On&/Off the Grid

Exhibition and Summer Talks by Hackers & Designers

11 Aug 2017
13 Aug 2017

Opening Friday August 11th at 19.00, with an exhibition and Summer Talks evening featuring cross-disciplinary speakers. 

Researching, breaking apart, and exploring urgent contemporary issues is at the core of the work of Hackers & Designers (H&D). In a world that is becoming increasingly digital, designers and artists are empowering themselves with the tools of the digital realm, and technologists are getting more comfortable and effective at engaging with creative processes through familiarity with the vocabulary of designers and artists. With the exhibition and Summer Talks, H&D invites the public to reflect upon and question our dependence and obedience on closed systems and proprietary technologies in our daily work and living environments.

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Banner image On and Off the Grid -

For the 2017 exhibition and public lecture night, curated by Margarita Osipian, the focus and thematic thread will be about processes of going on and off-the grid. Tangible concepts will manifest throughout the exhibition and Summer Talks, such as running and analysing an independent personal solar trailer, peer to peer popup internet of things (IoT) devices and networks, biohacking micro-organisms, robot assisted farming, estrogen hacking, and sci-fi futurist thought experiments.

The exhibition

The exhibition will take place in two locations, De Ruimte and Mediamatic. Works will accumulate at De Ruimte during the course of the Summer Academy, after which the full exhibition will move to Mediamatic on August 11th, with the inclusion of new work developed by participants, who will be making work specifically for the exhibition. The exhibition at De Ruimte will feature the Solar Trailer, which will be used by workshop participants to gather data and develop new projects. 

Bongani Ricky Masuku 

Bongani is an engineer, inventor and product designer from Harare, Zimbabwe who is passionate about disrupting the agriculture industry through developing smart farming technologies aimed at improving the agriculture ecosystem. The exhibition will showcase Bongani’s automated chicken feeding bot—a robot linked to a mobile app that lets chicken farmers track feed levels for their chickens and automatically feed them when it is low.


Chicken Feeding Bot by Bongani Ricky Masuku - This piece was exhibited at the  Get Prepped: On and Off the Grid   event of 2017. Bongani Ricky Masuku

Gottfried Haider

Gottfried Haider works as an artist, educator and software tool-maker. His Study for a Camera on a Plot of Land in the Desert is an autonomous sensing camera apparatus that harvests solar energy and, once it has enough energy, briefly captures the environment around it through a camera and a microphone in order to send the information via radio waves to a website. Also on display is his project Window Blinds, which uses cheap window blinds to show computation happening in space through the use of light.


Study for a Camera on a Plot of Land in the Desert by Gottfried Haider - This piece was exhibited at the  Get Prepped: On and Off the Grid  event of 2017. Gottfried Haider

Oliver Barstow

Broadcasting for the sake of broadcasting and not knowing if anyone is listening, Oliver Barstow uses analog radio out of the primary need to communicate. For Get Prepped, Barstow will develop two site-specific works that use a combination of analogue radio and digital broadcast techniques, as an alternative or ‘off the grid' form of self publishing. The selected location plays a direct part in each transmission, where the content is developed to reflect on the place. Each broadcast is documented, but not recorded; an act of temporary publishing less concerned with posterity than the process of going public itself. 



Radio by Oliver Barstow - This piece was exhibited at the  Get Prepped: On and Off the Grid   event of 2017. Oliver Barstow

The Centre for Genomic Gastronomy

The Centre for Genomic Gastronomy is an artist-led think tank that examines the biotechnologies and biodiversity of human food systems. For the exhibition CGG presents their project Rare Endophyte Collectors Club (RECC), where biological hobbyists meet to identify, discover, discuss and trade information about new, rare and hard to access microorganisms living inside plants (i.e. endophytes). The results of the CGG's Summer Academy workshop will be on display at Mediamatic, slowly growing over time. 


Rare Endophyte Collectors Club by The Centre for Genomic Gastronomy - This piece was exhibited at the  Get Prepped: On and Off the Grid   event of 2017. The Center for Genomic Gastronomy


Mary ‘Maggic’ Tsang is an artist working at the intersection of biotechnology, cultural discourse, and civil disobedience. Maggic’s most recent project generates DIY protocols for hacking estrogen, demonstrating its biopolitical ubiquity and potential for mutagenesis, i.e. gender- hacking. For the exhibition MAGGIC has created an installation of hormone extractions that visitors can inhale—queering their own bodies in the process. 


