Deer Shed Festival 4: Machines Theme Deconstructed!

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It is now time to roll up the sleeves, grab a spanner and tinker about in the engine of the Machines theme! Over the weekend of 19th – 21st July...

Having already announced the bulk of the acts for this year’s Deer Shed Festival, including headliners; Darwin Deez, Edwyn Collins, House of Love, Gaz Coombes, King Creosote and The Unthanks. It is now time to roll up the sleeves, grab a spanner and tinker about in the engine of the Machines theme! Over the weekend of 19th – 21st July, the Baldersby Park in North Yorkshire will be taken over with a magnitude of mechanical offerings. This family festival is set to be awash with activities, demonstrations, talks and workshops from technology wizards such as Paul Granjon and international student organisation Robo Gals, as well as live coding, 3D printing, Scrapheap Challenge and oodles more quirky, insightful and ingenious machine related shenanigans!

Deer Shed Festival are delighted to have Paul Granjon as their MACHINES tent main attraction! Paul is interested in the co-evolution of humans and machines and builds all manner of fascinating contraptions, some of which are pretty bonkers! Paul will be demonstrating his homemade robotics accompanied by songs and illustrated reflections on the current state of cybernetic technology. Showing that the girls can be technology guru’s too the Robogals will be running hands-on robotic workshops engaging participants in a range of engineering topics in a way that is fun, creative and inspiring.

Other interactive and informative workshops include; Paul Harter’s Printcraft - The wonders of modern technology are often equally as baffling as they are wondrous, and 3D printing has to be the latest development which can proudly wear that crown! Paul Harter has developed a way to make the processes easily accessible by writing a script to create printable 3D models from within the ever popular Minecraft game. Paul will be demonstrating the witchcraft of 3D printing and wowing the kids and adults alike with this new form of magic!

Always ones to encourage full participation Deer Shed have set up an abundance of workshops and activities for festival goers to test their technological talents and creative construction capabilities! Scrapheap Challenge – just like the TV show, Deer Shed are challenging their festival folks to build a water worthy craft out of junk powered by human or mechanical means to be pitched against each other for the title of fastest craft! For those who don't feel quite ready for the scale of the scrapheap challenge, there is the option of building new machines from old ones! Under the watchful eye of resident robotics whizz, Paul Ganjon, festival goers can create their very own little robot friend made from salvaged parts from other machines.

For the more computer minded generation there is: Scratch programming - Scratch is a programming environment that makes it easy to create interactive stories, animations, games, music, art and share creations on the web; and Raspberry Pi - a credit-card-sized single-board computer developed in the UK by the Raspberry Pi Foundation with the intention of stimulating the teaching of basic computer science in schools; Picade – part of the Raspberry Pi Company, the Picade is a small desktop arcade machine with a joystick and six buttons playing classic computer games for some low tech nostalgic pleasure! Minecraft, the creative and building aspects of Minecraft allow players to build constructions out of textured cubes in a 3D world; and World of Padman for people to try out their new found skills and peak behind the coding curtain of the PG rated game.

Other Machine related activities and shows include: Live Coding Band – always keen to intertwine the theme into the festival as much as possible, Deer Shed Festival have found possibly the only Live Coding Band in the land! They will be programming a computer live which, in turn, generates music that can be danced to as well! 

With such an array of practical skills, technological techniques and information insights on offer, the Machines theme for Deer Shed Festival will celebrate all types of machinery, new and old, large and small, including some rustic gems like Pringle Tubes crystal radios, Music Boxes and a substitute pet for the weekend, the Thingies –These mechanical beasts, or ‘Thingies’ will be buzzing around for festival goers to play with!

Published on 14 March 2013 by Ben Robinson

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