Tag Archives: Google Developers

MaKey MaKey featured at DevArt in London

Earlier this week, JoyLabz COO David ten Have reached out to us about the DevArt Young Creators project currently taking place at the Barbican in London. For those unfamiliar with the project, the event is a series of 3-week creative workshops for schools, youth groups and code clubs, led by the DevArt interactive artists Zach Lieberman, Karsten Schmidt and duo Varvara and Mar, in collaboration with Google and the Barbican.


Each session, hosted in the DevArt section of the Digital Revolution Exhibition at the Barbican in London, will introduce young Makers (ranging from ages 9 – 13) to computer coding and art. In true Maker spirit, the sessions provide attendees with a hands-on opportunity to make their very first creation with code: a digital butterfly, a piece of music, or a 3D-printed work of art.

This week, MaKey MaKey will be exploring the creative possibilities of code in an educational workshop organized by Google and led by American artist and computer programmer Zach Lieberman.

Zach Lieberman’s latest work matches musical notes from live radio around the world to the 88 keys on a standard piano keyboard. The result? Unique, ever-changing soundscapes. Featured in Lieberman’s workshop, the MaKey MaKey platform enables anyone to turn everyday objects into touch pads, and with the aid of alligator clips, a USB cable and the Internet, create just about anything.


“We believe everyone is creative, inventive and imaginative. And that anyone can create the future and change the world,” explains Jay Silver, CEO of MaKey MaKey. “It is human nature to repurpose the world, you know, leaves and sticks are used to make roofs and structures, stones to make tools… In modern day, how do you repurpose computer programs and pencils? Well it’s already possible to do! MaKey MaKey catalyzes the process for people of all ages who haven’t tried it yet. Draw a game controller with a pencil and hook it to a video game, and touch the drawing with your finger to actually play the game.”

In creating Play the World, 2014, Lieberman has used code to match the keys on an Internet-connected keyboard to musical notes sampled from hundreds of live radio stations around the world – from Nigerian sports radio to Brazilian Bossa Nova radio. And because the notes are drawn from live radio, the sound and source changes each time a key is played, resulting in a unique piece of music every time. Speakers and visual displays are arranged in a circle around the keyboard, so you can see where in the world the sounds are coming from. The effect is a celebration of the vast, enchanting, global soundscape that surrounds us.

Interested in learning more about DevArt and each of this week’s Inspiration Workshops? More details can be found here.