Reading Responses

Write a multi-paragraph response to each text.

Technical Requirements:
  • Each 'essay' must be no less than two paragraphs of four sentences each.
  • The first paragraph should summarize the primary points of the text and what you have learned. This might require you to write a longer paragrah.
  • The second paragraph should include any insights or thoughts you had in response to the content of the writing. DO NOT comment on your feelings about how it was written, but the material covered.
  • Your writings will then be posted to your web class documentation. They should be organized into a unique folder labeled "reading responses" and be linked through the index page.
  • Because this is an ART class -- not an english class -- feel free to display these as you see fit, using your artistic knowledge and preferences. When I say you should write an 'essay,' I mean that very loosely. Don't just write words... make visual art out of these assignments.

Project 1: machine love poetry

Write a love poem as if you were a machine or from the viewpoint of a machine. This poetry will be written in code format -- in any programming language -- and the program must run to completion.

Objectives: Methodology

For a long time, artists have been playing with how code and bodies and art work together. The first known proposal for writing poetry in computer programming languages is from 1962 and appeared in the first manifesto of the Oulipo, a group of poets and mathematicians

During the 1990's, the movement gained noteriety for utilizing the internet browser as a medium for producing and creating art. These experiments are an important lesson in hacking and the Human Machine Interface.

This quick assignment is for you to think of how a love poem would be written by a computing machine. Your poem should be written into code, although the code should NOT simply display the text. Instead, feel free to make poetry out of the program you write. This assignment should be very similar to one done in Interactive Art.

Think about what the word poetry means. For example, if you use hypertext markup language, you might use a standard form of poetry and alter it using hypermedia or you can be very creative in your interpretation of what a poem actually is. Your piece does not have even resemble a poem but it must be an exploration of an idea in a less than literal way.

Important Notes:
All should read Black Perl to understand this assignment. Here is a great list of a few additional perl poems written by poets and artists, also viewed at Graham Harwood's site.

Hypertext poetry

Project 2: LED Throwies

Create a simple circuit LED and document a variation on Graffiti Research Lab's design.

Objectives: Methodology:

In class, we will construct simple LED throwies as a part of our class LAB on conductivity.

You will put some thought into how you would like to extend the original project's idea. You will execute this design and document it.

Documentation for this project and throughout the class is to be an artistic expression of the ephemeral actions you did. You should NOT simply take pictures and post them to the internet. As artists, you are to creatively solve how to make an interesting presentation of your documentation, using skills learned in the pre-req courses. For examples of past students, see [HERE] and [HERE].

All documentation must then be created for your web portal and uploaded before class. In class, we will discuss and review your approach for documentation.

Important Links:

Project 3: simple circuit insertion


Create a simple electronic circuit and place it where it does not belong.

Objectives Methodology:

In class Lab, we will build the blinky light kit. To review this circuitry, see a similar circuit [HERE].You will be required to alter this circuit in a way that interacts with your selected public environment. You will then document the placement of your object in its new public environment. This can include any public interaction with your device and any observations you make during the deployment. Consider carefully how your object will work in the public field. Think through strategies that will create a powerful connection between the object and its new environment -- such as visible, mundane, camoflage, reusing a space, reskinning your device, etc.

The documentation of this project is to be a unique form of expression and artwork, as demonstrated in class. Documentation can include photos, videos, audio recording, survey results, interviews, shadow puppet theatre, etc.

Technical Requirements:
Part 1: Write a research Paragraph
Write a paragraph for two artists listed in the Research section of this project page. Each paragraph should summarize the artist's use of public space and how you intend to emulate similar ideas for your project 1.

Part 2: Build revised blinky kit
Demonstrate your completed circuit in class.

Part 3: Documentation Presentation
Walk us through the documentation of your project and the conceptual framework of the completed experiment.

