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Laoban Soundsystem 2.0 Naked in the Studio: Almost Done!

Laoban half-stack in the factory

Matt and Lujia are down in Guangzhou checking out the progress of Laoban. The project is almost complete. It really just needs the final sponsors to come through, get the lovely chinese broken ice grills, then it will be on a shipment up to Beijing!

The following image is a bit big, but shows the size of half of the stack. Note, there are two columns to the Laoban 2.0. We can of course make more on-demand.

Laoban getting stacked

Remember the original plans.

Laoban Soundsystem 2.0

You can see that the images above are only half of the full stack, and that stack doesn’t have the grillz on the front of the case.

This project in distance fabrication has gone quite well. All the sponsors I think will be quite happy, especially once we start doing events with the Laoban. New sponsors and event promoters please do contact us.

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Totally Free Network Services

This is a slide share that describes how Status.Net is unique from other existing servies and why it is a step in the right direction towards a totally free network service:

Screen shot 2010-02-21 at 10.45.33 AM

Your life and your business are your own!

Screen shot 2010-02-21 at 10.50.55 AM

Take control of your status!

Screen shot 2010-02-21 at 11.17.33 AM

Need something federated and scalable beyond one person or companies efforts!

Totally Free Network Services

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Roger Ebert calls truce in “Games vs. Art” Debate

As reported in a previous post, Chicago film critic, Roger Ebert, has been at the center of a debate he revived in April. In said article, Ebert reaffirmed his stance that “Video games can never be art.”

A verbal onslaught from the gaming community, of greater than 4,000 responses, found it’s way to Ebert’s controversial entry. After months of fallout, Ebert has addressed his own critics in a shiny new blog post.

For greater analysis of this rebuttal, check out a new post by Fabricatorz developer, Brad Phillips!

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Visiting Saamlung in Hong Kong

In the early days of the New Year I travelled to Hong Kong to look in on our client and friend Robin Peckham, whose new gallery had just opened to not unexpected acclaim.

Saamlung manages to skirt both the geographical and curatorial boundaries of the established Hong Kong art scene. The space is perched on the top floor of a nondescript commercial building on Connaught Road (not far from the sightseeing Central galleries of Wyndham Street and Hollywood Road, but only if you discount the vertical dimension). At the same time, Saamlung’s curatorial program hews between the heavyweight international galleries that care nothing for the city’s local context, and the indigenous Hong Kong galleries that don’t care to escape it.

When I visited the gallery with Sophie this January, we were lucky to catch Charles LaBelle’s exhibition Corpus just before it closed. The work on display makes up part of Charles’s life-long Buildings Entered project, and depicts a series of drawings of buildings with religious significance, atop pages excised from a copy of George Bataille‘s Je suis coupable.

Up now at Saamlung is a group exhibition, featuring work by a new favorite of mine, Chen Chien-jung.

Finally, don’t miss this interview with Robin by CNN which gets it just right: Saamlung: showcasing Hong Kong’s best new art.

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Fabricatorz: This Week – Laoban Soundsystem at Get It Louder

The Fabricatorz are charging through a week filled with sets of hotly-anticipated projects and collaborative efforts. Just today, Fabricatorz Founding Developer Jon Phillips led the way in the Announcing Laoban Soundsystem 2.0 and it’s associated debut at Get It Louder in Beijing (beginning at 7:00pm, this Sunday, September 19). Christopher Adams, who has been hard at work on Get It Louder organization, will be present at the event, alongside Jon.

Also just Released,, the latest in an exciting lineup of new pages developed under Fabricatorz Developer Bassel Safadi, and his Aiki Framework. Visitors to Laoban Soundsystem’s new homepage will find details of Laoban-powered events, as well as official documentation and steps to take to replicate these 6000-watt beasts.

Speaking of Aiki Framework, Bassel continues behind-the-scenes plowing, as the platform encroaches ever nearer it’s 0.5 Release. Enthusiasts can stay tuned in to Fabricatorz and expect a new iteration in the very near future!

