Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Read and Response: Electric Body Manipulation as Performance Art

In the article about 'Electrical Body Manipulation as Performance Art: A Historical Perspective' by Arthur Elsenaar and Remko Scha is a take on how this form of art developed over time from the technological development of the 18th century to today's complete rewrite of what we believed technology to be and what it can accomplish. Electric performance art is split into three categories: pieces that treat the body merely as a tool of expressing the power behind an electric current, pieces that show the vulnerability of the human body, and finally, they see pieces that view that body as more of a kinematic system that can be controlled by electrical signals instead. The first coining of the phrase 'electricity' was invented by the Greeks when they discovered that amber had the power to attract small particles. It wasn't until the 18th century that electricity could  be used and harnessed  in same way by a man called Stephen Gray announced that he had found the means of 'electrical induction; when he transferred particles from one object to another by placing them close to one another. It wasn't until he demonstrated an experiment when he rubbed a charged glass tube with a piece of velvet, then transferred it to a soap bubble, and finally attracted a piece of silver leaf to it 2 inches away. With this experiment, Gray would go on to experiment on humans, and would become the first instance of 'Electrical Body Manipulation'. This form of body art is the first category mentioned in this paragraph, and took on a form of Christian overtones as people who were subjected to this form of art were reflecting a Judeo-Christian martyrdom and their bodies were merely used for demonstration. Another artist, Georg Matthias Bose, created a  piece called Venus Electrifica aka 'The Electric Kiss', and would charge an attractive female secretly, and when others would touch or kiss her they'd be in for shock. This became the first instance of 'Immediate Art'. Overtime, more and more experiments were done to in understanding how this 'electricity' worked, but more for the scientific part of understanding, and what with Nikola Tesla creating his coils that conduce currents of electricity large enough to be seen by the naked eye versus felt, it was apparent this wasn't going to stop anytime soon. The crucial change in understanding how electricity affected the human body and muscle stimulation technology was made by Guilame Benjamin Duchenne de Boulogne. Ducheene offered that with more control in 'electropuncture' and placing it carefully on certain muscles with the right amount of control you could stimulate certain muscles without affecting the entire structure. This form of electric is still used today by artists such as Stelarc, and Elsenaar themselves who wrote this article. Ducheene's idea continued onward into the 20th century when Stelarc and Elsenaar would hook themselves up to electric currents and be at the whim of an audience. These pieces were more focused on motions and patterns the body can undertake when stimulated as such versus being static and thus moved it from the world of visual art into theater art. Overtime, this form of body art has changed and morphed into today's art form of muscle stimulation as 'electric performance art' and is continually studied in science today, but it changed what could be done with something a small as an electrical charge.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Read and Response: The Art of Noise

In March of 1913, Luigi Russolo, a futurist painter, sent a letter containing the first ideas of 'Noise Art' , and within it explained, and deconstructed the ideas of taking regular noise that seems so commonplace now, and turning them into an art form of a musical score and prose. In this letter, he explained how he had become bored with the traditional sense of music in that 20 or so people belting out the same note on an instrument is now the commonplace. The 'Art of Noise' is to say taking a sound from the surrounding world, i.e. the sound of thunder combined with a clack! of a wood being struck then mixing in the buzzing of a bee and turning it into a form of music. Russolo states that noise art is split up into 6 categories of noise: 

  1. Load noises like roars and claps 
  2. Noises that maintain a length of time like whistles
  3. Soft noises like whispers and murmurs
  4. Shrill sounds like buzzes and jingles
  5. Percussive noises lie wood or metal
  6. Animal and Human noises like moans or screams. 

Russolo is what one would call a 'Futurist', a scientist and artist that very much explored and predicted what the 'future' would hold in terms of music and art. On June 2, 1913, Russolo would execute this idea to the world, and showcased for the first time the 'noise instruments' he invented with Ugo Piatti, a fellow painter and collaborator, and put on a the first 'Noise Art' show before a crowd of over 2000 people. It received mixed reviews, debaters of course as do all forms f new and strange art forms did in those days, but he would then later create more 'instruments' and have another show unveiling 15 noise instruments. This new form of noise art has thrived to the modern world of today in a new form called 'Rhythmic Art' where musicians and DJ's would take sound bites such as bending a circuit wire or a beep from a microwave and use it to make a song out of it. Russolo was a man far ahead of his time and his simple crazy idea still has an impact on today simply because he became bored of the violin.

