All posts by The Edge News

#MADETODAY – Re-making Mega Fauna

Guest post by, Joseph Burgess

For me, The Edge is the Swiss-army-knife of creativity agency. Aside from having hand tools, 3D printers, sewing machines, soldering irons and above average coffee, there is a community that is thriving on creativity.

Everybody is doing their own unique thing and it’s always cool to see what people get up to. I’ve met some really good friends through The Edge and I have learned heaps in the time I’ve been going in. It started off as once a week and has steadily progressed to nearly every day. Most of the time I sit there smashing out editing videos and animation.


Since they’ve recently updated to using the newest version of Premiere, I’ve been getting into splicing some 360 footage and making my first VR videos. It’s interesting to work with footage that is spherical. I’m developing a VR project to show people what Australia looked like through the ice age because it wasn’t actually very icy here at all and it was actually a really crazy hyper rainforest. Think of the arid center for a second… Now imagine lakes big enough to support crocs, turtles, and all kinds of aquatic life that need lots of water to survive. The videos will be long meditative shots where you can experience the complete brutal nature of ice-age Australia without a time machine.

I had a couple of months of just getting really into the 3D printers and making replicas of fossils for reference. A few of them have come out really well and I’d like to cast them in copper someday when I can get my hands on a smelter. Between Brisbane Hackerspace and The Edge I’d have to say Brisbane has all the other major Australian cities beat on creative resources available to the public. In the four years that I was travelling around, working as a creative, I feel really fortunate to have my feet on the ground in Brisbane and be able to rock up to The Edge nearly any day of the week.

Thylacoleo Necklace

Obdurodon-skull

Obdurodon Skull Necklace

For now I’m just slicing and dicing my way through all the footage I captured for The Australian Mega Fauna Project and putting out a small line of shirts, hats, and mega fauna jewellery. It has taken a long time because I’m a perfectionist and I wanted to do the first few shoots with black and white film photography. The truth is I got really and deeply side tracked when I realized you could develop 35mm film with coffee, Panadol, vitamin C, and wine to name just a few. The Edge is the confluence of all the things I’d like to have in a workspace and I’ll definitely keep coming back.

 

A little bit about The Australian Mega Fauna Project.

My original goal upon arriving here in 2012 was to make The Australian Mega Fauna Project, a stop-motion animated documentary concerning the lack of mega fauna in popular Australian culture. I felt that if I could reintroduce these species as giant puppets into contemporary urban settings, people might pay a little more attention to one of the most unique stories in all of natural history. I threw myself into the project and chased the story around the continent.

It started with making animations and doing field work in remote areas alongside some of Australia’s top palaeontologists and ancient DNA researchers. It then progressed to holding exhibitions internationally and launching public arts initiatives that not only allowed me to realise the visuals for the project but also gave me the chance to share it with school children.

Walking Chicken

Walking Chicken

Thylacoleo dreaming

Thylacoleo dreaming

Thylacoleo in Fitzroy

Thylacoleo in Fitzroy

Thylacoleo Wooly's Brunswick

Thylacoleo Wooly’s Brunswick

Procoptodon Parliment station

Procoptodon Parliment station

Now, five years later, I have a body of work that is rich in character and has some of the key ingredients to a story just as Australian as ANZAC biscuits, Victoria Bitters, and Vegemite.

The next chapter of the project will be launched in Brisbane and concerns the lineage of the living koala. Similar to the Tasmanian tiger in that it is the last living member of its taxonomic family, the koala has a diverse lineage that includes many distinct species ranging in size from the miniature litokoala and perikoala up to the robustly built phascolarctos stirtoni.

‘Stirt’ weighed in at approximately 30kg and fossil evidence suggests that it existed alongside the extant koala phascolarctos cinerus. Due to climate change and inadequate legislation to protect them, the living koala is in a perilous situation.

As an artist with a passion for Australian animals, I feel it is my role to tell the story of the koala’s prehistory and to highlight the urgent need to work together to ensure the future of this iconic native species.

If you’re in Brisbane, keep a lookout in the tree tops of your community – the original ‘drop bears’ are coming back!

