"Creative Misuse of Technology"

Dorkbot NYC, a group of artists, programmers, tech geeks and DIYers who tinker with electricity (yes, the kind that shocks you), is hosting a night of experimental video screenings and live performances, all revolving around the creative misuse (abuse?) of technology. “There’s no wrong way to do it wrong,” says Douglas Repetto, Dorkbot coordinator and director of research at the Columbia University Computer Music Center. We asked three other D-bot presenters to tell us how they make Thomas Edison look like a total noob.—Sharon Steel

Take this:
Lightning

  

Make that:
Performance group ArcAttack works with modified Tesla coils to reinterpret MIDI data. In other words, it plays dance music by manipulating trapped lightning. “We even have a Justin Timberlake/Zelda mash-up,” says ArcAttacker Joe DiPrima. A video of its track “Creepy Circus Song” will screen at the Wednesday 11 event.

Take this:
A Full House rerun

  

Make that:
To create his layered pop-video piece “You’re Not My Father,” artist Paul Slocum commissioned strangers via Craigslist to reenact a ten-second clip from Full House. In it, a preteen D.J. Tanner snaps at Joey for acting overly paternal. “That scene really struck me as the ultimate sitcom clich drama, but with some bit of truth to it,” says Slocum. Poor Dave Coulier—always the manchild, never the man.

Take this:
The Draftmaster, a pen-plotter printing device introduced by Hewlett-Packard in 1987

  

Make that:
The Draftmasters, a band of renegade tech geeks, souped up a pen-plotter with electromagnetic pickups and guitar jacks; bandie Jeff Snyder describes their structured sound improvisations as “RoboCop on the fritz.” Their live performance will feature Daniel Iglesia, who turns cameras on the plotters’ geometric drawings to project three-dimensional images onto a movie screen. (Bust out the 3-D glasses!)

DORK OUT! “You’re Doing It Wrong: Creative Misuse of Technology”: 92YTribeca, 200 Hudson St between Canal and Desbrosses Sts (212-601-1000, dorkbot.org). Wed 11 at 8pm, $10.

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