ART2930C Media Experiments in Art and Technology

Semester: Spring 2011
Course Credit Hours: 3
Professor: Anthony Castronovo (College of Fine Arts)
Professor: David Cheney (College of Engineering)
Office Hours: By appointment
Office Location: FAD 225
Contact: |
Class meets T/H 11:45 - 2:45pm at WARPhaus

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Art does not reproduce the visible; rather, it makes visible. -Paul Klee

Work out of your own work. Don't work out of anybody else's work.-Richard Serra

Creativity includes the ability to survive and survival needs creativity.-Cai Guo-Qiang

This course is a collaborative, interdisciplinary, cutting-edge opportunity for students who want to gain real world engineering experience while learning to think creatively and analytically to create engaging works of art. The goal of MEAT is to stimulate interdisciplinary collaboration and to develop creative methodologies that will enhance the life-long creative practice of both artists and engineers. Students will learn basic electronics and the Arduino prototyping platform to create programmable, sensor-driven, responsive circuits. Teams will be formed based on equal ratios of Engineering and Art students who register for the course. These teams will propose and produce projects that use electronic devices in a functional yet creative way. The teams will produce their projects over the course of the semester with assistance from professors in Engineering and Art. The result of these collaborations will be evaluated based on their functional and creative merits.

What Do Artists Know?




Jana Sterbak Oasis | Tim Hawkinson | Ben Rubin/Mark Hansen Listening Post | Eduardo Kac | Rebecca Horn | Sabrina Raaf Grower | Paul Vanouse | Critical Art Ensemble Graffiti Research Lab (laser tag, night writer) | Plastiki | Nadkarni | Howard Rheingold on Collaboration | Natalie Jeremenjenko | Theo Jansen | Jonathan Harris and Sep Kamvar | Golan Levin | Syn Labs | Wearable electronics , +1 , +1| MIT FabLab , +1 | Other Links.... | Lynne Bruning | Haptic Radar | Cesar Harada |delicious


Participation, support, and respect in all phases of this course are imperative. The class dynamic depends on your energy, initiative, attitude, productivity, and willingness to get involved in group discussion and critiques. Participate in a responsive manner during critique and discussion. Complete all assigned readings and take notes so you can contribute to the discussion in class. Make safe and considerate choices with equipment and facilities. Do your part to keep the lab clean. Refrain from phone use, texting, chat, e-mail, and non-course related web surfing during class time. Ask questions and contribute answers. Offer constructive feedback during group discussions, class workdays, and critiques. Reflect on the comments you receive, to gauge the effectiveness of your work. Examine the way your ideas change, evolve, and influence formal and conceptual choices in your work. Development as an artist often hinges on your ability to make effective choices, express ideas clearly, and have fun.


Grades are meant to reflect effort, ideas, and execution. Your overall grade will be based on participation and projects (including creativity, critical thinking, engagement with course information, research, presentation, technical proficiency with hardware and software, aesthetic application of technologies, and problem solving). Expectations will be explained in detail for each project when it is assigned. If anything seems unclear, you are responsible for asking the instructor for clarification far in advance of the due date. The most successful projects will exhibit close connections between their conceptual, technical, and material dimensions. UF grading policies website:

Final grades are based on:


All students are expected to attend every class, prepared to participate. Up to two unexcused absences will be overlooked from a grading standpoint. The overall grade is lowered at the instructor’s discretion for each unexcused absence thereafter. Six or more absences, whether excused or unexcused, will result in a non-passing final grade. Tardiness and/or lack of appropriate class materials are unacceptable and may count as unexcused absences. Projects reflect learning, so you will succeed more easily with perfect attendance. Please refer to UF attendance policies:


Grades for late assignments and projects will be penalized at the instructor’s discretion (usually 20%). No work will be accepted after two class periods from the due date. 3D printing takes a long time, so you MUST meet deadlines for your projects to be included in print batches. Always attend class on project due dates. Even if you are not prepared to turn in your assignment, you still need to participate in discussion.


Please do your own work, or you will fail. Students are expected to abide by the UF Academic Honesty Policy, which defines an academic honesty offense as “the act of lying, cheating, or stealing academic information so that one gains academic advantage.” Familiarize yourself with the academic honesty guidelines set forth by the University of Florida:


Never bring food or drinks into the lab, not even water. Class periods will always include breaks so you can step outside. Save your work onto a portable drive before logging off; files left on lab computers may be erased without warning. FAC 306 lab hours: UF CIRCA lab hours:


Students requesting classroom accommodation must first register with the Dean of Students office. The Dean of Students will provide documentation to the student who will then provide this to the instructor when requesting accommodation. The ADA office is located in Room 232 Stadium. Phone: (352) 392-7056 TDD: (352) 846-1046


This resource covers important policies and procedures for students:


301 Peabody Hall PO Box 114100, Gainesville, FL 32609-4100 Phone: (352) 392-1575.


Please familiarize yourself with the UF SA+AH Health and Safety Handbook, available online: Sign and return the waiver distributed on the first day of class. You are responsible for helping maintain the safety of the labs, especially by keeping them clean and free of trash and debris. Pick up after yourself, or your final grade will be lowered at the instructor’s discretion. Michael Christopher ( is the area contact for health and safety issues. The following is an overview of the health and safety information specific to digital media art classes.

Area Specific Information: Digital Media

  1. Hazards of Materials
    Batteries, old monitors, lamps from digital projectors if broken may release mercury. THERE ARE NO KNOWN HEALTH HAZARDS FROM EXPOSURE TO LAMPS THAT ARE INTACT.
  2. Best Practices
    Though not much is generated, the Digital Media technician is certified for handling Hazardous Waste by the University of Florida. For installations or sculptural elements, please cross-reference with other area specific information as needed.
  3. Area Rules
    • Follow all SA+AH Health and Safety handbook guidelines.
    • Alcohol is not permitted (open or closed containers).
    • No smoking in the building or within 50 feet of the entry.
    • No eating or drinking in the lab.
    • Shoes must be worn at all times.
    • Protective equipment must be worn for hazardous work.
    • Do not block aisles, halls or doors with stored items or when working. This is a violation of fire codes.
    • Do not store anything on the floor. This impeded cleaning and creates a hazard.
    • Do not park bikes in the building.
    • Clean up spills immediately.
    • Take items which do not fit into the trash to the dumpster, follow dumpster guidelines.


There are 2 types of labels used in the SA+AH-- Yellow and White. Both labels are found at the red MSDS box and are supplied by the SA+AH. Each is used for a different purpose.

All new and or used product in containers (hazardous or what might be perceived as hazardous -i.e. watered down gesso, graphite solutions, satellite containers of solvents, powders, spray paints, fixatives, oils, solvents, etc…) must be labeled within the SA+AH to identify their contents. Labels can be found at the MSDS box in each studio and work area. All containers must be marked with your name, contents and date opened. All secondary/satellite containers for hazardous materials must be marked with content, your name and the date opened. All unmarked containers will be disposed of with no notice.

WHEN HAZARDOUS ITEMS ARE DESIGNATED AS TRASH. All containers must have a yellow label identifying the contents that are designated as trash for weekly EHS pick up.

Note: Hazardous Waste labels should include all constituents in the waste mixture as well as an approximate percentage of the total for that item and must add up to 100%. Labels should also include the Bldg and room number of the shop generating the waste along with the Waste Manager for your area, this is located on the SWMA sign posted at the sink or at the Waste Management Area.


Jan 6• intro and look at what's going on in contemporary art/eng ; contact info and survey for skills/strengths; order kits: Arduino, Protoshield, tools? HW Spend some time this weekend doing further research into artists and links above

Jan 11• brainstorming in teams.

Jan 13• Circuits 101. More examples art/eng.

Jan 18• More examples art/eng.

Jan 20• soldering demo, build protoshield.

Jan 25• take things apart (everyone should bring in something to take apart, toys, robots, printers, we will scavenge for parts). Prepare for tutorials by downloading FTDI driver and Arduino software.

Jan 27• Begin Arduino tutorials.

Feb 1• class discussion: what are your project ideas so far? more art examples

Feb 3• demo day on peripherals, 4 stations, each group rotates through.

Feb 7• present proposals, group discussion (formal report, abstract, sketch, code example, parts list and budget, functional sketch/description, timeline).

Feb 9• Studio work day.

Feb 14• Studio work day.

Feb 16• Studio work day.

Feb 21• Studio work day.

Feb 23• Studio work day.

Feb 28• Studio work day.

Mar 2• Studio work day.

Mar 5-12• No Classes, Spring Break!!!

Apr 20• Last day of class.

Apr 23• Public Exhibit at WARPhaus