Project 0: Upgrade your Wetware Final

This is my final poster in this Wet Ware upgrade project. My inspiration was mentioned in a previous post in how it was very much inspired by 'Ghost in the Shell' an anime film/series set in a cyberpunk world where humans have assimilated themselves with technology, and follows the exploits and missions of a group of enhanced soldiers that act as the world's cops/detectives/soldiers all in name of stopping cyber war criminals and other forms of cyber warfare.

The basis of my Wet Ware upgrade is not that much different from the series above because it is a great example of the possibility of where our future is headed as a society what with the constant need to upgrade technology and why not ourselves along the way. 'The Handheld' is pretty much a built in computer accessory all in one: A built in chip in the wrist that displays a keyboard for easy access, a 'thumb drive' to access the nearest port to log into a web interface, and a solar panel built into the back of the hand to keep it charged without using manual electricity. I think this would make an excellent upgrade in carrying around a much needed tool in this day and age without the hassle of carrying more than necessary on ones person.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Week 2: Solderless Breadboards

In lab, we learned how to make our very first solderless 'Breadboards'. But what is a 'Breadboard' and how does it relate to circuit boards? In the video link below, you can see visually how in the early days, people who would experiment with making a circuit for application using a 'Breadboard' and the name stuck when the created the actually connection board that we known of today.

Collin's Lab: The REAL Breadboard

In this post, I'll show you how we made our own boards for use, and how I experimented with the different resistors on hand.

What you'll need:

One Solderless Beadboard Kit; Some of the items pictured here were not used in this particle construction but will be used in a later project. For this project what you'll need is the:
  • Solderless Breadboard
  • Two 10mm LED lights
  • 9 Volt battery with Connector
  • Breadboard Jumpers
  • Connecting wires
  • 2 resistors
  • 1 KMG 50 V Resistor (To interrupt the resistors)
  • 1 chip

(In this kit, it came with a Arduino, small circuit chip, and alligator clips but we put those to the side)

Diagram to Follow:

First, by following the connector diagram, attach your chip, resistors, lights, and battery cable onto the breadboard first. You should feel something grip onto each connection very lightly as you push them into the slots so that they connect to the ground of the Breadboard:

When putting it together, it's easier to start with these components first before putting in the wires.

Then, connect the wires, and follow the diagram exactly or else it's not going to light up:

Then finally, you connect the battery to see if you placed all the slots into the right holes:

Once you celebrate that you have a working Breadboard, you can experiment with different resistors to get different blinking effects with your lights like I did and have way too much fun with that magic:

These resistors/capacitors interrupts the flow of electricity to the LED lights and causes them to blink intermittenly at different speeds. The ones with a higher voltage blink faster, and the ones with a lower voltage blink so slow you think that you broke a connection somewhere on the first try:

And then this guy in my class gave me this one, and my board lost it's fucking mind:

It was so fast my phone's camera capture rate couldn't even keep up with it.

Week 2: Debrief/Intro to Project 1: Integrate, Interact, Intervene

Intro to Project 1: Integrate, Interact, Intervene

In this project we will be working in groups of no more than three, and create a simple electronic circuit and find a place in public where it does not belong.

  • What will you need to make the device integrate/interact/intervene within the environment?
  • Why there?
  • What is the function?
  • Will it scream out for attention or fade into the surroundings?
  • Will it make statement?
Document the Project for your Blog:

  • Write a narrative of the experience(s)
  • Post visual evidence: Images are good, but video, stop motion animation, etc. are more effective to communicate a complex interaction.
  • The presentation will be done in a class critique

In Class Work:

We made our very first Breadboards, a solder less circuit board that makes two lights blink intermittently. Afterwards, we experimented with resistors to see the difference of speeds in the lights.


