Who is Sideman 5000?

Side Man 5000 is the world’s oldest (and heaviest) commercially available drum machine. It was made in 1959 by the Wurlitzer Company.

Side Man is very rare and fascinating! Take it apart, restore it to use, and you can learn a lot about the history of technology, as well as the fundamentals of electro-mechanical operation that’s every bit as relevant today.

Who is Darsha Hewitt?

Darsha Hewitt is the (self-titled) Queen of the funnest DIY Electronics. She is an artist and presently teaches at Bauhaus University in Weimar Germany. You can learn about all of her projects here: darsha.org


A Side Man 5000 Adventure is video series produced and hosted by artist Darsha Hewitt where the electro-mechanical “Cadillac of drum machines” is a window into a world of shimmering vacuum tubes and high-voltage oscillations.

A Side Man 5000 Adventure is a unique, long-form, episodic lesson both in media archeology and the basics of physics, electronics, and mechanical design. It’s the first ever comprehensive technical documentation of a machine that made history. And it’s a must-watch series for anyone interested in learning more about music, electronic history, or how things work.

Step inside Darsha’s studio and let the music move you — with some robotic electro-mechanical ballroom beats.

A Side Man 5000 Adventure is a project realized in the context of the Art and Civic Media research program of the Innovation Incubator at the Leuphana University of Lüneburg and in cooperation with the Leuphana Arts Program. The Innovation Incubator Lüneburg is an EU major project supported by the European Regional Development Fund and the federal state of Lower Saxony.

Further support for this project was provided by FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) – Liverpool,  The Human Futures Project and The Office of Equal Opportunity at The Bauhaus-Universität Weimar.


Host: Darsha Hewitt
Drawings: Darsha Hewitt
Technical Consultant & Special Guest: Daniel Stigler
Camera Person: Lauren Moffatt
Editor: Lauren Moffatt
Translation: Alice Dziewinski
Website: polynr./Katrin Caspar