 


 

Would you like to know a little more about Joseph and his work on The Australian Mega Fauna Project? Check out his website: www.master-builder.squarespace.com

 


A week in the life of an Edge Resident

Guest post by, Donna Davis, recipient of the Flying Arts 2017 Digital Art Award

Winning the ‘The Edge Digital Art Award’ as part of the Queensland Regional Art Awards meant that I could undertake a one-week residency at The Edge. I had previously undertaken some short courses at The Edge so knew that this residency would present some valuable opportunities and skill development for me as an artist.

Once the residency dates were set I began researching equipment, programs and projects that The Edge had to offer. I was spoilt for choice, however as a multi-discipline artist decided that working in the Fabrication Lab and learning how to use the Laser Cutter and the 3D printers was of most interest to my arts practice.

I am intrigued with the idea of connection, and work across a range of media including sculpture, installation and digital media to explore networks and relationships within the natural world. My most recent body of work, ‘Unseen’, explores symbiotic connections between plants and fungi, so I used this project as a muse for creating and trialling new works during my residency at The Edge.

My first day in the Lab involved inductions on the Laser Cuter and 3D printer, and also a tour of the facility. Then, thanks to the wonderful team at The Edge, began to learn new skills in Adobe Illustrator, and Corel Draw in order to design works that could be processed by the laser cutter. Whilst I am quite familiar with Adobe Photoshop, I found Adobe Illustrator quite challenging, but persisted and was able to create a few designs, based on fungal root systems, which were then etched and cut using the laser cutter.

Donna Davis  

 

I also trialled a number of materials in the laser cutter to explore creative possibilities; these materials included acrylic, cardboard, plywood and vinyl. All produced very different results, however, the works that were most successful for my practice was the acrylic etchings and the intricate plywood design cut-outs. I spent many hours cutting and etching to create a series of multiples that could then be incorporated into new works once back in the studio, these are still in development.

Donna Davis

Overall, the residency provided me with valuable skill and professional development, allowing me to understand the capabilities and limitations of this type of equipment and opportunities available to do further work at The Edge through their public Lab program.


If you’d like to learn more about Donna and her practice, visit www.donnadavisartist.weebly.com


Stranger sounds – Subtractive synthesis

Anyone who has seen the award-winning, science fiction series ‘Stranger Things’ will have observed the soundtrack is dominated by synth sounds of the 80s. Canadian group Survive composed the soundtrack almost exclusively using vintage ‘subtractive’ synthesizers (e.g. Korg Mono/Poly, Sequential Circuits Prophet-5, Roland SH-101).     


So what exactly is a subtractive synthesizer?

Subtractive synthesis is arguably the most commonly used form of synthesis in modern music. The best analogy for how the sound is shaped is to think of a block of stone a sculptor chips away at to arrive at their desired shape. Depending on the artist’s choices the outcome can be extremely varied.

With a subtractive synth you commence with one or more oscillators creating a raw sound (saw, sine, square are examples of the waveforms an oscillator can produce). From there you have a myriad of choices in terms of modifying the sound but an obvious technique is to adjust the filter cut-off. As with our sculptor analogy, reducing the filter cut-off removes some of the audio signal and can transform our bright, raw sound into something more smooth and mellow.

Now if we delve deeper, most subtractive synths have a ‘low frequency oscillator’ (LFO) we can assign to the filter cut-off. It’s low frequency because, generally speaking, the oscillator is below our level of hearing and is used for modifying the output of the oscillator/s that do produce a sound.

Sinewave LFO image (from Synthquarium

Sinewave LFO image (from Synthquarium)

 

Just as the name suggests, the LFO ‘oscillates’ up and down (think of a series of waves in the ocean rippling in succession) and, if assigned to the filter cut-off, will cause our waveform to cycle between the raw, bright sound and more mellow, softer tone. The ‘wob’ bass sound in dubstep is an extreme example of this particular technique.

