RecombinantÝMedia - Spring 2002

Monday/Wednesday 7:15 PM to 10:15 PM Hybrid Lab (Founders 304)

This course is intended as a workshop for those who want to concentrate on media presentation and interaction. The objective is to create generative, recombining media systems that evolve and mutate, reacting to internal and external stimuli. The environment, body, and the Internet will be explored for their potential as remote control / stimuli. Students will research and implement hybrid acquisition and delivery systems. Trashed scanners, extended surveillance cameras, compounded desktops, projection systems, and myriad sensors will be mined for their potential as alternate means for media creation and narrative recombination. Topics include generative / iterative structures, autonomous interactions, physical computing, and artificial behavior. Learned skills include advanced programming techniques with MAX/MSP/NATO 0.55, advanced electronics, remote control of media and machines via the Net, dynamic looping, compiling stand-alone applications, morphing sound, and streaming video.

Don Day: Electronics and Sensors Barney Haynes: Media and Programming Todd Blair: Fabrication and Kinetics

Grade Break Down

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

Active participation in class exercises and mini assignments and punctuality - 20%

Assignment 1 due February 6 - 5%

Assignment 2 due February 11 - 5%

Assignment 3 due February 20 - 10%

Project Proposal Presentation: Class presentation of Alpha Prototype due Week 8 - 15%

Project Proposal Presentation: Class presentation of Final  Project  due Week 11 - 20%

Week 15 Final show - 25%

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

Assignment 1: Random Behavior - Due February 6

Assignment 2: Book Report - Pick an artist working in the field of electronic media arts, write a report and prepare a presentation. Due February 11

Assignment 3:  - Transformation Sense to Media. Due February 20
Steve Wilson's Massive Artist List

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


Sources Field Trip 1: Saturday February 9 Just like a class - absence condemned

Sources Field Trip 2: Saturday March 2 Just like a class - absence condemned

Week 1
Monday 1/14 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) 

  • Tool and Key check out
  • Computer Lab (tools & procedures)
  • Software
    • Authoring Software: Max/MSP and nato+0.55
  • Hardware
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
Wednesday 1/16


Guided construction of a circuit with sensors and actuators and an EZIO interface. 


Guided construction of a MAX patch to exercise the recently constructed above circuit through the EZIO interface.

Week 2 
Monday 1/21

Martin Luther King Day - NO CLASSES

Wednesday 1/23


    Wires, switches, solenoids and relays.
Week 3
Monday 1/28 


  • Intro to Max /MSP and nato.0+55+ modular 
  • Anatomy of Simple Patch: Objects, Message Boxes, Number Boxes, User Interfaces and Parameters 
  • sfplay~
Wednesday 1/30

Max /MSP and nato.0+55+ modular 

  • Basic Max Objects
  • bangs, toggles, metros ,sliders ,number boxs
  • Utilizing said objects to build rudimentary playback patches
Week 4
Monday 2/4

Max /MSP and nato.0+55+ modular 

    • Objects and programming techniques 
    • random, select, uzi and drunk
    • selects, basic conditionals
    • patching order
Wednesday 2/6 
Assignment 1: random media driver

Construct a sound or video patch that has unpredictable playback patterns.
Media can be downloaded off the net or personally acquired. Advanced folks need to incorporate or eradicate the desk top and use both NATO and MSP.

Week 5
Monday 2/11 Assignment 2: 

Basic Sensors/Connecting them to the EZIO/ADBIO

Wednesday 2/13

Pick an artist working in the field of electronic media arts, write a report and prepare a presentation for class perusal.

Week 6
Monday 2/18

Basic Sensors/Connecting them to the EZIO/ADBIO
Interfacing them with Max

Wednesday 2/20

Assignment 3:  - Transformation Sense to Media. Connect Sensors to your media patch transforming physical phenomena into media control.

Week 7
Monday 2/25

Audio convolution: 

  • MSP: Timing for audio objects, different methods of compulsive playback
Wednesday 2/27
  • Electronics
Week 8
Monday 3/4
  • Working Lab towards Alpha
Wednesday 3/6

Alpha Project Presentation: Critique II

SPRING BREAK March 11-15
Week 9
Monday 3/18 
  • Barney will be setting up his show, thus MIA
Wednesday 3/20
  • Barney will be setting up his show, thus MIA
Week 10
Monday 3/25 Wednesday 3/27
Week 11
Monday 4/1

Final Project Due: Critique I

Wednesday 4/3

Final Project Due: Critique II

Week 12
Monday 4/8

Individual Meetings - Refinement for Public Presentation

Wednesday 4/10

Individual Meetings - Refinement for Public Presentation

Week 13
Monday 4/15

Mandatory attendance - Evaluations

Visiting Artist

Wednesday 4/17
Week 14
Monday 4/22 Wednesday 4/24
Week 15
Monday 4/29

Critique I

Wednesday 5/1

Critique II

Friday 5/3