The first dorkbot-sea exhibition, People Doing Strange Things With Electricity, held at Center on Contemporary Art in the summer of 2003, reflected the diverse work and technological and creative interests of the Seattle-area dorkbot-sea community – the ninth in the dorkbot family, founded in New York City by Douglas Irving Repetto in 2000. Now, there are twenty-one of these informal, grassroots dorkbot organizations in cities across the world, with a further four on the way, and so for 2005 I expanded the scope of this exhibit to cover the work of both dorkbot-sea and the global dorkbot community, providing a physical means to encapsulate and encourage the exchange of creative ideas.
dorkbot is all about such extremes and contrasts: the deeply local community with instant digital access to a loose national and international network of like-minded people, who also in turn have a perspective unique to their offshoot’s locale. dorkbot-sea meeting attendees range in age from eleven to eighty. Audiences typically comprise 50% artists, 50% technologists – with a 50% overlap between categories. Levels of artistic experience and technical capability vary as widely – and wildly – as the age range, and collaborations flourish. Even attempting to express this in a cohesive way for the exhibition viewer, and for each artwork in relation to the others in the exhibit, was an interesting proposition.