If you’ve stuck it out this far, chances are you may be interested in trying to create your own sounds using a subtractive synth. The good news is The Edge’s Digital Media Lab provides free access to music production software such as Logic Pro X (you can even borrow a midi keyboard and headphones). Within Logic Pro X there are several ‘virtual analogue’/digital emulations of a subtractive synth such as ‘Retro Synth’.

subtractive synthesizer

Screen Shot from Logic Pro X

 

In addition to The Edge’s Media Lab, State Library offers free access to Lynda.com (a comprehensive video tutorial site) that has a number of courses covering the fundamentals of synthesis and electronic music production. Producing Electronic Music in Logic Pro is well worth checking out.


QMusic’s Industry Connect – A free program for emerging musicians

Industry Connect is a new music program bringing music industry professionals from around Australia to regional Queensland (and The Edge!) to help anyone interested in building a sustainable career in the music industry. 


QMusic’s Industry Connect program is designed to help early/intermediate career musicians and workers get the knowledge, relationships and opportunities they need to succeed!

Industry Connect provides showcase opportunities throughout the year, for musicians within the program. While travel grants can help to bring you to BIGSOUND in September 2017.

Did we mention it’s FREE?

Over 13 sessions you’ll learn how to:

  • Take your song-writing to the next level
  • Successfully promote your music on digital music platforms like Spotify and Pandora
  • Run a successful tour
  • Build a team around you or manage your own career
  • And much, much more…..

It’s also a great chance to meet other people in your local area that can help you get ahead.

 

Some of the music industry professionals confirmed for the program include:

_

Huw Nolan – Director of Artist Management and Record label, Good Manners Music (VIC)
clients include Banofee, Kilo, Lucianclomkamp, Planette

Jackson Walkden – Brown – Music lawyer, Chris Chow Creative Lawyers (NSW)
clients include Eskimo Joe, Wolfmother, MGM, Ministry Of Sound 

John Mullen – Head of A&R at Dew Process (QLD)
working with Bernard Fanning, Circa Waves, Last Dinosaurs, Mumford & Sons, Kingswood

Joe Alexander – Director / A&R, Bedroom Suck Records (VIC) 
working with Totally Mild, Blank Realm, Terrible Truths

Ali Tomoana – Director & Artist Manager, Soul Has No Tempo (QLD)
clients include Sampology, Jordan Rakei, Tiana Khasi

Sarah Chipman – Publicist, Title Track (QLD) 
clients include Sticky Fingers, Cub Sport, Tired Lion, West Thebarton Brothel Party

Tim Price – Publicist/Director, Price War/ Collison Course (QLD)
clients include Sydonia, Twelve Foot Ninja, Dead Letter Circus

Tyler McLoughlan – Music license broker, The Sound Pound (QLD) 
Plus many more to be announced.

 

Whether you want to be touring musician, artist manager or understand how to book a venue, be a music publicist or start your own record label, Industry Connect is all about arming you with the knowledge and resources to make the right decisions and connect you to the right people.


 

Upcoming Workshops

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QMusic Industry Connect Workshop // Get Good

QMusic Industry Connect Workshop // Home Town Heroes

QMusic Industry Connect Workshop // Is This Even Possible?

QMusic Industry Connect Workshop // It’s a Business

QMusic Industry Connect Workshop // Know Your Product

QMusic Industry Connect Workshop // I Get Around

QMusic Industry Connect Workshop // Click Here

QMusic Industry Connect Workshop // Getting It Out There

QMusic Industry Connect Workshop // Meet Your Maker

QMusic Industry Connect Workshop // I Heard It On The Television

QMusic Industry Connect Workshop // Building a Team vs. DIY

QMusic Industry Connect Workshop // Why Should I Give You Money?

 

Upcoming Masterclasses

_

The Masterclass series is a condensed format of the full Industry Connect program with four intensive sessions throughout the year.

QMusic Industry Connect Masterclass 1 // The Basics

QMusic Industry Connect Masterclass 2 // Skill Up

QMusic Industry Connect Masterclass 3 // Plug In

QMusic Industry Connect Masterclass 4 // Amplify

 

 


Industry Connect Brisbane is delivered at The Edge, by QMusic, Queensland’s music industry development association. QMusic creates pathways to music industry success.

Plug in. Skill Up. Amplify. 


QMusic is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland and State Library of Queensland.


 

 


#MADETODAY: Dog tags

#MADETODAY Dog tags, by Talia Yat

Dog tags

Toshi, the doge model

 

What did you make?
Dog tags

What inspired you to make this?
Dogs who are escape artists!

