ITP Camp 2016

ITP Camp Blog

Closing Time

Written by Zoe Bachman on June 29, 2016, 5:51pm

Can\'t believe we\'re here - the end of camp! Last night we had our incredible Show-and-Tell packed with dozens of camper projects. Campers showed off everything from wearable projects, projection mapping to VR experiments, Take a look at some of their awesome projects and all the fun we had at the party!

Bustling Floor

Written by Ashley Cortez on June 27, 2016, 9:28pm

The great Show and Tell is tomorrow, and the floor is bustling with a variety of projects, ideas, and collaborations. In the mean time, classes are still going on around all of the activity as people continue to soak up new information and skills. People continue to seek out new perspectives, whether through VR or balanced on their heads.

ITP Campfire Stories: Kate Yourke

Written by Ruta Kruliauskaite on June 27, 2016, 7:45pm


What were your favorite moments at ITP Camp so far? I think the first one was just even arriving on the first day: it was so exciting, I was just floating on that thrill for quite a while, because the sense of possibility and just the feeling of support from the people here felt like heaven. It felt like exactly what my happy place looks like. But specifically, the piezoelectric crystal workshop was fantastic: the idea of a slow education is something I’ve been toying with just like the idea of slow food movement. We’re always rushing to try and get as many facts across as possible and this was done in a very calm and very thoughtful pace and it allowed everybody to catch up with the deeper context of it. And it had some of my favorite things: crystal growing is amazing and seeing the molecular structure change and response was great. Well, we didn’t see that, but we saw evidence of the molecular structure changing in response to the flow of electricity passing through it. And that would make it actually make sound and then on the other hand striking it would create electricity -- it’s another fascination of mine. Also, they happen to be birefringent and produce wonderful refractions under polarized light which is another one of my favorite things. So that was kind of all awesomeness tied up in a bow. Beautiful.

Why Maker Education? I’ve been a teaching artist for thirty years. And so I think I was already doing what I would consider a maker education where I was approaching every curriculum topic through hands-on learning. And when that became articulated as the Maker movement I embraced it immediately and felt really supported by its premise of making and sharing and maintaining the comfort with failure, or not being a master. I think these are all really important characteristics of education and how we go around in the world: raising children to be creators and not only consumers. So Maker Education met with a lot of my primary drives that I’ve worked on already.

You say it was articulated as a Maker movement… what was it before? I think I have a very specific perspective because I’m looking at it as maker education. For me it was probably just a standard project based learning, which in school was pretty common. I think making something in response to the request to show what you know has been going on for a long time. But with the Maker movement it became a procedure by which it would be assumed that you would share what you know. That you are creating a community through this learning process. That it was lifelong learning. That teachers didn’t have to be experts if they were in a facilitator role. Student directed, inquiry based. It really kind of packaged a lot of things that were important and articulated them well. Although I think the Maker movement came out a bit more as an entrepreneurial spirit. And it was really that you could rapidly prototype from your desktop; you know digital fabrication and stuff, which is not really my part of it as much. But I don’t mean to dismiss it, it’s just not where I’ve been focused.

What’s your most exciting initiative around the Maker Education that you worked on? Right now I am happy to be working with a high school in Brooklyn, Williamsburg High School of Architecture and Design trying to move their school into the Automotive High School building. Automotive High School is a classic vocational education program that had been very successful and was a top school for a long time and then the approach to vocational education changed and then it became a kind of place to where students who weren’t succeeding in school were sent whether they were interested in that kind of learning or not. It was a very large school, there started to be a lot of problems and it became labeled as a failing school. There was even an attempt to close it down. It was kept open by a lawsuit which put it in a very weak status. So the school has been vulnerable for a long time. It’s still a really magnificent location and area itself still has a great potential. So with the Williamsburg High School of Architecture and Design we’re hoping for a community, career and technical education program at the school in which I would open a maker space that would be available to the students in the school, to the families, and to the larger community so that we could create more of a community interaction with the learning that’s going on in the school. Build more connection and trust because the school has been really isolated from the outside community. And also leading towards doing professional development around maker education, project based learning and integrated curriculum.

Any advice to future campers? Definitely don’t over schedule yourself because you will feel deprived and you don’t want to add that feeling to the mix of feelings that are at camp. You want to be able to take your time and do it all and not feel rushed or stressed.

Watch video for more responses from Kate:

ITP Campfire Stories: Sadah Espii Proctor

Written by Ruta Kruliauskaite on June 27, 2016, 7:40pm


What were your favorite moments at ITP Camp so far? My favorite moment so far was the sound and movement workshop. I got to co-lead that with a group of people and it was nice because it had different sections -- there were some physical warm-ups in the beginning, there was a moment with tubes later. I got to lead a section on sound composition using found sounds that are in your environment and creating music or a soundscape out of it. That was a lot of fun because it was a hodgepodge of different things and then after that we were just jamming on different devices so it was pretty cool.

