Circuit Bending Workshop

Sold Out! Bring in your Queen’s Day finds and learn the basics of hardware hacking

5 May 2012

In this workshop you’ll learn hands-on how to bend found electronics. Bring in your Queen’s Day finds (at least two electronic devices!), open them up, and search for circuit modifications using the techniques of circuit bending. The workshop will be held in an open lab format with explanations, demos, and one-on-one attention. All the necessary tools and electronic components except for batteries will be provided.


Circuit Bending - By: STEIM

What we’ll be doing

Circuit bending is an artistic approach to electronics. Meaning that no formal engineering training is necessary. Instead we’ll use intuition and curiosity as our guide. Success is determined directly by the pleasure of the sounds one discovers, no matter how one might have arrived at those results. The main goal of the workshop is to get everyone comfortable working creatively with found electronics. By the end of the workshop everyone will walk away with a newly bent instrument or device.

In a nutshell you will

• acquire enough electronics basics to get you opening up electronic gadgets without fear.
• understand the essential tools of circuit bending
• be able to perform basic circuit modifications using common electronic components and controls
• know how to mod device enclosures to add switches, knobs, light-sensors, etc.

What you need to bring

Everyone attending should bring AT LEAST two electronic devices to be bent. The more the better. Circuit bending is an inexact science, and every once in a while you’ll completely fry a device while attempting a difficult bend. The devices MUST run on batteries at a low voltage (hacking electronics connected to mains power can be lethal!). Batteries will not be provided, so please bring fresh batteries to power your electronics.

Some classic circuit bending devices are:

• Radios (especially older ones.. especially those big battery-powered 80′s boom boxes!)
• Tape players/recorders (Sony Walkman etc..)
• Keyboards (Casio, Yamaha)
• Sound making toys (Speak and Spell, early-model Furby)

The tendency in consumer electronics over the last years has been to make things smaller and smaller – hence harder to hack and modify! Try to dig up things from the 80′s or early 90′s, or even older if you get so lucky! Don’t be afraid to turn them on and see what kinds of sounds they make before buying them.

Once again, no knowledge of electronics is necessary to participate in this workshop. We will teach you everything you need to know.


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.

More information

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