Sept 23rd: dorkbotSF #47

The Forty-Seventh San Francisco Dorkbot is happening next week, at San Francisco’s only chocolate maker, Tcho. The speaker list is star studded, featuring the always exciting Mark Pauline of Survival Research Labs, friend and ex-project collaborator Michael Ang, and Tcho Chief Chocolate Officer himself, Timothy Childs.

when:  7:30pm 9/23/09
where: tcho
pier 17, sf, ca

Mark Pauline – Survival Research Labs

Mark will talk about what ever the hell he feels like. Probably the robot-building business, large scale machine performances and 30 years of intriguing machine prank/art anecdotes…Mark Pauline (born December 14, 1953) is an American performance artist and inventor, best known as founder and director of Survival Research Labs. Pauline founded SRL in 1978 and it is considered the premier practitioner of “industrial performing arts”, and the forerunner of large scale machine performance. SRL is known for producing the most dangerous shows on earth. Although acknowledged as a major influence on popular competitions pitting remote-controlled robots and machines against each other, such as BattleBots and Robot Wars, Pauline shies away from rules-bound competition preferring a more anarchic approach. Machines are liberated and re-configured away from the functions they were originally meant to perform.

Pauline has written of SRL, “Since its inception SRL has operated as an organization of creative technicians dedicated to re-directing the techniques, tools, and tenets of industry, science, and the military away from their typical manifestations in practicality, product or warfare.” Since its beginning through the end of 2006, SRL has conducted about 48 shows.

In August 1990, ArtPark, a state-sponsored arts festival in Lewiston, New York, cancelled a Pauline performance when it turned out he intended “to cover a sputtering Rube Goldberg spaceship with numerous Bibles” that would “serve as thermal protective shields” and be burned to ashes in the course of the performance.[1]

According to Pauline “I like to make machines that can just do their own shows… machines that can do all that machines in the science fiction novels can do. I want to be there to make those dreams real.”[2]

Timothy Childs – Technology and Chocolate

Timothy will talk about different technologies used in the making of Tcho chocolates!Timothy is the Co-Founder and Chief Chocolate Officer of Tcho!

Timothy leverages his experience as a serial entrepreneur, super taster and inventor to engage a multidisciplinary community around the art and science of making the world’s best chocolate. As a founder and Chief Chocolate Officer at TCHO, Timothy is the creative force behind the company.s vision and strategy, including TCHO’s Flavor-driven approach to chocolate making as well as TCHOSource, the company’s project to improve livelihoods and generate prosperity throughout the cocoa value chain.

Prior to founding TCHO, Timothy launched the successful retail brand Cabaret Chocolates, where he co-pioneered single-origin marketing with distribution through national outlets. He is also the founder of early stage companies in the Internet and computer graphics industries and also co-founded VeRGe and the Web3D RoundUP. Before becoming hooked on chocolate, he developed machine vision systems for NASA’s Space Shuttle program.

Timothy is a sought-after speaker whose other obsessions include community building, artistic and cultural movements, paragliding and multi-camera video time-lapse projects.

Michael Ang – Light, Attraction and Emotion: Projects with Photons, Biology and Electrons

Inverse Parasol is an illuminated parasol that becomes a portable space for personal interaction on dark nights. Strange Attractor seeks the intersection of human and insect aesthetics as an intended object of desire for both humans and butterflies. Mang’s recent work with the GigaPan robotic camera system explores how the tool can be used to capture story, emotion, and discrete moments of time. Together these projects represent the use of technology to explore and interact with the physical, biological, and social world around us. Michael Ang ( is an artistic, hacker and engineer working at the intersection of art, technology and human experience. He is a graduate of NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) and currently works at the Internet Archive in support of its goal of Universal Access to All Knowledge.

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