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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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Welcome to the New Era

The new Fabricatorz is here; and its about you! People are the core of our business and the service we provide. This starts from the root and extends outward to the relationships we build, the clients we serve, and the healthy process of matching results with expectations. Please do join us in welcoming the new Fabricatorz website. Its a medium for working together with you. We believe that in a world of 7 billion people, the best Fabricatorz have yet to be found. The 王 resides in each person. We work each day to make better relationships, better business, and services through the software we create, hardware we build, and the communities we grow. Hire us today. We will work together as Fabricatorz of the New Era.

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Interview with new Fabricatorz member: Jennifer Yip


Spencer: Is it Jen or Jennifer?

Jennifer: I answer to both names :) Most people call me Jen though.

S: I’m going to call you Jennifer because it rhymes with my name. So Jennifer, can you give us a little introduction about yourself?

J: I love being a transplant to the Bay Area: I get to experience the west coast fun, beauty, innovation, and liberal attitude while still feeling my strong Midwestern roots. After almost 10 years in San Francisco, I still enjoy listening to classic rock, shooting guns, and riding on boats. I’ve made a career out of helping groups become more organized and efficient. I’m inspired by various forms of music, dance, and other artistic expression.

S: I first met you in Warsaw at the Creative Commons Global Summit last year. What were you doing with CC? And what’s been shaking since I last saw you?

J: At CC, I was responsible for overseeing all HR functions, financial support, and general corporate operations. I liked the fact that my work reached every staff member on the team in some way. I took advantage of opportunities to make and improve upon employee policies, benefits, as well as office culture. I took my role as the Operations Director and Treasurer quite seriously.

After the summit in Poland, my world made a 180 turn. CC’s organizational structure was changing enough so that it made sense for me to move on. I had logged over 6 enrichingly chaotic years with CC. My grandparents’ lives were also coming to an end, during my transition out of CC. So in the spring of this year, I found myself with the chance to take a huge break from work and the time to deal with the loss in my family. The timing of everything was impeccable. I’m now finally ready to work again and make my way toward a new professional path.

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

J: Jon Phillips and I worked well together while he was at CC. 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.

S: :D. Anything exciting planned for 2013?

J: All that’s planned so far is to celebrate my mother’s 60th birthday in Michigan this summer. 2013 is the continuation of the time for possibilities. I’m looking forward to seeing what new opportunities will come my way over the next few months.

S: Well, welcome to the team.

J: Thank you.

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StatusNet Launches Cutting-edge Location Service

San Jose, CA, 1 April 2010 — In his keynote address at the Where 2.0 Conference, StatusNet CEO Evan Prodromou launched the company’s new location-based service, Said Prodromou, “Location-based services are a disruptive technology that are setting the Web on fire. Fire as hot as a thousand suns! And we want a piece of that action.”

“So, we’re copying the most popular location services and making our own. Foursqualor combines the exciting gameplay of Foursquare with the other things that Gowalla has that make it different in ways that we can’t exactly put our finger on. Brown? Is that it?”
Based on the award-winning StatusNet social messaging server, Foursqualor lets digerati prove that they have very smart phones on a regular basis. “It’s like a game that has a button!” says Robert Scoble, Foursqualor early adopter. “I click the button and everyone knows where I am! And it’s easy: one big button.”

Foursqualor also features loads of graphics from including the kid with a ball, aka the foursqueeler.

StatusNet hopes to bring together the free-as-in-freedom Free and Open Source Software community with the free-as-in-free-beer-because-I’m-the-mayor location-based moocher community to make a free-as-in-freaky all-out freedom orgy. “StatusNet has always been about freedom, and if social media is going to involve a lot of free beer, we want to be part of that and provide a more open solution. Anyone can run their own StatusNet instance so anyone can instantly become ‘the mayor’ of their favorite bar by installing a plugin or two,” he added.

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Join us for the Libre Graphics Meeting 2010!

San Francisco and Brussels, Thursday 15 April 2010 – Libre Graphics Meeting is an annual working conference for the free software graphics application community. Developers from the full spectrum of graphics applications — image editors, photography, 3-D and 2-D animation, vector art, graphic design, typography – collaborate with each other on interoperability, push the state of the art in application functionality and user experience, and get important face-to-face interaction with users.

LGM 2010 will take place between May 27 and 30th at De Pianofabriek in Brussels, Belgium. Developers from GIMP, Inkscape, Blender, Krita, Scribus, Hugin, the Open Clipart Library, the Open Font Library, and other open source projects are scheduled to appear. Technical talks will showcase new work in digital asset management, natural-media simulation, and internationalized font design. The program will also emphasize real-world usage of open source graphics software in professional publishing houses, multimedia production, and both the secondary education and art school classroom. Developers, users, or community members who would like to give a talk at LGM 2010 are encouraged to submit a proposal by following the instructions at The deadline for submissions is May 1.

