dorkbotsheffield #9!

People Doing Strange Things With Electricity
New to dorkbot? Find out more about it here.

Time: 6:30pm for a 7pm start, until around 9pm, Tuesday 25th February 2020
Place: Access Space, 3-7 Sidney St, Sheffield, S1 4RG [ mapaccessibility ] Signup: None – just turn up
Entry: Free (donations welcome!)


  • Murray Royston-WardExploring Peter Blasser’s Paper Circuits
    Researching DIY electronics within improvised music practice, I have been building and reverse engineering Peter Blasser’s (Ciat-Lonbarde) paper circuits. Very much in-progress, this work is beginning to make connections with drawing and writing, which I am looking forward to sharing.

  • Zoyander Streettactile textile interactive portraits
    Zoyander will talk about the interactive portraits of transgender people that they have been creating, and the textile installation they are going to work on at the Space Studios Art + Tech residency this spring.
  • Alex McLean – The Live Loom
    Explaining and demoing my handmade, warp-weighted handloom, with thread heddles controlled via an array of solenoids by a strange live coding environment, that lets you explore the abstract layers of pattern.

plus plus OPENDORK.. If you have a fledgling project you’d like to get feedback on, a dorky event on the horizon, or something else strange and involving electricity you’d like to talk about for 5 minutes or so, then let us know at the start of the event.

Dorkbotsheffield #8

It’s definitely time for… dorkbotsheffield#8!

New to dorkbot? Find out more about it here.

Time: 7pm, 25th March 2015 (or show up earlier for the Access Space relaunch)
Please try to arrive on time, as talks will start very soon after 7pm!
Place: Access Space, 3-7 Sidney St, Sheffield, South Yorkshire S1 4RG
Signup: None – just turn up
Entry: Free (donations welcome!)

We’ve got four speakers, here in alphabetical order by surname (sorry Aaron):
JOANNE ARMITAGE showing the vibro-tactile devices she has created for synchronising musicians. SHELLY KNOTTS talking about collaboration in live coding and network music. AARON MEARS reflecting on his audio-visual installations and ALEX MCLEAN talking about looms and code.

Plus OPENDORK.. If you have a fledging project you’d like to get feedback on, a dorky event on the horizon, or something else strange and involving electricity you’d like to talk about for 5 minutes or so, then let us know at the start of the event.

Thanks to the CCI Exchange, University of Leeds for financial support for this event.

Winter of strange things with (and without) electricity

Still no dorkbotsheffield scheduled (soon!) but there’s loads of other strange and unmissable electrical goings on in Sheffield, leading us bravely into the winter of 2013. Here’s a selection:

  • 12th-13th October, Access Space host the Soundbox Workshop with Derek Holzer. It seems to be full but there might be a backup list.. Better get on the Access Space announce list anyway, they’re on fire at the moment!
  • Thursday 24th October, Terre Thaemlitz’s Soulnessless: Cantos I-IV, Showrooms. A audiovisual performance-lecture by Thaemlitz on identity politics and media production, informed by her long experience in the New York house scene. Part of the ongoing Refract series challenging the conventions of electronic dance music culture.
  • Tuesday 5th November — The second installment of computer club. Their first event was great including an extensive set from the legendary Black Dog.
  • Wednesday 6th November, the Sheffield Hallam “curated by” series continues with a stunning line up of artist and designers talking about their work.
  • On Thursday 7th November The dorkbot-affiliated Algorave comes to Sheffield, it’s live generative music but you can dance to it (if you have had enough tequila).
  • Saturday 9th November (day), Makers and Hackers day, a free event of demos and workshops. Learn about arduinos, robotics, wearable electronics, generative design etc..
  • Saturday 9th November (evening), another Refract evening, this one featuring a human reconstruction of the Roland TR-808 drum machine, which has provided the mechanical structure of so much classic techno.
  • 16th-17th November, a weekend of audio electronics at the Audacious Space.
  • Saturday 30th November, The last in the series of Refract events, featuring Mark Fell, who has been releasing massively influential abstract electronic music, pushing the limits of perception.
  • Friday 6th December, Open Platform at Access Space, doing strange things without electricity – the fourth in the Open Platform series of post-digital performance art events.

Talking of Black Dog, great to see they met their KickStarter target. If you want to support another local maker initiative, check out the Infinite Crypt miniatures game architecture project by Access Space’s James Wallbank.

Add a comment if we’ve missed anything and we’ll add it straight away!