Another Aiki-Powered Project, The Open Clip Art Library, is fast moving up it’s Release Schedule and adding new features, to boot. Fabricatorz Developer Brad Phillips has inserted a new ‘Community Status Updates’ Section, at the base of the home page sidebar, in which the latest updates from the Open Clip Art Library StatusNet Page are featured.

Check this space again soon, for more on Get It Louder, Sharism, and other projects and events in the Fabricatorz Universe!

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Video Tutorial On How To Place A #FREEBASSEL Vinyl Sticker Decal

Email your name and address to to get yours for free. Stick it on a bike, skateboard, car, computer wherever you can.

On March 15, 2012, Bassel Khartabil was detained in a wave of arrests in the Mazzeh district of Damascus. Since then, his family has received no official explanation for his detention or information regarding his whereabouts. However, his family has recently learned from previous detainees at the security branch of Kafer Sousa, Damascus, that Bassel is being held at this location.

#FREEBASSEL support letter sign up at

“I support the immediate release of detained software engineer and web pioneer, Bassel Khartabil (Bassel Safadi) from detainment in Syria.”

FOLLOW @freebassel on Twitter and use the hashtag #FREEBASSEL to share with the community.

 I support the immediate release of detained software engineer and web pioneer, Bassel Khartabil (Bassel Safadi) from detainment in Syria. (

#FREEBASSEL decal near Los Angeles carwash get yours by emailing

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Mark-it-ing Makes Front Page News

Mark-it-ting’s power to paradoxically (and effectively) communicate via erasure was popularly demonstrated yesterday by several websites that “blacked out” their content as a means to protest SOPA/PIPA. (If you aren’t already familiar with these bills currently being considered by the U.S. Congress, please familiarize yourself. Or if you’re too lazy, just take our word for it: they suck. If passed, your favorite websites would disappear.)

But despite the negative connotation these sites’ “self-imposed censorship[s]” imply, we’re impressed by the flexibility of Mark-it-ting to work its magic in many contexts, in many ways. We’re also a little flattered given our prescience ;).

Here’s to the power of Mark-it-ting, the most effective way to add via subtraction!


SXSW & Status Badges!

Fabricatorz developer Jon Phillips invaded Austin Texas, with members of StatusNet, for the annual group of interactive art, film, & music festivals known as South by Southwest (SXSW).

During the panel “Can you copyright a tweet?,” Jon, Evan Prodromou, Fred Benenson, and Wendy Seltzer each spoke about aspects of micro-blogging including character limits. Have a look at Jon’s presentation slide show below:

Post-SXSW, LibrePlanet kicked off, in Boston, where Free Network Service advocates converged. Jon said this of his time at the conference:

the hottest topic for StatusNet and myself were the sessions by Luis Villa, Bradley Kuhn, Mako, and Matt Lee on Free Network Services. We at StatusNet are big believers in Free Network Services. Please check out if you are interested in this topic.

If all this isn’t enough content to rock an open source/micro-blogging/free software nut’s world, another Fabricatorz developer, Brad Phillips, has created the following StatusNet-related badges for anyone to use and remix!

Any OStatus advocates should feel free to use these additional badges:

Visit the StatusNet Wiki to view and utilize many more related graphics created by members of Fabricatorz and others in the community.

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Fabien Fryns Fine Art Gallery Launched by Fabricatorz Team!

Fabricatorz has recently completed work on the re-design of site for Fabien Fryns Fine Art Gallery in LA – we are now pleased to announce the launch of the new site!!
Fabien Fryns has a new exhibition by MadeIn, an art collaboration founded by Chinese artist Xu Zhen. It wil be on display from May 15 through June 26, 2010. For more details check out the site!

Fabien Fryns Fine Art
314 N. Crescent Heights Blvd
Los Angeles, California, 90048
Phone: +1 323.998.6236

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Laoban Speaker Workshop part of Vision Forum Melbourne

Over at, made a post about the Laoban Speaker Workshop on Saturday, September 12, 2009 and Overlap Salon Melbourne on Tuesday, September 15, 2009! At both events will be talking about Fabricatorz projects and the Laoban Soundsystem Matt Hope and I have built in Beijing.

Head over and check out the details of the latest Laoban project.