What’s your latest passion? I would say virtual reality. I wasn’t expecting that it would be as fascinating but it’s really interesting because it’s like cracking a puzzle on how to tell a story with it. There are still so many different things that you could try out and there’s no one solid way to do it, there’s not like theories and books on it, it’s all still just one giant mystery so it just leaves a lot of room to play around and make mistakes and put new things together. It’s pretty exciting.

Can you explain a bit more on cyborg theatre? The term “cyborg theatre” was coined by Jennifer Parker-Starbuck. It’s what I believe the synthesis of art and technology on stage. To me the definition of a ‘cyborg’ can be manifested physically where you have the physical unity of technology with the human body, with human senses and behaviors leading the technology rather than the other way around. The other thing about cyborg theory that I find interesting is that it’s also of the mind. So thinking in a technological sense as well, which a lot of us do now because we have smart phones, we play on our computers all day. We have our digital calendars. So the thing about the technology that’s being used, whether that’s thinking technologically and artistically or actually creating something physical is that it doesn’t have an identity. We prescribe it an identity. It’s not defined by race, it’s not defined by gender, it’s not defined by social status or anything. It can be whatever we want it to be, but it can also be none of the above. So how do you combine that with the human body and challenge what it is to be a person of color, or challenge what it is to be a working class person. I feel that -- I don’t want to say it would help us transcend because we still have those conditions in everyday life -- but it would allow us to think about the future in different ways. Like, how we can construct a future as we imagine it. And one of those ways is to embrace that unity of tech and people.

What are the additional benefits of adding more technology for the spectator as well as the artist compared to the traditional theatre? I think it’s something that we use everyday and it’s already in our vocabulary. So just like we have lights on stage or we have costumes on stage, there’s a certain understanding -- certain costumes mean certain positions or certain conditions people that have. Costumes let us know a lot about a person. Lights -- we use lights to determine mood. You know, the way that lighting is affects the mood of a person. Technology is something that we do use everyday as well. Again, we use smartphones, we use cell phones, we use computers but also, you know, there’s sensors, there’s microcontrollers, there’s costumes with lights, wearable technology, things that read your biological data. Those are things that are part of our life and because they’re part of our life, like the other elements that we’ve added into theatre, we should also bring that on stage and see what new ways we can look at that with. It is something that we engage with everyday. At the end of the day, performance is about the actor and the spectator and nothing else is needed; the costumes, the lights, the sound, the scenery -- all of those are added things because those are things that we see in our world that we try to bring on stage to either recreate the world that we see around us or use those elements of the world to help us understand new things. So just like all of those things are not necessarily needed in the theatre but we have them, technology should also join and we’ll see what happens.

What is one thing that you cannot live without? My mom. It sucks because we’re all getting older mom. She’s always been really supportive and really inspiring and she’s one of those parents that supports me doing art when I was the one pushing back -- I had not wanted to embrace the arts -- but she, you know, was like “go for it.” She encouraged me. When I also started figuring out what kind of tech stuff I loved in performance, and my mom knew I grew up playing video games and online MMOs, so she also encouraged me to embrace that. She’s the one person that doesn’t find the way I want to synthesize them weird at all. Being in graduate school, she’s been really supportive. I wouldn’t be in it or in anything I am without her love and support. So she’s definitely the one.

Explain to a five-year old in one sentence…

Physical computing… Physical computing is like taking all of the wonders of Times Square or Disney or Disney magic and shrinking it down to people size.

Laser cutter… It’s like taking a lightsaber and making cute little designs.

Any advice to future campers? Have an idea of what you want to do but also be free and explore. I came in here with one intention and through a series of events inside and outside of camp I’m now leaving with new things that I want to learn and use and that I’m also just going for. So I invite you to just experiment, play around: you never know what happens.

Watch video for more responses from Espii:

ITP Campfire Stories: Jody Culkin

Written by Ruta Kruliauskaite on June 27, 2016, 7:36pm


What were your favorite moments at ITP Camp so far? I have many favorite moments: I’ve come to every single camp, I seem to be a Camp lifer. I went to ITP as well, I’m an alum. ITP Camp is kind of like camp when you’re a kid and you have friends that you only see at camp, so there’s a bunch of campers who’ve come here for many years and I only see them in June. And also, of course, the staff and faculty of ITP -- it’s great to see all the people I know who are here all year round but I really see them only in June. I also really love using the digital fabrication equipment and every year I try to learn something new -- I’m really excited about Othermill, which I haven’t really used yet but I’m waiting for my bits to arrive from California any second now. I also enjoyed leading a couple of sessions which I ran with Eric Hagan on Beginning Arduino, which was really really fun, too.

How do you find ITP and ITP Camp similar and different? ITP... When I was here as a student I was sort of relentless in a way that a little bit horrifies me now. I would track down my teachers and I would hound them to answer my questions, so I could get my projects done -- I don’t really do that at Camp. Camp is a little bit more like a little taste of this and a little taste of that. It’s harder to get really big projects off the ground in a month, unless you’ve really started them considerably before the start of camp. It’s more like a place to test out and try out a lot of things, techniques, and it’s great. But what I mean is that ITP is more focused on actually finishing projects: at least I would focus more on finishing my projects at ITP than at Camp -- here I usually finish them a little bit later.

