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Diagram of SML

SML (Scratch Markup Language) is a new file format for recording and replaying turntablism. We’ve developed open-source tools for accurately capturing the record and crossfader movements of a scratch DJ, allowing us to analyze, transcribe, and recreate scratch performances.

We want to do for turntablism what Graffiti Markup Language has done for tagging — especially teaching giant robot arms how to scratch.

At Art Hack Day we collaborated with other artists and programmers to develop the first prototypes of ScratchML. We used timecode vinyl to capture record movements ($10) and a hacked VCA fader + Arduino to record the crossfader ($30).

Scratch data was saved to disk as .sml and broadcast as OSC, which allowed other Art Hack Day participants to build visualizations based on what the DJ was scratching during the exhibition. The apps ranged from spinning-vinyl animations and TTM transcriptions to insane exploding 3D pizzas and a side-scrolling videogame shooter controlled by scratches.

Our goal is to make capturing, replaying, and sharing a scratch performance accurate and easy. SML files can be freely uploaded and downloaded from the database. We’re particularly looking forward to improving the experience of learning how to scratch — e.g. by building apps that show you just how accurate your autobahn scratches actually are.

Throughout the week here on FAT we’ll be publishing ScratchML projects created during Art Hack Day, data specs, source code, hardware modification details and more.

Want to get involved? Join the ScratchML mailing list, follow us on GitHub, or email me with any questions. More info to come at

More photos here

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Posted on January 30, 2012


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Theo: A short introduction: KATSU, a long time collaborator with FAT and GRL has joined FAT as an Artist in Residence. KATSU has had long had a unique approach to graffiti and hacking urban environments. This post is a short introduction to some of his existing work. Expect to see a bunch of new hybrid work during this A.I.R that extends in all directions.
How many have left a mark that can be seen from space?

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Begin Katsu:
I’m a graffiti writer/vandal/slimer working in New York City. I’ve been involved in graffiti for over 15 years.  I love graffiti and feel that it’s time to really change shit up. Traditional graffiti methods are powerful but the combination of graff and tech can be absolutely LETHAL.

My goals as KATSU are to motivate vandals and accumulate FT’s.

I have turned graffiti into a game for myself where the objective is to gain “FT’s” or “FameTokens tm.” in the most effective ways possible. Any and all FT’s are good for business so placing my name in people’s lives, and in unique ways is the main objective.

Because I’m new to F.A.T. I figured I should show off some of the things I’ve made. I’m very excited to meet the crew and get grinding on some sick ideas.

Powers video – homage to eames powers of 10 film.  shortlisted for guggenheim show

Mochaccino – “world’s largest graffiti exhibition”?  sounds perfect to me.

Picasso – barely made it out of this one.

Obama’s crib – had my friend waiting on a suzuki gsxr to get me the fuck out of there

Fire Safety – kids need new toys

Fire Hazard – my new toy

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Posted on January 29, 2012


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Kinect Russian Roulette is a speed project by Theo Watson, which allows you to play Russian Roulette with just your hand and a Kinect.

The project was made in 3 hours at the Art Hack Day at 319 Scholes and is made with openFrameworks 007 and ofxKinect.

This project is tongue and cheek and is not endorsed by anyone or any brand. Just a ridiculous idea which needed to be made :)

Code ( very messy ) will be posted to github.

Theo Watson:
Art Hack Day:

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Posted on January 27, 2012


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Kyle McDonald and I will be developing a new project at the upcoming Art Hack Day in Brooklyn, which culminates in a public art exhibition at 319 Scholes on Saturday, 1/28 at 7pm.

Internet, you are invited to attend. There will be art, technology, free beer (as in beer) and free source code (as in speech). and $3 beers. The source code remains free.

Over the next few days Kyle and I will be working on the first prototypes of Scratch Markup Language, an open-source system for capturing, describing and digitizing turntablism.

Want to get involved? Sign up for the ScratchML mailing list, follow @scratchML on GitHub or join #fatlab IRC and ping @jamiew

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Posted on January 25, 2012


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