Also, Laoban Soundsystem will be a part of Vision Forum Shenzhen and Vision Beijing in October, so stay tuned!

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Video Poem: Thoughts on the “web”

Our own Jon Phillips is featured in a recent video sharing his thoughts on what the web means, in both a personal and historical context.

Head over to commonspace to read the full article detailing the video!

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Fabricatorz Action Quarterly Volume Three


Happy New Year, friends!

To help take things up notch for 2013, this quarterly coincides with the official release of The Shimming EP—five hot rock tracks from my two-piece outfit that will get you shimmying into a sweat during the chilly new year.

The Shimming was born out of a circuitous 15 years of participating in what was previously considered “underground music.” From hardcore punk rock shows thrown at a cowboy ranch in southern Utah to diy warehouse events of all stripes around the world, I’ve experienced and seen a lot over the years. Music has been a major force in my life and has propelled me around the world in strange ways—flying to Tokyo for a night to cover cool bands, spending a summer singing karaoke in a small town in the middle of South Korea, dancing (just this last week) amongst the throngs in New Orleans at a second line parade—and it’s time to pay my dues.

This EP is my way of giving something back, a way to share a sliver of the pie that I’ve been gobbling like a greedy fat kid. So here’s the first of several to come. And as I continue to soak up the musical and artistic seeds found in backyard barns, seedy basements and garish galleries, I hope to keep spinning out thoughtful responses and creations of my own that inspire others as others have inspired me.

Enjoy. And by all means, play it loud!

P.S. We have free download codes for those who want them. Just write and ask!


In Fabricatorz news, we’ve had the good fortune of adding Jennifer Yip, a crucial stabilizing force, to join the team. For those of you who already know her it should come as no surprise that we are now running smoother (and looking prettier) thanks to her. For those who haven’t been introduced yet, here’s an interview.  And here’s an excerpt from that same interview where I ask her how she got involved with such a rad, ragtag group:

Spencer: What lead you (or how did you get swindled) into working with this crazed bunch?

Jennifer: Jon Phillips and I worked well together while he was at CC [Creative Commons]. I seem to prefer interacting with unconventional thinkers. Jon and I kept in touch after he left CC to start-up Fabricatorz. We always talked about working with each other in the future. We’re familiar with each of our working styles and skills. It seemed like he knew he’d eventually need help with the operational aspects of running a company, and we kept each other in mind over the past few years. Again the timing worked out, so that I could jump in to try to expand his capacity. I like the get-it-done mentality with smart, laid-back, conscientious team members.

Welcome to the team, Jennifer. It’s great to have you.


Other good news, #FREEBASSEL has taken off. In the past month we received the devastating report that Bassel was moved from a civilian prison (Adra) to a military field court where he would have been denied access to both lawyers and witnesses in a closed hearing. This was frightening news because the usual outcome of trials held at military courts in Syria is bleak. Thankfully, with the help of the reports by major organizations like Foreign PolicyAlJazeeraAmnesty International and France 24, and the continued efforts of the #FREEBASSEL community (including fasting!), enough leverage was applied to move Bassel back to Adra. He is still imprisoned but his fate isn’t as dire as it was a few weeks ago.

We, and of course, Bassel, appreciate your efforts to see him free again. There is still work to be done. is always the best place to start and where you can find links to the latest news and updates, as well as ways to get involved (e.g. using the #FREEBASSEL graphic (designed by  Brad), ordering #FREEBASSEL decals (created by Pete), and spreading the word and staying engaged socially via @freebassel and

Here’s to a happy and safe 2013.


P.S. Write us: We love letters, even love letters. Hire us: We also love working. If your project could use the Fabricatorz touch, get in touch. Represent us: Fabricatorz T’s—you know you want one.

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Join the Open Font Library: Revolutionary Ideas In Typography

Fabricatorz is proud to announce a vastly overhauled Open Font Library. The new site is designed by Manufactura Independente, implemented by Brad Phillips, and utilizes Aiki Framework at it’s core. All of these upgrades combine to make typographic processes fast and simple.

