Electronics for Artists is a course that introduces the use of electronics as a creative medium. The course covers some basic concepts and theory of electricity, various analog circuits, prototyping your own circuits, microcontroller programming, and the basics of PCB design.
It is not an engineering course. The course focuses on results and practice, not on the theory and the most efficient circuit design.
The course will also go through some essential tips for safety, use of various tools, best practices, and how to take care of the equipment and facilities.
Week One – Components, Analog Electronics, Soldering
- Tue 10/01 9-12 – Resistance is Futile
- Wed 11/01 9-12 – Capacitors & Timers
- Thu 12/01 9-12 – 4017 Counter & Sequencing
- Fri 13/01 9-12 – Sounds & Soldering
Week Two – Arduino, Digital Electronics
- Tue 17/01 9-12 – What Is a Microcontroller? Why Should I Care?
- Wed 18/01 9-12 – (Almost) Everything About LEDs
- Thu 19/01 9-12 – Making Sense of the World
- Fri 20/01 9-12 – Robots, Motors & Making Things Move
Week Three – Project Tutoring & Small Lectures
- Tue 24/01 9-12 – Work on Your Project | PCB Design Basics
- Wed 25/01 9-12 – Work on Your Project
- Thu 26/01 9-12 – Work on Your Project
- Fri 27/01 9-12 – Final Presentations of Your Projects
Prior knowledge of electronics is not required, but it is recommended that you have some basic knowledge of programming.
Attending either Software Studies: Programming for Artists or Software Studies for Media Designers is highly recommended before taking this course.
General Course Guidelines
- This course focuses on projects based on stand-alone electronic projects (analog circuits and Arduino-based works).
- Try to focus on the electronics, Arduino programming, and physical computing side on your final project. Try to avoid working on a project that requires a computer to run. (Media Lab has many other courses that combine Pure Data, Processing, or other applications to your electronics projects. Let’s try to do something different here.)
- Although we do one very simple oscillator + audio amplifier project, this is not a synthesizer/noise making box workshop. You can work on something like that as your final project, but we are generally looking at things in a bit wider perspective. (Again, there is another course that focuses on experimental instruments)
- USING HIGH VOLTAGE AND/OR MAINS ELECTRICITY (230V AC in FInland) IS NOT ALLOWED. This is purely for safety reasons, since mains electricity can very easily be lethal if you don’t know what you are doing. We will be working only with fairly low DC voltages and low current.
- If you are planning on using anything above 12V of voltage or anything with current above 1 amp, make sure you double check your circuit with Matti.