Monday, January 23, 2017

Blog Post #3: Barbie Guitars, Circuit Bending, Play

KIDDesigns Barbie Jam with Me

I found this strange video:

This sent me on a wild goose chase. One fascinating element of this video is the ability of human touch to alter the sound - at one point the "maker" shows their ability to create oscillations, beeps, and swishes by physically touching the circuit board.

This is a lovely introduction to the possibilities of circuit bending. Like the maker movement more broadly, it seems that circuit bending was founding on a principle of an open invitation into a participatory equitable space of discovery. And again this shows an element of playfulness -- we see the inventor being goofy and creating noises based on poking the interviewer (~7min).

This made me think a lot about elements of play in these videos.


  1. These videos are super fascinating! The way the "maker" in the Barbie guitar video was bending the sound was highly reminiscent of one of the projects Super Awesome Sylvia makes in her project book - The R.I.F.F., to be specific. I wonder if branding her project as "circuit bending" would make it sound more or less appealing to children (and relatedly, more or less educational to their guardians). What do you think?

  2. A couple of people and I tried the Arduino Synth kit in class and we weren't able to do much with it, but if you're interested in music making with oscillations and beeps and mysterious switches you should definitely try that kit.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.