IF - Fall 2002

Monday/Wednesday 7:15 PM to 10:15 PM Hybrid Lab, Founders Hall Rm. 304

Tuesday/Thursday 7:15 PM to 10:15 PM Hybrid Lab, Founders Hall Rm. 304


Todd Blair: Fabrication and Kinetics

Don Day: Electronics and Sensors

Barney Haynes: Media and Programming

Grade Break Down

Attendance: Miss 3 classes lose 1 grade point, miss 4 you will not pass

Active participation in class labs, mini assignments, field trips (see below) and punctuality 10%

Timely Completion of Assignments: 65%:

FINAL: Timely Completion of Final Project for Presentation in an Exhibition Week 15 25%

NOTE: Missed or late assignments will result in the loss of associated percentage

Field Trips:

Sources Field Trip 1: Friday 10/25 Just like a class - absence condemned

Sources Field Trip 2: Saturday 11/16 Optional but strongly encouraged and fun


Assignment 1: Random Motion 

Identify and bring in for a class presentation something that moves unpredictibly - it can be mechanical, a household object, fabricated or found. Don't forget heat rises, light is very fast and gravity tends to make things fall. Due September 23-24

Assignment 2: Preliminary Proposal

Written preliminary scope of work explaining and illustrating your proposed project for the final show following guidelines provided. We will analyze the proposed projects for feasibility and set up individual meetings to discuss the propsals during Week 6. Due October 2-3

Assignment 3: Unstable Media Driver

Construct a sound or video patch that has unpredictable playback patterns. Extra points for disembodied desktops. Due October 16-17

Assignment 4: Book Report

Pick an artist working in the field of kinetic and electronic art, write a 1 to 2 page report to turn in (3 copies) and prepare an audio-visual presentation for the class. Due October 23-24

Some Starting Points:

Steve Wilson's Massive Artist List

Ken Rinaldo Links

Classical Kinetic Artists

  • Hero of Alexandria
  • Jacques de Vaucanson
  • Marcel Duchamp
  • Thomas Wilfred
  • Jean Tinguely
  • Nam June Paik
  • Len Lye
  • Pol Bury
  • Nicolas Schöffer
  • James Seawright
  • Otto Piene
  • Fletcher Benton
  • Billy Klüver
  • Robert Whitman
  • Charles Frazier

Classic Groups and Organizations

  • USCO
  • EAT (Experiments in Art and Technology)
  • ZERO
  • GRAV
  • YLEM

Assignment 5: Final Proposal

Hand in completed proposal of your final project using the guidelines handout, followed up by a presentation of the proposal to the class and critique. Due October 30-31

Assignment 6: Beta Project Presentation

Be prepared to present a beta or better version of your final project for presentation and critique by the class and a possible visiting art professional. Due November 20-21

FINAL: Friday December 13th

Presentation of completed project in a gallery setting.

Sources for Materials and Field Trips:

Mike Quinn Electronics
401 McCormick St
San Leandro, CA 94577

Triangle Machinery & Tool Co

(408) 452-8666

1051 Commercial Ct San Jose, CA 95112

Week 1


Tuesday 9/5, Wednesday 9/6, Thursday 9/7

Introduction to the class

  • Delineation of the 3 areas of concentration / departure
  • Expectations: Assignments and show
  • Possible strategies and models
  • Collect contact information for students

Barney: Computers and the Hybrid Lab (RM. 304) 

Don: Power & Control and Electro Safety 

  • Hazards of the disposable flash camera powered by an innocent AA battery 
  • Sources of power - Sun, nuclear power plants (PG&E), chemicals, lemons and potatoes 
  • Too much energy getting loose Circuit Breakers, Fuses (flash bulb in socket) 
  • Toxics - Soldering, lead with the Romans, smoking the flux 
  • Heat a LITTLE too much energy getting loose liquid metal on the flesh makes for a nasty burn 
  • Tiny objects close to your eyes
  • Shock causes you to lose motor control
  • Current through your heart can kill you

Todd: Introduction to Fabricating Electromechanical devices 

  • Planing your design - design, prototype
  • Sourcing your materials - surplus, dumpster diving
  • Fabricating - tools, the lab and the metal shop

Some Links



Week 2


Monday 9/9 Tuesday 9/10


  • Electronic components, subassemblies and systems
  • Their physical corporeal nature
  • Exercise: Connect a circuit and make it go or glow or growl or grow.
    • Power sources
      • Solar Cells
      • Chemical cells and batteries
      • Power supplies (from wall AC to stable DC)
      • AC (from the wall, or transformed to lower voltage)
    • Connection methods
      • Wire nuts
      • Wire wrap
      • Conductive Epoxy
      • Solder
      • Heat shrink tubing
    • Measurement
      • Analogies - electrons as lemmings
      • Multimeter (volts and ohms)
      • Oscilloscope (volts in time)

Todd: Actuation

Review of actuators and major mechanical compents

  • Electric Motors
  • Fluid Power
  • Solenoids
  • Alternative Means

Wednesday 9/11 Thursday 9/12

Barney: Max/MSP/jitter session 1

  • Intro to Max /MSP and jitter
  • Anatomy of Simple Patch: Objects, Message Boxes, Number Boxes, User Interfaces and Parameters
  •  jitter objects for movie playback and digitizing
  • MSP objects for audio playback and digitizing


Week 3


Monday 9/16 Tuesday 9/17


Relay H-Bridge Lab

and Circuits Lecture demystifying what you just did.

