The Tank is pleased to announce The Fifth Annual Bent Festival of hardware hacking, DIY electronics, and circuit bending. The term circuit bending refers to the inspired short-circuiting of battery-powered children’s toys to create new musical instruments, and over the last few decades a worldwide subculture has sprung up around this amazing art form. The Bent Festival began as a celebration of circuit bending, but has quickly grown to embrace not only circuit benders but also artists who create instruments and artwork from scratch using homemade circuitry. Artists from around the globe perform music with their homemade or circuit bent instruments each night of the festival, teach workshops to adults and children alike, and create amazing, interactive art installations. The festival brings together artists of all ages and showcases the state of the art of DIY electronics and circuit bending culture.

Thursday April 24, 7:00pm Concert #1

Friday April 25, 6:00pm Workshop

Friday April 25, 7:00pm Concert #2

Saturday April 26, 11:00am Workshops

Saturday April 26, 7:00pm Concert #3

All events at DCTV – 87 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10013 –

The Bent Festival is produced by The Tank, a non-profit space for performing and visual arts in New York City with a mission to provide a welcoming, creative, collaborative, and affordable environment for artists and activists engaged in the pursuit of new ideas. Grand Performances is Southern California’s largest presenter of free performing arts with a primary focus on bringing together the diverse peoples of Los Angeles for concerts celebrating the cultural contributions of our community’s peoples. The Bent Festival is made possible in part by Make Magazine, the first publication on the subject of DIY technology projects and by Periscope Entertainment, a Los Angeles based film and television company that pride s itself on supporting independent thought and innovative creation. This event is also made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.

Complete Schedule after the Jump:


Each night is $10.

A Festival Pass to all concerts is available for $25.

Tickets are available here:

Thursday, April 24 | 7PM SHARP

Concert #1

Opening Reception (6pm)

Furby Youth Choir

Loud Objects


Joo Youn Paek

Phil Stearns

Dr. Bleep

Friday, April 25 | 6PM


Fundamentals of Synthesis Electronics with Todd Bailey

Friday, April 25 | 7PM SHARP

Concert #2

Carlos Antenna


Aimee Norwich

Rocket Parlour

Computer at Sea


Emilie Mouchous and Erin Sexton

Dr. Rek

Roth Mobot (Distance Performance)

Saturday, April 26 | 11AM – 5pm


11am Intro Workshop with Clifford Bret (NYC)

In the Madnoodler’s introduction to circuit bending course, participants will learn the basics of circuit bending. Organizational skills and soldering will be demonstrated. Other skills to be developed include pin pointing bends and taking an ordinary keyboard and making it into an opto theremin. Using variations of the “starmate” style keyboard, participants will be urged to explore with photo-resistors and alligator clips to find unique possibilities. After the fun of exploring these versatile keyboards, participants will stabilize and optimize their creation by heat shrinking the connections.

1pm Sensors – op-amps, comparators, and digitally controlled switches

with Phil Stearns (Los Angeles)

FOR EXPERIENCED ELECTRONIC TINKERERS an understanding of the electronics basics is a must though they will be rehashed briefly We will cover some basic types of analog sensors and look at how to interface them with circuit bending projects. The hands-on component will guide you through building a circuit that will allow sound and/or light to control bends.

1pm Battery Powered Noise Generator with Jessica Rylan (Boston)

Maybe you’re interested in EVP (electronic voice phenomena) and want a good source of white noise. Maybe you’re a nervous wreck and need something to drown the world out. Or maybe you feel the need to dance in from of a giant amp that’s blasting harsh noise every once in a while! If so, then this is the workshop for you. We’ll build a simple noise generator using a handful of resistors, capacitors, and transistors. We’ll also talk about the fundamentals of electric circuits, physical and mathematical approaches to noise, and historical perspectives on the electronics industry.

3pm Intro to Video Bending with Ed Bear (NYC)

The disappearing vocabulary of analog video is at once the signature of the 20th century and a powerful tool for recording, performance, and learning. A basic understanding of the video signal turns any television into an oscilloscope and all electronics into potential audio-visual instruments. The best way to learn is doing, and that is the focus of this class. Techniques of filtering and manipulating NTSC video signals will be demonstrated on working instruments frankensteined from old equipment. All Ages.

3pm Antique Experimentation – Tubes, Coils and the Mystical DIY

of the not-so-ancient with Lorin Edwin Parker (Los Angeles)

In this workshop we’ll examine the topology of pre-transistor technology and how it informs modern DIY. The increasing miniaturization and diminishing cost of electronic parts has made circuit hacking and building more accessible and affordable to most. However, are 1 cent parts and integrated circuits causing us to lose touch with the art of homemade coils, wooden breadboards and sheet metal and glass capacitors? If imprecise and unreliable components brewed up from mu metal and copper wire truly impeded electronic progress in the 20s and 30s, how can one explain the emergence of the Theremin, The Ondes Martinot, The Trautonium and arguably the greatest of radio receivers? Why are these instruments, simple in their initial concept, so hard to reproduce faithfully today? We’ll begin by looking at tube circuits and the use of commonly available vacuum tubes. How the hell does one get started with tubes? Why can’t I fit them in a breadboard? Am I going to kill myself making a 3 00V instrument? We’ll cover all of this. We’ll take a look at the original patents and figures of Theremin, Martenot and Trautwein. We’ll also examine the socialogical spirit of invention in Post-War Europe and Depression America which led almost everyone with a screwdriver to take up hacking (Grinding meat with a modified car, turning a vacuum into a lawnmower, etc…) Finally, we’ll rethink the issue of control by rolling our own components to “feel” rather than specification. We’ll examine homemade coils, inductors, transformers, capacitors and resistors. Workshop participants will work collaboratively, modding and hacking on the aforementioned circuits. However, the amount of time required to construct these circuits is prohibitive of building tube instruments from scratch. However, tube based kits and instructions can be made available for sale, to be completed after the workshop.

Saturday, April 26 | 7PM SHARP

Concert #3

Gunung Sari

Speaker Synth


Bryan Eubanks and Vic Rawlings

alias pail

Big A little a


Burnkit 2600

Art Installations

(on view from 6pm nightly and

during Saturday workshops)

Michael Dory

Lesley Flanigan and Andy Doro

Matt Durant

Phil Stearns

Ed Bear

Lea Bertucci

Leah Wechsler

Dr. Bleep


Christopher McDonald

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