Final Project: Project Update #1

Materials – Electronics

Main Board:

LilyPad Arduino 328 Main Board with FTDI Basic Breakout

Power Supply:

  • CR2032 Lithium Cell Battery – 3 V
  • Polymer Lithium Ion Batteries – 2000mAh 3.7V
CR2032 Lithium Cell Battery and battery holders
Polymer Lithium Ion Batteries With JST Connector



Light Sensor
  • Light sensor: This is a simple to use light sensor that outputs an analog value from 0 to 5V. With exposure to daylight, this sensor will output 5V. Covering the sensor with your hand, the sensor will output 0V. In a normal indoor lighting situation, the sensor will output from 1 to 2V.

Accelerometer: The LilyPad Accelerometer can detect joint movement as well as inclination and vibration. The ADXL335 outputs a 0V to 3V analog signal on each of the X, Y, and Z axis. We will need to convert this analog voltage to a gravity amount and use trigonometry to calculate a true ‘angle’. If we are not looking for tilt, it is very easy to use this sensor for basic motion sensing.


  • LED – Blue, pink, yellow and white.
  • Tri-Color LED: Use the Tri-Color LED board as a simple indicator, or by pulsing the red, green, and blue channels, we can create any color.
  • Buzzer
LED (Blue, Yellow, Pink and White)



Tri-Color LED

Switches, Buttons and Protoboard



Wireless Communication

  • Bluetooth Mate Gold





Conductive Thread and Needle Set



Light Sensor

The LED is turned off when it’s bright and turned on when it’s dark. I used conductive thread as connections and it worked pretty well. Then I used a small cell battery as the power supply.



I used the buzzer to play different tones. (Basically just change the vibration frequency of the buzzer.)



I tested the connection of Bluetooth Mate to my Mac. It took quite a while to connect to my Mac and the connection seemed unstable.

I managed to connect the device and send data (8888888….) to my laptop as you can see from the serial monitor. However, the connection always failed after a short period of time. I am still figuring out why.


Accelerometer: Motion Detection

One input: accelerometer.

One output: Buzzer

I used an accelerometer to detect my wrist movements along x, y and z-axis. Any acceleration along these axes will trigger the buzzer.

In the second video:

One input: Accelerometer

Two outputs: Buzzer and Tri-color LED

I also increase the threshold to change the sensitivity of the accelerometer. So if the movement is not big enough, it won’t be detected as you can see in the video. However, there are still some delays. And the sounds generated are quite random and inharmonious.


That’s the progress I have made during the past week. It’s mostly electronics. However, I also went to the studio and found Galina to learn about the sewing machine and how to fuse platics for the costume design. I will focus more on the costume design in the coming week.

Project Hyperessay #1: Concept Statement / Narrative Overview


What is “touch” in the third space?  How does it feel to “touch” without physically touching? How do our digital representations in the third space connect to our corporeal bodies during the “touch”? How has the “virtual embrace” transformed the way in which we engage in social media and digital communications?  

To get better answers to these questions, we have been explicating the concept of “touch” in the third space throughout the first half of the semester by exploring such topics as “the virtual body,” “distributed presence,” and the “third space.”

The objective of the collaborative project Touch is to investigate critical concepts and fundamental artistic concerns inherent in the emerging form of live networked performance in the third space, through creative dance movements, interactive wearables, smart textiles, audio-visual arts and the Critical Response Process (CRP).  

This collaboration between School of Art, Design & Media at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and the School of Arts, Media & Engineering at Arizona State University is happening on Thursday, April 21 (SGT) in a third space where the artist Angeline Young and students of ADM will perform as a collective body. And the performance will be live broadcasted over the Internet to expand the experience of the networked performance to the global audience despite of the spatial divide.  


Touch explores how proximity and distance has reshaped, challenged and transformed the way in which we engage in social relations and human contact.



Virtual Embrace in the Third Space

“Virtual Embrace” can have many interpretations. It is an entirely new way of negotiating proximity, of sensing the other person, of coordinating the actions, of balancing the scale. As a dancer, I interpret these interactions between artists as an exchange of personal histories, experiences or aspirations expressed through movements and the creation of live audios. 

I discussed in one of my research critiques the idea that the dancer, instead of dancing to the music, became a composer or musician playing the music with her body/costume/space as a musical instrument. The wireless dance costume powered by Arduino Lilypad and motion sensors puts the magic of live musical composition in the hands (body) of the dancer, who can explore and improvise new shapes and structures within an otherwise free musical environment.

As a result, the virtual embrace will mainly happen in the form of a collaborative dance performance. However, it is still unique because the music created by Angeline will be heard by us through the third space. Each of us will react and move differently to the sound based on our own personal experiences and feelings, at the same time creating new audios which add on more layers to the current sound track. Both sides of artists thus are able to “touch” each other through generated sounds. As the process unfolds in time and space, Angeline and we will build a sense of affiliation and mutual understanding. Our dance movements although not pre-choreographed will look in sync and the audios we create through dance will eventually become a harmonious blend of personal narratives.   


Research Critique: Costume and Textile


Dance in its Most Pristine Form

Without the fixed constraints of a pre-composed piece of music the artist’s personal narrative is embodied through pure movements – dance in its most pristine form.

In my research critique of dance performance, Eiko & Koma’s iconoclastic work combines slow and nuanced movement vocabulary with bold theatrical design. Whether performing in a theater or in natural sites outdoors, Eiko & Koma often move as if they are not human. Although this is not exactly what I imagine our movements will look like, I do like to borrow the simpleness and directness from their dance. Essentially, dance is a way of communication. 

Eiko and Koma
Eiko and Koma


Touch is not fundamentally about technology. Nor is it an attempt to define a new genre of art practice. It is about what we have been researching for half of the semester which is called “the virtual embrace”. We hope through this experiment of telematic collaboration, we could have better answers to the amorphous and intangible nature of human communication in the third space.