BIRTHING HYDRA: Growing the Hacker Community
The first in a series of conversations on community building in the Hacker Community in Washington DC and beyond! Part of HacDC’s Grand Opening Week.
The great resurgence in community building on the part of the greater hacker community over the past 10 years is not coincidental. Responsibility lies in parallel influences including a generation raised on the hacker ethos established by the Boomer generation, the precipitous decline of the price point for entry level experimentation and prototyping, more than two generations of obsolescent technology ripe for the hacking, and the perennial motivation to showcase and compete in the meritocracy of inventors and artisans that characterize a Western approach to innovation and political activism. Hardware hacker communities are by necessity meat space phenomena, dealing as they do with chunks of matter and not just the electrons and code that the software hacker communities have condensed around.
Join representatives from DC’s Make:*, Dorkbot*, and Hac* organizations in the first of a series of talks aimed at defining the best way to use each organization’s mission to grow the region’s burgeoning community in a synergistic manner.
Gareth Branwyn writes about technology and tech culture. For 12 years, he was a contributing editor at Wired, co-creating and writing the Jargon Watch column. Through that work, he was asked to be the consultant on computer and Internet terms for the Oxford American Dictionary. Gareth is currently a contributing editor for O’Reilly’s MAKE magazine and Make: Blog, and he’s also an editor at Make: Books.
Gareth is also the author of numerous books, including the first book about the World Wide Web (Mosaic Quick Tour: Accessing and Navigating the World Wide Web) and The Happy Mutant Handbook (which he co-wrote with Mark and Carla of Boing Boing). He recently contributed the introduction to Device 1: Fantastic Contraption, a book celebrating post-industrial surrealism, published by Device Gallery and IDW Publishing.
Alberto Gaitán was born in Quito, Ecuador, moving to DC when he was 14. He has since worked as a composer and programmer in the DC metropolitan area working collaboratively in cross-media projects with DC’s best musicians, poets, choreographers, and visual artists. His new-media work has included the very first computer-based installation presented in a DC nightclub, as well as some videography and photography. He has been working with digital audio, including sampling and synthesis, and computer controlled interactive sound environments since 1985.
His music has been played in the Kennedy Center and in performance spaces around DC and in Europe. His work with collaborative artist group Art Attack International has won international critical acclaim and his solo sonic pieces have been presented internationally and locally. He has written music for conventional ensembles and for the less conventional, such as automobiles. His road-based sound installation, Loci, was commissioned by Arlington, Virginia, and by the city of Aachen, Germany. Arlington County has also commissioned him to create a permanent, net-aware, interactive sound sculpture at the site of the original courthouse.
He has written for exhibition catalogs and for publications including The Washington Post, Kustforum (DE), The Baltimore Sun, and The Millennium Whole Earth Catalog. He has lectured nationally on the collaborative process at universities and galleries and taken part in peer review panels, including the National Endowment for the Arts’ New Forms Regional Grants Initiative. He recently developed, Remembrancer, a cybernetic, net-aware piece for a solo exhibition at Curator’s Office, in DC, April/May 2007 as part of ColorField Remix, a Washington, DC, citywide project, spanning the spring and summer of 2007 and linking numerous art venues to celebrate the many legacies of the generation of Color Field and Washington Color School artists.