What’s your latest passion? That’s sort of hard to say. It’s funny: I keep returning to cardboard. I worked with cardboard a lot way before my days of digital fabrication. I’m making a bunch of little cardboard theatres that will be used for a series of animations that I made… I want to make a separate small handbag theatre for each animation, and I’m returning to cardboard again as a really wonderful material. I also love the laser cutter: every year I think: “Well, I won’t spend so much time with the laser cutter”, and then I find myself just cutting some other kind of material with it.

What’s the favorite art piece you’ve ever made? Why? It’s a good question. It’s a little bit hard to say. There’s one piece that I made years ago for a Creative Time: they sponsor a lot of outdoor public projects and they used to do a piece called “Art on the Beach”, which was where the Stuyvestown High school is now. My piece was called “Vacation Homes of the Future” and I made all these different structures that were set inside the sand and people could climb into them. There was a performance that happened there as well. I’m not even sure it’s my favorite piece but it’s a piece that I like very much: I partially like it because it was public and because people really interacted with the piece. You know: I would come back and I would see people kissing on one of the pieces and reading the newspaper on another one. That’s why that piece comes to mind.

Explain to a five-year old in one sentence…

Arduino & microcontrollers… I would say that Arduino is a way to control objects by using different kinds of other objects. Laser cutter… it’s a printer that cuts instead of draws.

Any advice to future campers? I think my advice would be to be very open and to go to sessions that you don’t expect to be particularly interested in. Some of my best experiences have been things I wasn’t sure I was particularly interested in but I went to anyway. Also get here early in the morning if you want to use a laser cutter -- that might be my best piece of advice.

Watch video for more responses from Jody:

Working Weekend

Written by Jason Beck on June 25, 2016, 9:53pm

It\'s the last weekend of camp and we cannot believe how quickly this month has been going! Lots of campers were around getting their projects ready for our Show & Tell on Tuesday. Very excited about what we\'ve been seeing.

ITP Campfire Stories: John Benton

Written by Ruta Kruliauskaite on June 24, 2016, 3:47pm


What were your favorite moments at ITP Camp so far? My favorite moments of the camp are actually talking to people unofficially as we’re sitting out in the lounge or hanging out at the counselor’s circle. The thing that is really great about camp is just the random kind of small conversations you have with people in passing as you’re sitting next to them working on your own thing. The connection that you have almost spontaneously with people is some of the best stuff at camp.

What’s your latest passion? My latest passion personally is storytelling in immersive and haptic environments. I think there is a new kind of narrative and information design that is beginning to happen through the ability to move through spaces and intuitively interact with things where it is not a binary system of choosing your own adventure. That for me as a writer is fantastic.

What do you think is the future of image making? That is a big question. Images are taking over, and I think that there is such a barrage of them surrounding us. I was just in Times Square and you have to put blinders on because images are coming at you constantly. I think with AR and VR -- especially with AR -- this is going to be more and more a part of our culture. The thing that is great about ITP is that we are able to start thinking critically about the future and how we want to change it. So I think that image making, because it is going to be so ubiquitous, is going through some kind of crisis now too. It is very interesting.

Any crazy/funny experiences from galleries, museums or film festivals? The thing that I love the most, because right now I’m creating VR, is to see people interact with your stories, with your games, with your environments in real time and see what people latch onto and what they laugh at. Because I do a lot with room-scale VR I end up seeing people crawl around my sculptures. They crawl around the floor. They look over ledges. It is beautiful to watch people interact with that. It is really thrilling and kind of intimate.

Any advice to future campers? Have fun. Play. Share. One of the things that camp has taught me is how I define good work -- whether it is any kind of artistic work that I see -- on how much love, how much heart, how much generosity is at its core, are at its base. And I think one of the things that is great about camp is that everyone is getting together and sharing stuff. Nobody is proprietary about what they are doing, everyone is sharing things because we are creating the future together. So there is a lot of love and generosity here.

Watch video for more responses from John:

ITP Campfire Stories: Gail Bennett

Written by Ruta Kruliauskaite on June 24, 2016, 3:42pm


What were your favorite moments at ITP Camp so far? First, I loved the beginning, very very first night when we all met and the challenge of the game we were charged to develop working in teams of people we just met. Other favorite things have been… Well, everyday there is something. One was when I recognized code for the first time after I’ve been completely in the dark. I started out not knowing anything and I took a coding class, and I was pretty much five steps behind but I caught up and then the next time I was in the class that had code I recognized it, and each time has gotten a little bit better. I started seeing logic in it -- it’s very exciting, it’s like another part of my brain has opened up. I loved the Soft Lab classes, anything that I’ve been able to make onsite I’ve also really enjoyed because I could walk out with the product. I really enjoyed leading the class with Judy Lieff and Roland Arnoldt: we led a class on movement and explored different ways that we could challenge the comfort zone doing things that we don’t normally do. My challenge and one of the reasons I was so attracted to ITP was because I saw the work that has come out of ITP, and it’s some of the stuff that has been in my mind and in my body for a very long time -- curiosity about how some things get done -- things like giant projections and then using technology to create some interactive platforms. This is where I get very excited: when tech and art meet and then it becomes one huge expression. The other part is if there are things that I haven’t learnt fully, I’ve met so many people who are so skilled and so experienced and so creative that this is the community that I want to continue to get to know and socialize with.

