DIY Will Save You: Laserbat Showdown

Posted on November 26, 2010 by


Flying down through the skies of the City of Austin one might notice an interesting taste to the air, different from the shores of the Red Sea, or that of Philadelphia International Airport…(don’t ask) It feels almost as though a battle of epic proportions could break out at any moment, as though something sinister lies just beneath the surface… beneath the Congress Ave Bridge.

Many of you from Austin are familiar with the Bat Bridge of Congress Avenue but for those who are not, it is the home to the largest nesting area for bats in the United States. How large you ask? Around 1.5 million bats slumber here through the day and emerge at dusk to feast.

Unfortunately for Austinites, they are scarcely aware of the terrible fate yet to inflict their fair city. Some decades from now, after the Great Quakes that decimate most of California, when Austin finds itself as the tech hub of the world and robots have captured the hearts and market of the modern world, something goes horribly wrong, and it turns out that everything *is* bigger in Texas…

With the city ablaze and most major techshops having closed up and left, only the courageous DIY-ers will be left to save the day. Good thing there are plenty of those in 21st-Century Austin!

And what good fortune we Travellers have had to be in town precisely on time for the (re)birthing festival of the ATX Hackerspace! In commemoration of the opening of the space that would eventually save humankind from robot invaders through a supposed “accident” of genetic engineering, we decided to gift a mural! Hopefully, this wall will inspire the young innovators of today to be mindful of the future, while encouraging interest in DIY-bio and DIY-laser hobbies. The antiquated “floppy” disks that surround the piece serve as a reminder that evolution increases at a steady acceleration, and today’s discoveries are tomorrows trash, and the next day’s art… or something.

Laserbat Showdown

Laserbat Showdown - Photo courtesy of RJ

The following video was taken from the CCTV system inside of ATX Hackerspace. Here, you can watch as we brought forth the soon-to-be-prophetic image on the wall of the budding tech lair, in precise 5-second increments, over the course of 4 days:

We used plain household indoor/outdoor water-based acrylic paint, cheap paintbrushes, and a pencil or two to get the image onto the wall. The floppies were attached using hot glue, and two of them had to be drilled to fit over screws sticking out of the wall. The time-lapse video was captured with Gawker, and produced with iMovie.

Thank you ATX Hackerspace for your open minds and friendly atmosphere (and, a few decades in advance, for the Laserbats that save humanity, obviously).

And a very special thanks to Tinkering Productions for their heartfelt collaboration at this crucial time in history.

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