Electronics for Artists is a course that introduces the use of electronics as a creative medium. The course covers some basic concepts and theory of electricity, various analog circuits, prototyping your own circuits, microcontroller programming, and the basics of PCB design.
It is not an engineering course. The course focuses on results and practice, not on the theory and the most efficient circuit design.
The course will also go through some essential tips for safety, use of various tools, best practices, and how to take care of the equipment and facilities.
On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
- Identify and explain the roles of physical computing and hardware hacking in the field of new media art.
- Interpret, implement and design electronic circuit schematics.
- Design and produce electronic circuits, physical computing prototypes and interactive artworks.
What do you need in class?
- A laptop with a USB port. Should be USB-A type so make sure you have an adapter if your computer has only USB-C
- Arduino IDE software installed. Download here: https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/Software
- A notebook and a pen/pencil. I highly recommend taking notes on paper. Or use an iPad or some other tablet where you can draw with a pencil.
- A kit of electronic parts. This will be provided for you during the first class.
Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, this course will be split into two groups and I need to unfortunately cut quite a lot of the content away from the course.
All course materials will be available on a specific course website: https://learn.mansteri.com/en/c/efa/
MyCourses will be mainly used for returning assignments, but I will always also add a link for each week's materials here.
- Wed, 18/11/2020 | Group A | Making Things Move
- Thu, 19/11/2020 | Group B | Making Things Move
- Wed, 25/11/2020 | Group A | Communication
- Thu, 26/11/2020 | Group B | Communication
- Wed, 02/12/2020 | Group A | TBA
- Thu, 03/12/2020 | Group B | TBA
Since I had to split the group into two, you are missing half the contact teaching hours that has been reserved for this course. Therefore, you will need to spend more time outside the classroom. I highly recommend not attending any courses during the workshop week in December but rather use that time to complete the final project for this course that you need to present during the Demo Day.
We have the space H003 (right next to Mechatronics) booked during the workshop week, you can setup your project there during that week. The space only allows 12 people to be there at the same time so 2 people need to always work in the Mechatronics Workshop, if we are all in at the same time.
You can sign up to the course Open Workshop for the workshop week. The aim of that course is to work for a week on any project of your choosing with common meetings in the mornings. I will be available for tutoring and this is an excellent way to complete your final project for this class.
If you are going to take some other workshop during the workshop week, make sure you have enough time in your schedule to spend on working on your project outside the class during Period 2.
Demo Day 16/12/2020
Finish your final project for the Demo Day and present it as your individual project or as part of our group documentation for the course.
Prior knowledge of electronics is not required, but it is recommended that you have some basic knowledge of programming.
You need to have completed Introduction to Creative Coding or some other basic programming course before taking this course.
General Course Guidelines
- This course focuses on projects based on stand-alone electronic projects (analog circuits and Arduino-based works).
- Try to focus on the electronics, Arduino programming, and physical computing side on your final project. Try to avoid working on a project that requires a computer to run. (Media Lab has many other courses that combine Pure Data, Processing, or other applications to your electronics projects. Let’s try to do something different here.)
- Although we do one very simple oscillator + audio amplifier project, this is not a synthesizer/noise making box workshop. You can work on something like that as your final project, but we are generally looking at things in a bit wider perspective. (Again, there is another course that focuses on experimental instruments)
- USING HIGH VOLTAGE AND/OR MAINS ELECTRICITY (230V AC in FInland) IS NOT ALLOWED. This is purely for safety reasons, since mains electricity can very easily be lethal if you don’t know what you are doing. We will be working only with fairly low DC voltages and low current.
- If you are planning on using anything above 12V of voltage or anything with current above 1 amp, make sure you double check your circuit with Matti.