Totally wired! Hackers throwing party robot-themed art party

Totally wired! Hackers throwing party robot-themed art party
Photo by Jason Speakman

Party like it’s 1999’s vision of 2015!

A Boerum Hill hacker collective is rewiring the traditional art-show fund-raiser, fusing together a retro-futuristic sci-fi shindig and exhibition that an organizer promises will include robots, virtual reality, and liquid nitrogen.

“It will look like what a ’90s cyberpunk author would have penned a party to be like in 2015,” said David Huerta, who is helping to organize the annual Interactive Show at NYC Resistor, a workshop on Third Avenue where locals can tinker with tech projects and take classes on programming and circuit-board building. “The fund-raising ends after you buy your ticket, and the party begins as soon as you walk in. There are no auctions or anything afterwards. More party, less paddles.”

About 14 artists, most of whom are Brooklynites, are contributing interactive, electrified artworks to this year’s show, all inspired by the theme “Robotic Future Party Zone.” Organizers intentionally chose an ambiguous theme to help the creators think outside the tool box, said Huerta.

“We want to demonstrate a future where human, cyborg, and machine can celebrate their existence rather than fall into the predictable narrative of ‘AI apocalypse,’ ” said Huerta, who lives in Gowanus. “This encompasses both robotic works and art which would be appreciated by AIs.”

One of the participating artists said she will exhibit a musical pop-up book with conductive-ink text and illustrations that produce music when touched, and will come wearing a dress with cloth flowers on the chest, crotch, and butt that scream and cry when they’re touched that she created with fellow artist Olivia Barr.

“I have a fascination with finding mundane objects that are taken for granted, such as food, clothing or books, and embedding them with technology that makes users experience them on a whole other level,” said Gowanus artist and inventor Ariel Cotton, who last year made lady-shaped chocolates wired with edible circuitry that moan when you bite into them.

Another creator has built a motion-controlled game where players compose four-minute musical tunes using their hands and feet, which she said she made to show people how she feels when dancing to music.

“My goal is to increase empathy by conveying stories through the works I create,” said Catt Small, who lives at the intersection of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Crown Heights, and East New York.

It’s also just plain fun, she said.

“The piece I’ll have in the show is definitely great for parties,” said Small. “It gets pretty wacky and people usually have a fun time.”

NYC Resistor has been running the Interactive Show for five years, and uses the cash raised to fund its programs and workshops on topics such as laser-cutting and electrifying soft toys, as well as more low-fi craft projects.

Interactive Show at NYC Resistor (87 Third Ave., fourth floor, between Dean and Bergen streets in Boerum Hill, www.nycresistor.com). May 30 at 8 pm. $15.