Until now, the assumed hurdles of electronic design have kept laypersons at bay. Circuit bending—the chance-directed rewiring of preexisting electronic devices—transforms the circuit into a friendly and immediate canvas, like that of a painter: Just walk up and paint.
Indeed, the modern-day painter’s canvas is more immediate than ever, since there is no longer a need to study the science of pigment making. Similarly, circuit bending’s chance approach—an act of clear illogic—obviates any need to understand the science of electronics.
Just as traditional cultures can transform a coconut into myriad different instruments, circuit bending can transform a Speak & Spell, for example, into an untold number of homemade synthesizers.
This according to “The folk music of chance electronics: Circuit bending the modern coconut” by Qubais Reed Ghazala (Leonardo music journal XIV , pp. 96–104).
Many thanks to the Improbable Research blog for reminding us about Ghazala’s writings! Below, the author discusses his work; above, he admires an amanita muscaria.