Maker Music: Meet your Artists: holzkopf

Jacob Hardy performs music under the name “holzkopf.” His interests are vast but are focussed on making dance music rooted in the traditions of detroit techno, dub mixing, free jazz and musique concrete. He mixes between a sampler he’s had since high school, a rejected drum machine and tapes in pitch control or modified tape decks. He often wires his equipment into feedback loops with each other so it gets confused. He will be playing a somewhat fluid, collage of beats, tapes, smooth bass lines and skronky noises.Jacob will be bringing his suitcase of electronic instruments, bent, broken and unchanged stuff.

Maker Music: Meet Your Artists: Dark Arps

A performance by ‘Dark Arps’

Veteran producer and engineer, Dark Arps is the latest moniker of Canadian electronic artist, Jonathan Bierman. Originally inspired by the slew of groundbreaking acts that arose from the UK’s DnB and triphop scenes in the 90’s, his tastes evolved to incorporate nu-skool breaks, progressive, and techno. Timeless acts such as Hybrid, Underworld and The Prodigy were influential role models that forged in him an equal commitment to musicality, high production standards and of course, dance-ability. Throughout the 2000’s he spent eight years producing, engineering, touring and performing with one of the UK’s first truly live DnB-breakbeat acts, Keiretsu, rocking dance floors all across Britain, from Edinburgh to Brighton. As well, during this period he continued to produce, remix and collaborate with an endless variety of electronic and traditional acts, giving him a diverse pool of influence from which to draw inspiration. Now in his 15th year as an electronic music producer, and reinvigorated by his new spiritual home of Vancouver BC, Dark Arps’ productions are more coherent, confident and technically sophisticated than ever.


Dark Arps proudly presents the “technosuit”, a three-way collaborative work with Vancouver artists Krista Lomax and Luke Detheridge. The technosuit is a future-gothic styled suit of armour, covered in an array of LEDs and electroluminescent wires, driven by an Arduino microcontroller. Using Ableton Live as the host sequencer to perform the music, complex MIDI messages are also transmitted to the Arduino to trigger an intricate and sympathetic sequence of lights which complement the music.

Announcing Maker Music on November 16th!

Come one! Come all to our first Maker Music Event!

Maker Music is a one evening event intended to showcase the DIY community in the performance art and music scene. Circuit benders, instrument makers, and performance artists will to this one night event on the evening of November 16 with a Maker dance party that will go late into the night. Musicianship is always considerably DIY, but in the Maker Movement ethos, we now have a chance to expose the rich creativity found in Vancouver’s music community and to celebrate it in one event. Come down and see what Maker Music is made of!

You must RSVP to gain admission to the event

You can purchase your tickets here

Stay tuned for event scheduling and artist showcases. This is an event you do not want to miss!

Maker Music: Call for Submissions

Call for Maker Musicians!

Do you make your own music instruments?

Do you use diy practices in your music production?

Do you use play your existing instruments in a creative way?

Are you an artist and affiliate closely to the Maker movement?

Then we want you!

Maker Music is a one evening event intended to showcase the DIY community in the performance art and music scene. Circuit benders, instrument makers, and performance artists are encouraged to apply to this one night event the first week of November. Musicianship is always considerably DIY, but in the Maker Movement ethos, we now have a chance to expose the rich creativity found in Vancouver’s music community and to celebrate it in one event.
Submit your application here by October 1st and join us in this wonderful event!

Meet Your Sponsor: The Hackery

The Hackery was most gracious to come on board as a community sponosor again for this year’s Maker Faire. The Hackery, located on the a block north of  East Hastings on Victoria Drive, is a fantastic tech shop that repairs, recycles, re-purposes and re-sells computers and electronics. These services have expanded beyond just catering to Vancouver. Their highly active online eBay store has since become an integral part in the international electronics collector community.


