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posts / 1,050 plastic bottles and an XBox Kinect 8/7/2018

May 5th, 2018. I'm freshly laid off and looking for a new gig, so I can continue to enjoy things like financial stability and health insurance. I have a lot of time on my hands so I check the Pickathon site, because I remember an article calling for artists to provide installations at their annual music festival. I am a day late, but I fill it out anyway, because why not? Since I probably won't get selected I propose a project I have had bouncing around in my head since last year's Pickathon: a gigantic Etch-a-Sketch, using Flaschen Taschen as the display, and steering wheels as the knobs. I am pretty sure I can build it, with my experience in hardware hacking and software development, but it would also be a learning process.

2 weeks later:


Thank you for your submission to Pickathon's Community Art 2018! We would love to have your piece, Giant Etch-A-Sketch, present with us.

Huh, okay. Two things:

  1. I had to open my big mouth. Hope I can actually pull this off!
  2. Maybe I should have put some more thought into the name.

To cut to the chase, I we did somehow pull it off. Not the same 1575 pixel beast that was the original Flaschen Taschen, but big enough to get the point across, at 35x30, with 1050 pixels. Not too bad for a very thin crew.

Since I learned a lot on this project, I will be making several posts passing along what I have learned. Maybe other folks will find it useful. For this post though, I just want to give props to everyone that helped, and maybe show some pictures of the finished product.

Peace to:

  • Light Sleepers, the crew responsible for this. Thanks for getting behind a very silly idea.
  • Henner Zeller for the amazing Flaschen-Taschen project, and his patient support for what usually amounted to me not being that great at soldering.
  • Jean Margaret Thomas for the opportunity and work I've seen her put in as Pickathon's Community Art Coordinator.
  • Chris Herring, for help with setup and his obvious dedication to the maker/new media art community, being on Jean's squad as well as directing Portland Winter Light Festival.
  • Brown Lumber of SE Portland, for their help in building the frame. They helped devise a plan that even a very poor carpenter could implement.
  • Everyone at Pickathon that played around with or had impromptu dance parties in front of our ridiculous wall of bottles. It was a joy building this, and I improved my uprocking and krumping a thousandfold just watching yall.


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