What Fabrication Lab resource did you use?
Laser Cutter

Where’d the design come from? 
Designed this myself using Adobe Illustrator.

Lastly, is there anything else you’d like to tell us about what you’ve made?

Although the wood tag looks cool, it’s not practical. The wood tag lasted about 2 weeks (her friend kindly chewed it off). The acrylic tag has lasted a lot longer.

 

Dog tags

Toshi’s tags, including the timber tag, that didn’t last long

 

Dog tags

The reverse side of Toshi’s tags

 

Have you made something in the Fabrication Lab today? We’d love to hear about it and share it with The Edge community.

Submit your entry here: http://edgeqld.org.au/madetoday/


More inductions, more access and the highly anticipated CNC

We’ve added 30 more seats to our Laser Cutter inductions for March, set new ‘Open Lab’ times for 2017 giving you more access to the equipment, and we’re launching the CNC inductions! It’s a good month!


First things first. More Laser Cutter inductions! We’ve added an extra three inductions into the March schedule – that’s an extra 30 seats than normal, and we’ll continue to add more inductions each month while the demand is there. If you miss out this time, please let us know, so we can make an assessment on how many more to run in the coming months. Send us an email here.

VIEW THE LASER CUTTER INDUCTIONS FOR MARCH

 

Next on the list, is access to the Fabrication Lab through our scheduled hours of Open Lab. After a trial-run of new hours late last year, we’ve reviewed the use and feedback and have set new hours for 2017.

Weekly Open Lab hours

  • Tuesday 12-8pm (drop-in use only, no online bookings)
  • Wednesday 12–6pm
  • Thursday 12–6pm (Hack the Evening commences from 5.30pm)
  • Saturday 12–6pm

If Open Lab is new to you, let’s take a step back…

What is Open Lab?

Open Lab at The Edge is when the Fabrication Lab and Makerspace is open to the community. We offer set times each week, where you can access quality, professional equipment like a Laser Cutter, 3D printers (we have many and in different formats), CNC Router, Sewing Machines and Overlockers, Soldering Stations, Tool Shop and general work benches.

The space is fit for all types of projects, assignments, prototypes, experiments, business ideas and any creation that needs space and/or access to professional equipment.

Along with the equipment and space we also offer great minds! Whether it’s chatting to the experienced Lab staff to obtain a cleaner etch on the Laser Cutter, or troubleshooting a poor cast from a 3D printed model – we have great minds and we like to share what we know.

Questions?

Read more about the Fabrication Lab online, call The Edge on 3842 9400 or drop in during any Open Lab session or Hack the Evening meetup and chat to the staff – we’re more than happy to introduce you to the space.

 

And lastly… the CNC Router.

After some testing and training, the CNC Router is up and running! From today we open bookings for the CNC Router inductions, and then add it to our list of equipment available to book during Open Lab. You don’t need any prior experience on a CNC to attend an induction, we’ll run you though the safety requirements and how to use the software. Each time you book the CNC thereafter, there will always be a Lab Supervisor right there with you.

VIEW THE CNC ROUTER INDUCTIONS FOR MARCH

 

 


Two New Playlists for Your Spotify Account

Do you ever wonder who curates the music at The Edge? You’re sitting there working on your project in the Window Bays when suddenly your favourite band starts playing through the PA system. Well, let’s meet two of the team that pick your Edge soundtrack and peer into their eclectic mixed tape.

Here is some music inspiration and two playlists to add to your Spotify account.

 

Sunny


Sunny Bankrupt Billionaires

Sunny mid-gig with the Bankrupt Billionaires

 

For those of you familiar with The Edge, you know we aren’t a quiet space and we play music over the course of our opening hours. As one of the Visitor Services Officers who curates the musical content, I’ve put together a playlist of songs/artists that I get inspiration from as a musician and, more generally, in my day to day life. I picked out a few of the tracks below and provided a brief run-down as to why they made the list:

J Dilla – Gobstopper

J Dilla is probably the single greatest influence/inspiration to me in terms of my music practice. As Questlove (The Roots) recently noted, he was the “paradigm shift” that changed hip hop and electronic music production forever. Gobstopper is from his final album Donuts shortly prior to his untimely passing. On the face of it it’s an extremely simple song; a loop lifted from a 70s soul record and some drums. Yet it also displays Dilla’s impeccable ear for melody and demonstrates his command of groove that many musicians/producers (myself included) strive to channel in our own compositions.

