[resource-net] Critical Engineering Summer Intensives 2018

Danja Vasiliev danja at k0a1a.net
Tue Jul 10 21:22:13 CEST 2018

Hi list,

We're very pleased to announce our Summer Intensives program, Berlin 2018.


3-5 AUGUST, FROM 10:00 TO 18:00

This 3-day workshop is an expansion of the popular Wilderness Wireless
Workshop that appeared at the last two editions of the Radical Networks
Conference in New York. The focus of the workshop is on the thinking
around, creation of and use of off-the-grid, infrastructureless
communications networks for creative use.

The workshop gains its inspiration from the free-radio movements,
exploring notions of decentralization, free-speech and activism and
takes cues from nature about how to operate in a
technologically-mediated world in a not-always-on, resource-conscious

Subjects to be explored include the physical nature of radio and the
electromagnetic spectrum, alternative energy, wireless networks, and
transmission- and net-art. Participants will gain hands-on skills in
electronics construction and soldering, embedded computing and web- and
python programming.

Participants will construct two devices during the workshop: The first
is a DIY, micro-power FM radio transmitter which will be used as an
entry-point into the world of radio communications, and the use of radio
as a creative medium. The second device is a solar-powered, WiFi access
point and offline web server, which will be the focus of the workshop's
creative output. Everyone will leave with their own micro-power FM
transmitter. An additional materials fee of 75EUR will be charged if
they would like to keep their wilderness wireless devices.

No prior experience is necessary.

Course Fee: 150€
Materials: 75€ (optional)

12 seats available.


13-15 AUGUST, FROM 10:00 TO 18:00

Psychological Warfare, also called PSYOPS, is a strategy used in
military and government intelligence networks aimed at influencing the
emotional, cognitive and rational structures of governments,
organizations, groups, and individuals, in order to change their
behaviors and ultimately their purposes and goals.

PSYOPS tactics are deeply rooted in the diverse techno-social
arrangements that lie at the core of algorithmic governance, yet they
are often ignored or overlooked by most global citizens, who
nevertheless operate within such arrangements. With increasing distrust
in 'The Cloud' comes a broad call for publicly owned network
infrastructures that would give users greater control over their
personal communication, data and identities.

In this 3-day hands-on workshop we will try to connect the dots between
PSYOPS, psychology, propaganda, surveillance, the Internet, data and
algorithms, and we will underline the need to build alternative networks
to retain sovereignty over our communications technologies and natural

The first day of the workshop will give participants a deep
understanding about the many mechanisms used by corporations, agencies
and governments to collect, sort and exploit personal data, along with
the main social, political and environmental impacts of such processes.

The final two days will introduce participants to the basic building
blocks of computer networking, command line interface and WiFi
communication. We will learn how to self-host our own web servers, file
servers and personal wireless networks. These servers will allow their
users to send messages, publish web sites and share files across an
offline local area and mesh network.

No prior knowledge of programming or command line interaction is required.

Course Fee: 150€
Materials: 75€ (optional)

12 seats available.


16-18 August, FROM 10:00 TO 18:00

In this 3-day intensive participants will learn how to use a 12 Euro
RTLSDR USB dongle* and free, open-source software to read, record and
appropriate a vast world of signal around them. From weather satellite
imagery to the International Space Station, aircraft and military radio,
pirate and amateur bands, software-defined radio allows for any laptop
to become a powerful ear into a world otherwise unheard by the devices
we use.

Outdoor excursions with a variety of antennae will be made to ensure
participants have real-world experience capturing, analysing and
demodulating radio frequency (RF) phenomena. A special module on
uncloaking, spoofing and deploying cellular infrastructure will be
taught, as will another on GNU Radio, a powerful toolkit for designing
and packaging RF applications entirely in software.

Skills, terms and concepts learned are directly applicable to further
learning in areas such as packet radio, radio-astronomy, wireless
counter-surveillance, signal jamming and pirate broadcasting.

No prior knowledge of programming or command line interaction is required.

Course Fee: 100€
Materials: 12€ (optional)

*Required to participate in class. Feel free to bring your own.

12 seats available.


1 September, FROM 10:00 TO 18:00

This 1-day intensive workshop introduces participants to the UNIX
command line, a rapidly growing and ubiquitous interface common to every
computer from the UNIX family of operating systems - whether web-server,
Internet appliance, wireless router, autonomous robot, Raspberry Pi, OS
X or Linux laptop.

In doing so, participants vastly expand the scope of computers they can
interact with, develop for and control - transcending restrictive
'consumer-oriented' interfaces and the desktop metaphor. Further,
participants learn that a computer doesn't need to have a screen,
keyboard or even be on the same continent to be interacted with - the
case for a growing family of devices comprising the so-called Internet
of Things.

Rather, by developing an ability to talk to computers - with them
talking back - any UNIX or UNIX-like machine can be either directly
controlled or made a drone, performing automated tasks on their owner's

No prior knowledge of programming or command line interaction is required.

Course Fee: 50€

12 seats available.


3-4 September, FROM 10:00 TO 18:00
Weise7 Studio, Berlin

Decentralise! This 2-day intensive walks participants through the
process of setting up email, cloud, VPN, gallery and website services on
an Internet-ready server that they control - scalable to hundreds or
thousands of users.

Those interested in serving from home can bring in a PC to wipe and
re-purpose as a low-bandwidth server on the Internet. Others wanting a
high-traffic, media-rich solution will be encouraged to choose and
register a geographically-local server package in class such that they
can be guided through a complete install (typical monthly fees are 5 to
15 EUR).

Good server-side security practices are covered, from disk-encryption to
password-management and firewalling. The basics of the UNIX command line
are also taught such that participants can securely log into their
server and administer it regardless of their physical location. Whether
NGO, activist-collective or gallery, it takes just 1 or 2 people in a
community to give the gift of quality, low-CO2, decentralised
infrastructure - to take the power back.

No prior experience is necessary, although attention to detail and some
experience in the UNIX command line are an advantage.

Course Fee: 100€

12 seats available.


8-9 September, FROM 10:00 TO 18:00

Slime mould Physarum polycephalum is an easy to cultivate, single-celled
organism, which forms efficient, complex networks of protoplasmic tubes
between spatially distributed food sources. Despite having no central
nervous system, P. polycephalum is capable of solving computational
tasks both on its own and when integrated into hybrid bio-electrical
circuits. Some experimental working prototypes which have been developed
with slime moulds include self-routing and self-repairing wires,
electronic oscillators, chemical sensors, color sensors, low pass
filters, logical gates, and transistors, among many others.

In this workshop we will be introduced to working with Physarum
polycephalum, including life cycle, cultivation, and techniques for
integrating with conventional electrical components for building hybrid
circuits. We will also have a brief overview of notable earlier
experiments with slime moulds, some of which we will attempt to
reproduce in class ourselves. Building on top of that, we will go on to
design our own hybrid bio-circuits.

No prior experience is required.

Course Fee: 100€
Materials: 20€

12 seats available.


Registration details and further information here:



Danja Vasiliev
@k0a1a http://k0a1a.net/danja

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