Saturday, July 31, 2010

Tuttle LIVES!

ZOT!! i had an epiphany while listening to a quiz show about quirky current events. the report is that the cap that has finally worked on the Macondo Well was inspired/designed by an 'anonymous plumber'. for those of us that believe, it is an obvious sign that Archibald "Harry" Tuttle, plumbing outlaw (and dare say Ninja) lives!

viva la Tuttle. fuck the 27B-6!

i knew this whole oil well problem reminded me of a familiar dystopia...

Friday, July 30, 2010

workshop proposal

as part of an evil plan to develop my community down here, i am proposing a workshop to introduce basic electronics as an aesthetics of citizen science, participatory culture, sharing, and play. my proposal is to use the awesome Darwdio circuit as an example an instrument that crosses the disciplines of drawing and electronics. additional coolness is the fact that Jay Silver's Drawdio project was designed as a open source and re-mixable project :D

if you haven't seen Drawdio please look here; essentially it is a pencil turned into a Theremin (you might know i have a love of drawings that are literally functional circuits). another paragon of the participatory culture Lady Ada has made a Drawdio kit in collaboration with Silver. this is awesome because i can order kits ready to build from the Adafruit website

the evil part of the idea is to make me very conspicuous in the community and perhaps find some local maker culture people. a local art organization known as Artel(those of you in the 'Ho think of Works) has shown interest. so i only need to get the approval of the Board to get this going. i modeled the proposal using a form from another community arts application. i have attached the proposal and will gladly take advice from any colleagues who may read this.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>proposal starts here>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

a course in basic electronics
INSTRUCTOR: Thomas Asmuth
edited out for web

WORKSHOP SYNOPSIS: The world of citizen scientist and tinkerer appears to be enjoying a renaissance. Evidence includes social networks such as Instructables, publications like Make, and community oriented workshops/play spaces called Hackerspaces. These resources provide a low-risk entree for the novice who would like to expand their technological creative skills regardless of profession. Contemporary artist around the globe employ the creative methodologies of the tinkerer as a tool for production of artistic expression.

Participants in this workshop will be taught the basics of electronics circuit building using the DrawDio Kit, an instrument that straddles the worlds of electronic music/sound and drawing. Also students will get an introduction to Do-It-Yourself(DIY), electronics resources on the web, tools of the field, and practice in electronics fabrication. This workshop is a fun way for the absolute novice to get their feet wet in the field of electronics, but would also appeal to those who have experience in electronics and technology.

TIME FRAME FOR WORKSHOP: This is a 1-day, approximately 6-hour workshop. There is a 1-hour break for lunch. Saturdays or Sundays are best for instructor.


SKILL LEVEL REQUIREMENT OF PARTICIPANTS: Although this workshop is designed for novices (to teach the basics of soldering and electronics), it would be useful and/or enjoyable to students at all skill levels.

AGE REQUIREMENT: 14yrs to 114yrs.

Students will participate in a series of exercises, including the following:
short intro to basic electrical theory
introduction to though hole electronic components
intro to web resources
intro to basic tools to do DIY electronics
soldering like a pimp
assembly of project kit

• notebook, pencil/pen Optional: laptop computer or mobile device with internet access
• Students may use their own tools (tools will also be provided by instructor). A list is below in the recommended readings/materials section.
• $20 per kit, funds required at beginning of workshop. Instructor can only take cash, please bring correct change (do not assume instructor will have change).

Instructor will bring toolkits that can be used by participants. Students may use their own tools (see note in last section).

TERMS:Applicable Reimbursements:
The financial structure of this proposal is negotiable, the following reflects a structure from another arts organization. In this plan, Artel will reimburse me for buying the materials.

Workshop Fee, Honorarium:

Total Amount: Gratis

Materials(list with amount to be reimbursed):
TOTAL: up to $300 (see details)
Drawdio Kit from Adafruit Industries $20.00 per kit, up to: $240
Two Drawdio kits for instructor prep and practice: $40
Printed materials (handouts for class): $20

Artel expected to provide:

  • Equipment, Special Display Aids: A board to make notes on: an easel and pad, a chalk board, or dry eraser board to write on. Also chalk/dry marker pens and erasers to use. Projection screen or clear wall.

  • Handouts, Supplies, Materials: none if instructor is purchasing materials (see section above)

  • Room Set-Up preferences: Ideally, I like to work in the round or in a U-shape, but I can adapt to the limitations of the room. I will need a 4-foot table behind me to lay my props and supplies on.

  • Electrical: room/space needs electrical sockets. Extension cords and powerstrips will be required. Ideally the cords will be taped down for safety during the extent of the workshop day.

  • Seating/spatial requirements for participants: Participants will need slightly more than an average amount of space. They will need to work at a table or desk.

  • Other:

    • Access to sink to dampen sponges.

    • Insurance


Thursday, July 29, 2010

hmmm, do I have enough to say

a few days ago my dear brilliant friend and collaborator, Rubaiyat, challenged me to blog every day in August. he will be doing the same challenge, his blog is A Musing. i thought well nothing like the present and that night i fired off a post about the materials i found to hopefully weather proof a project. now it has been 4 days and i have had time but not blogged until now. will i be able to do it? the goal is to try to do a little significant writing every day. this is going to be a big challenge because I want to keep this channel very professional and about my work. we shall see...

the stuff is in

the CorrosionX is in (see last post) now I just have to find a couple of victim to try it out on.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

the summer's big research question, perhaps answered

as you might already know from a march post, i have been building autonomous little singing robotics. since our relocation, i have (naturally) been re-inspired by the pernicious environment of Florida. so much so that i wish that my artificial life-forms take place in the outdoors. which in turn, brings the question of how do electronics survive in a place where the humidity is so thick that metal will egregiously oxidize from contact with the air itself. i have several tools that I have owned for 15 or more years which never showed any corrosion that have turned completely rusty in the year we have lived here.
i really like the formal elements these components are making.i really like the formal elements these components are making.
the obvious solution is to encase the the structures in a protective box, but i felt hesitant to employ this solution. there are formal sculpture qualities emerging from the component architecture which i find stunning. likewise, immersion of my babies(!) into blocks of resin seemed to cheapen the contours and assemblages of circuitry. and both of these ideas present all manner of problems to mounting of the piezoelectric transducers, the voices of my bots!

after a little web crawling i have discovered a likely solution:CorrosionX, a product used by the marine industry and RC hobbyists for waterproofing their electronics. the bonding technology sounds good, water and corrosion resistance seem to have a long life, promises dielectric properties up to 20Kv, and an invisible coat. the order has been placed and i look forward to my tests of the product. if this works well, i may realize my vision of truly embedding the critters into the environment for somewhat of a feral life.

Friday, July 02, 2010

mission control office

today i stepped back into reality; I used the day to get together the office of Mission Control in order to move my electronics workshop inside. i have enjoyed using the garage and even relished the romance i know about garages as laboratories for big things. the reality of a southeastern summer has hit though nd it is simply too humid & hot to consider working out there. got significant amount of the reconfiguration done today. looking forward to finishing in the next two days. too bad I can't move my fabrication shop indoors also.