Friday, March 18, 2016

Week 6: Project 01- Integrate, Interact, and Intervene,

For this project, we were to create a piece that involved all that we had learned from creating throwies and blinky lights and make something that made people want to be engaged or interested in the piece. For our project, we had a hard time trying to figure out what we were going to do and where we were going to put it for documentation. Our first idea came from Tony and Jennifer, my partners. to design some type of fur suit that light up and we'd jump out of the bushes and such for people to interact with. But with what time we had, and how complicated that seemed we moved on. So, then, I came up with an idea that spurred from last semester's class where one group made a huge light board of Van Gogh's 'Starry Night' and one person made a smaller lightboard and depicted 'The Little Dipper' constellation. I came up with this:

This is the 'Cygnus' constellation, and it would be light up with white, with blue tips on a blackboard that have small painted stars, and some would blink... or that was the plan. Also, thre would be a pee line comingn ou the back of it, and we'd place it in the girls bathroom.

FOr this project, all we needed were circuits boards to reset, about 10-15 LED lights, a blackborad to set it on, and three partners for everything to go to shit.

We grabbed some leftover PCB boards from the Van Gogh project, and were planning to desolder them to add on different light colors. Since my blinky project worked on the first go, and I knew how to desolder, I was left to getting these to work. Needless to say, I was Icarus and flew to close to the sun.

(Me after trying to find myself into a higher place after a couple of hours)

(Kayla tried to help)

So we, or should I say I, gave up on the blinky project after fiddleing with it, and failing for the week, and we just decided to have regular LED throwies stuck through the board instead. 

I took the board home, and painted on the stars and punched the holes through, and grabbed some batteries that were still working from the Van Gogh project; Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. I met with Toni before her class started and we stuck the lights through without attaching the batteries to save power, and left them in her and Jen's hands as I had to run off to my class.

From what I understand, we couldn't put it in the girls bathroom (LAME!) and my group decided to leave it above a TV in the Argo Gallery at a separate table, and documented from afar.

Here are the results:

I was not expecting someone to just take it that made me laugh.

The project itself has a subtly to it that would seem like any piece you'd hand in a space to give it a little life, and placing something so alien in the Commons area of course would gain some attention outside of the art building where you can always expect something to happen that it become mundane. It functions as more of a piece of artwork to be gazed upon, aside from that one girl, rather than something to touch and an action where to happen.

The experience itself involved a lot of failure, mostly n my part when involving the circuit boards, but it is also something I can take into the next project with the noise circuit project. Overall, I did have fun in coming up with ideas, and working my team to try and figure out this project, and it's fun to turn a pice of work and make it involved with a circuit to give it just a little something extra.

Week 4: TNM Circuit Intro

For our next soldering project, we made a 'Noise Circuit'. Created by Reed Ghazala when he accidentally bent a circuit creating a strange noise that wasn't intended, he created 'Circuit Bending' and this a new form of art and music was formed. We're doing the same by making our own 'Noise Circuits' following the basic process from the blink circuit by trying it out with a Breadboard first to hear what 'pleasing' noises we can make.

For this project, I followed Circuit Diagram #2:

What you'll Need:

            • Solderless Breadboard
            • Two 10k Resistors
            • Two Capacitors ranging from 100uF-200uF (This helps make different sounds when you touch the wires)
            • LM386 IC Chip
            • One small speaker
            • Battery Circuit Attachment
            • Touch Point Wires
            • 9V Battery

As before with the blinky circuit, attach your smaller components firs paying close attention to where each leg attach the ground and the IC chip

And by adding your jumper cables to attach the electricity throughout the board, and the jumper cables for touching and there you are! The board will make noise if you attach the battery, but will change noises if you touch the wires so that your body acts as a conduit, and it should start changing noises and chirps and whistles.

And that's me having more fun than I should

And this is what it sounds like:

Week 7: Noise Project

For this project, we had to create 'Noise Circuits', inspired by Reed Ghazala's discovery of bending circuit wires and boards to create an alien sound from it. First thing, the materials:

In this project, I unwittingly grabbed the wrong circuit board, and grabbed a tactile noise circuit #3:

No worries! There isn't much variation in this circuit save for one less resistor. You'll need the same components found in the TNM circuit intro post, but you'll also need:
  • Tactile Noise Circuit #3 board
  • Dip Socket
  • Electrical Wire
  • Wire Cutters
  • Wire Strippers
  • Bolts, Nuts, and Washers (Not pictured; the ones I used were 1/8)
Also, this is where we can introduce a Dip Socket:

Dip Sockets act how solderless breadboards, that center of the board that is empty, and that you can replace and change out IC units without worrying about burning the board itself if it were to short circuit when you add electricity to it.

What you see here is Thomas, my teacher, having to resolder one of the wires of the speakers because the wire breaks very easily if you don't have it secured somehow during travel or when creating your noise circuit. The wires are really thin when they're stripped from the wax casing, and can break easily off a soldered point so it would best to superglue the wires in the center portion between the negative and positive wires.

For this circuit, I chose Tactile Circuit #3 where you'll only have 1 resister, 3 capaciters, and five touch points. You can choose any capacitor between 100-200k in order for it to work, and each combination you do you get a different sound so my suggestion is to try out different capacitors and combinations until you get a sound that you like. I choose 2 100k capacitors that were the same, and grabbed a different one, 100k/64f,  to give it a different sound.

