Bass Maker Elektra Pow wow – Day 4 recap!

Things are winding down but yesterday was très big so allons-y!

Started things off with a talk on BASS by PhD candidate and DJ Paul Jasen. In about 90 minutes, Paul covered the use of bass and its impact on the body from the earliest incarnations of the pipe organ in 300 B.C. right to dubstep and other types of dance music coming out today. Download a 40-minute mix he prepared as part of the presentation at his website

Paul Jasen discussing “perceptual abstraction”

Next was the Maker Faire. It was a pretty overwhelming showcase of DIY electronic projects that teetered somewhere between high school science fair and trade show with people from Kitchener-Waterloo, Montreal, Toronto, Saskatoon and elsewhere. Some of the home-brewed solutions to everyday problems (i.e. finding a pingpong partner) were amazing. I’ll share with you some of my favourites – one practical, another ornate and another just pretty damn cool. One thing’s for sure: I’ve heard the word Arduino so many times that it has lost all meaning.

I’m also sure that the pre-2006 Honda Insight in Arts Court’s parking lot belonged to one of the makers. Eat your heart out, Prius.

So lets start practical. Nigel Vezeau is an awesome local guy who built his own Big Green Egg type charcoal bbq out of a ceramic pot. “These things cost about $1000. I built mine for $200.” He also built a kick-ass recumbent trike for his daughter. Compared to regular tricycles, this one, in its increased stability, was also perhaps capable of speeds never attained by the human power of a 3-year old. Kids at the Maker Faire (and there were many!) loved the trike! What I found coolest though was a map he created that determined the bumpiness of Ottawa’s bike paths. He achieved this simply by strapping two things to his bike: an accelerometre and a GPS. With this data, he was able to plot out vibration over distance travelled through Ottawa’s network of bike paths. Have a look:

Electric Fields 2010 (Paul Galipeau/
A map layer loaded into Google Earth that indicates the roughness of Ottawa’s bike paths.

Next was Andrew Argyle of Glowing Tech who creates beautiful art-deco-ish clocks using cold-war era Soviet nixie tubes. Another Ottawa guy, he has been building and shipping these worldwide for a while and has been featured in Make magazine as well as Nuts and Volts. I want one. Anyone have $200?

Electric Fields 2010 (Paul Galipeau/
Check out more at

Finally, was Montréal’s FouLab and their awesome @Tweletype – a 1960s-era TI-745 data terminal (Teletype) that can send and receive Twitter posts. You can participate by sending a message to @Tweletype and instantly, your message will get hammered out onto paper.

Read what others have written to Tweletype.

Electric Fields 2010 (Paul Galipeau/
Hard to read but the last three lines are from an SMS message I wrote to Twitter on my cell phone. Crazy! But you, follow me, this blog’s author, on Twitter @championdumonde!!!

BONUS: Megan Turnbull is inviting people to codirect a short stopmotion piece at Maker Faire too.

Electric Fields 2010 (Paul Galipeau/
Megan has a piece in the Solid Vision 3D installation. Go watch it in Artengine’s M70 Lab!!!

Between Maker Faire & Elektra performance, I skipped over to La Petite Mort Gallery where I had a photo exhibited during a curated Médecins sans frontières fundraiser. A very nice woman bought it and I’m very glad I was able to chat with her.

I am bouche bée about the Elektra performance offered by This is not design, PurForm & Herman Kolgen. These past three nights of performances are frying my brain in a happy way and it’s actually sad that it is all done. Merci à tous les artistes.

Electric Fields 2010 (Paul Galipeau/
This is not design

Electric Fields 2010 (Paul Galipeau/

Electric Fields 2010 (Paul Galipeau/
Herman Kolgen

And finally, one of Ottawa’s best parties, the Electric Pow wow, featuring Electric Fields artist Bear Witness, as part of DJ crew A Tribe Called Red (Bear Witness, DJ NDN, Deejay Frame & DJ Shub)!!!

Electric Fields 2010 (Paul Galipeau/
Bear Witness

Electric Fields 2010 (Paul Galipeau/
A Tribe Called Red

So…Maker Faire is still happening today. Head down to Arts Court (2 Daly Avenue). If you got kids, bring em! Seriously, Maker Faire is way cooler than this week-long engineering camp my parents signed me up for in 1995 and it’s also free!!!

Lets party tonight at Mercury Lounge too! If you own the Honda Insight I mentioned, come see me and I’ll buy you a drink!!! Real talk. Pour vrai.

Bisous chargés d’électricité amoureuse,
Paul Le C.d.m.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.