Open Font Library Screen Capture

Have you ever hit a hurdle in your design phase, not had the money to pay for the font you wanted? Those days are over. With Open Font Library, new fonts are free of cost, easily redistributed, and can instantly be utilizied to achive your design goals. Now this doesn’t just apply to those using typography to create print documents on your local machine. Open Font Library provides the functionality to produce engaging web documents by simply linking directly to the Open Font Library server and adding a code snippet to your web document.

For example, if you want to use News Cycle designed by Nathan Willis add the following code to the head of your html page:

Now you can use this font in your css file. Here is an example of a paragraph set in News Cycle regular:

p {
font-family: 'News Cycle';
font-weight: normal;
font-style: normal;

In addition to the ease of font downloading and font linking, Open Font Library creates a community around typography. Font designers, contributers, and enthusiasts will all recieve feedback directly from the users. This benefits everyone in that the formerly mystical font creation workflow is outlined in the guidebook section. Learn about typography’s rich history, how to create your own font, and remix your own in this comprehensive section.

Curation is also provided by active librarians who insure content is respectful and of the highest quality.

Thank you for using these new tools and please share with your friends. Updates will be streaming to Twitter and Facebook in addition to, so you can follow updates in real time, regardless of where you spend your time online.

Help us get the word out on Open Font Library, and we’ll see you soon!

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Breizh Entropy Congress. Rennes, France

Here is a message from some friends of Fabricatorz at the Breizh Entropy Congress in Rennes, France. They have an open call for papers/proposals/talks on subjects related to free and open technologies:

March 10th is the deadline to send us a few words on the projects or the subject that you would like to present at Breizh Entropy Congress (Rennes, France, April 15-17 2010). After your submission, we will contact you before March 20th to tell you if it is going to be part of the schedule. The schedule with the timetable will be published on March 25th.

ANYONE can submit a proposal to Breizh Entropy Congress: students, entrepreneurs, enthusiasts, artists, free software activists, tinkerers, hackers… on ANY subject related to free and open technologies. This congress
is about eclectism!

To participate, send a mail to including the following
– Format of the submission: lecture, workshop, installation, lightning talk, other…
– Title of the submission
– Name of speaker(s)/presenter(s)/artist(s)
– Language (if applicable): French/English
– Summary of the submission
– Short bio of the speaker
– Hardware/logistics requirements
– Contact e-mail and (if possible) mobile phone

The complete call for proposals is online:

One Comment Launched and Cantocore Home Concert Preview

Hi all, welcome to a new project which is a collaboration between Fabricatorz and Garage Biennale. Here are two levels of scale about the project:

“Art show in Guangzhou, China in September 2008 and then in San Francisco November 2008.”

And, a few more sentences…

“Garage Biennale and the Fabricatorz are bringing you Cantocore, a research project investigating contemporary art and culture between Canton (Guangdong) and cities around the world. The initial focus is a contemporary art exhibition with two versions of the same show in San Francisco and Guangzhou, China.”

There is a solid line-up of artists working on projects at present for both shows with the main concept being the ideas of import and export where projects in both locations are the same, but different versions.

Lu re-blogged the Cantocore Home Concert Preview we are doing next WED in SF, and so, I’m pushing out this post about the Cantocore project which is a contemporary art show that Lu, myself and Justin Hoover are pushing out this early September and November. The first instance of Cantocore is to generate some funds to help in production of the artwork. No one is getting paid from the raising of monies to support art production, so we are putting on a concert to preview the artwork for the show.

Lu wrote about here:

What it will take to make an art show. You will need three things: Artists, Space and Money! Sometimes these three things don’t come so easy, don’t they?

These are the things we are pushing right now for Cantocore exhibition, a show in both Guangzhou China and San Francisco this fall. There is a home concert preview party coming Wednesday 7/23 to fund the production of the shows. I am not a very good sales woman, but really want to make this one works!

Visit Cantocore site for information about the show, artists, and detail about the preview concert. Performing musicians for the the preview concert are Ma Jie and Christopher Willits.


