A Recipe Book For the Coolest DIY Projects You Never Knew How To Do

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Building an anechoic chamber. Mapping the Wi-Fi in your building. Listening to the Earth with piezo microphones. These are all fascinating projects, and we've featured artists and engineers who have done them here on Giz before. But now, there's a book in which they explain how.

I was researching how to build a piezo mic—eg, a microphone that "listens" for vibrations through structures and objects, rather than through the air—when I came across an e-book called the Signal Culture Cook Book. It was published this fall by Signal Culture, the two-year-old media arts organization run out of upstate New York.

Obviously, I downloaded it—and it's awesome. Over the course of 195 pages, artists, technologists, and other specialists explain how to complete fairly complex projects in clear and concise language. A few examples of how-tos:

  • Nicholas Economos details how to make an anechoic chamber with common materials.
  • Photographer Michael Bosworth explains how to "paint with light" using a DSLR.
  • Bill Sack walks you through how to build your own pizeo mic and use it to make music.
  • Darius Kazemi shows you how to build your own Twitter bot for fun or profit.
  • Artist Jesse England outlines how to make Super 8mm or 16mm film using zero materials from film suppliers—just an inkjet printer.

There are many more. It's a great resource for anyone who's interested in going a little deeper into the media art rabbit hole—or just building their own earthquake sensor, whatever. You can donate $25 to Signal Culture and download the recipe book here.