What’s your latest passion? I just came to this interview from the aerial dance class. I’ve been exploring aerial using aerial silks and aerial yoga, and to me it’s all aerial -- anytime you can lift yourself off the ground and not be limited by gravity, it’s the most amazing feeling, it’s completely transformative. And then being able to hang upside down and just hanging upside down... there’s definitely a connection between ITP and aerial stuff. I don’t know if I have the words for it but it is about seeing and experiencing the world from the completely different point of view. To me it’s symbolic of the work here that I see myself being able to do. And then ITP. ITP is my latest passion.

What’s one thing you can’t live without? Movement. Moving my body. Exercise. Dance. Yoga. I can’t live without it. Art. Music. Food. I love food. I love to eat. I love really good food.

Explain to a five-year old in one sentence…

3D printing... is… you see this toy that you have.. The toy is superhero. Let’s say you want two superhero toys, so this one isn’t so lonely. You can take one of your superhero toys and copy it like I can make a copy of something that I’ve written -- I can type something up and I can make a copy of it -- we can do the same thing with the superhero. And all we have to do is to use this 3D printer and it’s going to create the exact same superhero as the one that you have, and it will look almost the same after we paint it.

Any advice to future campers? Just come to camp with expectation of learning so much but not being able to learn as much as you want to, be completely open, don’t get discouraged at all, sit in the class that you think you aren’t going to understand -- perhaps you won’t understand half of what the class is about but you will absorb it. There’s so much here just being here. So let yourself relax and just have a good time. Your brain is going to hurt a little, which is excellent, you want that. You want to walk out of here so full and overflowing with knowledge and desire to learn more.

Watch video for more responses from Gail:

3D Thursdays

Written by Jason Beck on June 23, 2016, 10:09pm

Today was super cool! Counselor Nick taught a class on Data Sonification with Max/MSP and projected his project on the floor! Oooooh.

Also, did you know you can 3D print with food? Check out this hummus extruder.

Squeezing all the learning from camp

Written by Jason Beck on June 22, 2016, 9:52pm

Time winding down, you can feel campers wringing out every last bit of the camp experience. Calendar is packed and campers are welding learning with making. Looking forward to seeing the final show and tell come together.

ITP Campfire Stories: Alex Wagner

Written by Ruta Kruliauskaite on June 22, 2016, 11:29am


What were your favorite moments at ITP Camp so far? I really liked Nancy Nowacek’s classes. One was called “Tools For Impossible Ideas” and she talked about how to accomplish art projects that seem crazy or impossible, especially public art projects, and that was really inspiring. Actually I was a fan -- well, I can’t say I was a fan -- but I contributed to her Kickstarter campaign before I came here and I had no idea she was teaching and even emailed her to ask her a question. So it was really cool that she was here and I got to take two sessions from her. She’s a really cool artist and teacher.

Gabe’s classes were really cool -- his video installation class and his video mapping session were both super cool. He had a lot of really neat examples and he even showed me that Max/MSP isn’t really that bad. Actually after learning a little bit of Processing Max/MSP seems pretty simple actually. I hadn’t tried to use it in probably eight years, so that’s cool. I feel like I’ve learned a lot about a little but it’s like so many seeds have been planted. I feel I can kind of pursue all these different projects that seemed kind of impossible before.

What’s your latest passion? I got really into 3D printing last week which I never did before. There were these 3D printers kind of sitting around and I took a session with Matt Griffin from Ultimaker, and then just kind of learned how easy it is to just download a STL file and print something or scale it or do whatever in Rhino. I also did a little project on the laser cutter -- I took a 3D model of an elephant and then sliced it in 123D Make and then glued all the cardboard together and 3D printed a little dowel to go through it. All that felt like a major accomplishment even though it’s just a small model. I learned a lot.

What are you good at that people don’t know of? I’m really good at karaoke. I’m not very theatrical -- well, it depends on the song -- but yeah, I really like to sing. I don’t get a lot of opportunities. I think, well, I am a frustrated musician. I used to play music and then I got into film and video to actually make a living but I still go to karaoke a lot in Dallas because that is just what I do there.

Any advice to future campers? The best piece of advice that I can give is to just clear your whole schedule for June. Don’t work. There’s so much to do here that you really just need to have nothing on your agenda for a month to be able to explore as much as possible and go to all the sessions that you want to. Also remember to feed and clothe yourself and get some sleep. There’s just so much going on here that working is kind of a bummer. It’s really hard to do. Just clear your schedule.