And then there is a follow-up post on the Cantocore website:

Cantocore Home Concert Preview is coming up next Wednesday July 23rd, 7-9 PM in San Francisco. Right now our RSVP deadline for this event is extended to Monday, July 21st. And tickets are on sale right now for $50 USD! All money goes to the production of the Cantocore exhibition in Guangzhou and San Francisco. And, all contributions will be rewarded with praise, promotion in printed materials and on this website.

This event is a preview of the coming exhibitions, and also a home concert featuring Chinese traditional instrument musician Ma Jie and electronic musician Christopher Willits.

To reserve your tickets please do one of the following:

Call Justin at 415-425-1647
Or use Paypal option

We are eager to raise some funds from those interested in the ideas which will gain both a plug on the website and then in our printed material. Feel free to ask questions here on this blog post publicly, or send us email about this.

Please participate in this project and if in SF, RSVP by next MONDAY, July 21 to come to the Cantocore Home Concert Preview.


Artists at Laoban Soundsystem 1.0 Beijing

A couple more artists are now a part of the event tomorrow night, Friday, December 12 from 8-12 at CPU798 in Beijing, including Xu Tao and video artist Cai Kai:

We want new people to come out to this event each time we do it and feel free to mix into the media and social situations of Laoban events. The event is not a party nor art show, but more a context for interaction, testing out ideas, and discovery. And remember, art shows (or rather the people that attend them) possibly might hate low-end bass and partygoers into cutting edge music don’t have too much time for treble, discussion, wine and cheese — both love to have a drink, consume, produce media and co-locate together.

Come on out and get out of the cold! We invite you to come mix into the event, learn how to build your own Laoban Soundsystem and meet a lot of HQ people.

Also, a big thanks to those who have given this a good response and Ed from CPU:798 who is hosting the event. Buy art from them!

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Elections And Activism: How To Contact Your Representatives

We have been advocating for Bassel Khartabil (Bassel Safadi) through our #FREEBASSEL campaign for well over six months. Just recently there has been a flood of support thanks to the bolstering of Creative Commons, Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Amnesty International.

#FREEBASSEL Letters to high ranking officials of the Syrian Arab Republic (Syria)

Droves of people from all over the world have been licking stamps, writing letters, and addressing the unlawful detainment and suspected ill-treatment of detainees in Syria.

Since’s Amnesty International’s Urgent Action alert focused predominantly on writing letters to ranking officials in the Syrian Arab Republic, we are making a tutorial for those of you who want to make your voices heard in you local city, state, and country about this vastly important international issue regarding basic human rights.

So here it is a how-to on contacting your representatives. The tutorial will focus on the process for the United States, though I image it will be quite similar in many of your countries as well.

  • Internet search for the folks who represent you: State senators(select state) and local representatives (just type in your local zipcode)
  • Write Letter, sometimes this is the hardest part so feel free to copy and paste the #FREEBASSEL template below
  • Vote for people who will support what you believe in on November 6th from human rights to health care to tax reform. Remember ultimately YOU are in power

Dear [Representative, President, Secretary of State, Senator],

I am writing to you to raise awareness about a topic of recent concern to me, and to seek information about [insert your nation here] American policies and initiatives in the Middle East.

As my representative, I hope that it is appropriate for me to raise this international issue with you.

Earlier this year I added my name to an online petition [] in support of the imprisoned Syrian software engineer, Bassel Khartabil, who has been detained in his home country since March 15, 2012.

The campaign surrounding this petition has received support from prominent Human Rights, Internet, and Free Culture organizations, such as Amnesty International, the Mozilla Foundation, Creative Commons, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Recently, I have tried to raise awareness about this case but, as merely a concerned citizen, there are obvious limits on what I can realistically do.

It is my understanding that he has been detained at the Military Intelligence Branch in Kafr Sousseh without access to a lawyer or his family, and that no charges have been raised against him. In addition, I have heard that he has been tortured and possibly denied access to the medical care which he requires as a diabetic.

I do not know Bassel personally, but I have been made aware of his good work in promoting Syrian culture and heritage. Learning about Bassel’s plight, I feel that I must express sadness at the ill treatment he has reportedly received.

I hope that you can see the need for compassion in this case, and trust that you can bring your influence to bear on investigating and improving his situation.

