Dorkbot:24 Sound, Space and Strangeness


December 7, 2005 - 7:30pm


Center on Contemporary Art, Seattle, WA
6413 Seaview Ave NW
Seattle, WA, 98107



Michele Boland, Making Music the Zundelphone Way, or, Silly Things to do with Leftover PC Bits: In this talk, Michele Boland will describe the initial vision for the ZundelPhone and the path that led to the final expression of this vision. In the course of this talk Michele will discuss what she learned about cheap and easy ways to hook up things to a PC, how she ended up with a surprising selection of software to develop this project (and how it worked overall) and then she will reveal the secrets of the mysterious Zphone musical algorithms (with a little discussion of classical music theory and digital sound processing basics). Finally she will summarize what she felt worked, what didn’t and what she learned along the way. More about Michele here and below.


Bill Beaty, An Encroachment of Intrusive Absurdities: Bill Beaty presents a gaggle of concepts on which he is either currently working, or has been unable to dismiss from perpetual consideration. The short list:

• Electromechanical fashion statement headgear for the nerdier-than-thou
• Recording of gallery visitor spacetime traces in Zinc Sulfide and violet LEDs
• Thumbnail calculations involving buoyant drifting massive sculpture
• Correcting the weight-distribution of buoyant objects
• Video glow sphere
• Harnessing our delusions arising from gazing at dark water as the ferry leaves the dock

More about Bill and his projects at; and below.


Michael J. Laine, String Is A Very Important Thing – Space Elevator Update: Michael J. Laine, founder of Liftport, the Bremerton-based space elevator company, returns to dorkbot to tell us about their recent tests and next steps for the space elevator itself. In the company’s words: “Liftport’s mission is to build a complete space transportation infrastructure with a focus on the space elevator. The subject of research for more than a century, the space elevator is a unique way to ferry cargo and people into space. Recent advances in technology, most notably the development of carbon nanotube composites, now appear to make building it feasible. Initial research reports on building the space elevator that draw upon these discoveries have now been completed. As proposed in these preliminary reports, the space elevator will consist of a carbon nanotube composite ribbon stretching some 62,000 miles (100,000 km) from earth to space. The elevator will be anchored to a specially designed ocean going vessel named, "The LiftPort" near the equator in the Pacific Ocean, and to a small man-made counterweight in space. Lifters (robotic elevator cars) will move up and down the ribbon, carrying such items as satellites, solar power systems, exploration probes, factories, and eventually people into space. LiftPort's plan is to take the concept from the research stage to commercial development.”. You can find out more at, and at


Open Dork/Show and Tell


Shelly Farnham went to Seattle Mind Camp 2005 and will be telling us all about the experience!




We Want You!

YOU!!! Yes, if you have a project – any project, at any stage of completeness, an idea – any idea, at any stage of bakedness, an artwork – any kind of artwork at any stage of doneness, please do bring it along to the dorkbot meeting and claim your 10 minutes worth of fame after the presenters and before the Rave-O-Matic starts an impromptu dance party!


More about our speakers

Michele Boland

is a software engineer currently employed by Microsoft with an extremely eclectic professional background. She is a musician, private pilot and sailor. Her current fascinations include nixie tubes and building strange electronic clocks that often employ vintage electronics.

Click here

for more info on the ZundelPhone.

Bill Beaty’s Artist Statement:

If "Art is the lie that makes us realize the truth", then art contains far too much lying: far too much of the shallow facade of technical expertise, or, with luck, too much of shallow surface esthetics. No matter the acclaim directed at certain works, usually we detect nothing beneath their surface besides our own psychological projections. The Quality within a piece depends almost entirely on the perceiver, and most art is one-dimensional in this way. But is it even POSSIBLE to create Quality which is separate from the Quality projected by a human audience? Let's find out. My goal is to attack the universal trend of art based on shallow facades and viewer-provided interpretation.