[dorkbotsea-blabber] what is dorkbot?
kate at whimsyfree.com
Mon Jun 6 13:05:06 EDT 2005
Hi, all - and Mike, thank you for the below.
A question for you: have you been to any of our regular first-Wednesday
dorkbot meetings this year? There were only about 45 people at dorkbot
17, and about 65 at dorkbot 18; certainly not large events by any means.
Both meetings were our usual 3 speaker, opendork etc. format, and
entirely and only about art and technology, as will be the rest of the
meetings for this year (in cooperation with the Seattle Outsider Artist
Project in July, and with a machine art theme (and a visiting speaker
from SRL) in August). In fact, out of our 19 dorkbot meetings so far,
only two - the SAM screening of 1960s electric arts film footage and
last night's Tesla night event - have been special events (I talk about
the two exhibitions separately below as they're adjunct events rather
than core dorkbotsea meetings). You might be interested to note, too,
that we're the third most active dorkbot in terms of meeting numbers
after NYC and London now. And while the meetings are intended to be a
focal point for our community, in many ways, the rest is up to
interested people like you - to volunteer to speak at meetings and to
show your work in progress, to use the opendork opportunity to talk
about things you're involved in, to communicate to this list, to seek
out likeminded people at the events and afterwards, to use the wiki
I do agree that last night's Tesla Night event was in some ways
problematic in that there were two very different crowds: the people
who wanted to touch and experience the show and tell devices, and people
who were prepared to listen to the speakers. I therefore talked with
the SOAP (Seattle Outsider Artists Project) representative last night
about perhaps combining a Tesla event with their Weird Genius Real
Science fair if it takes place next year, as I think that might be a
better notion: we could celebrate dorkbot's 3rd birthday, and the 3rd
Weird Genius fair, but perhaps over two days, with one day for speakers
and networking and the next day for coils and volcanoes and spectacle -
and allowing us to still hold our regular meeting that month in
parallel. However, at the same time, events like Tesla Night and
exhibitions like People Doing Strange Things are valuable recruiting
tools for new community members - I believe you found us because of
PDSTWEII this year, correct?
As for the annual exhibition... As a means to give our community a
venue for exhibiting their artwork, for exposing their work to a broader
audience, for creating an opportunity for people who might not otherwise
have the opportunity to exhibit their work in a gallery setting (i.e.
who aren't 'professional artists'), and as a means to expose our
community to work happening in other parts of the dorkbot community
across the country and internationally, I think it works well. Core to
dorkbot in this region is community building: we don't have an
established art/tech scene here like those of New York, San Francisco or
even London or Berlin, and so dorkbot gives us an opportunity both to
meet up with others like us and to show off the results of our work in
general. I do agree that every meeting should not be a special event -
but, if you check out http://www.dorkbot.org/dorkbotsea/archive.shtml,
you'll find that it isn't. 17 meetings in 2 years, in fact, have been
plain, regular dorkbots. Come along to those and then let us know what
From: dorkbotsea-blabber-bounces at dorkbot.org
[mailto:dorkbotsea-blabber-bounces at dorkbot.org] On Behalf Of Michael
Sent: Monday, June 06, 2005 8:45 AM
To: A discussion list for dorkbot-sea
Subject: [dorkbotsea-blabber] what is dorkbot?
Last night was an incredible event! I was amazed at the quality and
quantity of information and objects. I was, however, totally overwhelmed
by the crowds...
When I first learned of dorkbot, I was excited about the existence of a
regularly-meeting peer group of fellow electronic artists. What I've
seen so far, in contrast, are highly-attended exhibitions in which
conversation or peer interaction is actually quite difficult.
To preserve a fundamental (and to me most important) goal of dorkbot,
that of peer interaction, perhaps there ought be two tracks - an
exhibition track and a meeting track - so that all core purposes of
dorkbot can be addressed? Last night was an exhibition, as have been the
previous two dorkbots that I've been able to attend. I've not yet had
the opportunity to enjoy the informal peer group aspect of it.
Straight from the site, this mission is:
The purpose of dorkbot is to:
/ - Give artists/programmers/engineers an opportunity for
informal peer review
- Establish a forum for the presentation of new
- Help build relationships and foster collaboration between
people with various backgrounds and interests
- Give us all a chance to see the cool things that our neighbors
are working on/
Thus far, two (2 & 4) of the four of these objectives are met
(exceeded), though somewhat at the expense of the other two.
Perhaps, though, I've just not been around around long enough for the
slow times ...
.........dorkbot: people doing strange things with electricity..........
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