Social Hacking

Just before my Simontron presentation, Joasia told me about a project that was starting up which was related to my interest in hacking and invited me along to the meeting which was yesterday afternoon. The project is called Social Hacking and deals with physical computing, hacking commercial games engines and consoles, appropriating domestic technologies and pretty much everything that were my terms of reference for Simontron. I got there quite early to find Steve was gonna attend the meeting as well. The main group were running a bit late so we helped with the chairs and grabbed a seat near the open window. Anyways, they duly arrived, sat down and the meeting started with introductions. The iDAT crew did theirs, Steve and I did ours, followed by Marta from Gameboyzz Orchestra, the guys from the Institute for Applied Autonomy and the gang from C6. Do what? The very people whose work I’ve admired and has inspired me are sat less than 20 feet away. That has gotta rank up there with the ’96 play-off final. Well, pretty close at least. Each of them took it in turns to talk about their work and there was a general discussion about Plymouth and the project before the meeting ended and then it was off to Bar HaHa for drinks and eats but not before both Steve and I signed up to the workshop Gameboyzz will be running.

At the pub, Joasia introduced me to Marta who I managed to sit next to to chat about their work and stuff. I told her about the Simontron and she seemed quite interested in it and even suggested bringing it along to perform with them. Now there’s an incentive to get it finished if ever I heard one. We had a chat about Poland and she told me places to visit and the best time to go over there. And what did I teach her about British culture in return? I taught her the word “knackered”. Well, by the sounds of it, there could be a lot of hard work involved with the project and so knackered and its various forms would be a useful word to know. As the evening went on, managed to have a quick chat with the IAA boys as well as Steve and Mario who had also joined us.

If this comes off, it’s gonna be one wicked project and, speaking as a Janner, being staged in Plymouth is just fantastic. I know we’re usually a pessimistic, apathetic bunch but I think once they get to see and become involved in this, they might start to see their city in a different light.

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