When you walk into The Hackery, the first thing you will notice is the diversity of equipment they have on their shelves. From Commodore PET computers, to vintage radios, to even one of the first fax machines, they have all kinds of wonders you could just oggle at for hours. Aside from their thriving online business, they have all kinds of walk-in customers: people looking for laptop replacement parts salvaged from their scrapyard, people interested in recycling electronics (which they spend the time to fully dismantle for usable parts, before sending true end of life material to audited material handlers and refineries), and in my case, electronics for one of my Maker projects!


David Repa, The Hackery’s founder and owner, was kind enough to walk me through their back area where they do their repairs. At one table, a monitor repair was being diagnosed by a DIY tool that could determine whether a capacitor was blown without removing the capacitor from the board. At another table was a diagnostics computer whose own innards hung down from a wooden beam above the workbench. I also got a demo on how one turned it on, you woud have to hot wire the thing. Awesome!


David also co-founded Free Geek Vancouver, and rented the upstairs of The Hackery to the founding members of the Vancouver Hackspace, one of our sister organizations, making him deeply ingrained in the DIY community here in Vancouver. He really does know how to hack in Vancouver, and his scrap yard is no exception. The ‘Scrap Yard’, a garage filled with computers and other electronics waiting to be sold, repaired, recycled, or cannibalized, was massive! Stacked with laptops, flats of Apple IIs (and all of it’s periphreals), bins of components and boards, and a self-repaired forklift. They even have their own in-house metal waste compactor (DIY’d no less!).

In a time where throwaway culture is becoming more and more prevalent, the value of The Hackery’s venture cannot be understated. They fight through the flood of disposability and find the gems, find the salvageable, and help people continue to use electronics free of guilt knowing that they have a proper ethical recycling facility at The Hackery when it is needed.


The Vancouver Maker/Hacker community is extremely lucky to have a space like The Hackery. Their warm, friendly, and open nature is very approachable and even my brief time interviewing them has left me with all sorts of ideas and inspiration for my next DIY project. I recommend stopping by, chatting with their staff, as there is all kinds of great things you could learn. Thanks again David, you guys are great!


You should follow The Hackery on Twitter here and on Facebook here.


Makers Assemble at North Van Elementary Schools


Last Friday morning, June 15th, I brought three makers with me to put on assemblies at two North Vancouver elementary schools.


Andrew Milne, Jesse Scott, and Vincent van Haaf brought their joy of making and some of their original creations to show off to the children. Despite being a bit nervous to present to 150 eight to twelve year olds, all three makers were super energized by the children’s enthusiasm. We were all impressed by the intelligent comments and questions, but our favourite was, “Do you do birthday parties?” Well, after the fun we had presenting in North Vancouver, birthday parties are under serious consideration…


Jesse Scott explains laser graffiti to a captive audience.

Andrew Milne shows off his hand-built 3D printer


Take those old pennies and make something new!

Wondering what to do with your pockets of soon-to-be-useless pennies? The Vancouver Design Nerds will be hosting a “Penny Nerd Jam” at this year’s Maker Faire, and will invite participants to turn pennies in to fantabulous objects! The jam will be happening for an hour on both Saturday and Sunday. More details on the timing of that jam to come.

We found a pretty stellar re-use of them from Shane Walton. It takes some time, but so do all things worthwhile and shiny.

Check out how to make it here


Photo by Shane Walton

Sunday, December 4th is the Got Craft? Craft Show at the Royal Canadian Legion

Got Craft? is having its winter craft show! Check out their awesome vendors. We will be there with information on how to get involved with Vancouver Mini Maker Faire 2012!



Futurist Inventors to Converge in Vancouver

More than 1,000 futurists from around the globe will meet in Vancouver this July (8-10) to discuss sustainability, technology, entrepreneurship, and the quickly changing future of the human race at WorldFuture 2011, the annual conference of the World Future Society.