Hormone extraction installation by MAGGIC - This piece was exhibited at the  Get Prepped: On and Off the Grid   event of 2017. Mary ‘MAGGIC’ Tsang

Sjef van Gaalen

Sjef van Gaalen [NZ/NL] is founder of Structure & Narrative, a nomadic research lab focusing on the exploration of new domains and horizons, and the reshaping of emerging narratives. His visual work takes varying forms, such as his collages or experiments in the automated generation of online identity, including his ongoing research projects List of Colors and the Dutch National Algorithm. For the exhibition we will present the camouflage uniforms that Sjef has created as part of the Dutch National Algorithm project. For this work he has analyzed the existing pattern of the Dutch army uniforms, which are made using a secret algorithm, in order to develop a functional equivalent of the algorithm to create his own uniforms. This work touches on national identity and the conceptual significance of algorithmically generated patterns.



Dutch National Algorithm by Sjef van Gaalen - This piece was exhibited at the Get Prepped: On and Off the Grid event of 2017. Sjef van Gaalen

Sarah Garcin

Sarah Garcin is a graphic designer and programmer. For the exhibition we are exhibiting Sarah's PJ Machine, a self- publishing machine which composes layouts for publishing using a few coloured buttons and prints them as a PDF in one click. Visitors will be allowed to interact with the machine and print their own productions. Sarah’s work democratizes the process of design and publishing, making the creation and dissemination of information accessible to a wide audience. The prototypes and variations on the 'self publishing machine' that were developing during her Summer Academy workshop will also be on display. 


PJ Machine by Sarah Garcin - This piece was exhibited at the  Get Prepped: On and Off the Grid   event of 2017. Sarah Garcin

With: Sarah Garcin

The lectures

As an extension of the theme of the exhibition, the lecture evening will include talks from cross-disciplinary speakers who are reflecting on and researching the topic of connectivity, being on and off the grid, and the ethical consequences that arise in our contemporary information society.

Steven Pemberton

Pemberton is a researcher, author, public speaker, and occasional broadcaster, based at the CWI, The Dutch National Research Centre for Mathematics and Informatics. He is invited to talk about the potential of peer-2-peer networks in information technology.


Steven Pemberton -

The Centre for Genomic Gastronomy

During their talk, The Centre for Genomic Gastronomy will do a live plating of a plant specimen for endophyte collection. Their talk will explore what other forms our microbial future will take. They will also look at the use of endophytes as biopesticides, as well as the ethical implications of biohacking for agriculture, the commercialization of science, and the privatization of the commons.


The Centre for Genomic Gastronomy - Zack Denfeld and Catherine Kramer, founders of The Centre of Genomic Gastronomy

The Things Network

The Things Network is a global community of 15,983 people over 86 countries building a global Internet of Things data network. They will talk about technology that allows for things to talk to the internet without 3G or WiFi, eliminating the need for WiFi codes and mobile subscriptions.


The Things Network - The Things Network was part of the  Get Prepped: On and Off the Grid   event of 2017. The Things Network

Phoenix Perry

As a lecturer in Physical Computing and Games, Phoenix Perry teaches and performs research at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her work focuses on human computer interaction, motion, sound, the body, machine learning and games.


Phoenix_Perry -


In addition to the exhibition and the lecture evening, a film screening at Vondelbunker will be hosted by H&D and co-curated by Monolithm, a platform for designers and filmmakers.


DNK concert and finnissage - August 13th from 16h-18h

To close off the exhibition at Mediamatic we are excited to have a concert from the DNK Ensemble playing: 

Simultaneous / Synchronous (Song) (Version 3)
Seamus Cater / Koen Nutters / Martijn Tellinga
Instruments / Electronics / Field Recordings / Fire / Smoke
Voice / Speech / Text / Movement / Space / Momentum

The DNK Ensemble is a flexible group of artists centered around the
(former) concert series for avant-garde, "down town", music, sound art,
and performance: DNK-Amsterdam organized by Seamus Cater,
Koen Nutters and Martijn Tellinga which currently lives on as the
record shop: Nearly Not There Records and will soon be revived from
it's slumber.

This performance by Cater, Nutters, and Tellinga is a new version
of a piece they developed and performed for the art show: Things To Remember
(Page Not Found) in 2016. It involves (amongst other things) memories,
anecdotes, simultaneous remote recordings, and islands of slowly moving sound
sustained by harmona organ, concertina and electronic tones. 



Exhibition On&/Off the Grid 
31 July - 9 August, 10:00-18:00 | De Ruimte, Distelweg 83, Amsterdam
11-13 August, 12:00-18:00 | Mediamatic Biotoop, Dijksgracht 6, Amsterdam
Admission free of charge

Lectures On&/Off the Grid
Friday 11 August, 19:00-23:00
Mediamatic Biotoop, Dijksgracht 6, Amsterdam
Tickets: €5,- cash at the door 

More info see website of Hackers & Designer.