Berlin - electric art lab - june 16 2007

xxxxx workshop #15

16th June 2PM. Electric Art Lab with Jeff Mann

Our ancestors believed that ordinary objects could contain energies, spirits, intelligence, and the spark of life. Today, tens of billions of tiny electronic processors permeate our reality, embedded in phones, watches, appliances, toys, cars, factory equipment, and our entire technological infrastructure. In this lab/workshop, we’ll look at the microcontroller - the basic element of this distributed network of intelligent objects. These “computers on a chip” are small, inexpensive, simple, and unlike their desktop/laptop cousins, are designed for interaction with the physical world. How can creative individuals use microcontrollers to produce evocative, compelling objects and experiences that go beyond typical mass-produced consumer products?

We’ll look at examples and discuss how artists have incorporated embedded processors into sculpture, installation, and performance. We’ll compare various microcontroller platforms and, using the open-source Arduino board, we’ll experiment with building activated objects that include sensors, processing, and movement. We’ll also look at using the microcontroller as a physical interface for audio/video environments like Pure Data, and for remote interaction over the Internet.

The workshop is designed for people of all levels of experience. No equipment is required, but it’s recommended to bring as many of the following things as possible:

  • Materials to modify, hack, and build objects with. Household items, battery-operated toys, plastic, wood, metal, anything you find interesting. Before the workshop, try to imagine two or three simple ideas you might try to make.

  • Laptop with Arduino and Pd software installed.

  • Toolbox with cutters, glue gun, screwdrivers, as well as soldering irons, multimeter, etc.

  • Microcontrollers - a limited number of Arduino boards will be shared between the participants. You can also purchase your own before the workshop for 27 euros in Berlin at:

  • Sensors and Actuators - pushbuttons, photocells, rangefinders, accelerometers; DC, R/C servo, and stepper motors.

  • Electronics parts and supplies - a selection of wire, connectors, resistors, capacitors, transistors, chips, and so on.

More details about tools and materials can be found at:

About the instructor:

Jeff Mann creates electric art with computers, electronics, kinetics, and telecommunications media. His work explores the nature of technological life and its cultural representation; it draws out tensions between notions of utopian industrialism, personal theatre, and the evocative enigma of electronic equipment.

Course fee: 15 euros



A weekly series of constructivist workshops emphasising making and connection within the field of the existent.

Workshops led by field-expert practitioners extend over realms of code and embedded code, environmental code, noise, transmission and reception, and electromysticism. Workshops solely utilise free software and GNU toolbase.

Practitioners include Julian Oliver (, Derek Holzer (, Jeff Mann (, Martin Howse (, Fredrik Olofsson (, superfactory (

Further planned workshops will cover PD connectivity and hardware, ATmega8 microcontrollers, free software documentation, VLF reception, radio antenna design, FPGA design…

Please RSVP to reserve any places or register interest. Please forward.

xxxxx, pickledfeet, Linienstrasse 54, Berlin 10119

U2, Rosa-Luxemburg-Pl. U8, Rosenthaler Pl.

Telephone: 3050187482.