The first step is to solder on the dip socket, resistor, and capacitors. I unfortunately lost the picture to show how clean the back is to this circuit board especially since you don't want any bridges of solder, or any wires touching each other in the back. Clip those wires so that your board doesn't cause a short circuit and you can save an IC chip. If you soldered correctly, and attached a battery, your circuit should be making noise anytime you touch the gold squares on your circuit, and it varies in sounds, squeaks, and buzzes.

Your circuit should work every time you touch it, or it makes noise by itself dependent on what capacitor it uses or if senses electrical charges around it. 

Next, you're going to pretin your touch point with solder points to attach your wires to.

This will make it easier when you attach your stripped wires, which you should pretin as well.

I have 6 wires pictured, but for this you only need 5 for this project. I have one extra wire just in case I need it.

Take your soldering iron, and heat up the touch point tin, and attach your wires to the globs of tin until they harden. In the end, you should have a working circuit board that reacts to you touching the wires. Depending on your board, you'll need to hold two or three wires in order for your board to make noise so test different wire touch points at first before you resolder thinking it's not soldered correctly.

Here's what mine sounded like after adding the wires:

 Adding your Touch Points:

For my touch points I used small bolts, nuts, and washers. Also, I suggest you grab some small clamps to hold your washers, and so that you don't get burned in the process.
*Note that for this circuit board, you can use any kind of touch point as long as it's a conductive metal live nuts, bolts, screws, paperclips, etc. I chose nuts and bolts because it's cheap, you can get a lot of them for a small price, and works for this project.

Unlike your components that heat up quickly because they are so thin, these touch points need a while to heat up in order for the solder to be attracted to the heat, and they need a long time to cool down as well before you can go forward with your project. My suggestion, get a metal surface, i.e. a cooking pan, so that you can set your touch points on so that the heat disperses, and you don't burn your work space by mistake.

First, heat up your washer so that you can ad a glob of lead to attach your wire to it.

Next, be patient in this part because it takes a bit longer for the lead to cool down and harden around the wire, and keep as steady of a hand as possible so it doesn't pop out of the tin.

Last, attach your bolts and nuts around the touch point so that you have a surface area to touch and your circuit to react. Also, add some lead between the nut and bolt to make sure you have a stable hold onto the washer.

Final Project:

For this project, with all of what's happened before, it has lead to what I used to create this strange little item for 'pet' purposes. What you'll need:

I used this umbrella as means of creating a bellow for my noise circuit to be loud and annoying, and perfect for people who are on a budget. this umbrella is a heavy duty umbrella that cost a little of $5 that you can get at Home Depot, and it very strong and durable. What you'll need to do it cut a small incision close to the top of the umbrella, weave your wire through, wrap around the stem, and the eletrical tape will help keep your touch points in place. Unfortunately, I accidentally deleted what the taped part of the stem looked like, but really it's just wrapping the wire and tape as you go as long as a touch point is still visible and you can touch it.

The inside is where you really want to be secure in place. Attach your circuit board into the innermost part of the umbrella to protect it from being jostled around and wires start breaking.

What's great about the speaker is that it has a magnet surrounding the bottom and it can attach itself easily to the metal rods of the umbrella without moving around too much.

So this is what it sounded like when it was finally put together:

Monday, March 7, 2016

Week 9: Debrief

Arduino Notes:


  • TempRead= senorPin1
  • tempRead= 50;
  • greenLed= tempRead* .33
When you make a database, there is a list, and they're called 'arrays'
  • arrays- list
  • int  myArray[)- square bases always denote and 'array'; it just tells you that this variable is an array
  • {}- holds the list (value1,value2,value3)
  • comma/ ','- delineates each of the values
    • etc.- int myArray[5]
  • This is called a Declaration
    • myArray[4]= 10;
  • x= myArray[10]
  • Example: Declare an Array of bytes
    • byte flicker[]= {180, 30, 255, 200, 10, 90, 150, 60}
  • OWM- on the Arduino, the Pulse, Width, and 
  • &&= 'or'
Constants- PI, TRUE, FALSE

if (b=TRUE){
do this now;

if (var<=32){
do something(;



  • }
else if(var<=45 && var>=22)}
  • {



for ( initial; condition; expression ){



This week was definitely a focus on starting and understanding how to use our Arduino's coding and processing and how we going to be introducing it into our final projects as it is required for it. I'm liking it because I've done coding before in the introductory classes for digital art, but it's definitely going very fast into what we're going to have to do for the final project. By next week, we are to come up with some ideas for our final, and pitch them to the class and our teacher for discussion.

Week 9: Final Project Ideas (At least some of them)

First Idea:

I was thinking about creating a pendulum piece (not as many balls though) where it can change colors with each hit with some kind of sensor as each ball connects with the next ball as it swings back and forth.

Second Idea:

Roy Lichtenstein's pop comic artwork is another idea as I prefer to make more of an aesthetic take on this project. With this, I want to create some sort of wall piece that change colors to create different panels of comic colors.

Third Idea:

I've currently been interested in mushroom forms as they are some strange natural geometric form, and I'd want to create something that is a more structured shape of these forms to create and installation or these guys strewn about the room, building, or campus.