Wednesday, 3 October 2018

I am giving away an arcade cabinet*

*with caveats, read on.

*** PLEASE NOTE, the cab has now been claimed, thanks for playing! ***

Wait, what?
Yeah, you heard me.

If you follow me on any networks you'll know that over the last year I've been working on and touring an arcade cabinet artwork called The Loss Levels. You can read about it here on Engadget, and there's some info on the wider project on The Guardian here.

It looks like this (click for bigness):

Why are you giving it away exactly?
The cab was originally commissioned for the amazing Now Play This festival at Somerset House in London, and has since been exhibited at HOME in Manchester, as well as Sheffield Doc/Fest. The cab was added to the Doc/Fest touring exhibition, and made it's way to Lighthouse in Brighton.

The next stop on the Doc/Fest tour is... Buenos Aires.

This is great and very exciting, but comes with the snag that the current cab is not designed to go onto a plane - in fact it was never really designed to move much at all! I am currently putting the finishing touches to version 2.0 of the cab, which is massively more robust and won't break into a million pieces during a flight.

So, this also means the original cab is now sat in my studio, and to be honest I don't have space for it. It's a little dinged up, but it's intact and perfectly usable. I decided that it might be nice to help someone out, and so I'm going to give it away.

About the cab
The cab was designed and fabricated by the awesome James Medd, and is made from an MDF core wrapped in authentically arcadey semi-matte perspex. The unit splits into two halves so it'll go in a reasonably-sized car without too much fuss. As I say, it's got some cosmetic wear and tear from being transported and played a zillion times, but structurally it's fine.

What's included?
This offer is only for the physical cab shell itself - the screen and controls are being taken out for the new build. The front panel that holds the controls is included, I'm just removing the joystick and buttons. I can provide precise details of the screen/fixing/controls for whoever takes it. To clarify:

INCLUDED: cabinet shell including panel that holds the controls, transparent perspex window for the front, specifications and design files for the whole thing including the fixings and screen.
NOT INCLUDED: screen, electronics, joystick/buttons, 'loss levels' signage.

Can anyone have it? 
No. Sorry. This is free-as-in-beer, but has the following caveats:
1) You'll need to come and pick it up from my studio in central Stockport at some point in the next couple of weeks
2) This offer is only open to someone who'll use it with either learners, beginners, or a group that wouldn't ordinarily have access to this sort of thing.

To be clear on point 2: I'm talking hackspaces that are open and used by people who are learning and growing, or schools, or community groups, or that sort of thing. If you are a well-established maker or a nerd who wants it in their space, or to turn it into another MAME cab, or whatever else, you are not having it, do not ask. I want to pay it forward to someone who'll use it for good, this isn't a freebie for someone to waste sticking it in their house. Whoever gets it should be hacking on it, learning with it, making something cool with it. Oh and I wanna see what you do with it too. :)

OK! This is totally me/us. What next? 
Great! Get me at hellodanhett at gmail dot com and let me know who you are and who would benefit from it. This isn't a first-come-first-served thing as that's a bit unfair, the cab will go to whoever I feel will turn it into the most benefit for people who will learn and experiment and benefit from it. To be as transparent as possible: I'll be giving priority to disadvantaged/community groups and young people first, who wouldn't usually have chance to noodle with something like this. Good karma and all that, you know how it is.


Monday, 12 February 2018

TEDxManchester 2018 - transcript

Yesterday I stood on stage at the sold-out TEDxManchester at the Bridgewater Hall, and spoke to about 2,400 people about my experiences. It was terrifying, but ultimately a really positive experience. 

I've barely decompressed, and I'm going to write a full blog post about it all when my head is back together a bit, but for now here's the transcript of what I said, more or less:

Sunday, 23 July 2017


A couple of days ago, I became a [very slightly] augmented human - I had an RFID transponder chip implanted into my left hand. What this broadly means is that I can now control compatible devices by touching them, and more importantly I can now store a small amount of data in my hand.

It's been a really interesting experience so far, and one that people are absolutely full of questions about, and so I thought it would make sense to put a blog post up with the (quite literally) gory details in, along with some insights on what the procedure was like, how it's gone so far, and what my future plans are.

Squeamish readers, look away now. This post contains images of large needles going into flesh, and some blood. Nothing hugely gross, but fair warning.

Monday, 10 April 2017


Next month I move into my first proper studio space, at EPOK. Some thoughts:

Saturday, 4 February 2017

FAULT LINES - residential decompression

The FAULT LINES cohort got together for the first time over a three-day residential. I have some brief thoughts that I wanted to get down quickly while they were still in my head.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

I bought a giant plotter.

I bought a new toy. Specifically - I bought an insanely massive and very heavy, A1-sized, Roland DPX-3300 XY plotter from the 1980's. It is now sitting in my office taking up all the space until I sort some studio space out, and I'm very happy with it.

Anyway, I have big plans (creatively and physically) for it, and I've already discovered a few neat things, so I thought I'd jam a post together with some photos and musings.

The most important part for now is... it works:

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

How we made... Borborygmus!

Recently I finished up work on a really fun interactive book project, Borborygmus. It's a beautifully illustrated interactive children's book for desktop and mobile, which introduces Borby - the mischievous little guy in your tummy who keeps everything ticking over, while rumbling loudly and making a load of mess.

This project turned out really nicely, of course primarily as the hand-drawn illustrations were already amazing before I got my hands on them, but also in terms of the fact that we built it in such a way that it works everywhere really nicely and consistently. I've had quite a few people reach out and ask about the underlying tech and approach, so I though I'd outline how we put it together.

Sunday, 18 December 2016


So, the secret is out - I've been selected as one of the seven participating artists on FutureEverything's new FAULT LINES programme. It's been a weird (and towards the end quite intense) few weeks, with a lot to think about, and so I though it might be wise to get my thoughts down.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

"So, how are you finding freelancing?"

The single question I've been asked the most since making the freelance jump has been, of course, a general one about how it's all going. So... this is how it's going.

I promised myself I'd try and document how everything is panning out, and apart from the "OK, I've done it!" post, this is the first time I've actually sat and put my thoughts down about the whole thing. At the time of writing this I'm about four months in, which is hardly any time at all in the grand scheme of things. But, it's given me enough time to settle into a routine and figure some things out.

Saturday, 15 October 2016