The public radio program Science Friday recently announced an awesome new feature: Science Club! Inspired by a book club, where everyone reads the same book and then comes together to discuss, the Science Club asks everyone to go away and do the same science project and share the results with the community. I love this idea, and for Mad Art Labbers and lovers, it only gets better:
The inaugural project is: ART MACHINES! That’s right, SciFri wants its listeners to find, build, or hack a machine that makes art. The rules are pretty simple:
For the purposes of this project, an art machine is any device that changes the direction, duration, or magnitude of a force in order to make art. Your machine can be simple or complex, analog or computerized, manual or electronic, so long as it makes art! Machines that are intended for another task, if safely and legally repurposed to make art, are fair game.
Also, no using animals/people.
What counts as art?
This is a complicated question, open to interpretation. We recommend sticking with visual arts, but if you make a dancing or music-playing robot, that’s cool, too.
After coming up with a creation, share a picture or video on pretty much any social media platform with the hashtag #MachineArt and the SciFri folks will find it and share it here. There are some cool examples up already, including hexbugs that make music and fan-powered markers.
This challenge lasts for another month or so. It’s not a competition, so there’s no winner, but I’m pretty we’re all winners when we’re making and sharing machine art!
You can listen to a segment about the Science Club and this challenge here.
Photos from Science Friday