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Site 3 coLaboratory

Posted by Erin Hershberg / Posted on August 17, 2010

Site 3 coLaboratorySite 3 coLaboratory brings back memories of 1984. If you recall, 1984 saw geek culture take a turn for the better when the archetypal 80's film Revenge of the Nerds was released. And since the 80's, a decade which was oft represented by brainless "cool kids," like Chip and Pepper, fringe geeks have become central to our zeitgeist, responsible for such pivotal global developments as, ummm, the internet.

Site 3 coLaboratoryAlthough geeks are at the forefront of our ever-evolving sense of modernity, Jonathan Guberman of Site 3 coLaboratory insists that geeks still need a private space to gather. So Site 3 is a kind of geeks-only club that has the non-exclusionary purpose of letting plebes in on the way of the geek - to seamlessly fuse the worlds of art and technology by way of education.

Site 3 coLaboratoryWhen I sat down with Jonathan to discuss the goings-on of Site 3, abashedly I had to confess that I was so unaware of geekdom that I could only guess that members, who pay $100 a month for unlimited use of the facility, sit around and build tiny little robots. Oddly, this conjecture was correct.

Site 3 coLaboratoryWalking through the studio space, it's easy to stumble upon anything from a medieval style leather bodice that lights up and moves to a pyrokinetic sculpture to a pile of untapped circuit boards desperate for programming. And though, the varying members of Site 3 spend time on discovering ways to artfully construct things like Limor Fried-inspired kits and Conway's Game of Life - a cross between Lite-Brite and a checkerboard and, according to Guberman, "an elemental example of the ways in which a simple set of rules can create complex patterns" - the main focus of the coLaboratory is public erudition, or, more simply put, making ignoramuses, such as I, less dumb.

As Site 3 develops, the workshop roster will extend far beyond its current offerings, which has an enlightening array of classes that includes: how to create lo-fi music from old-school Gameboys, introduction to stained glass, introduction to electronics, introduction to Arduino - the goto for multimedia artists - and more.

Site 3 coLaboratoryIf nothing else, Site 3 - an electrifying portal into a very specialized world - will impel the layperson to ask himself a crucial question that full-time molecular biologist, Guberman, often poses to nerd-naysayers: "What are you doing with your spare time?"

Site 3 coLaboratoryPhotos by Dennis Marciniak



Libby / August 17, 2010 at 01:11 pm
These guys are fantastic. God bless them for spreading their expertise to the ignorant masses.
Jeremy Wilson / August 17, 2010 at 04:08 pm
I'd love to find a building like this to buy and live in!
syber / August 17, 2010 at 10:07 pm
We aren't all geeks, btw - some of us are artists who like to make things! Come see us on our open nights - Thursday :)

I can't believe our incredible incinerating toilets did not warrant a mention‽
Marc R-N / August 17, 2010 at 10:41 pm
A bit of FYI for everyone reading this. We just got a laser cutter/engraver. It's currently getting installed beside the yellow cabinet you see in the second picture
Over time we plan to get more tools, allowing for bigger/better/crazier projects.

Woohoo Mad Science!
Liz / August 17, 2010 at 11:08 pm
Man, I saw this space for rent on Craigslist awhile back. You guys really turned it into something special :)
Marc R-N / January 25, 2015 at 04:15 am
It's been a long time since the shop was this empty. Brings back memories. We're still going strong, so come by for a Thursday open house.

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