Friday, May 11, 2018

What a Year!

This past year Roth Mobot members Tommy Stephenson and Patrick McCarthy leaned heavily into their day jobs as new massive projects loomed in their respective careers.

Tommy took little to no time off as he prepared to officially retire from his position at the College of DuPage to spend some deep quality time with his family. Patrick helped to design the Museum of Science and Industry's  Spring Make event, featuring history's largest digital fabrication laboratory, the Make Shop.

They both still dabble in electronics. Tommy continues to perform solo and collaborative experimental music on hacked toys and other acquired technology. Patrick took on a professorship at Columbia College Chicago, teaching Audio Electronics in their Audio Arts and Acoustics department.

Tommy Stephenson

Professor Patrick McCarthy

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Film Score Workshop at Columbia College

Roth Mobot's Patrick McCarthy has been invited to teach a one day Introduction to Circuit Bending workshop this Spring as part of Columbia College's Music Composition for the Screen graduate program. Students will learn how to manipulate common discarded electronic devices and convert them into custom musical and audio instruments. The workshop will focus on the concept of "audio safari" and how to explore a sonic soundscape before attempting to control it to apply it temporally to film/video.

"Though I've had a general interest in circuit-bending from afar on the Internet, I had never seen a live performance, and I just want to reiterate how awesome I thought it was. It was so musical in a way that was almost totally new to me. I loved the element of chance, and the idea that these toys that may have been sitting on a Goodwill shelf or on their way to a junkyard were now being used in this new artistic context, like they had been raised from the dead as zombie versions of their former selves.... I find the whole idea so inspiring."
~ Ed Barton, Columbia MFA Student ~

Monday, November 24, 2014

Roth Mobot, Drexltron, and Xela LIVE at Jerry's

Monday, December 1st, 2014, 8:00 PM
1938 W Division St., Chicago, IL (map)

  8:00 - Roth Mobot (Chicago)
  9:00 - Drexltron (Chicago)
10:00 - Rocks and Waves (Cleveland)
11:00 - Panq Ng (Chicago)

$ 7 Cover. Proceeds go to the out-of town artists, and Drexltron.
Facebook Event page. Show organized and produced by Drexltron.

Monday, October 20, 2014

~FREE~ eSymposium 10/22/14

Wednesday, October 22, 2014
6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Geek Bar Chicago
1941 W North Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60622 (map)

Experimental Electronics Artists, Video Glitchers, and Circuit Benders gather for an evening of eating, drinking, soldering, toy hacking, project sharing, and jamming. ~FREE~
(facebook event link)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Roth Mobot's "Introduction to Circuit Bending" Sunday, October 5th, 2014, Noon - 3:00 PM

5925 N Ravenswood, Chicago, IL 60660 (map)
Register for the Workshop
Roth Mobot has been invited to conduct one of their Introduction to Circuit Bending workshops as part of this year's Chicago Artists Month festival.

Tommy Stephenson and Patrick McCarthy, both vanguards of the circuit bending movement, have set the standard for immersive, interactive, alternative education with their unique focus on technology, invention, and problem solving through creative thinking and electronics tinkering.

Circuit Bending is the creative recycling of discarded consumer electronics, usually children’s toys, guitar effects units, inexpensive battery-powered musical instruments, portable CD players, etc., to create unique experimental electronic art by adding wires, knobs, and switches to control new connections within the device’s pre-existing circuitry.

No prior knowledge of electronics is required.

Take apart an old toy and make a brand new musical instrument! At the end of this workshop participants will be able to identify and explore the basic components of a typical circuit board, the basics of soldering, install output jacks, switches, body contacts (and more!), and control a world of new sounds. Tools and components will be provided.

Participants are required to bring one or two battery-powered devices (with batteries!) to the workshop.

Register for Roth Mobot's Introduction to Circuit Bending Workshop

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Toy Hacking at Teen Ignite

Line for the Circuit Bending Session
Patrick McCarthy & students
Overbooked class = floor lab
Patrick watches demo
Naperville's 95th Street Public Library hosted its first day-long Teen Ignite technology and arts seminar. Approximately 115 teens participated in over two dozen hour-long hands-on sessions. Roth Mobot's Patrick McCarthy gave a crash course in Circuit Bending and Toy Hacking to an overbooked crowd of 40 students in a conference room on the library's second floor.

"We'll just have to remove all the chairs." Patrick announced at the beginning of the session, "We'll 'hack' the room!"

You can read more about the event in this Chicago Tribune article, and the Trib also posted some video.