Music Makers Hacklab: Tuning Machines

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The stimulation of bio-organisms through sensory (aural/visual) and electrical stimulation in feedback loops is presented by programming stimuli in real time and in a definite time-rhythmic sequence — music is art most involved in real-time organization of sensory stimulation.” – Manford L. Eaton

MusicMakers Hacklab is a weeklong open, collaborative laboratory hosted by Peter Kirn of CDM ( and musician and media artist Leslie Garcia ( It allows practitioners from a range of disciplines to find new ways of exploring hybrid systems of human body, biology, and sound.

Now entering its 3rd edition within the CTM Festival, the Hacklab takes on the theme Tuning Machines, relating to some of the technological ramifications of CTM 2015 Un Tune – Exploring Sonic Affect. Following an open call for artists/performers, scientists, and experimenters, the selected Hacklab participants will collaborate for a few days to build new systems and instruments that refer to the Tuning Machines theme and then play these systems and instruments live in a public showcase at the conclusion of the week.

The Hacklab is open to all interpretations and imaginations of the theme, but projects could include, for example:

  • Human sensors (Galvanic Skin Response, EKG, EEG, eye movement, blood pressure, resporation and mechanomyogram or MMG)
  • Biofeedback systems
  • Movement sensors
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Aural and optical stimulation
  • Data sonification
  • Novel physical controllers
  • Dance performance, breathing techniques, and other physical practices

and musical and visual performances using all these techniques. We welcome dancers and biologists, composers and neuroscientists, coders and harp players, and representatives of other disciplines and cross-disciplines we’ve heard of or haven’t, to apply to join us in conversation or hacklab collaborations.

Participants can apply by the deadline to our open call; a select number will be chosen to fill the limited space.

The public is invited to check in on the Hacklab’s progress throughout the week as participants engage in hands-on workshops, talks, and skill “boot camps”. The Hacklab’s intensive free-form collaborative development concludes with a series of public performances at the MusicMakers showcase.Several special talks, open to the general public, are also organized as part of the Hacklab.