In addition, WorldFuture 2011 will feature the first ever Futurists: BetaLaunch (F:BL) a technology and innovation “petting zoo” where participants can get up close and personal with new start ups and inventions that could change the way we live. Registration is open to the public. (


“This year, we had over 60 excellent submissions for Futurists: BetaLaunch and could accept a handful of entries,” said Lisa Donchak, Google associate and one of the F:BL judges. “We were surprised and impressed by the quality of each submission.… We hope WorldFuture 2011 attendees enjoy getting up close and personal with the final selections. We’ll be exhibiting a phenomenal range of inventions, big and small,” she said in a taped segment, available on the Futurists: BetaLaunch Web site.




Dale Dougherty, editor and publisher of MAKE, and general manager of the Maker Media division of O’Reilly Media, Inc. will speak at the WorldFuture 2011, the annual conference of the World Future Society to be held in Vancouver from July 8-10th. Dougherty helped found O’Reilly Media, Inc. with Tim O’Reilly. Dougherty was developer and publisher of Web Review, the online magazine for Web designers. “MAKE Magazine brings the do-it-yourself mindset to all the technology in your life. MAKE is loaded with exciting projects that help you make the most of your technology at home and away from home. We celebrate your right to tweak, hack, and bend any technology to your own will,” according to the company’s Web site.



Dale Dougherty on TED:



Etalim Inc.




Etalim Inc., a startup company in Vancouver, Canada, is developing a totally new type of device that can generate electricity from any fuel or heat source (including sunlight, gas or biomass) with extraordinary efficiency, simplicity and reliability.  Imagine a small “engine”, the size of a soccer ball, that operates at 50% efficiency, can be manufactured for $0.20 per Watt and can run maintenance-free forever.  This technology will be highly disruptive to several markets including residential cogeneration and large-scale solar power. The scientists and engineers behind Etalim come from one of BC’s most successful tech stalwarts, Creo Inc. Etalim’s technology stems from some recent advances in thermoacoustic physics at Los Alamo

Contact: Ron



SeaSteading Institute, one of the BetaWatch entries.


“The Seasteading Institute was founded in 2008 by Patri Friedman, grandson of economist Milton Friedman. We have received wide media coverage, including stories by CBS Sunday Morning, the UK’s Sunday Times, Wired magazine, and many more. As of December 2010, we have raised over $1,000,000, with funding led by Silicon Valley investor Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal and first investor in Facebook.

Our mission is to further the long-term growth of the seasteading movement. Our current focus is on enabling the success of the first seasteads by researching the critical engineering, legal, and business problems, increasing public awareness, and building a core seasteading community.

We are a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA.”


Mini Maker Faire Vancouver Speaker Series Brought to you by Gen Why




The Gen Why Media Project is a community building project that seeks to use DIY ethics to adjust, annotate, and reimagine civic engagment in order to shape the direction of our city, province, country and planet. Our interest in Maker Cutlure lies in the ethos of building, modifying, or repairing of something without the aid of experts or professionals, offering an alternative to modern consumer culture’s emphasis on relying on others to satisfy needs. We believe that an ordinary person can learn to do more than he or she thought was possible – thus empowering individuals and communities to employ alternative approaches when faced with bureaucratic or societal obstacles to achieving their objectives.


Gen Why is hosting the speaker series at Maker Faire as a way of championing the average individual seeking knowledge and expertise for him/herself. Gen Why is also leading the building of a public art piece entitled “REGENERATE” that brings progressive community groups together to collaborate on a sculpture made from recycled/re-used/repurposed materials and greenery. As a collaboration between eatART, Makerfaire, Gen Why, Vancouver Community Lab and Vancouver Design Nerds the project envisions a large scale, text-based mural to spell the word “regenerate” – inspiring the re-imagination of energy, makers, refuse and public art. The project will reflect on the Great Northern Way site; its history, ecology, its cultural context within the city and the site’s past and present conditions.



Don’t miss out! Check out the full speaker series here