Attendance at LGM is free for developers and users alike – so the conference counts on the generosity of the open source graphics community to help underwrite the costs of putting on the conference and to help make it possible for individual open source developers to attend. This year the LGM team launched a fundraising campaign called
10by10by10 to raise $10,000 USD from grants, $10K from corporations and $10K from the community. The funds raised from granting organizations, public, and corporate partners will allow participants who have no other means of sponsoring their travel to Brussels to attend the event.

The public sector in Belgium and the EU has been tremendously supportive of LGM, and has already exceeded its 10,000 dollar goal. However, some of the grant money donated is for specific tools, such as providing simultaneous language translation of the talks, and thus cannot be put towards the goal of allowing every developer who wants to attend to be there in person.

Please make a donation to the community fundraising campaign at: – and help a free graphics software developer benefit from the in-person collaboration at this year’s LGM.

Community donations have already raised $3,020 – help us make the total by May 1st. Any amount, no matter how small, is helpful; many developers in Europe need only a small stipend for rail travel to make the trip a possibility. All donations are tax deductible for US taxpayers. For larger donations from corporations and individuals, contact us directly at

For more information about LGM 2010, previous years’ meetings, and the Create Project that organizes the workshop, please visit

Press Contacts

Nathan Willis

Jon Phillips

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CKGSB Knowledge Site Debuts

Fabricatorz recently custom-designed a website for Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB). Jon and Brad took lead duties in the construction of this dynamic platform based upon Aiki Framework that offers a look into Chinese business knowledge:

The focal point of this open sharing platform is practical insight into China business from CKGSB’s world-class faculty and influential alumni network. These insights as are presented alongside interviews and analysis from executives from China and around the world and other leading authorities.

CKGSB Knowledge Screenshot

Along with building the site, Fabricatorz completed the design and public launch of CKGSB Knowledge. Contact us for more information about working together.

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Caochangdi: The Community is live! You can now register for the Caochangdi, The Community satellite event to Beijing Design Week, which starts September 28 and runs through October 6. For the unitiated, Cachangdi (CCD) is a small village on the outskirts of Beijing that plays host to a community of students, workers and Beijing’s most innovative arts sector and artists. A place that’s always under the threat of being erased, CCD is the place in Beijing to get a sense of what’s really moving and shaking. Trust me, I’ve been there. It’s inspiring.

As far as the actual event, CCD, The Community will involve gallery exhibitions, public art installations, live events, educational programs, workshops and seminars, all with a particular bent towards innovation in art, design and technology. A key figure will be architect and designer Naihan Li, aka Jing Jing, whose studio will serve as ground zero in the beginning. We built her website, which is a great place to read up on her various projects. Also, a blog post about our work with her:

In addition to Jing Jing there will be many others getting involved, which we’ll be sure to make updates as things develop. In the meantime, make sure to register if you’re going to be in the area. Exhibitors, media, and visitors are all welcome. Changdi it up!

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Fab Fashionz: Appropriate Appropriation, Not American Apparel

Check out the beginning of a new line of Fabricatorz T’s. Since nothing is more boring than a sterile design printed on a new shirt, I hand picked a bunch of second-hand T’s in New Orleans and slapped the Fabricatorz chop on ’em. Recycling is rarely this hot,  re-contextualizing this fun. More iterations to come as well as a shop where you can cop all this hot to trot Fab Fashion.






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Video Games as Art? A Response to Roger Ebert

Legendary and often divisive Chicago-based film critic, Roger Ebert, has recently re-ignited the fury of the gaming community with a recent blog post. In said post, he reacts to a recent TED speech, given by Kellee Santiago. Through this tirade, the readers are gifted with gems like:

Let me just say that no video gamer now living will survive long enough to experience the medium as an art form.

Among the many retorts to this initial critique, Fabricatorz developer, Brad Phillips, has crafted a reaction of his own.

A key oversight in Ebert’s assessment of the medium is his lack of actual experience or connection to anyone with that experience. He boils each game cited in Santiago’s speech down to a few video clips streamed via YouTube. Below you can view the original talk that spurred this renewed debate. Head over to Brad’s blog post, and let us know what you think!

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Matt Hope Battles Beijing’s Bad Air with Fresh Bike “Breath”


Pollution in Beijing isn’t new. Beijing Cream recently stressed this in a write-up titled, China is Polluted. We Get It Already. But creative solutions to the pollution, like this breathing bike machine by artist Matt Hope, are new, especially when compared to the nonsense gimmickry being lobbed around today.