Watch video for more responses from Alex:

ITP Campfire Stories: Dannie Seadragon

Written by Nick Bratton on June 21, 2016, 9:36pm


What were your favorite moments at ITP Camp so far? I think it’s really hard to point out which exactly is my favorite moments because I have so many of them. There are two moments that I really enjoyed though. One of them is when during the orientation Kate Hartman (camp director) said that camp is all about exploration and playing, that you no longer need to be an expert in a certain field, you just come here to learn and experiment, and I thought “Wow! That’s so inspirational and that’s exactly why I came here.”. Later on when I started taking workshops my favorite moment was taking Arduino workshop -- that was the first time I got a good understanding of it. I felt so excited about that workshop. It was a lot of fun.

What’s your latest passion? My latest passion has been bringing technology and art to a level that is friendly to beginners in this area. I come from an education background and when I see those exciting things like art intersecting with technology my first thought is: how do I bring this to a classroom, or to children so that they can understand and also be inspired to learn this and to be the future technologists or artists that can play with this when they grow up?

What plans do you have for your sabbatical year? I think the plan for my sabbatical year is to make only half the plan. I really just want to follow the momentum. Especially at the moment everything’s so great. I’m getting a lot of ideas and inspiration from ITP Camp. I just want to keep the momentum going so I’m planning another maker-in-residence opportunity in Beijing and also bring the skills I’ve learned here to run a couple workshops both in China and in Melbourne and that has already been discussed so I’m really excited about it. Other than that I’m really just open for all the opportunities. So if you have anything you think I will enjoy doing or any great project ideas related to innovative education, please let me know. I would love to collaborate.

What stuck with you the most being an educator? I think the best thing about being an educator is that you can really see you’re helping young people realize their dreams. The last year I initiated a project called “Energize the Human Body” which is to combine science, art, and wearable technology together and we created a fashion runway in the city of Melbourne in front of hundreds of people. When I first started this project I had a year eight girl in the class that said to me I can see that I’m really going to be a fashion designer. She said that just out of heart so spontaneously when I told her about this project opportunity, and I can see she was wanting to be a fashion designer since she was a kid but she didn’t know how to start it -- she just didn’t have any opportunities -- so this was something that she really felt it’s possible to reach her dream. And me being part of that, a helping hand, it made me feel really good.

Any advice to future campers? If you are looking for a great community and ideas from the latest technology and art and a really diverse background of people, a place to play and experiment and learn, this is a really awesome place. So my advice is just come. Come with a project in mind, something you want to explore the most, a rough idea, that would be helpful to you for making a project in a short amount of time. But, in general, if you don’t have an idea, just come with your heart open and your eyes open you will have an awesome experience.

Watch video for more responses from Dannie:

Penultimate Tuesday Post -- One Week Left!

Written by Nick Bratton on June 21, 2016, 9:18pm

Time's flying as always. Today was the twentieth of ITP Camp 2016 and next Tuesday is the last. And, as always, we have an end-of-camp show! We're encouraging everyone to show something, anything! There's so much cool stuff going on this month that we don't have the chance to experience everything happening on the floor so next Tuesday is going to be a time to come together to show what we've all been working on. In the meantime, we've got some photos from some of the cool stuff that happened today. We're talking homemade inflatables. We're talking non-Newtonian fluids. We're talking dancing our hearts out. Sewing, soldering, and getting lost in virtual reality. It's all happening. A particular project that stands out is Stefania Druga's laser-cut and laser-etched leather dress inspired by the geometry of butterfly anatomy. Check it out below:

Written by Chino Kim on June 20, 2016, 10:08pm

Happy Monday y\'all! It was a busy day filled with lemons, clocks and inflatable people. We\'re starting to see projects start to materialize around the floor and it\'s getting us excited for the end of camp show next week!

Happy Maker\\\'s Day

Written by Jason Beck on June 19, 2016, 7:18pm

A Sunday spent making art, sound, movement, games, MFA\'s and new ways to experience the world. Sessions ran throughout the day on a host of topics, but the front foyer was dominated by the folks in the Sound and Movement Playground who hosted a far ranging workshop from vocalizations, improv, and explorations of space and perception.

ITP Campfire Stories: Alex Leitch

Written by Jason Beck on June 18, 2016, 7:07pm


What were your favorite moments at ITP Camp so far? I was really enjoying teaching my game design class. I really like seeing people come together to make something totally new out of a system of rules. I’ve also had a lot of fun learning new things, creative modes of thinking, and expressions from different people in different fields.

What’s your latest passion? What I’m really excited about from ITP is inflatables. I’m taking some classes on how to make mylar sculptures basically out of air. I think they’re really cool -- they’re really useful because I like to pack things down and travel a lot, and I think that that’s a pretty neat way to make sculptures. I already know how to make interactive lights and how to make pressure sensors work, so I feel like a large inflatable model that people can interact with would be a really neat project.

