Hardware Hack Lab

Matthew Schlanger

Interviewed in

Tell us a little about what you do

I write code, design games, and make video, not necessarily in that order.

I also build audio and video synthesizers and shoot 3D photos. Most of my time these days I spend managing a team building a new social media network about learning. Imagine social media that’s about recording and sharing your life long and daily learning. This is called L2O. If you want to be a beta tester let me know. One great thing about this work is that it keeps me focused on learning, and creating a place where we can share learning.

When I can get away from work I try to turn on the tools in my studio. I have an old school analog video lab comprised mostly of custom audio and video synthesizers along with tools I’ve collected. Turning it all on seems to be the hard part.

On the programming side I am looking into AngularJS and ReactJS. I want to find the time to also learn Swift and Python, but all things JS are the typically the top of my list these days. I want to get back to exploring ThreeJS. And I have some AS3 work to catch up on, kicking it old school is still a great path for game app development.

This year I had the opportunity to do a side project for the MTA that involved controlling a hardware interface with an Arduino, I would like to find the time to do more with the Arduino, and find time for a Rasberry Pi project.

At work I am thinking about lean development practices and tools for measuring user interaction to create validated learning. Mixpanel is the measure piece in the “Build, Measure, Learn” feedback loop.

I was getting interested in data visualization and the work Tableau was doing - go to the gallery.

I try to stay away from the art trends but it’s good to see the resurgence of analog. I have begun collecting Eurorack modules. There is not much reason to keep building audio synths when there is so much one can buy instead. I am working on a small audio synth that I want to finish, then likely I will never build and audio synth module ever again.

Which hardware (or software, product, platform) are you excited about the potential of, and why?

David Jones is designing an array of video synthesis module prototypes. They are an interesting mix of old and new school.

Which blogs or zines do you peruse right now?

The New Yorker and the New York Times are still my mainstays. Then Wired and whatever I see that pulls me in.