May 23, 2009
Rustic Computing refers to the construction of calculation machines using pre-industrial or even pre-historic technology. It reveals a history of computing as the pastime of dilettantes, amateur scientists and gentleman tabulators who construct machines to manipulate abstract symbols with no practical application. As these machines are generally less efficient than conventional pencil and paper computation, they allude to a more epicurean practice of computing for pleasure rather than production. Much like "Slow Food", Rustic Computing valorizes the process as being more "natural", "traditional" and "organic". During my stay at moddr_ I will attempt to build several components for a potential "heirloom computer" as well as to document a history of the practice. Brendan Howell (b. 1976, USA) is a media artist and an engineer. He has created various software works and interactive electronic inventions. He lives and works in Berlin, Germany and teaches at the Berliner Technische Kunsthochschule. He works as a developer for the Fritzing project at the FH Potsdam, University of Applied Sciences.