Inspirational stories about gender-inclusive making

Sabine Wieluch (bleeptrack)
Verschwörhaus, Germany

Sabine Wieluch, or bleeptrack as her artist’s name goes, is a generative artist working with creative coding that “swaps over in the physical world”. She studied computer science with a focus on human-machine-interaction and machine learning. Currently, she is doing her PHD in computational creativity, and researching how she can support artists with AI algorithms.

“For me it was so important to find knowledge online, that I also enjoy giving knowledge back. This is why I publish all my stuff as open source or open hardware.”

Sabine got to know the maker community during her time at university and particularly in a course of prototyping for human-machine-interaction, where her group used bracelets to give individuals a “sixth sense of additional information”. This really sparked her interest and from that time it was an auto-didactic journey to figure stuff out.

The online community and the free access to knowledge is a big support.

When it comes to more specific knowledge, “having people to ask is the most helpful thing to have.”

In order to also give something back, Sabine works on publishing all of her work online as well using GitHub and also does YouTube documentaries, which is time-consuming, but “fun and rewarding to get more interactive with other people.”. 

Sabine feels lucky to have found a lot of “safe spaces”, with most members being very sensitive on how they interact with each other. But she also knows about the cis male dominance of the scene from firsthand experience, e.g., an experience at a maker fair.

“Visitors did not believe these were my own projects, just because I was female” she remembers.

Currently Sabine is working on a project, where a picture of a person is shot with a webcam. Using “creative coding and AI-magic”, she creates line drawings of their face, and these lines are then plotted by a physical pen-plotting-machine. 

Sabine often thinks about what her younger self would think about her, and hopes her younger self would be excited, as she always loved crafting. 

Message to her younger self:

Now, since I can do so much more, I would encourage my younger self. You can learn to use any tool you want. There is nothing limiting you, you can just try and figure it out and will work out in the end somehow.“

Sabine’s message to her younger self

For further inspiration: