Course Description:

The purpose of this studio course is to provide skills and information that will be useful for artists who use electrical devices in their artworks. (-Note: This is now a 2 semester long course. MPSM337 is followed in the spring by MPSM311.)
It covers AC/DC current and how to work with it safely. We start from scratch and show how to use components like resistors and transistors, read schematics and build electrical circuits. The ultimate goal is for artists to incorporate this knowledge in the production of a final project of their own design.
The second (digital) part of the course involves programming microcontrollers. These may be used in sculptural installation, performance, robotics, costumes, etc. Many examples will be shown. We're currently using the Atmel series of chips (microcontrollers), the same ones used in the popular "Arduino board". The idea is to process information about environmental conditions such as light, pressure and sound and to respond with controllable switches, timers, motors, lighting and sound devices. The course also covers interfacing microcontrollers with multimedia software environments like Processing, pd (PureData) and MAX/MSP.