Important Notes:

Since the experiments in the 1950's and 60's by artists like the Gutai group andAlan Kaprow the ideas of treating Art as Life has been a provocative and alluring idea for many artists

Whether you call it Intervention or Culture Jamming, inserting oneself or art objects into contemporary and unsuspecting public locations is a prime method of questioning the nature of all authority. First, it questions the nature of the social controls that we rely on each and every day to make a living, find a place to live, etc., but it is also challenges the authority of the gallery, museum, and other places art in supposed to reside. Even when we get to see a a public sculpture which resides much more visibly to public, we know that it is part of this system from the bronze plaque and and the carefully arranged plinth, pavement, and plantings that surround it.

The archives of the ART world, that is to say the museums, galleries, and other structures ordained to show art are part of the everyday systems of categorization and delineation. Just like how you guys are delineated now. You are student on a campus removed from the everyday experience by the systems of the campus. You are sitting toward the rear of the room while I am in the front, delineated by education.

Most of us engage and perform in these institutions and systems because they provide a means to succeed in a number of ways (financially, professionally, socially) and the artificial divides create separations that also hinder if not success at least access. The gallery-museum system creates a sacred space. "Well this must be art because it is in the museum (officially sanctioned)".

But what about the rest of spaces? Outside the gallery-museum must contain over 99% of the space in which we live and socialize. You should be realizing now, that there is a a great big exhibition space, the public, that is begging for art, intervention, and to be jammed culturally.

Constraints: Grading:
This is an advanced level course. As such, students are expected to put forth high quality work. Projects throughout the semester will be graded on a pass/fail basis based on the level of completion. A project which doesn't meet high standards of completion and execution will fail.

Research Notes:
Following are links for your research entries.

Project 4: map an electronic


A mapping of the history and deconstructing of an object.


This is a preparatory project and the emphasis is on how you can create art from your documentation.

You should have purchased or found a piece of electronic you will eventually hybridize. You will meticulously take this object apart and document everything. Take pictures of every component. Dissect the core chunks of what makes the object work. Research and explain how the mechanisms and systems work.

Someone should be able to put back together the object from your instructions. It is required that you include circuit diagrams as best as you can!

Project 5: the Hybrid or "It hurts so bad/good UI design"


Create a series or class of art object(s) or create a performance, based on electronic gadgets /tools that allows you explore the human machine interface dynamics and expectations that are postulated in the book (Chapter 1-2). Explore issues of ease of use, user interface and purpose, what is part of us? What is seperate form us? What can you do with simple electronics parts, and tools to play with this notion of intuitive (transparent) vs. conscious (opaque).


Use the techniques of hacking, circuit bending and 're-skinning' the material to make or alter the behavior of your object in Project 4. This is reconstruction using hybrid elements.

This project permits you to alter the systems in any way you see fit. As we have been discussing in class, the machine can exist beyond a functional object if we challenge the nature of that object and our interaction with it.

For this assignment, you will integrate your Project 4 object into another electronic or interface. As a requirement of this assignment, you are to shift the purpose of both objects so that your result does NOT match the function of either. Believe in the extreme and strange. Look for simple solutions to the problem. And embrace the duct tape manifesto: everything can be merged together

To accomplish this task, you will need to have a working understanding of electronic theory and various models of the objects you are merging. Use the internet as a resource to do what you want to accomplish. Come to me with specific questions we can research together.

The finished project/hybrid should DO something and can fit into our installation space provided in the Fine Arts Center.

All documentation should be in web format and uploaded before class critique. This documentation should also be a stand-alone art performance.

Important Links

Here are a few projects done by past students and other artists

Project 6: 3 Final Project Proposals

Read about different inputs for an arduino board from this list: (everything from inputs down to communication). After you have familiarized yourself with all of them, please select three input methods which interest you. You will need to further familiarize yourself with these inputs by doing research outside of the site listed above. Visit Instructables and search on google to learn as much as you can about these three input methods.

Design and describe a project proposal for each. Create a clear set of documentation to present in class about your series of projects. This documentation will be in the form of a presentation you will give in class. You must be as clear as possible. You are graded based on whether or not we understand the design and purpose of this project.

