Apr 132016
 

CBBLanyard

Circuit Benders’ Ball is a biennial celebration of hardware hacking, free culture, art, and the creative spirit. I’ve been running the show since the festival’s inception in 2010. The three-day event at Fort Houston in 2014 was our biggest and best yet. We have a venue lined up for September 2016, and we’re preparing to send out calls for participants. There’s just one thing we need:

A new producer.

I’ve reached the unfortunate conclusion that with all the other things on my plate, most notably Modular Art Pods @ OZ, I won’t be able to devote the time necessary to put on CBB. I’d still like to pitch in, perhaps even finally perform at the fest, but I’m looking for someone else to take the reins. So, what would this involve?

The 2016 CBB producer would be responsible for:

  • Assembling the lineup of performers, visual artists, workshop teachers, and presenters.
  • Fundraising. Seeking money through sponsorships, funding drives, pre-sales, etc.
  • Building a team of volunteers to help with all aspects of the show.
  • Negotiating and fulfilling payment/travel expenses with the venue and artists.
  • Finding places for the touring artists to stay.
  • Promotion.

I won’t lie. The hardest part is the money. The organizing side of CBB has always been all-volunteer, from the producer to the visual art directors to the sound engineers to the ticket takers. After expenses, all of the funds have gone to the touring performers, although never as much as they deserve … and never enough to properly compensate the local performers. We’d love for that to change this year.

This would also mean that you, the incoming producer, would also be volunteering your time. You may be able to strategize ways to increase revenue and allow enough for a producer’s salary. If you can make that happen and still fairly compensate the performers, more power to you.

I would make myself available to answer any of your questions and help out in any way I can.  You would have free rein to run the festival as you see fit, except for the following core rules:

  • Performances must involve circuit bending, creative coding, instrument building, or modular rigs (especially if the modules are homemade or heavily-modded). In the past, we’ve also included music made with Gameboys because of the homebrew cartridges.
  • Producers must be committed to inclusivity. Producers should seek out a diverse lineup of performers that include women, people of color, people with disabilities, and people in the LGBT communities.
  • The Code of Conduct should reflect that spirit of inclusivity by fostering a safe environment for all guests.

The new producer will be chosen by me and group of past CBB staff. A producer that lives in or near Nashville, TN is heavily preferred. If selected, you will produce the 2016 edition, and if all goes well, you’ll have the option to produce future editions. Interested parties should e-mail me at tonyyoungblood@gmail.com.

Mar 262014
 
Logo by Rachel Briggs.

Logo by Rachel Briggs.

A few weeks ago, the Nashville Scene unveiled the first round of artist announcements for the Circuit Benders’ Ball, and now it is my pleasure to announce the full artist lineup as well as the panels, presentations, and workshops!

The submissions were so strong this year that we decided to expand to three full days of programming! The Ball will begin on Friday, April 11th and continue through Sunday, April 13th. All festival programming will take place at the premiere Nashville makerspace Fort Houston located at 500 Houston Street, Nashville, TN 37203.

Performers:

With special presentations by:

Art by:

Live visuals by:

Featuring the panels:

  • Introduction to Circuit Bending
  • Making Music by Code Alone
  • Society of the Spectacle: Culture Jamming, Détournement, and Tactical Media
  • Fair Use, Artistic Appropriating, and Culture Jamming (Pt. 2)
  • Glitch Art / Dirty New Media
  • Visual Bending
  • Structural Biases in Local Show Booking
  • Chiptune Art
  • Electronic Enclosures Design
  • Computer Models of Circuit Bending
  • Towards a Circuit Bending Standardization

Featuring the workshops:

  • Playdoh Vs. Lego: A Composer’s Take on Hacker-Culture by Kyle Baker (Soundcrawl co-founder)
  • Piezo Mic Making by Christopher Lavery
  • Hacking the Gameboy by Abandoned On Fire and b4by f4c3
  • Let’s Build a Hex-Schmitt Trigger Oscillator by Christopher Lavery
  • Subverting Google by Patrick Quinn
  • Bending with Photoresistors! by Jeff Boynton
  • Microcontrol of a Macroworld: Physical Computing with Arduino by Josh Gumiela

Three day passes, single day tickets, and workshop tickets will be available soon at FortHouston.com. The three day festival pass is $35 advance or $50 at door. Single day tickets are $15 advance or $20 at door. Workshops are $15 advance or $20 at door (if any slots remain). Those who purchase the festival pass in advance will get a sweet LED lanyard with their name on it. Because of the intimate size of the space, we’re limiting the total amount of tickets to 100, so be sure to scoop yours up as soon as they go on sale. (Tentatively, Saturday, March 29th.)

We are proud to have Yazoo Brewing Company back as a sponsor. If you’re interested in sponsoring the Ball, see our sponsor guide.

Watch this space for the full schedule, panel & workshop descriptions, and spotlights on the participants. Are you excited yet? I know I am.

