I came here for one week to experience the orientation at STEIM, show my recent work “Cardboard Orchestra” and meet and collaborate with fellow artists, musicians and inventors.
The ‘Cardboard Orchestra” is a digital 8 step sequencer using analog optical valves and mixing as control signals instead of conventional mechanical potentiometers and electrical mixing. The goal is to make an inexpensive sequencer that school children can build using free cardboard and inexpensive hot glue and electronic parts (e.g. 555 timer, 4017 counter decoder).
After the workshop was over on Wednesday, I enjoyed spending Thursday and Friday in the bunker machine-shop building versions of my Cardboard Orchestra. I have enjoyed the company of Sybren Danz and Daniel who showed me around the electronic and mechanical facilities at STEIM. I quickly learned to ask before cutting material and using parts! To thank them for the use of the machine shop, I spent Friday afternoon giving it a good vacuuming. As I learned in Boy Scouts, leave it cleaner than you found it !
What I enjoyed most about my visit to STEIM was letting go of my day-to-day cyber-connected world and simply being with my ideas, notebook, bicycling around Amsterdam and living in slow time; synchronizing to the sun and not the clock. That meant going to bed soon after sunset, waking up every few hours to enjoy the peace and quiet of the top floor guest room, the still of the night, and the peace in my mind and body. This is the mental/psychological/physical platform I experienced at STEIM; an electro-technical-sound-design ashram to enable me to conduct my creative instrument building. I hope to return to this place and space again.