What’s your favorite thing that you’ve ever made? I think my favorite thing that I’ve ever made was the maker space I ran back in Toronto for four years, it still has a really warm place in my heart. The favorite actual object I’ve made are my large kinetic flowers that break a lot and they fall apart a lot, but they also make terrifying clacking noises so they’re very fun to build interactive spaces in because they make loud unexpected noises and also represent biology and the way we think about nature as being a thing that’s controllable.

Why did you enjoy reading The Mushroom At The End Of The World, by Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing?

Oh man, The Mushroom at the End of the World is the best book. You really really really should read it. I like reading it because I recognize that we live in a period of time where lots of ways that we used to run systems aren’t working anymore. They’re not a thing that can be continued. They’re not sustainable and The Mushroom at the End of the World is a beautiful piece of environmental philosophy about logging and about mushrooms that are very valuable in Japan that only grow in areas that have been devastated by mass logging and clearcutting and forest fires that have never had broadleaf tree renewal. They only grow in terrible soil and in landscapes that look absolutely gross to human eyes and they’re very valuable and it’s about how people survive in environments that appear to offer nothing. There are a lot of essays in it about what freedom means and what freedom means in an environment of mass capital and it’s a really beautiful meditation on what all those things mean together. It’s also a much more interesting way of thinking about political philosophy than any other book I’ve read recently. If I were to recommend another book with it, it would be Addiction by Design by Natasha Schull who is here at NYU. But I really think The Mushroom at the End of the World is one of the most optimistic ways to live in a broken environment.

Any advice to future campers? I would say that you should take a class that’s full of something that you don’t expect to benefit from. Avoid the classes that you feel will make you professionally competent and take the classes that seem interesting that you think might make your creative practice better. You have a month. You’re not going to master a new skill. What you are going to do is maybe think about a new thing in a new way and that will carry you forward all winter long.

Watch video for more responses from Alex:

ITP Campfire Stories: Stefania Druga

Written by Jason Beck on June 18, 2016, 6:43pm


What were your favorite moments at ITP Camp so far? My favorite moment at ITP Camp so far has been when I started working on my tool belt (the one I’m currently wearing) and when we talked about super powers that we could integrate into our tool belts. It was an amazing class because we got to think about how we could increase our senses into hearing things that we don’t normally hear or sensing things that we don’t normally sense, and I definitely think I’m going to work on that project throughout the rest of the camp.

And the other favorite moment was when I met Nils Westerlund on the second day of the camp and we decided to work on a project together, which is a vertical plotter. I think it’s great to actually have an idea for a project from the beginning of the camp and throughout the camp be able to add to your project and work on it while you’re also going to sessions.

What’s your latest passion? My latest passion is sewing. I started sewing here and I also learned how to work with leather here -- I’m very excited to continue to do that during the camp. I got a lot of leather and I’m planning to laser cut and sew a dress -- I have never done that before and it’s very exciting to think about how much science and design goes into sewing a dress or a bag. It was fascinating when we did the craft leather workshop: we spent four hours without realizing it and at the end of the workshop we all realized that our hands were hurting but we were so focused on getting our leather pouch done that we didn’t see the time passing by.

Why do you love making? I love making things because it allows me to create things that are customized for what I like and what I need and it gives me the sense that I can interact with the world around me in a tangible way. It also gives me an extreme sense of independence and satisfaction whenever I have a problem to at least try to solve it and to make something without having to ask other people for help.

Explain to a five-year old in one sentence…

Hacking… Hacking is when you want to transform anything you have around you. Imagine you have a radio and you want to make it into a recorder or I don’t know. It allows you to take anything you have and modify it so it does something else.

Any advice to future campers? I think my advice for future campers would be to try to be as open and curious as possible and try to go into the most crazy sounding sessions because I think this camp is a great opportunity to go outside of your interest area or comfort zone and it’s a safe space where you could try and experiment with absolutely everything.

Watch video for more responses from Stefania:

Contemplations on the Politics of Tech in Remote Places... and a WHOLE BUNCH of other Things

Written by Ruta Kruliauskaite on June 17, 2016, 10:00pm

Busy, busy day at ITP Camp. Had a field trip to kick off the day to the Met, scraped the hell out of some websites with Python, brewed some piezo crystals, mixed it up with Resolume, tied a knot for every occasion, Max/Jittered their way through Kinect, and melded the physical with the virtual in VR. So yeah, weekend earned camp.

A quiet Thursday night

Written by Ruta Kruliauskaite on June 16, 2016, 9:55pm

The floor is quiet tonight as many of our campers are seeing the work of a collaboration between one of our counselors and a camper at National Sawdust. Earlier in the day we heard the pleasant hum of the new Ultimakers 3d printers and sewing machines, as well as the chatter of campers talking about today\'s classes about kinetic sculptures, interactive video art, and virtual/augmented reality.