Dorkbotsheffield #7

When: 7-9pm(ish), April 24th 2013
Where: Access Space [map]  (5 mins walk from Sheffield train station)

Plus! An exciting paper-based auction! Have a look between talks, and up the bids. All to help launch an urgent Access Space fundraising drive. If you’ve got some interesting bit of kit you have lying around, why not bring it along and add it to the auction? Pledged so far:

For those new to the international phenomena Dorkbot, each meeting consists of around 3 presentations by “people doing strange things with electricity” – a purposefully loose definition for what you might call electronic or digital art. People come to dorkbot because they’re an engineer who wants to be an artist, or an artist who wants to be an engineer, are something in between, or otherwise interested. It’s free entry and beer is always available.

Raspberry Jam is also the same time and night as dorkbotsheffield this month, so we’re having an informal hangout together. They’re just down the road, upstairs in the Workstation (conference room 2), and will be doing various experiments with the Raspberry Pi, including with sensors, motors, steppers and servos. This is a bit of an experiment – we’re not sure exactly how this will work – but but feel free to move between the two events, and we will all end up in the same pub at the end.

Be sure to let us know if you would like to present something at a future dorkbot!


Dorkbotsheffield #6


When: Friday 3rd August, 2012 from 6pm (Access Space) / 7pm (Site)
Door tax: Free entry, refreshments available
What: Another healthy evening of presentations and demos by people doing strange things with electricity, this time across two venues.  You’d be welcome at either, but why not come to both?

We start at Access Space (3 Sidney Street, S1 4RG) for a dorkbot prelude at 6pm, to visit their current artist-in-residence:

  • Refab Space artist in residence, the Juneau Brothers (Juneau Projects and Joseph Welden), will discuss their latest project and the materials, technology and techniques behind it. They’ll give an overview of what the group does and where the residency idea comes from.
    The Refab Space houses a laser cutter and other equipment for creating a host of two and three dimensional objects. The residency involves creating sculptural midi controllers from, audio triggers and circuits boards for live performance. You can get hands on and try out the new instruments too.

Then we stroll a few metres down the road to Site gallery (1 Brown Street, S1 2BS) by 7pm for more:

  • Susanne Palzer will talk about switching electricity off and going on in context of her interest in ‘performing technology without technology’. Following a period of R&D and the project RAM/RAR/RAA+RAP(s) – A Random Process Experiment at Access Space she will present recent findings: how she uses electricity for research and to learn about technology, her attempts to translate what she has learnt into physical performance – e.g. an ‘analogue hack of presentation software’ – and the temptation to switch electricity back on and use altered software in the future.
  • Alex McLean will talk about Live Coding, using programming languages to make live music.  Alex has been writing software to make music to drink beer to for over ten years in Slub, succeeding in making rooms full of people dance to algorithms on several occasions.  He makes increasingly broken techno, writing code live in self-built languages.  Lately he has been collaborating with Jake Harries to make statistically improbable pop music as Silicone Bake.  Alex will talk a bit about how live coding has developed over the past ten years, show some of the live coding environments he has made, and look to a future of interactive programming languages based on visual and tangible interaction.
  • Plus! We hope to have a representative from the Audacious Art Experiment to talk about their work with respect to their day-to-night festival taking place at Site gallery the following day (Saturday 4th August).

Plus more TBC!  If you would like to talk about something strange involving electricity in some way, please do get in touch at


DorkbotSheffield #5

DorkbotSheffield Installment number 5!

Dorkbot is an evening of informal talks/demos for people doing strange things with electricity.

Time: 6:30pm for a 7pm start, Friday 8th June 2012
Place: Access Space
Door tax: Free, but please register so we know about quantities of seats and beer

Dorkbot returns, after a nine month journey around venues along the street, to Access Space , just around the corner from Sheffield Station and opposite the Rutland Arms . It’ll be the usual format, people presenting the strange things that they have done with electricity.

This month’s presenters:
* MzTEK is a London based organisation which provides a learning community in technology and arts for women. They will be talking about how they got started, the kinds of things they get up to and how they’d like to spread the word outside London.
They will also be running a fun intro to Arduino workshop for women the following day.

*Stretchyboy (aka Martyn Eggleton) will present the “Steam Punk Organ” collaborative project, an interactive marvel of the contemporary Victorian Age created with a laser cutter, sensors and a some recycled junk electronics

*Flying Monkey TV. Media artist, Richard Bolam will talk about this open, collaborative project that uses low-impact methods to capture events. This can be time-lapse, video clips and stills, but the aim is to develop a technical framework that can be used to automatically compile, cross reference and deliver the media quickly.