First exhibited in 2012 at Get It Louder (China’s most important contemporary art biennial), Hope’s Breath is a Frankenstein success story. Composed of a Walmart bicycle cobbled together with various found components, such as a wind generator, Ikea trash can and Chinese fighter pilot mask, Breath generates clean air through a electromechanical filtration system when in operation. Despite the fact that 5,000 volts of electricity are screaming between your legs when riding the Breath Machine, it’s clearly the most badass—and realistic—path to clean air in Beijing.

But see for yourself. Check this great introduction to Breath some cool Chinese girls just uploaded to YouTube:

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Bassel Khartabil Wins Index on Censorship Digital Freedom Award

FREEBASSEL #indexawards

Bassel, aka, Bassel Khartabil, just won a big honor called the Index on Censorship Digital Freedom Award for the work he has been doing and for which Fabricatorz and so many friends (like yourself), have been supporting through the #FREEBASSEL and more recent #FREEBASSELDAY campaign. The #indexawards is still happening, but this is a source of the information going out now. Please help us spread the news about Bassel, that he is still detained and that we need your help to get him out of illegal detainment in Syria.

Because Bassel is still in jail, I am in London to receive the award along with Dana Trometer, another FREEBASSEL leader and Bassel friend. There will be a continuation of the FREEBASSEL campaign now, and we will continue to FREEBASSEL around the world with even more fervor.

And please remember as I said in the press release about Bassel’s situation:

Lock-up, Lock-out fails. Locking-up Bassel, only locks-out his personal freedom. By locking-up Bassel, his Syrian captors are accidentally locking-out themselves from the future. From launching Creative Commons Syria, building the Arabic Wikipedia and bringing Internet leaders to Syria, he knew that his free participation in global web communities required concrete contributions locally. For these acts would make Syria a better place. One year later, Bassel is under harsh lock-down. Now, thousands of people that Bassel’s work helped, now help him by spreading the message, #FREEBASSEL. This is what truly builds Syria and connects it to the global connected future. This award proves that his lock-up, is NOT a lock-out of his digital freedom.

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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:

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Fabricatorz Launch Yumumu Fashion Website


Fabricatorz Brad Phillips and Bassel Safadi worked with Singaporean boutique fashion designer Yilin Lu to relaunch her site, Yumumu. While it has the same look and feel, Brad and Bassel built the site on web standards using our open source free network service building software, Aiki Framework.

Brad and Bassel removed the dependence upon the deprecated Flash, which essentially kept the website invisible to search engines and locked to hiring someone to update the site and rebuild it each time, prior to deploying a new version of the site. Now, with Aiki Framework, the site is dynamic, visible to search engines, and now Yilin and her team can update the website without depending upon us.

Please visit Yumumu website, and if you are in Singapore or visit a Stockist, Yilin’s designs are excellent. Pick up some dresses.

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Aiki Framework 0.9.0 Released with Our New Installer

Along with Open Clip Art Library 3.1, we released Aiki Framework 0.9.0, “Infrastructure for the Future” release. Aiki Framework is a software invented by Bassel Safadi to power the Open Clip Art Library and other database heavy sites, that need collaboration on the web. Fabricatorz and Aiki Lab use this software where possible to solve client problems and to make the platform better so it becomes easier to make sites each time.

In this Aiki 0.9.0 release, we fixed 76 bugs and added 23 new features. The highlights of the release are a new installer, and lots of developer-centric infrastructure for the future: multi-languages, multi-views, multi-sites and more! Get it while it’s hot!

Aiki keeps getting better. Have you tried it? Join us! If you want a fast website that is scalable, hire us.

Check out the new installer below (a big thanks to rg1024 and jcubic for working so hard on this release too):

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Fall & Halloween Work Begins at The Open Clip Art Library

Recent visitors to The Open Clip Art Library may have noticed a new addition to the home page. Fabricatorz Developer Brad Phillips has spearheaded an initiative to implement an Activities section that aims to alert the Community to the most recent incentives for content submission. These incentives can take many forms, including contests and Community-created packages.

The latest Community Activity, a Fall 2010 Themed Clip Art Package is actively accepting new and remixed work from artists, through the rest of August. Users wishing to contribute to this new Seasonal package should upload their work, tagged with the key term “fall2010.”

The Librarians are also beginning to round up elements for a larger Halloween themed package that will run through the month of September. Contributing artists should be sure to tag each item accordingly (“halloween2010” for the Holiday theme).

The Fabricatorz Team congratulates The Open Clip Art Library for these exciting new efforts to extend user contributions and Community involvement!

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The Open Clip Art Library: Version 2.3 Hits the Net!

The Open Clip Art Library enjoys yet another of it’s scheduled monthly updates, with revision 2.3. With over 32,000 vector graphics currently calling it home, OCAL has grown into one of the largest and most prevalent sources for freely available graphics on the web. Version 2.3 aims to begin building on this solid foundation, by increasing user interaction and content submissions.