David Axelrod – Songs of Innocence

I discovered this artist when I was sampling vinyl for my hip hop group in the early 2000s. The marriage of heavy drums, guitars, organs, vocals and orchestral instruments was a revelation; I realised the music I loved was not bound by a particular era and you don’t have follow many genre-specific rules when writing music.

Mndsgn – Alluptoyou

Mndsgn is an artist on one of my favourite and eclectic record labels, Stones Throw. This particular track has a dreamy, ethereal quality to it and, as with most of Mndsgn’s catalogue, makes me want to stop listening and sit myself in front of a keyboard and start writing.

In terms of my musical practice, I describe myself as a producer/beat maker/synth nerd. My roots are in hip hop (The Optimen) and spent many years collecting and sampling vinyl records. I’ve since been involved in a soul outfit (Bankrupt Billionaires) and released solo electronic/synth based music under the moniker ‘Exploko’. Most recently I’ve scored an ABC iView documentary featuring street artist Amok Island.

Check out Sunny’s playlist on Spotify

 

Will


Here’s a mix of around 20 songs from classic rock, heavy metal and a lot of funk.

What can I say? As a musician, primarily drummer and guitarist, I am driven towards big sounds or sounds that really make you get a groove on.

I’ve been on a self-taught musical journey for about 10 years (composing and producing for around three) and there have been a few standout tracks I can pinpoint as key to my musical development.

Dr. Funkenstein

This track by Parliament showed me a couple of things about composition that I’d been ignorant of until the point of hearing it. The first is you don’t need a fat guitar tone and lots of notes to make your guitar sound really good in the mix. The other is you can break from the standard rock formula of guitar, bass, drums and vocals and add other instrumentation (notably brass in this track) to really compliment the song.

Black Dog

This song, if I can remember correctly, was my first introduction to syncopated drums. Now up until this point (and partly due to my lack of formal music education) I had been a strictly 4/4 player. I couldn’t really wrap my head around how to play this track for a while and it opened a huge door of ideas and ways of making my playing sound interesting.

American Ghost Dance

Anyone who knows me can tell you I’m a huge Red Hot Chili Peppers Fan. It’s not unique for the Peppers to sing about sensitive or important issues. The issue being addressed in this track being the slaying of native American people and the claiming of their sacred lands. This song showed me that you can write about melancholic material while still being uplifted. This song jams and you can really get down to it.

The rest of the music in my playlist follows similar inspiration and I’m sure that at the end of the list you’ll be bobbing your head or tapping your foot in time.

Check out Will’s playlist on Spotify


Kitchen Chemistry with Dr Musk

Kitchen Chemistry

You can tell that chemistry is important because of the way we use it in our everyday lives, without even knowing. Washing the clothes, putting a new battery in the remote and baking a cake in the kitchen all rely on simple chemistry to enhance our lives…


…but, what else can you do with the chemistry all around you? Come along to The Edge’s Old-School Chemistry Kit workshop to find out and take home the knowledge and equipment you need to begin your new adventures in science.

Mixing solutions to make bubbles of flammable gas, learning how to get electricity from scrap metal and salty water, or how to give something a shiny copper coating are just some of the tricks included in The Edge’s Old School Chemistry Kit.

Take a trip to the hardware and the pharmacy to find the ingredients you need, borrow a few things from that bulging third drawer in the kitchen, then add the safety knowledge you will learn at The Edge to explore the surprising variety of chemistry that is possible with stuff you pass by every day.

Wrap it all up in the retro design kit we provide and you have the perfect Christmas gift for the budding mad scientist in your family.


There is just one Kitchen Chemistry workshop session on offer, so don’t miss out!

