Retomamos el blog después de semanas de silencio para hablar de una buena noticia que nos llega desde Lisboa. Catarina Mota y Tiago Henriques, colaboradores en el último taller Interactivos? Ciencia de garage, han puesto en marcha, junto a otros artistas, diseñadores y hackers, un nuevo hackerspace en Lisboa y lo han llamado Altlab.
Catarina nos ha enviado un texto en el que explica en qué consiste el proyecto y cómo surgió, en gran medida, gracias a su participación en Interactivos?
AltLab is a Lisbon-based collective dedicated to independent research and experimentation in alternative media. Community-based and community-building by nature, it seeks to promote active participation, knowledge sharing, and collaboration among individuals such as artists, programmers, engineers, hobbyists, scientists, and all those who wish to freely explore creative and emancipatory uses of technology. Just like many other hackerspaces which have emerged all over the world in recent years, altLab has also been founded on the notions of open source software/hardware, and the belief in collective independent platforms for open and active knowledge-sharing and experimentation.
Our first project as a collective was the PAPERduino: an arduino on a base of paper, which makes it not only partially recyclable but also cheaper. It was very well received by the maker community and appeared on Make (USA and Japan), Gizmodo (USA and France), Endgadget, and many more blogs. We’ve also recently learned that altLab got a commission to build an open source mini-helicopter equipped with a video camera. Besides that we’re working on a few other projects: a video projector made out of recycled hardware, several musical instruments and game controllers, a sculpture that mixes electronics with paper, some solar-powered gadgets, and a set of small robots to donate to a children’s hospital – to name only a few 🙂
Altlab is also currently organizing a 3D printing workshop which will take place in Lisbon this coming October. Zach Smith, with whom we worked with at Interactivos?09, will come to Portugal to give the workshop and participants will spend two weeks building an open source 3D printer and learning how to use it. Just as at Medialab Prado, the printer will stay at altLab for people to come and print their designs.
For quite a long time there has been a great desire amongst Lisbon’s tech DIYers to create such a collaboration platform. What we didn’t have, until early this year, was critical mass: we lacked the numbers and the collective strength to launch what has now become altLab. All this suddenly changed with interactivos?09. Not only did this production workshop allow us to find each other (this is where the core of the founding members met and where we started planning altLab), but it also proved to us in practice what we already knew instinctively: that such collaborative platforms bring creativity and human relationships to a whole new level.
Inspired by interactivos?09’s gathering of such a large and exciting group of creators, we also agreed that we didn’t just want to set up a hackerspace for us and our friends, we wanted to help create and support a nationwide and trasborder community. In that spirit, we currently communicate and maintain open discussions with an ever expanding network of individuals and organizations all over Portugal and around the world, and at last night’s altLab meeting three languages were spoken: portuguese, spanish and english.
We are truly grateful to everyone at Medialab Prado for creating an environment that encourages participation and breeds so much creativity, and hope that many more people have a chance to be inspired by your workshops.
El próximo lunes Catarina Mota estará en Madrid asistiendo al próximo encuentro de Inclusiva-net sobre Redes y procesos P2P. Estamos deseando que nos cuente más sobre Altlab y OpenMaterials, un grupo de investigación y documentación de proyectos DIY que han formado algunos de los participantes en el taller sobre Ciencia de garaje.