Make a 'Read and Response' post to these articles:

  • Art of Noise
  • Electric Body Manipulation

Also, go over the videos on how to correctly use the soldering irons we'll start using next week

Week 1: LED Throwies

Jumping off the post on the basics of electricity, I'm going to show you how to make an LED throwie, a simple little project that isn't too costly, and something fun to do with your friends. Also it is a simple little doodad that is a real world application of how a circuit works:

What you'll need:

  • Scissors
  • Electrical Tape
  • CR2032 Lithium Batteries
  • Strong little rare earth magnets
  • 10 mm diffused LED lights

Basic build of an LED light

First thing is to check that you have the right legs of the light attached to the right side of your battery so that you know you have a connection and that either your battery or light is working like so:

Then, take your magnets, and place them on your battery and LED legs so that it's stays on the battery. Note that can still move around a bit because the magnet is strong, but not super strong like glue. I'd suggest no glue so that you can use the light and magnets again after the battery has died.

Now, cut a piece of electrical tape and wrap it around your throwie:

And there's your LED throwie! A super easy project to do when you're bored, want to suprise your friends at work and throwing it on random metallic objects or attaching it to your keys when it's stuff inside of your bag at night, and just a simple execution of  how a circuit works.

Week 1: Debrief (Pt. 2) What is Electricity?

  • Go over topics and slides on Electricity and make notes on them
Electricity Fundamentals:
  • By understanding how this natural phenomena occurs, Electricity can help you understand how your electronic projects will work
  • There is fundamentally little difference in the stuff we access from a battery or socket with lightning
  • Electricity is the FLOW of an electrical CHARGE; This means electrons are moving
  • AC/DC- alternating current/direct current
  • At the basis of this Atomic structure, the atom is built of three specific building blocks: Neutrons, Protons, and Electrons. Each of these entities has a charge.

  • The Electrons orbit the nucleus (Protons and Neutrons) but normally because of a Electrostatic force. Sometimes though they can shear off one atom and jump to another, this is the basis for the Electrical Flow.

  • The Electrostatic Force acts like phenomena that you know with Magents, where like chages repel and dissimilar charges attract. This is what usually keeps the electrons orbiting the nucleus. This is the glue of our Universe.
  • The outermost electron in the copper atom, aka the VALENCE e-, the furthest away from the protons, thus the force is the weakest and this electron moves from atom to atom fairly easily. When this occurs it is referred to as the current, ELECTRICAL CURRENT!

Video on Carbon Atoms Moving

  • Conductivity- Some materials have these free wheeling valence electrons and some don't. The Materials that have an e- that moves more easily called conductors, material/atoms that don't have the easily movable e- are insulators.

*Please note that these are a spectrum*

  • Electrons induce friction as they move along
  • All materials have Resistance
  • It can be low to high depending on the atoms in the material
  • It should be considered as a spectrum of values better conductors or less conductors as an example
  • High enough electrical current can force through something normally considered an insulator (Opposite is true)
  • IMPORTANT: There are plenty of 'New, Modern' materials designed to do opposite of conventional wisdom
Potential Energy

  • This relates very much to how gravity works even though there are some hefty physics behind this
  • In lamens terms, a current wants to flow from a postivie to a negative; Think of a ball at the top of a hill rolling down hill- Dpeending on how high it is up the hill, the ball has a lot of potential at the top
(More info on this in 'Circuit' section below)
  • The potential energy is the kicker to get an electrical current going
  • The potential is known as the VOLTAGE
  • It acts like a pressure in a system to get the current flowing
  • This will only happen if the positive is connected continuously to the ground, then you have a continuity

  • Positive to Negative (Positive to Ground) is the convention current flow (Ironically the electrons flow the other direction)

What is a Circuit?
  • A continuous current in a roughly circular line, route, or movement that starts or finishes at the same place
  • In terms of electricity, it means that electrical sources are like pumps. Pumps always have two sides, and outlet that blows something out, and an inlet that sucks something up.
  • We build these circuits because we want electricity do useful things. We create these circuits so that we can make the current flow to light up, make noise, runa program, etc. We call these things 'loads', because they 'load down' the power supply like how we are 'loaded down' when carrying stuff.
(How an LED Throwie works)
  • Short Circuit- DO NOT DO THIS!!! If you connect a wire directly from the positive to the negative side of a power supply, you can cause your battery to die or worse; A Chort Circuit can be attached to the ground by mistake and will cause friction, and friciton causes heat so next thing you know, you've burned the entire lab to the ground
  • An OPEN CIRCUIT has a break in the path; The device or action you are trying to perform will not perform/occur unless you CLOSE the path

