Making art(‘ish) stuff with electronics.

So, I’ve gotten interested in electronics over the past couple of years, this has come about in part from my being surrounded by broken electronic gear whilst working as an art school audio-visual technician. Also in part from my experience in photography, and also in as much as I have developed a fascination with weird noise generators and flashy lights. I’m going to expand on this theme, but for right now, I’m only gonna discus it in passing.

I have headed more and more into an area where I am really interested in using electronics and computational devices as disruptive elements in art projects. Over the past couple of years I’ve made works ranging from geeky to ridiculous.

Picture a digital infrared shot I took on a (crap) 2mp camera and then printed out on a receipt printer to a scale of 4×6 meters, or a midi synth made up to look like old farm equipment to breed cattle breeding programs as sound files (that actually makes sense, I’ll cover it separately). I made a robot which spit coffee beans at people in an art gallery, and odd noise generators which were also hidden in galleries (think bird song, clunks, creaking noises and scrabbling sounds).

It’s not that I am moving away from what I have been doing so much as my interests are expanding. I’m also studying IT again, and I’m probably going to fail the course (again). The IT studies has allowed me to study microcontrollers and robotics (and to seriously piss off a couple of lecturers who think I’m taking the piss). While I do think that programming is useful, and I can do some really cool stuff with it, I’m not of the opinion that it’s any more than a tool.

So I have also started a youtube channel, in this endeavor I’m pretending to create a tech channel so as to lull normal people into a false sense of security before I start making buildings into musical instruments, or board games, or…

I digress.

In these videos I’m currently doing stuff on electronics design, audio, making PCB’s and stuff like that – right now I’m doing a series on 555 timer circuits. The one I’ve started with is this one…


What this does is flash a light and make a metronomic clicking – the two happening in relation to each other, with the ratio being adjustable. The video I’m making right now (unfinished right now) takes the above and puts it onto a PCB, like so…


In this version I’m using the PCB version of a breadboard (same track layout) and basically just looking at how the design changes. Next will be a point to point protoboard with headers for changing components, then a custom PCB, surface mount, manhattan, dead bug, and then probably a freeform art piece.

It’s really about different design methods rather than the circuit itself. Because I use different methods of constructing electronics depending on what I’m doing and how I feel I figured i’d do a series using a whole range and discussing the advantages or disadvantages of each.

That’s what I’m up to – more later.



Nice n’ shiny, with thus far unmolested like and subscribe buttons šŸ™‚


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