2017 Circuit Benders Ball

Want to Play Circuit Benders’ Ball? Submit by June 1st

Brain Lesion at the 2012 Circuit Benders’ Ball. Photo by Brandon Greer.

The Circuit Benders’ Ball takes place in Nashville, TN over the weekend of August 25 through 27, and we’re still looking for participants! If you’d like to perform, provide visual projections or electronic art, speak, teach, or volunteer, you need to apply by June 1 at 11:59pm.

Apply here.

The Circuit Benders’ Ball (or CBB) is a biennial celebration of hardware hacking, art, music, and the creative spirit, hosted in Nashville, TN since 2010. Find out more here.

Play with Strangers at Circuit Benders’ Ball “No Media” Fundraiser, May 20 at Drkmttr

As you probably know, the 2017 Circuit Bender’s Ball is happening August 25th through 27th in Nashville, TN. (By the way, we’re accepting applications for participants through June 1st.) On Saturday, May 20th at 8pm, Drkmttr will host a “mini” event to help raise funds for the Ball.

The event is called “No Media,” and the concept is simple. All attendees — yes, including you — bring something to perform with. The No Media Tumblr explains the rest:

Participating artists are randomly matched in sets of 3 and given 10mins to perform. NO MEDIA aims to bring together artists from a broad range of performable disciplines (poets + dancers + expanded cinemaistas + free jazzers + audio/video noise makers + etc) to challenge the conventions of their practice by responding in realtime to artists from other disciplines.

NO preparation is allowed. Bring your tools, devices, instruments, props, etc., but you’ve got to start with a blank slate. NO time will be allotted for ‘setup’. There will be a 2min turn around time where you can carry your stuff up and meet your collaborators. NO documentation allowed. It happens once and in realtime.

The idea was conceived by Chicago glitch artists Jason Soliday, Nick Briz, and Jeff Kolar. The May 20 event is organized by CBB director Tyler Blankenship.

We will be accepting donations that will go toward CBB, and we’ll also have rare posters and merch for sale.

I’ve participated in a few No Media events in the past. They are enormous fun and a great way to meet new people. Don’t miss it!

More info on the Facebook event page.

2017 CBB No Media Fundraiser
Saturday, May 20, 8pm to 11pm
@ Drkmttr, 4003 Indiana Ave, Nashville, Tennessee 37209

Circuit Benders’ Ball Announces 2017 Festival Dates, Call for Performers

I’m happy to announce that the Circuit Benders Ball will be coming back to Nashville, August 25th to 27th, 2017!

Submissions are now open for performers, visual artists, multimedia artists, presenters, workshop instructors, and volunteers. To apply, head on over to the brand spankin’ new website, built by CBB participant Morgan Higby-Flowers.

The Ball will take place at the East Nashville art collective The Complex. We’re still working out the details and will provide an address and showtimes soon. Tyler Blankenship will be taking over as Festival Director for 2017.

Circuit Benders’ Ball Announces New Producer and Show Date

Tyler Blankenship (left) films Carl Oliver (right) at CBB 2014. Photo by Skipp Frazier.

Tyler Blankenship (left) videotapes Carl Oliver (right) at CBB 2014. Photo by Skipp Frazier.

Hey everyone. Tony here. I have the great pleasure of announcing Circuit Benders’ Ball’s new producer, the person who will organize a team and produce the next festival. That person is…

Tyler Blankenship.

Tyler is a Nashville-based artist, musician, and filmmaker. He’s worked on past Circuit Benders’ Balls, organized many shows at Queen Ave, and participated in both Modular Art Pods. In October 2016, he will produce the first independently-run Modular Art Pods at Queen Ave. I’m confident that he will take Circuit Benders’ Ball to new heights.

And now to the festival date…

For the first three editions, CBB was biennial: 2010, 2012, and 2014. The next show was supposed to happen in 2016. But we decided to push the next show to 2017. This will give Tyler and his team the time needed to organize a phenomenal show. We don’t have an exact date set yet, but we know it will be in late 2017.

I will still be involved. For example, I look forward to researching potential performers and may even get to perform myself this round. But for 2017, Tyler Blankenship will take the lead, and I’m excited for all that he will bring to the festival.


Tony Youngblood
CBB Founder

Circuit Benders’ Ball 2016 Seeks New Producer


Circuit Benders’ Ball is a biennial celebration of hardware hacking, free culture, art, and the creative spirit. I’ve been running the show since the festival’s inception in 2010. The three-day event at Fort Houston in 2014 was our biggest and best yet. We have a venue lined up for September 2016, and we’re preparing to send out calls for participants. There’s just one thing we need:

A new producer.

I’ve reached the unfortunate conclusion that with all the other things on my plate, most notably Modular Art Pods @ OZ, I won’t be able to devote the time necessary to put on CBB. I’d still like to pitch in, perhaps even finally perform at the fest, but I’m looking for someone else to take the reins. So, what would this involve?

The 2016 CBB producer would be responsible for:

  • Assembling the lineup of performers, visual artists, workshop teachers, and presenters.
  • Fundraising. Seeking money through sponsorships, funding drives, pre-sales, etc.
  • Building a team of volunteers to help with all aspects of the show.
  • Negotiating and fulfilling payment/travel expenses with the venue and artists.
  • Finding places for the touring artists to stay.
  • Promotion.

I won’t lie. The hardest part is the money. The organizing side of CBB has always been all-volunteer, from the producer to the visual art directors to the sound engineers to the ticket takers. After expenses, all of the funds have gone to the touring performers, although never as much as they deserve … and never enough to properly compensate the local performers. We’d love for that to change this year.

This would also mean that you, the incoming producer, would also be volunteering your time. You may be able to strategize ways to increase revenue and allow enough for a producer’s salary. If you can make that happen and still fairly compensate the performers, more power to you.

I would make myself available to answer any of your questions and help out in any way I can.  You would have free rein to run the festival as you see fit, except for the following core rules:

  • Performances must involve circuit bending, creative coding, instrument building, or modular rigs (especially if the modules are homemade or heavily-modded). In the past, we’ve also included music made with Gameboys because of the homebrew cartridges.
  • Producers must be committed to inclusivity. Producers should seek out a diverse lineup of performers that include women, people of color, people with disabilities, and people in the LGBT communities.
  • The Code of Conduct should reflect that spirit of inclusivity by fostering a safe environment for all guests.

The new producer will be chosen by me and group of past CBB staff. A producer that lives in or near Nashville, TN is heavily preferred. If selected, you will produce the 2016 edition, and if all goes well, you’ll have the option to produce future editions. Interested parties should e-mail me at tonyyoungblood@gmail.com.

Circuit Benders’ Ball 2014 is a Wrap!

Robbie Hunsinger & Megan Kelley at the Ball. Photo by Skipp Frazier.

Robbie Hunsinger & Megan Kelley at the Ball. Photo by Skipp Frazier.

I’m a week late posting this (because it took literally a week for me to recover), but the 2014 Circuit Benders’ Ball is a wrap!

Big thanks to the artists, volunteers, and attendees for making it happen. Also huge thanks to Fort Houston for providing the space, Yazoo Brewing Company for providing the beverages, Griffin Technology for providing silent auction and giveaway items, Eli Mason for the sweet tea and drink mixers, SAE Nashville for bringing out volunteers and equipment, and Watkins College of Art, Design & Film for providing projectors and additional volunteers!

Photos, video, and sound files coming soon.

See you in 2016!