Estero (“Marsh”) is a reactive electronic object. It performs a sequence of sound in synchronicity with the generation of geometric lines in a broken LCD panel. The sound heard in the video comes from the different actuators (dc motors, piezos, buzzers) activated in sequence by an integrated circuit (CMOS 4017), controlled by another (555). The speed in the sequence can be modified by the actions of people approaching their hands to the photosensitive resistors (in the form of strange “flowers”). Estero uses a high percentage of recycled components and materials including LCD panels (laptop, videogames, calculators, cell phones), DC motors (broken digital and analogical cameras), a fridge transparent box, an AC/DC transformer (from a discman). The result is some sort of artificial ecosystem, a marsh or swamp, with reeds and different water plants emerging from the water. The sound (the simple translation of a frequency changing square wave) refers to those of the many insects that live near those wet and warm places. Estero creates a very subtle and low sound climate and needs silence for the “music” to be heard. Estero doesn’t use programmed microcontrollers or computers. It’s simple old school electronics. The board, the components, every wire can be seen due to the transparent box, even enlarged by a Fresnell Lens. The huge bunch of wires strengthen the analogy with water plants, appearing as submarine roots.
Jorge Crowe was born in Mendoza, Argentina in 1976. He is Visual Arts graduate specialized in Painting with a postgraduate course in Electronics applied to Arts. His main interests focus on hardware hacking, circuit bending, DIY techniques and general open source electronics applied to theatre, media arts and education. He runs a space called Laboratorio de Juguetes (Toy Lab) where kids and adults learn basic electronics, open source hard&soft, and how to reuse obsolete technology in the design, development and building of electronic toys and objects including movement, sound and light. He is also teacher of Electronics & low-tech resources at the Master’s degree in Electronic Arts (UNTREF – Buenos Aires). He has exhibited his toys and objects in different galleries, festivals and events in Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil (FILE’09 SP, FILE PRIX LUX, Dorkbot MVD amongst others). He performs live with his toys under the alias h.cosas.