The Do-it-Yourself (DiY) craft aesthetic of The Trons − Robot garage band | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 8, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2040-4689
  • E-ISSN: 2040-4697



The Trons are a Lo-Fi robot-garage-band constructed from discarded and redundant materials, including Meccano, aluminium foil salvaged from food wrappings and automotive solenoids. The central hub of their operation comes from a computer, made obsolete in the mid-1990s, which feeds signals to flimsy materials whose inefficiencies and ‘errors’ add another layer of processing to the sound. This articles discusses the use of discarded materials as processing agents as a Do-it-Yourself (DiY) craft aesthetic that embraces inefficiency and error as active agents in the production of sound. The indeterminate performance of sound, enacted by the Lo-Fi robotics used in The Trons, is viewed in this paper as an example of a strategy that emerges from a deep engagement by the practitioner with the materials of construction. Through an observation of studio practices and interviews with the maker, material engagement is revealed as a way of generating embodied knowledge, a form of craft practice that situates the DiY practitioner as being entangled within the material environment, and with the work evolving as a shared, reciprocal, exchange between human and material. In this article, function and dysfunctional ‘error’ are part of a spectrum of acceptable outcomes of the DiY craft aesthetic, a process in which practitioners and technological materials form an extended network of agency, displacing the human as the exclusive centre of process.


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