NESbyt is a circuit bent NES game console I bent way back in 1999.

It has a 2 glitch switches, an audio input that controls some aspect of glitchiness, and an RF antennae wire hooked into the RF output board (shield removed) which adds strange color washes over the pixelated mess when grasped by hand. I also use a paint-encrusted paintbrush as a controller of sorts by shoving it into the cartridge slot area, shorting pins with the brush's metal end and moving the cartridge-card subtly around.

It is pretty primitive compared to what benders are doing with NESes now (like this one by the amazing multi-spanning glitch-art genius of Phil Stearns (Pixel Form)), but I had only an afternoon to bend it, and at that time I had just been bending for a few years. As far as I can determine, this may be one of the earliest (intentionally) circuit bent NESes.

It can only play the original split game that came with the system, Mario Bros/Duckhunt, as the cartridge has been pulled apart and semi-permanently adhered to the cartridge slot. The game is still fully playable, Mario as well as Duck hunt, but is a little difficult due to the glitchy blockage.

It was bent 02/1999 for Omnimedia vs BOLT, Omni-Micro: Lo-Bit Dueling Consoles, 02/20/99, a classic video game themed audioVisual spectacular at Blasthaus in San Francisco. BOLT (Bureau Of Low Technology) was Blasthaus' in-house tech/projection/video game geeks and they covered the walls with their classic video game 16mm promo film projections mixed with projected NESbyt all to a soundscape provided by 9 sound artists who were assigned sounds and effects from classic video games to use as audio fodder.

See my page here about the Omni-Micro show, including a download of the CD of all the audio artists that was produced afterward.

I'm just unearthing the gadget now from a long interment in my garage. After being used for the OmniBOLT show, I put it away and have only fired it up once or twice since.

It still works!


Feburary 1999

Dimensions: appx 12" x 9" x 3"
Current Status:

Uncomfortably stacked in my garage of doom:
Garage of Doom 01

Garage of Doom 02

AudioVisual Bits:

Here's a video on Vimeo of NESbyt. Music by People Like Us (with The Jet Black Hair People) from the album "People Like Us Meet The Jet Black Hair People...In Concert!" strangely also from 1999, (Audioview 005, Belgium). See what I did there?

Here is a short video artifact of the Omnimedia vs BOLT show at Blasthaus (with univac in the lighted fez providing the explanation and NESbyt making an appearance at 01:55), 02/20/1999, put together by Erich Shienke, BOLT media monster and formerly of Blasthaus.