The Spring 2010 Clip Art Package brought together a diverse group of artists and pointed them in a similar thematic direction. Over 11,900 individual downloads have proven the themed package format an effective way of presenting similarly-grouped work to the Community. As in the June Release, Open Clip Art 2.3 brings along with it, a compact, user-generated, themed package of clipart.

Familiar ground is tread, in the latest Themed Package Release, as Community artists, like laobc, rg1024, and pianoBrad have focused their attentions on the Summer Season. Any wishing to utilize this smoldering collection can do so individually (by searching for the key term or tag “summer2010”) or by downloading the entire package.

Also continuing this month is a logo design contest, initiated by the organizers of the Free Culture Research Conference. Artists still planning on submitting an entry should mark this Friday (July 9th) as the deadline for that submission. Three more judges, Jonathan Zittrain, Leonhard Dobusch, and Michelle Thorne, have been added to the esteemed panel that will judge and announce the winner on July 11.

For more information on all things related to this Summer 2010 Release, have a look at the official press release.

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Get It Louder 2010 Beijing Presents, Laoban Soundsystem Get It Harder Thursday Sept 23 Beijing

laoban soundsystem top cabinet

So you want to make it louder? More hardcore? Come get hard, low and deep with the Laoban Soundsystem crew at Sanlitun SoHo on Thursday, September 23 from 9 PM onward in the basement of the mall behind the Get It Louder Pavilion. Bringing the bass is Aussie Little Wu (Dave Thompson) cutting minimal techo, TommyBoy from UK cranking old school jungle, Rez and Marula tripping the drum and bass switch from the Spanish Corelabs and Get It Louder curator Jiancui mixing it up from an iPad. Also, echoing Mall Rats and Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Laoban Soundsystem founders Matt Hope (UK/Beijing) and Jon Phillips (SF/Beijing) will chop n screw up dancehall, drum and bass and dirty southern hip hop through the 6000 watts of pure sound through the aptly titled, Laoban Soundsystem 2.0. Communing at the new Chinese commodified temple where money ain’t a thing, hustling visual imagery without spending a dime, and expanding conversation with a pure sound and video experience that exemplifies the sound clash heard from Kingston, you don’t want to miss this realideal. Invite your friends, spread the news, and let’s get it louder!

If you want to get harder, visit:


Little Wu (Little Five), aka David Thompson

Hailing from the shores of Australia, Little Five has been globetrotting for the last seven years stopping off in Europe, America and now China. Weaving together sounds from all sides of the table, his sets are full of energy and excitement a journey to the dark side.

Expect Techno, Tribal, Tech House.

We are just going to keep tacking on more friends as they come together here!


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 Laoban 2.0 Sponsorship

Laoban Soundsystem 2.0

We are seeking sponsorships for the Laoban Soundsystem 2.0 being built in Guangzhou, China right now. It is to be used all summer in China for events. It is a custom engineered Chinese sound system, a research project, and a vehicle to connect sponsors with a large web-based and live audience connected to music, art, media, china, and web culture. Every time the system is used will be a media event, generating massive traffic and attention to the project and sponsors.

We are seeking sponsors in Da (large, $1000), Zhong (medium, $500), and Xiao (small, $250) increments to our goal of $8,000 to build this complete sound system in time for summer.

Da Sponsor (large, $1000)

  • Logo/Image + web link to website
  • Will receive pair Xiaoban Small DJ/Desktop Speakers from first production run of limited edition 88 speakers
  • Announced in all press as a sponsor
  • Invited to Special Events

Zhong Sponsor (medium, $500)

  • Logo/Image + web link to website
  • Announced in all press as a sponsor
  • Invited to Special Events

Xiao Sponsor (small, $250)

  • Logo/Image + web link to website on sponsors page
  • Announced in group announcement

To start off this sponsorship push, Kude Labs and Fabricatorz have both sponsored the initial monies to begin fabrication on the Laoban Sound System. More than just sponsoring the development of the soundsystem, by contributing to the project, you will increase your connection to China media, art, culture and youth, as well as page views to the world’s largest population of Internet users.

Contact us to be a sponsor and lets get this built!

laoban logo

About Laoban Soundsystems

Laoban Soundsystem is an open sound system. The plans for all speakers are available on-line under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license. The events the soundsystem participates in are media events that generate further viral media. Anyone who attends the events, creates the speakers through the plans, or produces content for them is encouraged to tag media they make with laoban.

The Laoban Soundsystem events are a new type of media event where all are welcome to join, bring media, laptops, video players, cameras, and other recording devices. The goal is to mix media, explore what artists, DJs, musicians, designers, and architects are working on RIGHT NOW — successes, failures, and rough edges are welcome at Laoban events! The ultimate plan is for consumers to be producers by both mixing media, and by tagging any recordings they have with “laoban” when posting onto,, or other places.

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