Meet the organisers behind PIFcamp in Slovenia

Tina Malina and Uros Veber are the two co-organisers behind PIFcamp. They share with Makery their experience and vision of hacking camps. Podcast.

PIFcamp is a 7-day hacker-base set in Slovenian mountains where art, technology and knowledge meet. The participants of the camp take the leading part in holding workshops, practical field trips, theoretical lectures and on-sight briefings and actively participate in the development of various DIY projects, while collaborating together in a creative working environment. In DIY, DIWO and DITO manner. In addition, all the projects are thoroughly documented and published online.
Listen to the podcast of the interview with Tina Malina & Uros Veber (directed by Mona Jamois from PING) or read a short version here below.

Can you tell us more about the organizations in charge of the PIFcamp?

Uros Veber: The event is organized primarily by two organizations : Ljudmila Art and Science Laboratory and Projekt Atol. Ljudmila lab is a hackerspace established in the 90’s and with a long history of new media art and activism. Projekt Atol has activities ranging from art production to scientific research and technological prototype development and production. Dealing with art and technology, the two organizations share a space in Ljubljana and started doing more and more programs together. So it was in-between these two organizations that the idea of organizing a summer hackercamp started bouncing. We did an experiment and it worked better than everybody expected and that’s how we keep going and try now to reach organizations that are doing this kind of things also.

Tina Malina: Every year, some other Slovenian producers join, like Kerniskova Institute for example, Biotehna, Rampa lab and Roglab, the fablab from Ljubljana, also joined this year. So I hope it’s get bigger and bigger every year!

At PIFcamp 2019 © Katja Goljat

How came the idea to organize this summer hackercamp?

Tina Malina: We are in the nature and normally that kind of stuff like hacking, technology-based or art projects happens in your studio at home or in a gallery, so in some really common spaces. People when they are figuring out how to realize their projects or when they need to solve a technical problem they usually go on Internet and find some forums, so basically they never meet in person. What we wanted to break is this idea that hacking is something that you do at home in your studio alone. No, you can do it in the nature with like sixty people and have fun!

Uros Veber: We wanted to move people outside of their working areas, of their makerlabs, of their hackerspaces. The key is also this festival format which happens only once a year, which creates a very special focus. What we try to achieve here is that everybody has the best opportunity to work and talk to other people and maybe shift some focus as well. The rest is done by the surroundings and the nature.

Working with Olivia Kotsifa at PIFcamp 2019 © Katja Goljat

What do you feel that the participants can gain from such an experience?

Tina Malina: As it goes for the participants, I think that if your are active enough and start talking with others and joining their projects, you can learn a lot on one week. What we also try to achieve every year is the documentation part. We try to document as many projects as we can so people can also build them by themselves at home. We try to put some tutorials online, some photos, patterns, everything that we can!

Uros Veber: I think we have now a better international visibility, we have a better mix of people we want to invite and that want to participate. We just try to make sure that we have the right people that comes and the rest mostly happens on its own.

Magdalena Ågren & Mika Satomi live at the Open Saturday © Katja Goljat
MOTHeremin 2.0 by Staša Guček © Katja Goljat

How would you explain PIFcamp in a few simple words to your grandma?

Uros Veber: It’s a bunch of geeks and artists doing stuff in nature, having great time and doing extraordinary projects.

Tina Malina: Where art meets technology and nature, and the food is amazing!

Do you have a special story or anecdote about PIFcamp you would like to share with us?

Tina Malina: Dario Cortese is our wild edible plants expert. Last year he showed up with Lyme disease which is a very painful disease so he took some rest. For this year he made a project about it! Even from a bad thing which happens at PIFcamp, some cool interesting stuff can show up, I guess.

Read our reports from days 1&2, 3&4, 5&6.

More on PIFcamp.

The Feral Labs Network is cofinanced by the Ceative Europe program of the Europen Union. The cooperation is led by Projekt Atol in Ljubljana (Slovenia). Among the other #ferallabs partners: Bioart Society (Helsinki, Finland), Catch (Elsinore, Denmark), Radiona (Zagreb, Croatia), Schmiede (Hallein, Austria) et Art2M/Makery (France).