  • In the next section, we'll cover how this diagram applies to show the relationship between the voltage (V), current (I), and resistance(R)

Ohm's Law
  • Goerg Ohm codified the relation between Voltage, Resistance, and Amperage published in 1827
The Trinity
  • Voltage is the difference in charge between two points
  • Current is the rate at which the charge is flowing
  • Resistance is the material's tendency to resist the flow of charge (Current)
  • Think of a hose pushing out water as a current; The higher the pressure, the higher the flow and vice versa
  • With electricity, we measure charge flowing through the circuit over time
  • Current is measures in AMERES (aka "Amps") the number pf particles passing a point per second
  • Amps are represented in equations by the letter "I"
  • 1 Amp= 6,241,507,648,655,549,400 e- per second

  • Voltage is electrical pressure
  • The more potential that wants to flow to the ground
  • The more water there is in the tank, the higher the charge, and the more pressure there is measured in the outlet

  • There is a relationship that can found between current adn voltage
  • You can output the same amount of Current by increasing the pressure (Voltage) on a system
  • So this action can help anticipate the other way you could effect this

  • Resistance is measured in Ohm's schematics with the Greek letter 'Omega'
  • Resistance can be placed onto a system o control current by using a component called a resistor
  • Resistance is a material's tendency to resist the flow of charge (Current)
  • If we have similar values for voltage but different resistance, the currant value will change

  • This is a common mnemonic to help remember the equation
  • The Triangle suggests Ohm's Law in that: I=V/R, R=V/I, V=I*R
  • Note that when using these formulae, V will be measure d in Volts, I (amerage) in Amperes, and R (resistance) in Ohms

  • You choose to add an LED that can only handle 30mA (milliamps) of current to your project so you can tell the battery is on. You know the source is a 9v battery. What value resistor should you choose to keep the LED from turning into slag heap?
  1. V= 9 volts, R= 30 miliAmps (.30)
  2. V=I*R
  3. I=V/R= 9/.03
  4. That value will keep the 9 volt battery to a 30 mA current

Week 1: Debrief (Pt. 1)


  • Review Syllabus and what the class entails for the semester
  • Set-up blog and send link to teacher via email/Setup Google Drive share folder with teacher
  • Order tools needed for the semester (Need them ASAP)
  • Read over notes and articles on Electricity to go over next week
  • Look over Instructables on LED throwies
  • Read Physical Computing (Igoe, O'Sullivan) Intro and Chapter 1
*This was literally the first day during that awkward week so all we did was set up blogs and such and go over the syllabus

Monday, January 11, 2016


This was meant to be my first post, but I have a tendency to start a conversation without introducing myself; My name's Lyani and this blog is dedicated to Interactive Design concepts and how I'll be having a breakdown every week for each project.

Sunday, January 10, 2016


For this project, we were to create the possible 'Upgrade' one would receive to enhance themselves in a way to adapt to the constant change and upgrading we all experience when introduced to a new for m of technology. Examples like the Six Million Dollar Man and the Borgs from Star Trek is the best way to describe what it means to upgrading your 'Wet ware'. For me the best example of 'Wetware would be the 'Ghost in the Shell' series.
'Ghost in the Shell' is a cyberpunk anime set in a not so distant future where mankind has slowly integrated themselves with technology whether by choice, or by our main protagonist, Major Motako Kusanagi whom after an accident when she was a child had her brain placed cybernetically through a robotic brain. (Mature Content Below)

(Major Motako)

(Motako's Cyborg Body)

(Cybernetic Brain)

(Enhanced Hands for searching/hacking faster)

My idea, not quite as advanced but a start in a way, is to have an implanted transmitter that creates a holographic keyboard that links into a computer interface so one can be attuned in typing and searching the web. And the 'thumb drive' started as a bad pun, then actually turned into a cool idea. In the center of the palm there would be a solar panel to power the device and not drain on electricity and would be a full charge at all times, and would still be a functioning hand at the same time due to the indiscretion of the device itself kind of like wrist tattoo.