Select inputs for which you would really want to work on and get excited about. This will lead us to organize groups based on the inputs you want to incorporate. Keep in mind that these projects will be using the arduino as a control device and you will need to have them use relays as part of that control (unless your project idea is so amazing that you don’t need AC current to power it).

Conduct research and consult with Instructor as to which devices are appropriate in the timeframe of the project. The projects can be based on further investigations into the ideas of the mini projects and/or the Readings in the NBC book up to Chapter 8. The projects should all be some exploration of the cultural and technological issues surrounding human machine interaction we have discussed in class. Paying attention to Aesthetics is important but not critical for this first deadline.

Documentation should not just be imagery, but fully explore and explain how this project could be completed. In many ways, you will need to write a complete instructables-style explanation of all your constructed circuits, etc.

Stage 1:

Do research into various devices and possible input methods. Detail all information you need for those specific inputs and how you could use them.

Stage 2:

Design a project for each input which explores human/machine interface as well as relationships with the installation space. These final projects will be installations. WARNING: You MAY use instructables and other hacking sites as a launching point for your projects, but you CAN NOT simply recreate a proejct.

Stage 3:

Create a professional presentation which explores and explains your project to the class. Imagine you are presenting this proposal to a company that you need their funding. Be clear, concise and use well crafted prototyping models/imagery.

DO NOT THROW this presentation together without care for the finished result. To see some examples of simple one page proposals, see the Climate Clock proposal exhibition page. These images are one-page descriptions -- only showing a shorthand version of the full presentations given by the artists in person.

FINAL PROJECT: Group project

Research and develop a project of more detail, scope, and sophistication and make a final presentation with online documentation - including text, image and video. It must involve some fabrication of a soldered electronic hardware device and use the arduinos. The content of the work must address at least 1 of the issues brought up in the readings and discussions.

Specifically relate it to one of the topics/issues/philosophies brought up the NBC book. In addition, the project must have a completeness and resolution to the work. This project will be graded not just on technical merits but also conceptual and formal aesthetics. There are 2 options you can consider: Option A: It can be an evolution/continuation based on the ideas in your prototype project. Option B: It can be a completely new project in context with the topics mentioned above.

Important: Attention to your projects formal qualities, giving a good presentation and documentation will very important and will be graded as such. To receive a complete grade you must be complete all 3 phases mentioned below including presenting on the due day to the class.

The hacking and circuit bending aesthetic is encouraged. Leveraging or 'borrowing' each others logic circuits is also encouraged. Final version must be documented in action and demonstrated in class.

Here are two examples of a completed final project to give you an idea of the complexity and polish required for this group project: (Gaming) the Prisoner's Dilemma
This project utilizes input from the wii remote and an array of IR LEDs to control an avatar tank on the screen. The collision detection from the software determines the shock stimulus released by the arduino circuit.

Inflatable Plastic
A project which explores spacial relationships and tension between the user and the machine.

TIP: Make sure to be honest with yourselves if -- as a group -- you have the skill and knowledge and ability to finish everything you need to make this project successful. You should challenge yourself, but don't outreach yourself.

Phase 1 -

Publish on your web site and present what your final project will be and how it will be constructed and presented. Please provide several sketches/diagrams of what it will look like. Include text describing how your project addresses at least 1 of issues brought up in the readings and discussions. Also include 2 other art and artist examples that are working in the field related to yours.

This phase should be easy due to the work done in Project 6. You can find lots of art examples in context to human/machine issues at the massive example artist reource: Intersections of Art, Technology, Science & Culture

Phase 2 -

Present project progress and document it on your web site. By this time, your project should be working in breadboard/prototype stage but need to be refined. See Schedule for dates.

Phase 3 -

Present the project on the due date and provide on-line documentation with videos and text to provide context. DUE TUESDAY APRIL 24TH