Workshop 3: Hand-made electronics, making speakers, and audio circuits; measuring Arduino inputs

copyright Michael Myers 2009

Joyce Hinterding, Aura, 2009

In week 3’s workshop, we will get deeper into exploring the materiality of sound by creating audio speakers using some simple materials. The material exploration requiring in producing a simple device provides a direct connection to the audio medium (the mediation the physicality of sound waves). It opens up possibility of engaging with sound as a sense and as a medium. This also offers an opportunity to question the divide between digital and analogue media.

Tasks:

  1. Research on media art works discussed in class.
  2. Document all experiments using photographs/ videos and texts on process blog.
  3. Prepare for excursion by researching on the exhibitions and reviewing the worksheet (available in week 4’s post).

Research Analysis:

Luigi Russolo’s Intonarumori has been reproduced in different artworks and performances in contemporary times.

  • What is the original work about?
  • What was Russolo’s intention?
  • What does the medium of sound convey in the original Intonarumori?
  • Why do you think these instruments continue to fascinate musician and artists in contemporary times?
  • Has any of the “re-enactment” or “recreation” added further dimension to Russolo’s works?
  • If so, what are they?

Contemporary works:

Katie Paterson’s Langjökull, Snæfellsjökull, Solheimajökull, 2007

Joyce Hinterding, Aura, 2009

Pia Van Gelder, Machine/ Animal/ Vegetable, 2012

Discuss:

  1. What kind of materials and components are used to create the work?
  2. How do these different materials function together to create sounds? For example, do the physical materials function as an analogue of sound waves?
  3. If electronics are used, how do these function with physical objects to create sounds? What ideas are being explored in the work? How do electronic components contribute to this exploration?
  4. How may an audience interact with the work? What is the audience’s experience?
  5. What are the meanings derived from the use of this materials e.g. ice, graphite, vegetables?

 

Exercise 1: Making speakers

Create a speaker following instructions here:

  • Materials have been prepared for you so that you would not need to use a lighter and hot glue gun.Document your process and results.
  • Make notes on what other materials you may be able to use for a design. For example, what can be used instead of a plastic bottle? Are there other materials that can also amplify?
  • Try using a different materials such as paper, cards, or the table to amplify sound.

Exercise 2: Audio circuits

Plug the speaker you created into an audio–sensor circuit provided.

Explore this circuit and work out:

What is the trigger of the sensor?

How does change in movement or light level change the sound?

 

Exercise 3: Measuring Arduino inputs

If there is time, using the Arduino in the circuit you have, explore following these tutorial exercises:

Read Analog Voltage

https://www.arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/ReadAnalogVoltage

Analog In, Out Serial

https://www.arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/AnalogInOutSerial

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