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Happy first anniversary to The Hacktory

I’m kind of loving Philadelphia lately. I love Geekadelphia, from whom I have borrowed liberally (shout-out to Eric!). I love the lads at Gamervision. I love the Liberty Bell and all it represents, which is liberty. And then there’s the VGXPO, which is something that is also in Philadelphia.

And now I am completely in love with The Hacktory.

While I was questing through current.com in search of the Gaymers video, I came across “Geeks and Toys Go Wild,” a viewer-created video of a Hacktory-sponsored event. The tiny DIY fest is so rough-around-the-edges and charming, just magical LEDs and chip music and, probably, alcohol. The Hactory video at Current may never make it all the way to TV, so—for now at least—you’ll have to check it out online, either here or embedded here:

I feel like there is this incredible nerd culture in Philadelphia that the rest of humanity doesn’t know about. Specifically, the goings-on at The Hacktory—classes on how to design circuit boards, or events with chiptune musicians dimly lit by demoscene graphics—remind me, bittersweetly, of the art collective gatherings and events that so captured my imagination when I was some college kid having her first brush with adulthood in her first real city. These community events were sincere, earnest, and wholly unmarketable. They were, to quote the Philadelphia Weekly, “Authentic Geek.”

Incidentally, The Hacktory turns one year old this month, hence the illustration of a layer-cake with LEDs that I am ‘borrowing’ from their blog.

4 responses to “Happy first anniversary to The Hacktory” »

  1. Eric says:

    You’ll have to come out to some of the geek events sometime, Jen! I didn’t know you were from Philly! :o)

  2. librarian says:

    Oh, no, no, I’m not from Philadelphia—I’ve only visited once. But I keep hearing about so much cool geek culture springing up out there, so now I’m just sort of smitten with it!

  3. Chris Person says:

    Graffiti Research Lab and the chiptune guys fill that void in NY, but it’s really great to see that it’s reached there.

    I don’t know what make of Philly though. A lot of young artists priced out of NYC, Chicago, San Fran and Boston seem to be moving in that direction, although I don’t know what’s so appealing about it. My DJ friend Monica was born and raised there, and she says she won’t go back to living there. The consensus I get from her and a bunch of people I know is that the crime is too high, and we both live in the center of ass-poor Bushwick under the M train.

    Apparently it’s cheap as all hell to live there though.

  4. Zengirl says:

    Hey, this is funny because I made that video! I’m a member of the Hacktory and usually I make videos for the non-profit world. This one was for CurrentTV so it’s more garage. Geekadelphia is one of my only RSS feeds – and I can’t thank them enough for hooking me up with the crocheted R2-D2 hat. Anyway, I love Philly—it’s small enough to get to know a lot of people, it has great diversity (including food), and it has enough art and creative groups to keep your brain on fire. Not only is it affordable for lofts/workspaces (without having 4 roomies), but there are a lot of green initiatives going on. Yes, there is crime, but to be honest, as with most places it tends to be in certain areas. I think the architecture, arts and awesome park land really keep me inspired. I do like to visit NYC for Eyebeam Gallery, though. 🙂

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