Electronics Workshop: Body as Data Controller


Week 4: February 4 – February 10

Mastering the basics of electronics and Lily Pad Arduino micro-controller coding. Discussion of wearable computing and electronics; interfaces /connectors, wires, antennas; micro-controllers, input sensors, output actuators, open source software programming; energy sources and batteries; electronic textiles and enhanced materials.


Due Next Week: February 11

1 – Reading

Steve Dixon, Virtual Bodies (pg. 213-220), Digital Performance, 2007

Reference the essay in your research critique and be prepared to discuss in class.

2 – Research Critique: Virtual Bodies in the Third Space

Research the following works by visiting next week’s syllabus page, Virtual Bodies and Movement in the Third Space.  Under “Works for Review”  in the Lecture Notes, study the artworks and be sure and follow links to the artist site and any other documentation of the work. Incorporate the above reading (Virtual Bodies) into your research critique, quoting at least one passage that is relevant to your critique.

  1. Paul Sermon, Telematic Dreaming, 1993 (Yuhao, Xin Hong, Gladys)
  2. Annie Abrahams, The Big Kiss, 2007 (Tiffany, Charlene, Feliciana)

Here are additional instructions for the research critique:

  • Create a new post on your OSS site
  • Write approximately 250 words to concisely summarize your research
  • Document your research with relevant hyperlinks, images, video, and other media
  • Add a featured image
  • Apply the “Research” category
  • Apply appropriate tags
  • Post a comment on at least one other research post prior to the following class

HEADSETS: And don’t forget we are on Adobe Connect next week. Make sure you have checked out your headsets.


If you are having any trouble with the form, just go to the A/V checkout on the first floor. EVERYONE IS REQUIRED TO BE WEARING HEADSETS, so please followup on this.


Wearable Electronics Manual (to be handed out in class)

Additional resources:

  1. https://www.adafruit.com
  2. http://lilypadarduino.org

Introduction to Lilypad

Lilypad Arduino:


Students will design a costume or device that interacts with space, sound or the human body and the network, and how data will be used as a control source that transforms the body into an instrument and control source for sending and receiving data. Through the use of Lily Pad Arduino electronics, textiles, and other materials, the workshop will explore how the body becomes an instrument that interacts with space, light, sound, and the network.

As an outcome of the micro-project, students will formulate ideas for the final project, and will order any necessary electronics and materials to be used for the construction of the costumes and wearables in time for week 8 of the semester. During weeks 5 – 7, students will consult with Galina to finalize their ideas and insure that all orders are completed on time.

LilyPad is a set of sewable electronic pieces designed to help you build soft interactive textiles. A set of sewable electronic modules–including a small programmable computer called a LilyPad Arduino–can be stitched together with conductive thread to create interactive garments and accessories. LilyPad can sense information about the environment using inputs like light and temperature sensors and can act on the environment with outputs like LED lights, vibrator motors, and speakers.


Important Links:

Getting Started With Lilypad

Projects Created with Lilypad

Adafruit Online Shop for Arduino

Production Notes:

Order electronics / ready by Week 8.

Students will consult during weeks 5 – 7 to be sure that all electronics are ordered for Week 8.

Galina designs Angeline’s costume and wearable and sends to Angeline in time for Week 10 movement workshop. So we know the communication between the costumes. Provides a model for the other students in Week 8.