  • Sunday 18 December
  • 1pm-5pm
  • $80
  • No skills required
  • Suitable for ages 16+

BOOK NOW


Guest Post by Fine Art Photographer, Scott Raylor

Next month, The Edge will host a new community exhibition by Australian Fine Art Photographer, Scott Raylor. But, before then, he’s penned a post to introduce himself and his work.


By Brisbane-based Fine Art Photographer, Scott Raylor

‘Good work is not synonymous with perfect work. Art is human. Humans make errors. Thus, art is errors. To require perfection is to invite paralysis.’ David Bayles & Ted Orland – “Art & Fear”.

When it comes to art-making, never were truer words spoken, and as the countdown to my ‘Still Lives‘ exhibition marches on, I am reminded of the challenges I’ve faced over the last eighteen months creating and refining these images. I recall times in the process where my frustration levels have peaked as I’ve sought that elusive perfect image. I’m reminded of the times I sat at the editing desk refining and refining and refining, only to find the rawness of the original image was gloriously imperfect unto itself. Doubt played a major role in this project. I felt at times ineffective, lost, and uninspired, not really knowing which way the series should run. I tried too hard to make images that made perfect sense literally. All these elements joined together to conspire against me, so it seemed.

Only after digging in and waiting for the doubt storm to pass did I realise that all these elements are a part of the process.

This reflection has given me the ability to loosen up; a creative exhalation of sorts. Through recognising the imperfect nature of art-making, I’ve felt the freedom of creative inhibition, and I feel relinquished from the necessity of consistently pumping out top quality images. Only through doing our work, over and over again, imperfectly and humanly, can we find unexpected loveliness in what we produce. And hopefully, others will see this loveliness too.

Scott Raylor

My workspace at home

 

Meaning-making can so often feel like a solitary mission between subject and maker, but this could not be further from the truth.

The truth is, it takes a community to bring a project to its full potential. Friends and family, galleries, social media and local businesses play key roles in the development of the project. A friend who knows a friend gives you a contact from someone in the gallery business. Friends on social media share posts of your work on their pages, and the local coffee shop offers up a space on their wall for your flyer. One of your mates offers invaluable advice after they have just finished their project, how to save money in certain areas allowing for smarter spending in others, pushing you for one more image that will fit the space that they know so well having just exhibited. The framer and printer bring your beloved project to life through their skill and experience.

And so it is that I’ll be presenting my works, wrought from a procession of images I’ve taken over the last eighteen months, at The Edge, State Library of Queensland.

It is within this bunker of a building, perched by a languid stretch of the Brisbane river, that I’ll lay these images bare to the public.

It’s an opportunity for a stark observation in the duality of what all artists face when presenting works to an audience; it is both the final crowning glory, and the embodiment of out greatest fears.


Scott’s exhibition, Still Lives, will be on display at The Edge from 9-18 December.


 

Still Lives

 

 


A very Edgy Christmas!

Historically we’ve not been about theming our workshops to suit the season. But, we’ve changed our mind this year and thought we’d experiment and see what you – our community – thinks… and so far the response on Facebook has been really positive!


 

Here’s what we’ve got coming up!

Old-school Chemistry Kitsedgy_xmas_fb_chemistry

Work with The Edge’s resident mad scientists to build a chemistry experiment kit out of common – and not so common – household items. Learn how to conduct the experiments and wrap it up to put under someone tree, or not.

This will be a one-off 3 hour workshop, run in early December.

 

 

 

edgy_xmas_fb_storybookPop-up story-book making

Design and fabricate your own pop-up card/short storybook on The Edge’s laser cutter. Wire it up for sound and record your message or story. We’ll even provide some pre-written stories with gaps to insert names.

This 3 hour workshop will run over two session in early December.

**Update 7/11 – unfortunately, we won’t be running the story-book workshop in 2016. But, watch this space next year, when we hope to run a try-it workshop.

 

 

 

edgy_xmas_fb_baublesGlass-blown Christmas decorations

Learn from a master of the trade to design and blow your own glass decorations. Wrap-up your bauble for a special someone, or pop your one-of-a-kind decoration on your own tree!

This 4 hour workshop will run in early December.

 

 

 

As a way of a heads up, these workshops will be live and open for bookings next week! So, keep an eye on our website and our Facebook page for updates.