ITP Campfire Stories: Kari Love

Written by Ruta Kruliauskaite on June 15, 2016, 10:40am


What were your favorite moments at ITP Camp so far? I really enjoyed adaptive design Fireside event last Friday. I thought it was an excellent conversation both in terms of their ethos of process and kind of bringing community building into the makerspace which are all very practical problems. And how they really want to make it so that when you have the first interaction with them, when you are designing an adaptive device for a child with their parents, with their teachers, with their medical professionals, that will inspire people to become more creative in ways they can build adaptive devices for them in the future. That is really a foundation and first step to change everyone’s thinking.

What was your favorite class? I don’t know if I have a favorite class. I’m not really big on favorites, but a few that really stuck with me were The Intro to Command Line, because it felt like time traveling and I was back in the 80s, working on the command line again, and seeing ways in which that kind of imitate way of working with your computer systems can be really fast and really effective, and I think it made the idea of going to Unix a lot more friendly and interesting to me than it had been prior. I really liked the Pop Up Book class, that was excellent. I just came out of Clock Club, which had great conversations both about the practical nuts and bolts of solving clock problems with mechanical solutions or with Arduino, but I think that I also really liked the aspect where we talked about broader concepts of how do we perceive time or what do we communicate when we talk about time and the ways in which our perception of time are intuitive and which parts of our perception of time are constructed by reading and learning.

What’s your latest passion? Lately I have been very interested in a couple of problems. One is edible artwork. I can’t think of a more visceral way of interacting with something than eating it. And I also like the ephemeral nature of it. I think so much of making art becomes about making something that endures, but I really like these fleeting moments. And I think that eating something is simultaneously very intimate and very fleeting in a way that is compelling to me. In terms of skill learning, I’m super excited about learning the deeper aspects of analog electronics and using Arduino to do control systems for different kinds of physical computing. I’m thinking of making a light up stunt kite with blinky tape and using accelerometers or maybe other kinds of sensors. I haven’t really thought about the sensor systems yet to make a playful kite to fly at night and make different kinds of visual outputs for that.

What’s up with Zero Gravity Wedding? The funny thing about the zero gravity wedding is that one of my friends who recommended that I come to ITP Camp got her Masters at ITP and she and her husband decided to have the first zero gravity wedding. So for me it was the best bridesmaid experience ever. I got to catch the bouquet in zero gravity and then I hit my head on the ceiling, because I was excited and I jumped too hard. And that ended up being a part of another crazy story, because when I was working for a spacesuit company out of Brooklyn, they needed someone to do microgravity hardware validation and to do it I needed two credentials. I needed a certification for human testing and needed zero gravity flight experience and I got to use the wedding as my zero gravity flight experience.

Explain to a five-year old in one sentence:

3D printing… 3D printing lets you takes a computer picture and print it out as a full object.

Any advice to future campers? My advice for future campers is that everyone comes with different things they need. For some people, they need to bring their own project that they need to complete because what they need is to feel a sense of accomplishment or to have done something concrete. And then for other people, I feel like it’s about the connections, so they’re spending more time on building relationships. And that in some ways, when you first come, you might not know which of these things you’re looking for but if you really tune in and listen to the questions like “Am I getting things out of these classes?”, “Am I getting things out of talking with these people?”, “Am I feeling a drive to be productive?”, they will guide you to deciding what you do with your time. Because anything is possible and it’s what you put into it is what you get out of it.

Watch video for more responses from Kari:

ITP Campfire Stories: Joshua Goldberg

Written by Ruta Kruliauskaite on June 14, 2016, 10:39pm


What were your favorite moments at ITP Camp so far? I really liked teaching the workshop that I just gave. That was a great refresher for me, because I haven’t actually had a chance to go ahead and teach people to use Max 7 yet. I also really liked Intro to Python session that I attended, because I had someone to finally give me a push on “Why would you want to use Python 2 versus 3” and a basic introduction to why Python is so valuable for text processing. That’s really been fun.

What’s your latest passion? My latest passion is a little bit cheesy. I’m completely obsessed with Mandelbulb shapes, with algorithmic fractal generation of 3D landscapes using the Mandelbulb toolkit. I think that I’ve already spent twenty hours or so last month just generating these endless endless shapes and posting them around. I’ve always been fascinated with fractals. A lot of the live visual performances that I do actually has to do with digital algorithmic feedback and how to gain surprising shapes out of that feedback. It’s been great playing with these sort of equations in a different format.

How did you end up managing Burning Man rave camp? I ended up in the leadership role at Disorient in 2002, 2003 and 2004. In 2002 I finally had a chance to display the video art that I was working on at that point, and Leo Villareal, an ITP graduate and professor, basically gave me a free ride with his camp to show whatever I want to show, and to manage how the video was shown at that camp. It was an eye opener, it was the first time I actually got confidence with the solo art that I was doing, with a non theatre work that I was doing, and it felt like I was actually in the position where I was pushing the envelope myself. And that was great. And I got it through ITP. The other leadership role that I had in a Burning Man situation was for a creative LED display company in Hong Kong called LED Artists, where one of the projects I was working on was GonKiRin. It was such an amazing experience, not only because it was such a great piece of art (it was incredibly complicated art car that can hold 45 people), but it was also a great experience to be paid to bring work to Burning Man.