Mar 192014
 

Roth Mobot Circuit Bent Prayer Clock

Time is running out to donate to the 2014 Circuit Benders’ Ball Kickstarter campaign, which ends Thursday, March 20th at 1:47pm Central time. Lots of great prizes remain, including a tangible item mailing service in which artist Megan Kelley occasionally mails you custom swag for an indefinite amount of time ($100) and TWO toys circuit bent by Tom Stephenson of 2012 CBB headliner Roth Mobot ($150).

Tom bent these toys especially for CBB Kickstarter contributors, and he just posted demos!

First up is this positively evil bent prayer clock, absent a few heads:

 

And then there’s this bent “Baby Driver” toy that makes fantastic noises:

Both are still available at the time of this writing. The first to pledge $150 gets first pick. Head on over to the Kickstarter campaign and help us make this the best Ball yet!

Feb 212014
 
Logo by Rachel Briggs.

Logo by Rachel Briggs.


The Circuit Benders’ Ball festival of free culture, art, music and the creative spirit is a labor of love. This year we received so many great applications from makers from around the globe that we’re considering expanding to an entire weekend of panels, workshops, art exhibits and performances. But in order to bring these artists to Nashville, we need your support.

Individuals can support the Ball by donating to our Kickstarter, which in just four days is halfway to our first goal.

Businesses can sponsor the Ball through a number of opportunities outlined below. If you have another idea in mind, let us know by contacting me at tony@theatreintangible.com, and we’ll work with you to create a custom sponsorship. Custom sponsorship ideas include providing equipment or concessions and underwriting a specific workshop, artist, or presentation.

We are also interested in teaming up with local universities and tech companies to sponsor specific artists. In this scenario, the artist would also lead a discussion, performance, and/or workshop at your school or business.

Your sponsorship dollars go toward:

  • Artist compensation and travelling expenses
  • Sponsoring Nashville Title I high school and middle school students to attend CBB workshops and presentations.

Below are the main funding levels.* Thank you for your consideration!

Presenting Sponsor – $2,000 to $5000 – 1 available

  • Designation as the“Presenting Sponsor” of the 2014 Nashville Circuit Benders’ Ball.
  • “Presented by” (your name and logo) on all advertising, social media, schedules, official program, and signage materials. Your business will be the first sponsor listed and in the biggest print.
  • License to use Circuit Benders’ Ball event logo and images for the your promotion, advertising, or other leverage activities.
  • One of the organizing directors will announce your name and thank you during the Ball
  • From this point forward, whenever we mention the Ball in print, we’ll say “The 2014 Nashville Circuit Benders’ Ball presented by (your name)”.
  • Booth space at the event which provides: demonstration, display, sampling and sales opportunities.
  • Link to sponsor’s homepage from the CircuitBendersBall.com and TheatreIntangible.com websites.
  • 12 free festival passes. (Excludes workshops, which have a separate fee.)
  • Acknowledgment during any pre and post Ball events.

Supporting Sponsors – $1000 to $1999 – 5 available

  • Designation as a “Supporting Sponsor” of the 2014 Nashville Circuit Benders’ Ball.
  • Your name and logo listed under “Supporting Sponsors” on all advertising, social media, schedules, official program, and signage materials. This tier will be listed in the second-biggest print directly under the Presenting Sponsor.
  • License to use Circuit Benders’ Ball event logo and images for the your promotion, advertising, or other leverage activities.
  • Booth space at the event which provides: demonstration, display, sampling and sales opportunities.
  • One of the organizing directors will announce your name and thank you during the Ball.
  • Link to sponsor’s homepage from the CircuitBendersBall.com and TheatreIntangible.com websites.
  • 7 free festival passes. (Excludes workshops, which have a separate fee.)
  • Acknowledgment during any pre and post Ball events.

Contributing Sponsors – $500 to $999 – 10 available

  • Designation as a “Contributing Sponsor” of the 2014 Nashville Circuit Benders’ Ball.
  • Your name and logo listed under “Contributing Sponsors” on all advertising, social media, schedules, official program, and signage materials. This tier will be listed in the third-biggest print under the Supporting Sponsors.
  • One of the organizing directors will announce your name and thank you during the Ball.
  • Link to sponsor’s homepage from the CircuitBendersBall.com and TheatreIntangible.com websites.
  • 4 free festival passes. (Excludes workshops, which have a separate fee.)

Friends of the Ball – $125 to $499 – Unlimited

  • Name recognition prior to the event in promotional and marketing materials including: CircuitBendersBall.com, TheatreIntangible.com and social media.
  • Your name (not logo) on main advertising, official program, and main signage materials. This tier will be listed under the Contributing Sponsors.
  • 2 free festival passes. (Excludes workshops, which have a separate fee.)

If you’re interested, contact me at tony@theatreintangible.com. We appreciate your support!

* Funding levels adapted from those of the 2013 Nashville Mini Maker Faire, an event I helped with.