Workshop 10: Back to the Physical World

BREATHING ROOM II[Antony Gormley, [1]Breathing Room III, 2010]

(start at 2:45)

In weeks 10 to 12, we will be focusing on developing and creating your Project Work. This week we will look at how certain artworks have engaged with the notions of repetition and variation. You will also be quickly introduced to the Arduino in relation to idea of ’Physical Computing’ where software is used to design the translation of experiences from physical to digital, and back to physical.

PART 1: Research and discuss

In a pair, look at the following object works. Choose one to research and analyse. Present an analysis of the work to class by answering the questions listed below—think in terms of the Project Work.

[Maya Lin, Systematic Landscapes, 2009]

[Sol LeWitt, Five Modular Structure, ]

[Antony Gormley, Quantum Void I, 2009]

[Lucas Samaras, Chair Transformation Number 20B, 1996]

[Alexander Calder, Nineteen White Discs, 1961]


  1. What are the representations inherent in the work … and what questions do they give rise to?
  2. What is the experience of the work from the perspective of the human body?
  3. What role does repetition/variation play in the form of the work? What does it point to, what does it reveal?
  4. Is the repetition in the creation of the work, or in the final form of the work?

PART 2: Physical computing/ Arduino

The following works all draw physical inputs through a technological device (sensor or camera) into a programmed system (micro-controller—tiny computers, or computer with running software programs). The software programs determine how these inputs will be processed and translated into forms of physical outputs.

In each case, can you identify:

• the inputs
• the outputs
• the algorithm/process that determine how the input is translated to the output?

[Jonas Jongejan and Ole Kristensen for Recoil Performance Group, [5]Body Navigation, 2008]

[Jaap Blonk and Golan Levin, [6]Ursonography, 2007]

[Céleste Boursier-Mougenot at Barbican Centre, London 2010]

[Camille Utierback, [8]Text Rain, 1999]

Arduino is a micro-controller board that can take in sensory inputs via devices such as sensors. Software written in Arduino determines how the inputs will affect the outputs. The board is programmed using the Arduino programming language, which is based on Wiring while the Arduino development environment is based on Processing). Arduino projects can be stand-alone or they can communicate with software running on a computer

[An Arduino microcontroller]

[Arduino interface]

Part 3: Research/ Discuss/ Consult: Project work

  1. Read the Project Work outline carefully and make sure you are clear on what you are asked to do for the project. What are the parameters of the project
  2. Create an ideas-map for your Project Work: what is the central idea that interests you? How does this idea relate to the processes of iteraon? What are the different ways you can explore and convey this idea? What physical forms can the work take? Connect these ideas together on a map.
  3. Analyse one existing work that interests you and on which you may build and develop your ideas. You can choose from any works discussed in the workshops or lectures. You may have seen a work in an exhibition or web that interests you.
  4. Consult with your tutor.
  5. Begin work by creating drawings,experiments, and prototypes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *