Monday, August 31, 2009

NES Circuitry

Here are the images of the circuit board that we were assigned to find. I chose to use a NES for my object, which had more circuitry than I had anticipated. I also took apart a game which is attached to the circuit board in the pictures. After reading the PDF on components and resistors, I feel that I have a better understanding of what I am looking at. However I still feel that it will be some time before I will be able to know what each component is just by looking. The same applies for the resistors, as they are color coded for easier recognition. I hope by the end of the class that I will be able to have a much better understanding of how the NES works.


Saturday, August 29, 2009

sensor walk

My walk didn't uncover any impressive observation. Wondering with a sense of a awareness didn't lead any sensors which i hadn't already assumed to find while waiting in the classroom. Car sensors, thermostat, fire alarm, elevator, security cameras and touch key pads was mostly what i found. I realized that the word sensor could also include switches. Most of the sensors provided a level of automation, safety, maintenance, performance, observation of the inconspicuous or convenience. I suppose as artist we have to look beyond the utility and probe the unseen nature of these systems.
I have not come across many art pieces that focused on electronics which were particularly remarkable. Though I have spent plenty of summer days playing video games and am always excited to see a game with original game play. I am in digital media with fairly limited knowledge, design software. I'm hoping to gain the knowledge and experience in digital technologies to take advantage of the undiscovered possibilities within an unique era. I believe artists can provide a critical understanding of the evolving human experience which has become defined by creative technologies.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sensor Walk

Today our assignment was to walk around campus and look for sensors in the environment and brainstorm ideas that we could turn these sensors into works of art. Some sensors I found involved the use of human interaction, such as swiping a card, pushing a button, or moving in front of a sensor to initiate a response, such as a light or a block in movement. Other sensors I found took in environmental data, like smoke, fire, or air temperature, to initiate an appropriate response. These sensors seemed to be all over the campus, mostly, in my opinion, to make things more stand-alone, so that they can work without constant human supervision. Without thermometers attached to AC units, the AC would just be a fan, instead of a system that just maintains a controlled temperature in the environment.

Second Post

I was pretty surprised by the lack of any heavy surveillance equipment placed around campus. There are the obvious cameras in the atms (only 2 in the area surrounding FA) and then a few actual visible cameras on buildings. I know there is more surveillance around the science areas (i.e. the Physics, Chemistry and Medical areas) which makes sense. There are proximity sensors posted on the gates for gated areas which makes sense. This could evolve into an idea about herding and controlling the movements and migration of people. Similar to turnstiles and gateways in say a subway station, one could turn this idea into a piece that "herds" people like cattle, who knows.

Sensor Walk

Walking around campus, I noticed several sensors...

Gator1 card readers to unlock doors in 306 and grad room
elevator sensor to door open/close
library alarm
bathroom hand dryers/automatic toilets
handicap door openers
cash registers in dining hall/Little hall
Century tower bell
vending machines
"walk" intersection signals
surveillance camera in Little Hall

I can do a blog all by myself~

I remember one morning when I was about...8. Yeah I want to say 8. I woke up and realized I couldn't see anything. I held my hands in front of my eyes. I couldn't see my nightlight. Everything was pitch black, there was no sound in the house, and I felt like I was in this black void. I cried out for my parents. The first words out my mouth were " MAMA I'M BLIND!!!!!" which she continually reminds me. Of course she rushed to my room to assure me that "No silly you aren't blind" and "The power went out in the neighborhood". Needless to say that was my first encounter with the might of electricity and just what its absence could do to my senses.

As for working with sensors and machines I have a little bit of experience working with the arduino from my Sculpture of machines class, as well as my Programming class "Processing" last year.

I'm in digital media and what I expect to learn is cool ways to fully access the power of the arduino and , hopefully, do a sensory based project based around identification.

Sensor Walk

My sensor walk made me realize how many sensor-based electronics were all around me every day. You take certain things for granted like fire alarms, air conditioning, door locks, auto flush, auto sinks, scanners, elevators, vending machines, etc. I discovered random sensors like an electronic pencil sharpener and a self-checkout at Marston Library. Other sensors and electronics I found interesting were the library book scanners... this morning my book wasn't desensitized and I set off the alarm and locked the exit bar. The librarian used a remote control to turn it off and unlock the bar. These are interesting reactions caused by sensors.

Blog Post #2

I realized on the walk today, more than anything else, how few electronic sensors are out and about on campus. I found myself going to places where I knew I would find sensors: atms, cash registers, trucks backing up, video cameras, blinkers, air conditioners. Nothing very surprising.
What was interesting was trying to think of ways to subvert this mechanisms.
I'm starting to get more of a grasp on what this class is going to entail, (I had no idea when I signed up) and I'm looking forward to it.

Sensor Walk...

I didn't find a whole lot of stuff... a lot of the area I visited was trees and concrete... and stuff. The main thing I noticed was the card swipe sensors on dorm doors and elevators. A lot of sensors seem to be security based. I also noticed the vending machines' sensors...

Uh, yeah, that's about it.

Sensor Search

I had a nice walk looking for sensors. I decided to head towards the union, walking through classrooms along the way.
  • I started by looking at an emergency 911 station, where you press a button and supposedly help will be there withing 30 seconds. I guess its just a phone with a button.
  • Dorms have rfid cards that can get a person in a dorm through a wallet or purse which is pretty cool.
  • In Rinker, classrooms have sensors that turn the ac and lights on when a room is occupied
  • I was wondering if the campus lights have day sensors on them.
  • Soda machines here are pretty advanced, they have a debit card system that deducts from a uf account.
  • People were filming an event at the union, the video cameras have all sorts of focus and light sensor
  • Library West has bookshelves that move and sensors that prevent crushing someone
I also talked to a lot of people about sensors.
  • One friend who works in the Union told me her office has a sensor that turns the lights off if there is no movement. When she is sitting still and using a mouse, the lights turn off and then she has to stand and wave to turn them back on
  • someone also told me that they like the sensors at publix that monitor people by the freezers. Lights only turn on when people are nearby
On my walk, I wanted to talk to people at a blood mobile. There are probably electronics that do simple blood tests to make sure its safe for you to donate. Thats about it for my walk.

First Post

I don't know if I can call it profound, but the most interactive experience with technology I have is on a daily basis. I wake up, turn on my iHome, check my email, etc. It is integrated into my everyday life.

I am not experienced with electronics - I've never soldered, or used an Arduino board. I am fairly comfortable with Adobe software. I've used Photoshop extensively and built a website using Dreamweaver. I would like to use electronics as part of installations using photographs or video.

Sensor Walk

I really was surprised with the amount of sensors that I found just walking around campus. Most of the sensors I recognized today were objects that I see on a daily basis. From smoke detectors to card swipers to security alarms, most of these sensors are made to function as protective devices. Of course sensors are used for a very wide variety of things but I became most interested with the security aspect. It made me think that we often count on technology not only for recreational or professional use but also as a means of life protection and piece of mind. We as a people have become comfortable with the idea of relying on sensors to protect us in an almost guardian angel manor, warning us when trouble is near.

Blog Post #1

The most profound interaction I've had with technology was when I taught myself html. I was about 12 years old, couldn't really comprehend webpage building, and it was then I realized that this technology wasn't beyond my grasp. Since then I've been teaching myself css, 3d rendering in after effects and sound editing. The most profound interactions between technology and myself have always occured when I realize that I can understand them.
I know almost nothing about electronics, and even less about programming.

I'm taking this digital class because I almost was a digital arts major. All of my electives have been digital courses up until now, and I've taken something really useful away from each.

Hey, I Can Do a Post!

Intro thingie:
- I find it a very satisfying experience when I find a piece of entertainment that I believe it so original and inventive, I consider it “high art.” My art-making mindset is placed pretty firmly in the realm of entertainment, but sometimes I see a movie or watch a cartoon and I am amazed of its greatness. In terms of a fulfilling interactive experience, I remember back when I first played Katamari Damacy. It’s a game that does no justice explaining: you play a small prince who rolls an adhesive sphere around a planet and picks things up in order to create new stars in the sky. You start from paperclips and coins when you’re small, but as you start to build mass, your ball gets larger, until you can start picking up dogs, cats, small kids, then people, then eventually buildings and entire islands. The insane game play, the cubist art style, the simultaneous frantic and soothing Japanese soundtrack, and the whole general concept of the game blew my mind. To me it was just as much a satisfying game as it was a satisfying experience on the whole, a true piece of art.
- I use computers and programs all the time, but to me, it’s like a magic box. I have a limited knowledge of computer parts and their functions, but I’ve never tinkered with any of their inner workings, nor with any other electronics.
- Gaining a higher knowledge of circuits is probably handy information, and I’m interested to see how it can raise to a higher level of digital art. I kind of don’t know what to expect from this class, and as such, I don’t have many expectations. But I’m quite interested, so there’s something.


On the walk today I noticed several different types of sensors and electronics in the environment. There were electrical systems with sensors that turned the light poles on and off, there were sensors in the restrooms for flushing toilets and dispensing paper towels, sensors in the fire alarm system and smoke alarms, sensors in the library with book strips, and sensors for the watering system to be turned on and off at specific times of the day. One of the most interesting sensors that I know of and witnessed on the walk was the sensors in the streets that told the lights to change or not. I thought the implications of that specific type of sensor are really interesting. The fact that you as a human, can't proceed along your path until an electrical device recognizes your presence and decides by timing when you are allowed to proceed. It doesn't physically keep you in your space, technically you could proceed, but it does by human law keep you in your space until another electrical device signals you to go. An interesting art piece that would involve human interaction would be some kind of space, that senses your presence as you walk through, but creates barriers that stop you along the way, or even trap you until it decides that you're allowed to move. I feel like losing your sense of control or choice over a situation to a machine would be an interesting and uneasy experience that would probably prove to be difficult for a lot of people.

My sensorvations~

I basically explored the Reid Yulee Mallory Beaty Market area

sensor in crosswalk
sensor in newspaper stand for gator 1
sensor in BK cash register
sensor in dorm office door to let you in
sensor in dorm door to know when a person is near
sensor in cop car to detect speed
sensor in dorm hallway when to turn lighs on and off
sensor in car to detect when seatbelt is fastened
sensor in car to detect when someone is in the passenger side
sensor in tv to detect the remote
sensor in the fridge to detect when the door is open
sensr in the elevator detecting the floor to go to and when it reaches the destination
sensor in the DMA door to detect assigned Gator 1 IDs
sensor in snack machine to read Gator 1
sensor in drink machine to detect money
sensor in emergency exit to set off alarm if opened
sensor in kitchen to detect smoke
sensor in hall/rooms to detect fire
sensor in laptop to detect wi-fi
sensor in bus to detect when someone pulls to get off at the next stop
sensor in cellphone to know what you're dialing
sensor in kitchen stove to know when temperature has reached a certain degree
sensor on Fedex writing pad that detects signature
sensor in change machine to know when to take money and give change
sensor in Gator 1 machine to know how much to put on your gator account
sensorpad on snack/drink machines to know what you're trying to order
microwave senses when youa re inputting numbers
coffeemaker sensor detects when coffee is done
computer sensor on mouse
sensor on wireless keyboard

annnnnd that was about all I found. I could use alot of them as ideas for projects later. I like the thought of putting barcodes on people like Gator 1s and only certain people could enter a room. It is like digital discrimanation. Haha. Or to trigger a machine to only open for certain gator 1 codes so that only that person could get the paper/instructions inside. I'm really interested in the identification aspect of sensors.


Thought this was a good start for searching.

Water Level Sensor

Switch based light

Surveillance Camera (Top Left)

Surveillance Camera

Automated Door Opener

Automated Library Book Shelves (Sensors for preventing accidents)

Controls for Book Shelf

Microfilm Enlarger

Copy Station Payment Device


Surveillance Camera on Bus (The half-dome)

Bus Stop Wires (That tell the driver to stop)

Bus Stop Signal (Goes with the first image)

Videogame Arcade Unit

Change Dispenser

Thermostat Controls


Light Switch (Very Generic, I know)

Fire Alarm

Vending Machine


Emergency Gate Release (Reitz Union Store)

Sensor for Automated Gate Sensor


Vending Machine

Airflow Intake Sensor

Crosswalk Button


Emergency Call Station

Parking Garage Gate

Parking Garage Gate

Crosswalk (with flashing lights)

Close-up of Crosswalk Lights

News-Paper Card Reading Dispenser

Key-Card Reader

Not too bad for 45 minutes :)


He took out all of Detroit!

Being born into the technology era has trained our generation to become dependent on and obsessed with electronics. Yet the most profound experience I've had actually comes from the stories of someone who embraced the unknown and experimented with technology far beyond his time. This man is my dad, whom at the age of 12 hand built a radio to do morris code with a friend and instead temporarily shut down all frequencies in Detroit. His next major build was a hand made laser; before people even knew what they were, he was building one! His most impressive project was built at age 17 when he made a holographic chess piece and went on to the international science fair for it. He is a genius with electronics! These stories are what led me to take this class. If I can just get a taste of the adventure that goes into the experiments, I can bring myself back into my dad's shoes. Besides rewiring the plug on my hair straightener and playing with the Adobe Suite, I don't have much experience with electronics . But I am ready to explore and learn to interact with technology in a new way.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Recently I had to house sit for some family friends while they were on vacation and I had to use their alarm system every time I arrived at and left their house. I realized that their were sensors at every entrance and window of the house that let you know if something was opened or not. I thought it was pretty fascinating that the whole house was connected in such a way.

My personal experience with electronics is more or less average I’d say. Personally I’m the go to person in my family for help with electronics but I wouldn’t say that I’m a professional by any means.

My technical skills are pretty localized to working with specific programs. Generally I’m comfortable with the Adobe Creative Suite programs but I still have much to learn.

My goal for this program, as a Digital Media Art Major, is basically to learn as much as I can in as many areas of the field as I can in the next two years. I want to have an established and diverse skill set to enter the professional world with.


The most profound interactive experience I've probably had with technology is... to be quite honest, probably the computer and the world wide web. A close second would probably be with my cell phone, since it's constant presence on me (pocket, backpack) has turned me somewhat into a cyborg. The computer and internet has just become so integrated into my daily life that I am so, almost completely, a part of it. I use it to keep in contact with people, research interesting topics, stumble upon new interesting topics, read books, make art, see other people's art, listen to music, and millions of other things. At first I felt it cliched to list this as the technology that has influenced me the most, but it cannot be avoided - the internet and computer together have become an extension of myself. As far as electronics go, my experience goes as far as a little reading on how to build a LED hula hoop (and other LED-fied things), so I guess I really have little to no actual technical skill.
In the Digital Media program I hope to get a better grasp of technology in an art sense. I want to be able to not only build virtual constructs but physical constructs as well, working things that express a concept or idea. So, ideally, my skill set will increase and I will be able to combine my other areas of interest with these new skills.
I think the Nintendo Wii was the last interactive electronic experience that surprised me. I dunno if I would call it "profound" but having played video games since like 1995, it's impressive to see how far they've come. The motion control in a lot of games makes the experience more enthralling... I have almost no hardware experience/knowledge but I just find it interesting.

I chose Digital Media because... well, it sorta goes back to the video games thing. I played them when I was young, but when I got older I got interested in how they functioned, etc. I'm not so much interested in writing the code and such for them as designing the visual aspects for them, and getting into animation, where I feel the artistic side can shine. I dunno, I just think there are thousands of possibilities in games that haven't even been touched yet, and I'd like to explore them.

Besides that, though, I feel like digital tools can pretty much do anything. I know that they can never replicate the manmade feel of a traditional painting, etc., but there's such a wide array of tools available from digital media--sound, animation, and even alternate forms of more traditional media. I've also heard in the past that artists who use digital tools are somehow lesser or don't even create "real art", and I wish there was some way I could convince people with that mentality otherwise...

Earliest Electronic Memories and Expectations

My first elextronics experiance that made an impression on me was an electric piano I had while I was probably about six or so. It was called the miracle piano and it had a serial port on the back that hooked into my dad's computer (he worked for a local company selling computers to businesses, so we had them around since I was three). Anyway I would boot into dos and type... run/miracle. And it would load up this interactive teaching software in which you could learn the piano and play games that helped you learn chords and such. I still know how to play star wars, Beethoven's 5th, and The Entertainer because of it. Anyway its an early and somewhat advanced experience at the time. Thank you miracle piano.

So what do I expect from my major? I hope to be able to work across all digital media in order to push whatever concept (art or design) that I am doing. I hope I have the skills and the quality of work to attend a great grad school and to be able to support myself doing it. So far in the programming class, I feel like it broke down invisible barriers that I thought existed between an artist and programming. Its not as hard as it seems. I feel like just that one class alone has pushed me to start working on the web and has opened up a few opportunities to do design and programming. I feel like I will be able to do almost anything.

First Post

I think one of the most memorable electronics based pieces I have ever seen/experienced would be Ryan Tanay's automated paintball marker turret. It was set up in the focus gallery for his MFA show. The basics of the piece was that it would track motion in the room but the viewer could also become a user and control the system through a laptop hooked up to the machine. It was just a really neat piece of art and machinery to see, both inanimate and in motion.

I have always had a strong interest in electronics and tinkering/working with them. This class allows me to actually create the small electronics and machines I have always had a fondness for. I'm also planning on incorporating the use of Arduinos into my senior ceramic work, for sound, interaction (i.e. motion sensors and audio sensors), and some motion as well. So I am pretty excited for this class and what I will be able to learn.

Blog 1

Well, as far as the first question goes, I haven't gotten the chance to experience electronic art first hand in a gallery or what not. I have researched and done a presentation on an artist I believe in one of your previous classes, Chico Macmurtrie (sp?), who used electronics as a medium for his art. I really enjoyed his art because he contrasted the highly industrial/mechanical with beautiful organic forms. I believe he idealized a vehicle/robot that transformed into a totem pole. He also had a mechanical tree that responded to human interaction and it's environment. If it was touched or spoken to, it would have different reactions. I wish I could have experienced his work first hand, I feel like it would have been a very interesting experience to see such clearly mechanical forms take the place of what should have been a common and familiar interaction with an organic object.

I took this class because I'm really interested in Digital Media. I also thought electronics would be a nice follow up to the Programming for artists class that I took last semester with Katerie. Electronics has always been something I've sort of been interested in and I'd like to see what I can learn and create this semester.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Welcome to DIG3745C

Hello. During the last half of class on Monday, please write reflectively about the following two topics. What is the most profound interactive experience you have had with technology? Describe and be specific. What is your personal experience with electronics? What technical skills if any do you come to this class with? This is just to see where everybody is. I do not expect that people are coming to this class with this skill set. Question for Digital Media Art Majors: what are your goals and expectations of this program? Question for everybody else: why are taking this class? What is it that you are wanting to learn how to make?

That is it for now. I will be writing more as the week goes on.