박동희) Eunpa Industries (Donghee Park) ∙
Eunpa Industries is a company that develops software and hardware prototypes and conducts education for beginners on various softwares and hardwares. Donghee Park is technician, educational coach, and CEO of Eunpa Industries where he currently conducts software and hardware workshops for beginners (2011-present). He participated in artist Hojun Song’s *OSSI-1 Satellite Development Project* (2012-2013). Since 2007, he has organized various workshops for the general public with artist SeungBum Kim on the computing media as a means of production and expression, in particular, *PINY Camp for Teenagers* (2008-2010). He also developed the educational tool *Hello Board* (2009), organized and participated as an educator in *Seoul U-learning Computer Club House* (2010) and *Media Art for Adolescents* (2010).
코바칸트 KOBAKANT ∙
Mika Satomi and Hannah Perner-Wilson have been collaborating since 2006, and in 2008 formed the collective KOBAKANT. Together, through their work, they explore the use of textile crafts and electronics as a medium for commenting on technological aspects of today’s “high-tech” society. In 2009, as research fellows at the Distance Lab in Scotland, KOBAKANT published an online database for sharing their DIY wearable technology approach titled *HOW TO GET WHAT YOU WANT*.