Play Hard!

Ever wanted to run around a 3D maze made from your fingerprint? Or learn how to build a wi-fi antenna from your favorite can of soup? Enter Play Shop, an 'open-access' laboratory running from this Saturday, January 17 through April 4, at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. The brainchild of FutureFarmers' Amy Franceschini, Play Shop's founding principle is to subvert the role of technology through artistic interventions and workshops. 'I am hoping Play Shop can be a starter seed space where people can meet informally to exchange, collaborate and explore creative uses of technology,' she explains. Along with plenty of on-site tinkering, Play Shop's events include Fur, the makers of PainStation, and the student-run group Artech with Richard Mortimer Humphrey and Scott Snibbe. If that's not enough, Yerba Beuna's museum is mounting the exhibition 'Bang the Machine: Computer Gaming Art and Artifacts,' with work by artists such as Brody Condon, Paul Johnson, Shelley Eshkar and Paul Kaiser. So stop by with a project, an idea to change the world, or just an open mind. You won't be disappointed. --Jonah Brucker-Cohen