Digital Camera Modification Workshop

Modify your old digital cameras to make visual dream machines

6 May 2012

In this workshop Brooklyn artist Phillip Stearns will guide you through the process of modifying the electronics of old digital cameras to create unique works of glitch art. No knowledge of electronics is required. You can buy your tickets online.


Music Hack Day on the first floor - Picture taken during the STEIM Crackle Box / Arduino workshop in the Mediamatic workshop space in the Duintjer CS building. Deborah M. Kōdō

What we'll be doing

During this workshop we will dissect various specimens of digital cameras, learn to identify the different parts of the circuits and understand how to rewire them to induce dream states within the minds of the machines. The primary technique we will use is circuit bending, which requires only a bit of courage, and dexterity enough to handle small screwdrivers, manipulate bits of wire, and operate a soldering iron.

Once we have covered basic techniques we will go into more advanced topics such as circuit modification/augmentation, the construction of basic oscillators, and how to use transistors to interface different electronic systems within the camera. The main goal of the workshop is to develop the basics skills necessary for continued individual exploration of digital image generating devices. Discussion on the relationship between technology and the conceptualization of the body, mind, soul will take place throughout.


Hacked camera -

What you should bring


For this workshop you must bring one or more functional digital cameras - sacrificial of course, never circuit bend something you can’t live without! To be on the safe side we suggest you find at least two cameras. The older 1 or 2 megapixel cameras work best for the types of modifications we’ll be doing. Kodak, Olympus, Fujifilm, Canon, Sony, and Agfa cameras are all good choices.


Please bring a laptop if you have one, along with any spare memory cards or memory card readers you can find. Also, it would be helpful (but not absolutely necessary) to bring any tools you are fond of using. Cutters, pliers, strippers, and especially precision screw drivers for opening up the cameras. We’ll have a few available but it’s always nice to have your own.


The studio for electro-instrumental music is the only independent live electronic music centre in the world that is exclusively dedicated to the performing arts. The foundation’s artistic and technical departments support an international community of performers and musicians, and a growing group of visual artists, to develop unique instruments for their work. Situated in Amsterdam.

More information

The workshop takes place on Sunday May 6 from 10.00 – 18.00 hours. Location is Mediamatic BANK, Vijzelstraat 68, Amsterdam. Doors open at 09.30. Tickets are €50 incl. VAT and you can buy a ticket by clicking buy a ticket at the top of the page. There's also a small fee for materials (€5 or €15) based on what you decide to make. This amount can be paid to the trainer in cash after the workshop. If you have questions about the workshop you can contact Jonathan Reus of STEIM. If you have practical questions about the ticket or location please contact Deborah Meibergen.

Workshop impression through the modified camera of a participant