What are your favorite Twitter bots and why? I like Lowpoly Bot a great deal. I believe that Lowpoly Bot consistently does one of the best algorithmic art generation things that I’ve ever seen. I also have an idea for a Twitter bot myself, and it’s one of my goals for the Camp. I just need enough bandwidth to settle down and look at it.

Explain to a five-year old in one sentence:

VR… if you put this on, you can be in a different place.

Any advice to future campers? Even if you don’t know what you want to do, take the plunge. Even if you don’t know why it would be useful, it’s useful to simply have the framework to flail. A lot of the greatest work that you can make is made from situations where the pressure isn’t necessarily on to make a specific thing, but to make anything at all. ITP Camp gives you resources to make anything you want, you just need to find something to latch on.

Watch video for more responses from Joshua:

Starting the Week With a BANG!

Written by Ashley Cortez on June 13, 2016, 10:19pm

ITP camp was is full force today. There were so many sessions it was hard to decide which one to attend!






By projector light

Written by Ruta Kruliauskaite on June 12, 2016, 3:59pm

Sessions upon session, campers bathe in the light of the projector and the light of their screens. Meanwhile, 3D prints blossom from the printer bed.

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Making faces at ITP Camp

Written by Ruta Kruliauskaite on June 11, 2016, 7:33pm

While Saturday and weekend sessions are at full swing, campers and counselors are getting really relaxed in front of camera!

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Leather, Multispecies, Solar, Sound Fire(side)

Written by Ashley Cortez on June 10, 2016, 9:51pm

The sound of rivets being driven filled the halls today as the leather makers design a variety of different things with Teresa today. Other folks learned about friendships that spanned species, while still others took in information on how to wield the power of the sun. Some folks decided to learn about designing with sound, and the Adaptive Design Association dropped by for a chat.

All These Images All Over!

Written by Ashley Cortez on June 9, 2016, 10:06pm

Today had a lot of classes focusing on the power of image. ITP alum Devin Curry went through the process of filming and the power of imagery, helping campers develop shot lists that could turn into new works of art! And, as always, ITP staffer, Gabe is always speaking to a packed house of interested campers. Today he went through the process and demonstrated how you might \\"Video Map a Big-Ass Building\\". I don' know Gabe, but I like these lips.

All These Images All Over!

Written by Ashley Cortez on June 9, 2016, 10:03pm

Today had a lot of classes focusing on the power of image. ITP alum Devin Curry went through the process of filming and the power of imagery, helping campers develop shot lists that could turn into new works of art! And, as always, ITP staffer, Gabe is always speaking to a packed house of interested campers. Today he went through the process and demonstrated how you might \"Video Map a Big-Ass Building\". I don\'t know Gabe, but I like these lips.

So much variety

Written by Ashley Cortez on June 8, 2016, 10:57pm

Tonight we had a class on Git, one of P5.JS, Processing, 360 VR video production, and 3D modeling and CAD. It was great seeing our campers learning a variety of tools. Can\\\\\\\\'t wait to see what they make with all of this new knowledge.

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Let's start working on some projects!

Written by Ruta Kruliauskaite on June 8, 2016, 3:09pm

One week into Camp, and it's time to start working on some projects! We had a chance to catch two campers Alex Wagner and Andrew Kim learning how to use the Ultimaker Desktop 3-D printer, printing their first small 3D objects!

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Taco Tuesday

Written by Chino Kim on June 7, 2016, 10:42pm

There may not have been any tacos today but all the fun sessions were more than enough to fill our campers up!












Sunday Chills

Written by Ruta Kruliauskaite on June 5, 2016, 9:31pm

ITP Camp is a lot about meeting people and learning from one another, right? That's what this Sunday was about:





Written by Ashley Cortez on June 4, 2016, 6:17pm

Camp was quiet today, but we still had some amazing sessions. Check out these photos of the different sessions from 6/4/2016

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Written by Ashley Cortez on June 3, 2016, 9:37pm

And we couldn't be happier than to share a meal at our first Fireside Chat of the Camp Season. We had dumplings and shared one minute talents, stories, projects and capoeira kicks!

ITP Camp Day #1

Written by Ruta Kruliauskaite on June 2, 2016, 9:28pm

3D printing, social media, politics, ethnography, Trump (yes, you heard that right), photoshop, game design, UX, VR and 360 video -- all in only one day! Wait for more!




Opening Night!

Written by Chino Kim on June 2, 2016, 3:37pm

ITP Camp 2016 launched off to a great start last night. Tacos, beer, and all the lovely people. We're also pretty thrilled that Counselor Island is decked out with some serious ocean swagger. Camp sessions start Thursday, June 2!



ITP Camp in NYU Alumni Magazine

Written by Kate Hartman on February 29, 2016, 1:26pm

ITP Camp is featured in a lovely 6-page spread in the Spring 2016 NYU Alumni Magazine. Check it out here, pages 36-41.

ITP Camp in NYU Alumni Magazine