This Saturday at the Madagascar Institute

This Saturday at the Madagascar Institute:

Networking 101
Scary Dangerous X-mas gifts
Event planning: Luau
Work on your own shit

This has been a busy week so far at the Madagascar Institute. Thanks to
Mo and her army of confused men the welding curtain is up and working (
I guess, unless the people who were doing printmaking last night have
all gone blind.) so we can now weld inside. There is a bit of a noxious
fume issue, but hey, New York is a tough town, and you Williamsburgers
will get a sneak peak of what living near generating plants is like (by
the way- I have received a bunch of e-mails asking me to join in a
protest against the proposed generating plants. To all of you that are
righteously against these things- when you moved into an industrial
neighborhood, what exactly did you expect ? You didn’t move there
because it was cheap- if you wanted cheap Brownsville and the Bronx have
cheap- you wanted gritty industrial hip and nearness to Manhattan.
One of the downsides of living in an industrial area is that you get
industry, like power plants. I live in an industrial area that does not
have a bar or art gallery on every corner, and the canal in front of the
Madagascar Institute lets off a serious funk and I have heavy metals in
the soil and there is a garbage truck lot next door, but I knew what I
was getting in to and so did you. Besides, power plants aren’t that bad-
there is a big, dangerous old school one on 14th street and no one
cares. Also, maybe the toxins will drive the Yuppies out and enable you
to all have the lofts of your dreams. Fuck- if I lived in Billyburg I
would be out supporting the plants and asking for more.).

Anyway- the printmaking class drew the crowd in on a cold, weekday
night. I’m not sure if it his skills at slicing out a jesus or building
a wall, his tough-guy bike or just his boyish good looks but Eric had a
devoted crew of (mostly) women hanging on his every word and making
prints like mad. Printmaking was a success, and hopefully will be
repeated at some point in the future.

On to the future:

Introduction to Networking

No, not “Networking” as in schmoozing and making connections, but
“Networking” as in wiring and making connections. This Saturday that
Irish guy will be hooking up the Madagascar Institute LAN, and teach all
interested parties the basics of computer to computer communication.
This is a very useful skill for cool connected digital art pieces, and
will be important as we start working on digital interfaces for machines
and telepresence robots. This will be a good starter course for the
upcoming hacking courses as well. Besides, he has a cool accent.

Network cables.
Computers and parts for donation.
Shitty, rainy weather and horrible food to make the instructor feel
right at home.

Scary Dangerous X-mas gifts
Give the gift of puncture wounds and Christmas morning emergency room
This is not a class, per se, (there will be a more formal gift making
session next week) but rather an opportunity for you to use the skills
you have learned to make sharp, unwieldy, dangerous holiday gifts for
your loved ones and enemies. This might sound kind of lame but
everything welded is cool, and things that are welded by you are even
Remember- art is always a great gift, and as long as it is weird enough
no one can ever be sure that it sucks.
Our team of creative geniuses will be on tap to help you come up with
ideas for shit to make.

All the scrap you can carry. There is a chance that we will make an
obtanium run before class so there should be plenty of materials on
tetanus shots

Event Planning:

Not a class at all but actual, real, event planning. Two things are in
the works- first, Veronica’s surveillance camera project, which will
have its final touches done on Saturday, and the first giant project-
the luau. If you are interested in participating in the surveillance
camera project e-mail or speak to me or Veronica. We don’t need many
helpers on that, but all players are welcome. The Luau project does need
lots and lots of helpers, and will get started this weekend.

More information, supplied by Erok:

Giant Project #1: Luau

On January 13th, the Madagascar Institute is throwing a luau.  The
main event will be a performance featuring hula dancers, human
sacrifices, a large volcano and the kind of grand finale that the
Madagascar Institute is famous for.

Creating the event will be the first big group project at the new
headquarters.  We have one month and need everyone to be involved.
Things to be done include volcano construction, set decoration,
idol-making, “special effects” rigging and more.

We begin on Saturday, when we will reveal the performance details and
outline the production schedule.  Then, we’ll start erecting the
volcano in the back yard.

Your lovely selves.
Work clothes.

Work on your own shit
I cannot stress how important practice is to keep your skills up. If you
do not stick at welding, electronics, or the other artstar skills you
will lose them. The best way to keep in practice is to have a little
project to work on, be it an X-mas gift, little doodad for yourself, or
a project to improve the shop. If you don’t have anything to work on you
can be assigned a project that will stretch and expand your skills-
between building furniture and storage for the shop and working on the
Luau everyone that wants to will have an interesting, rewarding thing to
work on. It will keep your skills sharp and impress people when they
comment on the well crafted and funky workbench, desk, shelving, volcano
or artbike and you can say “Yeah- I made that.” Shit like that will get
you so laid.

Printmaking stuff if you attended the class and didn’t get to actually
make and use your screen
More welding rod
Bike parts
An air blower and vent so the welders won’t choke out everyone else.

The Madagascar Institute will be open at 2 pm on Saturday. Show up on
time. You will get more shit done and really feel like you deserve your
Saturday night of excess. Showing up three hours late impresses no one.
If you have never made it to a session, come anyway and you will learn
how to weld. Last night four people were started on the artstar path. It
is never too late to begin.

The Madagascar Institute is located at 217 Butler Street, between Nevins

and Bond, ground floor.

Take the F or G train to the Bergen Street stop (3rd stop in Brooklyn on
the F) Exit at Bergen and Smith Street. Walk up Bergen, against the flow
of traffic, 2 blocks to Bond. Take a right on Bond, walk 4 or so blocks
to Butler. Take a left on Butler, walk 1/2 block to 217. Ring buzzer
#1.You can get there from the N/R train at Union (about 8 blocks) and
the Atlantic/Pacific street stop for everything, but I don’t know how to
do that.

Car/cab from Manhattan:
Go over the Manhattan Bridge. Once on the Brooklyn side, you will be on
Flatbush. Follow Flatbush a few (like 6) blocks and take a right on
Nevins (right after Fulton, with its bright lights and disturbing amount
of wig shops). Go down Nevins like 6 blocks, watching the neighborhood
get progressively more industrial, until you get to Butler. Take a right
on Butler. 217 is halfway down the block.

Car/cab from Williamsburg (Thanks to Tara Ball):
easy driving directions to Madagascar Inst by Tara

get off BQE Manhattan bridge exit, drive down very big street of
Flushing Ave. Make right on Nevins which is just after Juniors (stop buy
me cheese cake for doing you this favor) 2 or 3 blocks. Drive a little
ways keep eyes open and brain working look for BUTLER. then find 217
Butler (btwn Nevins & Bond.) If you see 3rd Ave you are going wrong way,
turn around. Across street from brick structure.
Easy and remember cheese cake.

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