* Writer and broadcaster, Leila Johnston will be bringing along a couple of the things that she and James Jefferies have been exploring during the Happenstance technology residencies at Sheffield’s Site Gallery.

*Iain Sharpe  is developing a modular synth that won’t break the bank and looking for volunteers to try it out.
He’s bringing one along to dorkbotsheffield and will be giving a short presentation.
Iain’s blog entries about it:

Access Space is an open access media lab, computer recycler and art space running on the power of Open Source Software and trash technology. It has recently opened Refab Space, a DIY fablab, next door where it is installing tools like a 3D printer, CNC router and laser cutter.

dorkbotsheffield #4


Coming up, the fourth installment of dorkbotsheffield!

Dorkbot is an evening of informal talks/demos for people doing strange things with electricity.  [more info]

Time: 6:30pm, Thursday 10th May 2012
Place: GIST Lab
Door tax: Free, but please register or we might not get enough beer in

This time dorkbot surfaces in the GIST Lab, a couple of minutes away from the train station.  It’ll be the usual format, some people presenting the strange things that they have done with electricity.

Featuring the bright and breezy:

  • Kate Sicchio works at the interface of dance and technology. She will present her work on video tracking systems and choreography and her new project on ‘hacking’ choreography.
  • Aaron Ibbotson will deliver the Young Hitckhiker’s Guide to the Self-Replicating Machine Odyssey
  • Simon Blackmore of the Owl Project will talk about recent work involving wood and electricity.
  • Duncan Rowland will present “Pure Flow”, a collaboration with Katy Connor that generates live, moving imagery and sound from the satellite data flows in the Global Positioning System

GIST host all manner of other activities of interest to dorks, including Open Lab, their monthly hackers/makers/tinkerers workshop.

dorkbotsheffield #3

… get ready for a MEGADORK.

When: 6:30pm, Friday 23rd March, 2012
Where: Showroom Cinema, Sheffield (Half a minute’s walk from Sheffield train station)
Within: Lovebytes: Digital Spring – a festival of art, science and technology
Door tax:  £5/4, tickets now available from showroom
Antisocial: Facebook, twitter, lanyrd

Presentations and performances:

A cabaret of performances and talks from among the UK’s (and Catalunya’s) dorkiest, to entertain and amaze:

Paul Granjon – Paul Granjon will present a mix of thoughts on humans and machines and a selection of robots, including good old Mofo the little humanoid and some crude EEG human robot communication.

Patrick Tresset – talking about his drawing robot called Paul
(on show at the Intuition and Ingenuity exhibition in Lovebytes)

Daniel Jones and James Bulley – talking and demoing their new Maelstrom installation

Sarah and Jenny Angliss – playing robot Spacedog music from past futures

Sergi Jorda – talking about the Reactable tangible tabletop music playground
(which you’ll be able to try out at Lovebytes)

Dan Stowell – Demonstrates his use of the Risset illusion in techno music

Silicone Bake – Live coded pop songs about love, death and counterfeit watches, where all lyrics are taken from spam emails.

Dorkbotsheffield #2

This was our second dorkbotsheffield event, and everything was 
in a fixed width font for some reason.
Dorkbotsheffield#2 featured four strange dorkbot presentations 
involving electricity in some way, in particular:

 -> IAIN SHARP talking about his legendary arcade machines including
    CYCLEPONG and his mechanical remake of LUNAR LANDER

 -> JO ARMITAGE showing her HANDMADE MUSIC INTERFACES, in particular
    a neat touchscreen arduino hack and a melodica style app.

 -> BEN DORNAN talking about his experiments in MIND CONTROLLED
    MUSIC, which may require some explanation.  Luckily, he sent this

    "While it may not be the most obvious pairing, for over 50 years
    composers and scientists have been probing how the brain can be
    used to create and manipulate music. Over time this has developed
    from simple sonification to complex control systems, and has
    moved from the lab into the home thanks to consumer grade EEG
    technology. An outline of this progress will be traced, along
    with a demonstration of how accessible the technology and
    techniques have become."

 -> JAKE HARRIES will be walking round the corner from his base in
    Access Space to talk about the ZERO DOLLAR LAPTOP project.
    Here's some info from Jake:

    "Zero Dollar Laptop Workshops have been running in London since
    January 2010, the first project was with St Mungos Charity for
    the Homeless in London. We recycle computer hardware and install
    Free and Open Source Software to build media laptops and create
    music, graphics and video for distribution over the Internet."