Wednesday 9/18 Thursday 9/19

Barney: Max/MSP/jitter session 2

  • Bangs, Metros, Toggles, Passing Messages
  • U.I. objects
  • Right to left order
  • Get Info
  • Sub-patches and Encapsulation
  • Trashing the Desktop
  • Cannibalizing Patches


Week 4


Monday 9/23 Tuesday 9/24

Assignment 1 Due - Random Motion

Todd: Power Transmission

  • Mechanical movement and articulation
  • The drive line
  • Major components in power transmission

Wednesday 9/25 Thursday 9/26

Barney: Max/MSP/jitter session 3

Objects and programming techniques 

  • random, select, uzi and drunk
  • selects, basic conditionals
  • patching order
  • Number Generators
  • Transposition
  • Filters
  • KeyBoard and Mouse control


Week 5


Monday 9/30 Tuesday 10/1

Don: Sensors, amplifiers and control elements  

  • Sensors
  • Their physical corporeal nature
  • Exercise: Connect a circuit and make it go or glow or growl or grow.

Wednesday 10/2 Thursday 10/3

Assignment 2 Due: Hand in Informal Project Proposal

Written/Illustrated description of final project

Barney: Max/MSP/jitter session 4

Integrating Max with the Teleo

  • Teleo Objects
  • Connecting the Inputs/Outputs
    • Counters and Conditionals
    • Range Finders
    • Exercise: Connecting and processing light sensors
    • Processing Input
    • Changing Parameters of objects



Week 6


Monday 10/7

7:15 Jennifer

7:35 Edith

7:55 Brian

8:15 Jason

8:35 Daimon

8:55 Andrew

9:15 Luis

9:35 Noah

9:55 Matt

Tuesday 10/8

7:15 Danny

7:35 Dan

7:55 Justin

8:15 Mike

8:35 Liam

8:55 Morgan

9:15 Kyle

9:35 Patrick

9:55 Matt

Wednesday 10/9

7:15 Maggie

7:35 Jeff

7:55 Carol

8:15 Chris

8:35 Mike

8:55 Guillermo

9:15 Sita



Thursday 10/10

7:15 Andrei

7:35 Joelle

7:55 Vittorio

8:15 Debbie

8:35 Mike

8:55 Lane

9:15 Juan

9:35 Alex

9:55 Eroca


Week 7


Monday 10/14 Tuesday 10/15

Todd: Motion Lab

  • Simple Machines
  • Exercise: Make a flimsy articulated mechanisms

 Bring cardboard foam core, different size wire, dowels, pushpins, utility knives, found objects, nails, string, duct tape, wood bits, etc,,,,

Wednesday 10/16 Thursday 10/17

In class Assignment 3: Unstable media driver

Construct a sound or video patch that has unpredictable playback patterns.

Extra points for disembodied desktops.

Media can be downloaded off the net or personally acquired.


Week 8


Monday 10/21 Tuesday 10/22


  • Black boxes containing computer crap

Wednesday 10/23 Thursday 10/24

Assignment 4 Due - Report on Artist

  • MAX: H-Bridge Patch
  • Sensor Control of a DC or stepper motor

Barney: Max/MSP/jitter session 5

NOTE: Meet Friday 10/25 for a Surplus Fieldtrip

Meet at the Hybrid Lab (classroom) Friday morning at Noon


Week 9


Monday 10/28 Tuesday 10/29

 Todd: Materials and Fabrication

Materials and Fabrication Strategies

Exercise - Fastening and Joining with a Drill and a Tap

Wednesday 10/30 Thursday 10/31

Assignment 5 Due: Hand in Formal Proposal


Week 10


Monday 11/4 Tuesday 11/5

Class presentation of formal proposal and critique

Wednesday 11/6 Thursday 11/7

Barney: Max/MSP/jitter session 6

Video Tracking and analysis


Week 11


Monday 11/11 Tuesday 11/12

Don: Debugging Physical Systems 

  • Measurement -How to see the invisible properties of the components 
  • When do the components become something else - Synergy vs. Entropy 
  • Cartesian decomposition - Exercise: make the circuits from previous weeks actually work 


Wednesday 11/13 Thursday 11/14

Barney: Max/MSP/jitter session 7

Video Tracking and analysis (cont)

 NOTE: Meet Saturday 11/16 - Bonus Field Trip

Meet at the Hybrid Lab (classroom) Saturday morning at 10am

Triangle again, plus Halted, Alltronics 




Week 12


Monday 11/18 Tuesday 11/19

Panic Lab

Wednesday 11/20 Thursday 11/21

Assignment 6 Due: Beta Presentation

Fully Functioning Final Critique


Week 13


Monday 11/25 Tuesday 11/26

Evaluation - everyone must be in attendance

 Lab/Trouble Shooting

Wednesday 11/27 Thursday 11/28

 Lab/Trouble Shooting


Week 14


Monday 12/2 Tuesday 12/3



Wednesday 12/4 Thursday 12/5



Week 15


Monday 12/9 Tuesday 12/10

Final Critique

Wednesday 12/11 Thursday 12/12

Final Critique

Friday 12/13

Final Show