Are there existing initiatives to resolve human rights cases such as this one in Syria? If so, is it possible to report this case to the organization responsible? If not, will you suggest some organizations that can advise and support efforts to obtain the release of Bassel, and other prisoners like him at the international level?

Kind regards,

[Your Name Here]

Here is the link to the Urgent Action Alert from Amnesty International
[ ]

Pete Ippel Voting 2012, Ventura California

In the United States, we are on the verge of a very important election and now is the time to make your voice heard. Write letters, make phone calls, send emails, start by acting locally and thinking globally.

Thank you to all the folks who have sent copies of their letters to with permission to edit them and share. Please continue to do so.

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Open Clip Art Library DouDou Linux Competition and Famous People Collection

Doudou Linux Submission by Chrisdesign

Over at Open Clip Art Library, there is a steady march of development by Fabricatorz Brad and Jon, Boobaloo is helping move things forward, and the chat channel is springing forward. Also, looking at the numbers there now 83,113 artists on Open Clip Art Library, and 1,186 added this month so far! Please join us upload clip art and let’s grow this number!


We need you! Helping with the project is a great way to learn about open source software development. At the upcoming Libre Graphics Meeting 2011 in Montreal May 10-13, 2011, we will be launching Open Clip Art Library 3.0. Join us and be part of the announcement!

Doudou Linux Logo Competition

Head librarian Boobaloo worked with the Doudou Linux project to launch a logo competition to come up with the project’s new identity. There are already several submissions. Its a great way to be discovered.

Boobaloo states:

DoudouLinux (DDL) is a Linux distro for kids from 2 to 12 yrs old. It is specially designed to make computing easy for children (and their parents too!). Could run without installation from USB or LiveCD. So, if you have kidz – DoudouLinux made specially for them!

The competition goal is to attract more designers to the project and up the style. Its a good way to get your feet wet with libre graphics and to gain some reputation :)

Speaking of which, I noticed that the Freedombox project’s logo came completely from remixing artwork on the Open Clip Art Library. I like the Freedombox logo, but we think this GNU dressed as Che might be more interesting.

GNU dressed like Che

Famous People Collection

Brad has been adding features and fixing bugs left and right. The collection functionality he added is getting a good work out now. Its getting more attention with this month’s main activity. Please submit your images and help collect images of Famous People.

Richard Stallman as Vector

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CCD – The Community | OPEN CALL!


2012 Theme: The Politics of Meeting
CCD – The Community is the newest and most awaited addition to the ever growing, city-wide events of Beijing Intl’ Design Week. Debuting with the 2012 edition set to open on September 28, CCD – The Community is a creative incubator playing host to a research-driven program rethinking synergies across art, design and technology, to shape unprecedented encounters among intersecting communities of local and international players, professional visionaries, innovative makers and thinkers.

Drawn as a thematic ensemble of exhibitions, special installations, live events, educational programs, workshops and seminars, CCD – The Community features projects spanning geographical locations, design strategies, visual languages, theoretical and academic investigations, methodologies of material and intangible production unpacking the cultural and economic predicaments of China’s call for “indigenous innovation”.

A ‘city within the city’ CCD is a space of convergence that has grown organically around the life of its inhabitants: here life goers, migrants workers, farmers, small entrepreneurs and taxi drivers sit with designers, artists, collectors and dealers.

CCD – THE COMMUNITY arises from a wishful, positive proposition of creative communication with its unique social and spatial dimension. It plays out a urban fantasia enlivened by the meeting of participatory, haphazard systems of communal existence and the open-source, self-generated technologies of contemporary creative production. CCD is a grassroots, authentic self-expression of a networked community predicated on sustainable values of collective intelligence.

Log on as an Exhibitor.

Follow the online instructions: tell us who you are, how we can contact you, and provide a brief description of your project (300 words max) including up to 3 images.

You can apply with projects in any design category (product, fashion, interactive, digital, graphic, etc.).

Under Notes please specify what type of event (i.e. an exhibition, installation, indoor or outdoor project, workshop, talk, screening program or performance, etc.).

CCD – The Community does not ask for any participation or rental fee.

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