Week 10: Prototype Testing and Preparation

[Kuuki’s e. Menura supurba]

Assessment 2: Prototype presentation provides an opportunity to test your ideas into physical form, and to solicit response and feedback from an informed audience. Bearing in mind: one of the key concepts explored is interaction in terms of audience experience. You should be testing and examining this central idea in the prototype presentation.

This assessment has now moved to week 11, which will allow you to dedicate this week’s class (and the following mid-session break) to get your prototype up and running for the accessible presentation.

Continue reading

Lecture 10 Architecture and Immersion

In this week’s lecture we shift our focus to how we experience space. When we walk around a new building, we explore the interior spaces through our senses, we may chance upon entrances and exits, we may be guided through passages and corridors, we experience built spaces intuitively. Architecture is movement in space and passage through time and there are no still moments. Inhabiting within architecture is a designed experience – it can be immersive.

What can we learn from architecture to create meaningful and affective experiences in media artworks? To continue the theme that arose from last week’s lecture, we will explore the possibility of media arts in creating spaces and systems that are capable of inspiring transformation.

This lecture examines practices of artists, architects and designers including Olafur Eliasson, Phillip Beezley, Fujiko Nakaya in how they incorporate environmental thinking into embodied experiences. We examine how the use of space, technologies and materials in constructing systems, can enable artists and designers to produce wonderful / wondrous experiences that engage us and transform our view of the world.

Lecture 9 System and Transformation

In this lecture, we will keep our focus on objects, but instead of looking at objects, as we did week, we will look at class of things. We will examine the systems we use to categorise found objects and organise them into collections. Specifically, we will analyse how da wunderkammer, the contemporary museum, and artworks arrange objects and build knowledge.

Our focus will be on the physical display and presentation of material objects and the different systems that produce different experiences for an audience – different forms of engagement.

We will look at the artworks of Joseph Cornell, Mark Dion, and Fiona Hall in how these re-work the wunderkammer or museum concept, but more importantly, how they function to transform our knowledge through materials.

Again, this lecture will provide the relevant contexts for the major project of the subject – in addressing its theme.

Download MEDA202_lecture09_slides

Lecture 8: Objects and Materials

In this lecture, we explore how the display and presentation of physical material objects can produce affects and embodied experience for the audience. We first revisit the use of ‘ready-mades’ in modern art in the works of Marcel Duchamp and in the work of Jeff Koon in the contemporary period. We explore how everyday objects function symbolically in the works of Andy Warhol and Damien Hirst. We examine how Sarah Sze, Ian Burns and Mona Hatoum use objects as the base materials of their works, albeit differently.

We will discuss the Project Brief for Assessment tasks 2 & 3 in relation to this lecture.

Download MEDA202_lecture08_slides

Lecture 6: Movement and Kinetic

In week 6s lecture, I propose the argument that motion is a captivating force for humans and  generates fascination and intrigue. As humans, our attraction to movement may be instinctual but our attitudes towards different types of motions suggest a more culturally nuanced way of making meaning from our perception of motion through associated meanings.

This lecture looks at the history and context of capturing movement in art. We examine how movement is used in a range of object-based artworks from the modern period including Alexander Calder, Jean Tinguley, and Len Lye to contemporary works of Anaisa Franco, Ingrid Barchmann, and Wobin Yang. We focus on the affects of movement and kinetics on audience experience.

Download  MEDA202_lecture06_slides

Workshop 6: Motors, solenoids and other actuators

Week 6’s workshop introduces a number of common actuators used in circuits, with a focus on motors and solenoids. Actuators are important parts of any circuits if we were to make things move. You will be spending some time exploring the mechanisms of DC motors, server motors, and solenoids – and how they can be controlled in electronic circuits, and their possible use in media artworks. This workshop will also continue with Arduino sketches and exercises.


  • Research essay due in week 6.
  • Read Chapter 6 of Making Things Move by Dustyn Roberts. (This book is at the UOW library.)
  • Document all experiments using photographs/ videos and texts on you process blog/ online journal.
  • Research The Way Things Go and other similar “Rube-Goldberg Machine” or chain reaction works using objects and mechanisms.
  • Begin research on assessments 2 & 3 (project brief presented in lecture 6, to be followed with further exploration in lecture 8).

Continue reading

Workshop 5: Sensor circuits, controlling inputs and outputs

In week 5’s workshop, we return to the lab to experiment with micro-controllers, circuits, and sensors. In this workshop you will be presented with a number of common sensor circuits to explore as well as the Arduino Interface Development Environment (IDE) for creating new circuits.

There will be a programming refresher/ programming basics that will introduce you to the use of Arduino with the view that you may incorporate this into your subject’s major project.


  • Document all experiments using photographs/ videos and texts on process blog.
  • Research on use of sensors in media art works (physical computing works) or in everyday situations.
  • Review materials to prepare/ bring to next workshop.
  • Complete Research essay.

Continue reading

Lecture 5: Sensing Presence

This lecture contextualises this exploration by interrogating the concept of interactivity and its incorporation into media artworks.Around the 1990s, accessible computer technologies and DIY electronics ( Processing, Arduino) presented a novel way to create interactive experiences in media arts. As with film, video or internet/ web, these technologies played a key role in enabling new expressions and experiences.

In this case, micro-controller and consumer microelectronics provide the platform for developing what is something known as “physical computing”, which acknowledges the limitation of computer and screen-based interaction, shifting the focus to the human body and its capacity to act and interact.We will explore a number of practices including that of Scott Snibbe, Camille Utterback and Daniel Rozin and how their use of microcontroller and programming system to connect the intangible media of computing with the physical and tangible materials. We will also examine the works of Rafael Lozano-Hemmer in his ‘perversion’ or misuse of specific technologies (e.g. Surveillance) in extending physical experience digitally.

Download MEDA202_lecture05_slides

Week 4: Excursion to the Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences

Lindsay Kelley’s Ballistic Bundts (detailed)

In week 4, we will go on an excursion to the Powerhouse Museum (Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences) to visit three exhibitions:
Human non human
Spinning World
Common Good

We are collecting an entry fee of $6 in week 3’s class and this entry fee will allow you to visit all the exhibitions and spaces in the museum (apart from the ticketed exhibit Reigning Men).

On Tuesday 14 August, we will meet at the front of the Museum – Harris Street entrance at 11am. Direction to the museum is as follows:

The Powerhouse Museum
500 Harris Street, Ultimo

Continue reading