More SWARMy goodness on the way

The machine art community in the Bay Area is one of the most vibrant scenes in the world. We’ve benefited enormously from our talented friends and colleagues in the area. Now it’s time to give back: we will be appearing on two consecutive nights at the SomArts gallery, to benefit two very worthy causes. Here’s the scoop:

Who: Those mavens of lipstick and accelerants, The Flaming Lotus Girls

What: A Gallery Show Fundraiser for the FLG’s!

When: Friday, November 30th, 2007, 7pm-1am

Where: Somarts Gallery 934 Brannan Street, San Francisco

Why: Because YOU want to see more super giant fire art!

Come join the hot ladies (and gentlemen) of the world-famous Flaming
Lotus Girls fire art group for an evening of art, flame and fabulous

Over 40 different photographers and a handful of local artists have
donated their art for a silent auction benefiting the FLG’s, so they
can continue their quest for world domination through stainless steel
and kerosene.

The rest of the world deserves to see The Serpent Mother in all of her
168-foot majesty. Come enjoy the all the art and make this and other
amazing projects possible!

See more at

And also this the very next night:

The Blue & Green Ball – fundraiser for Todd Blair
Saturday, Dec 1st
SoMarts Gallery
934 Brannan Street
8pm – 1am

Todd Blair is an artist extraordinaire, producer, curator and teacher
at California College of the Arts who needs your help. Todd was
injured in a tragic forklift accident in September at an arts festival
in Amsterdam where he was working as part of the Survival Research
Labs team. His condition remains serious and his recovery long. Todd
is still in recovery at a hospital in Amsterdam.

The “Blue & Green Ball” fundraiser for Todd will be held Saturday,
December 1st at SomArts Gallery, 934 Brannan Street, San Francisco,
CA. The event will take place from 8pm – 1am, entry fee is $10.

Entertainment will include DJ Vordo, Gibson Pearl Bellydancing, Art by
the Flaming Lotus Girls, Electromechanical, robotic, and interactive
art and more! There will also be a Live Auction of selected Fine Art,
Talent, and Collectibles. As part of this event, there will be a Shopping
Bazaar- including lots of unique crafts and art. Food and cocktails will
also be available.

Event website:

Resistance is futile…

Come join the SWARMies. No really, it’s just a mailing list to keep you up-to-date with SWARM performances and parties.
Sign up here:

SWARM at the FLG Fundraiser

A little too early to confirm, but there are rumors of a serendipitous SWARM at the Flaming Lotus Girls fundraiser. Should be a great time for a good cause, so see you there!
Flaming Lotus Girls fundraiser

A few pictures from Decompression

I linked them back to the Flickr pages from whence they came… go there to see more

SWARM “Ignites” at the DNA Lounge

So we’re all set to give a short presentation at Ignite SF on Tuesday 10/16 at the DNA Lounge in San Francisco. It looks like it will be something like Dorkbot on meth: presenters are limited to 5 minute talks and 15 seconds per slide. As you might expect of something organized by O’Reilly, a lot of the cool kids will be there. Come and join them, oh and us too!

Details here.

We’re all set for Decompression

A lot of folks managed to miss SWARM out on the playa. (We understand — it’s not like there wasn’t anything else to distract you.) If that’s the case, or even if it wasn’t, here’s a chance to get up close and personal with our spheres at their first public appearance in the Bay Area.

We’ll be at the 8th annual SF Decompression HEAT THE STREET FaIRE. Some of our intrepid pedalheads will be riding the Mothership all the way from Hunter’s Point and back so respect! to them.

We don’t have our exact placement yet, but we’ll let you know as soon as we do. Come out and decompress!

Details: Sunday, October 7, 2007
Noon SHARP till 12 am
Public Entrance: 19th & Minnesota
(On Indiana Street between Mariposa and 22nd, SF)
$10 donation in Black Rock Couture/Costume; $20 in streetwear
All ages outdoors; kids under 12 are free!


The fine folks from spent a lot of time with us, both before the desert and on the playa. They took some great footage — watch a 3-minute version here:

They did a spectacular job of capturing what it felt like on the playa and we thank them!

Why so quiet?

Don’t let the dead air fool ya, we’re working our little orbs off behind the scenes. We’re too busy to post! Some stats courtesy our Subversion code management software: we’re averaging 10 file changes per day. When you keep in mind we’re only a few days into August (last bar on the graph) the trend is clear.


More Playa Pics

It was too hot to think, let alone point a camera straight, but I did get a few pictures:

The crew on the playaThe playa crew

Geek week camp on the playaGeek Week camp Note 40-ft tower for the microwave link to Gerlach

Breakfast on the PlayaBreakfast for everyone!

A Desert HackerHacking on the playa. Note specialized desert hacking gear: extra monitor, spent pyro, box of whippits (likely spent as well), sunglasses, insulated coffee mug.

Danger Ranger’s mobile wifi truck with orbDanger Ranger’s mobile wifi rig, plus orb.

Playing on the Playa

Well, after a long weekend of late nights at the shop, Mike, Ray, Niladri and I made it to the playa on the Fourth with orb in tow. Big thanks to everyone who helped us get there, and to the folks at Geek Week who let us mooch off their wifi and shade structure. (As there were record high temperatures even for the desert, the latter was likely more than a metaphorical lifesaver.) In any case, we found and fixed several problems, got in some roll-testing and data-logging, and generally had a baking good time.
More pictures and pontifications to come, but here’s a video to start with. We were really happy how smooth things were rolling. Considering the challenging environment and the last-minute addition of the “bucket handle” radome, I don’t think this qualifies as anything less than a total success. So we raise a hot can of triple-digit Tecate to everyone! Woot!

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