Make it Yourself

 Make it YourselfArduino board (Make it Yourself)


Cybersonica with Openlab Workshops and Manchester Art Gallery present:

Make It Yourself


Make It Yourself is an exhibition of inventive Arduino and DIY electronic-circuitry projects to accompany the major solo exhibition Recorders by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer at Manchester Art Gallery between 18 September 2010 and 30 January 2011.

A rapidly expanding community of people worldwide is taking advantage of new, cheaper technology and a growing pool of shared knowledge to make things for themselves - useful things, clever things, silly things, unique things. Make It Yourself is a ‘small but perfectly formed’ show of a handpicked half-dozen of these hand-made devices.

We called for submissions of existing Arduino and DIY electronic-circuitry projects from artists, hobbyists, hackers, DIY musicians and anyone interested in making things for themselves wishing to exhibit their work as part of Make It Yourself.

We looked for pieces that reveal and demonstrate:

  • unique devices born out of imagination or happy accident
  • how everyday artefacts actually work
  • custom-made tools born out of a frustration that nothing else quite does the job
  • modified consumer products that now do something their manufacturers never conceived of

Overall we  looked for inventive projects that demonstrate a wide range of function and form, simplicity and complexity, humour and intent.

Image:  © SparkFun Electronics.


Chris Gladwin, POTATO SYNTHESIS (raw and mashed)

Chris Gladwin

POTATO SYNTHESIS (raw and mashed)

Potato Synthesis is part of Gladwin’s collection of experiments to camera entitled “Paramusical Sound Studies with Video”. This series works to explore the aesthetic of noise produced by crude sound generating devices or actions, hacked redundant technologies and environmental interventions. In this piece the potato (raw or mashed) acts as a connector for a power circuit, resulting in the generation of a continuous stream of electronic noise.

Moris Zen,  Build a USB Digital Microscope in 60min and 15$

Moris Zen

Build a USB Digital Microscope in 60min and 15$

“I work in making one million dollar microscopes and thought it would be cool to make the cheapest digital microscope in the world…”

Zen’s work “Build a USB Digital Microscope in 60min and 15$” uses a basic 10$ microscope and 5$ USB webcam to make a cheap digital microscope through which images from the microscope can be viewed on a computer.

Andrew O’Malley, DOTKLOK

Andrew O’Malley


DOTKLOK is an open source, digital clock kit with multiple time-telling animations, some literal, and others showing the passage of time through abstract patterns.

"The motivation for this clock is to combine in a single device a variety of existing ways to show time — such as in a sentence, with words, or retro game displays — alongside my own original animations, while providing a platform on which others can further develop unique timepieces."

Rutger van Wielink,  Arduino Coffee Roaster

Rutger van Wielink

Arduino Coffee Roaster

Van Wielink initially got the idea of turning an old popcorn roaster into a coffee bean roaster off the internet, and whilst the coffee beans roasted successfully (and tasted really nice!) it was a very laborious process with a lot of room for variation as the temperature needed to be controlled by hand. As a result, van Wielink decided to create a new version of the device using arduino. The latest version of the device now measures the temperature of the beans and adjusts the temperature by increasing or decreasing the speed of the ventilator that blows hot air through the beans. The controller then follows a preset temperature profile and automatically cools the beans at the end.

Boston Bomb, Doug Jackson

Doug Jackson

Boston Bomb

Jackson was inspired to make this work after reading a newspaper article about the 2007 Boston bomb scare, which occurred when police mistakenly identified small electronic devices branded with an LED image of a cartoon character, a “Mooninite”, found throughout Boston as part of a Guerrilla marketing campaign, as improvised explosive devices.

Jackson states:

“I saw the sad state of affairs that an unhealthy mixture of paranoia, enthusiastic media, and over-zealous police response can create. On that day, a simple advertising campaign turned sour and shook the city of Boston. Prior to this day, we here in Australia had not even heard about Moonitites, or the Adult Swim Channel. Once the Boston Police did what they did best, the whole world knew...

The stupidity of the event shocked me, so I decided to make my own small scale version to remind my children that problems should be solved - not simply blown up! Call this my own personal protest! In all my design work, I attempt to empower others in beginning their own creative journeys. I have re-created my own impression of the Moonitite display using my own non-infringing cartoon character.”

Mike Blow, Theremuino

Mike Blow


The Theremuino is an infra-red theremin (distance-activated musical instrument) based on an arduino microcontroller. The player’s right hand controls notes on and off using an arcade button, whilst the left hand controls the pitch by moving nearer and further from an infra red sensor. The Theremuino has two modes; “polite” which sounds quite musical, and “rude” which sounds more harsh, electronic, and rhythmic.

More information

More information about the artists and How To Guides on the Cybersonica website.


Thursday, 11th November, 7-9pm

Mike Blow - maker of the Theremuino - presents at
DIWO (do it with others) -
Fab Lab Manchester
2 Lampwick Lane (off Old Mill Street)
M4 6BU

Re-Make It Yourself - Theremuino

Saturday, 13th November, 11am-4pm
FREE/£25 contribution to components for makers

Resource Room
2nd Floor
Manchester Art Gallery
Mosley Street
Manchester UK
M2 3JL
booking for makers via

Mike Blow ( re-makes his Theremuino explaining the process and answering onlookers questions - while also offering FOUR people the chance to make their own using his ‘Theremuino kit’ following Mike through the construction process.

Re-Make It Yourself - USB Digital Microscope


Sunday, 28th November, 2-4pm

Resource Room
2nd Floor
Manchester Art Gallery
Mosley Street
Manchester UK
M2 3JL

Cybersonica’s Lewis Sykes re-makes ‘Build a USB Digital Microscope in 60 mins and $15’ by Moris Zen

Make It Yourself Weekend Workshop

Saturday, 11th & Sunday, 12th December, 10.30am-4.30pm

Education Studio 2
Manchester Art Gallery
Mosley Street
Manchester UK
M2 3JL

£25/£20 students - booking via

Cybersonica and Openlab Workshops host a weekend workshop to help you Make It Yourself - recreating a selection of objects from the exhibition and in the process providing practical ‘hands-on’ experience and an overview of basic electronics and working with Arduinos. Contributing artists Chris Gladwin ( - Potato Synthesis and Mike Blow - Theremuino will be on-hand to help you recreate, experiment and ‘jam’ with their devices. The workshop will culminate in a presentation and performance in the Manchester Art Gallery Atrium with objects made during the workshop.

With several projects to choose from the workshop is suitable for both beginner and more experienced makers.

Make It Yourself Performance

Sunday, 12th December, 3.30-4.30pm

The Atrium, Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, Manchester UK M2 3JL

A presentation and sound performance of replicated and modified devices from Make It Yourself and the Weekend Workshop.

Recorders: Rafael Lozano-Hemmer

Recorders, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer
A major new solo exhibition of interactive artworks by one of the world's leading electronic artists, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer.