About the Project
ExiTrip began in 2010 as a collaboration between Lea Bertucci and Ed Bear as artists in residence at Free103point9. We began experimenting with the iTrip Nano FM transmitter to exemplify the potential impact of re-engineering consumer devices originally destined for landfills. As is, this early generation of iTrip only functions with the very first iPod Nano, which is no longer manufactured. Still available for around less than $1 each on Ebay, the low price creates unprecedented distribution opportunities for a low power transmitter and encourages end-user experimentation. We have hacked the iTrip to function without
the necessity of an iPod, vastly increasing its usefulness as a development platform for artists and designers.
Soon after creating a basic ExiTrip, we wrote an open call offering these hacked devices to artists of different disciplines and document their work on this site. An express goal of this project is to empower artists with diverse technical and creative backgrounds to create works using radio. This constitutes a social experiment and community building exercise that documents creative responses to a common tool. ExiTrip based work has been shown between New Zealand and Estonia, and several Brooklyn-based performers and artists use many of them today.
The workshop series that developed out of the initial public outreach which has grown into the primary driver of the project. Hundreds of low-cost [we would argue negative cost] radio transmitters have been put in the hands of 6 - 60 year olds, introducing them to transmission art, embedded and RF electronics, and daunting, modern, social and ecological problems surrounding resource extraction and material flow. The workshops have become performances communicating the promise of egalitarian electronic design and the tragedy of unchecked waste.
The occupation of the public in Hertzian space is fundamentally controlled by access to electronic technology. To advance the practice of repurposing commercial electronics is to further the reach, relevance, and accessibility of transmission in art and society. This project critically, materially, and publicly develops the historical and contemporary relationship between creative electronics and transmission artists. How can we, as artists, thinkers, hackers and designers break the cycle of electronic waste that is perpetuated by planned obsolescence and bad design?
About the Device
The iTrip Nano 1G was manufactured for Griffin electronics until around 2008, and is a typical 'rush to market' design, where existing electronic designs are quickly reworked and released to market to establish a brand identity.
The ExiTrip is, at it's heart, a rather powerful [at least over-powered] 8-bit microcontroller, the P89LPC936. This means that many of the east coast projects use the ExiTrip as much more than just a transmitter.
The range of transmission of one of our hacked ExiTrips is approximately 5 feet. This can be altered as per our instructions here. As far as we can tell, telling you how to alter the antenna is not expressly illegal for a Part 15 radiator.
It is powered by 2 double A batteries (the battery pack is soldered onto the hacked version). It is also possible to power the ExiTrip with a DC converter or with different batteries. For alternative power sources, please see this section