Friday, December 28, 2007


So I haven't posted for a while. Here is why:

I have been working on putting together a synth with the ICL8038 chip. Right now its just a collection of voltage controlled oscillators. The second board is my first attempt at a midi in port. At the heart of the project I will be using an Amtel ATmega2560. I will keep everyone posted on the progress.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Due Epoch

A thanks to everyone who made it to the Due Epoch show on November 24th, 2007. It was a good turn out especially considering the freezing temperature.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Arduino Class Update

Tonights class is canceled sorry about any inconvenience. I know this is last minute but something has suddenly come up.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007


So what is Fritzing? Its the newest project out there for prototyping your Arduino projects and other projects for PCB layouts. You can easily get ready to manufacture from this programming and its easier to use than some of the other programs out there like EAGLE CAD. There website is right [here] and you can download the alpha release.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Wearable arduino

If you would like to see my completed arduino wearable you can watch the video [here]

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Pot's and not the ceramic kind.

I have been making interesting sound devices for my art works as of late. And I figured I would share some of my findings with all of you. Some basic electronics tutorials can be found on Pots which are used in a number of applications for the Arduino.

The Atari Punk console project a Synth Project and a few other projects including an ICL8038CCPD project with Sine Wave, Triangle Wave and Square Wave out.

I started with the Music from Outerspace synth project and I have to admit it was difficult for a first timer. The Atari Punk was a much easier project to build. However now after building the ICL8038 project I am getting quite confident in my abilities and intend on doing some performance art with them.

I will post images shortly.

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Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Audio Works

I have not written for some time as I have been producing some time intensive works. Mainly sound generators, which I intend on using in a performance work and collaborations. These audio works use simple circuits to make square waves, saw waves and other odd combinations of pure sound. I work intuitively with these projects and the end result is sometimes unexpected. I find a similarity to supreamatist paintings in that the sounds are pure wave form and not samples. A kin to paintings like Kashmir Malevich's "Black Square" 1915 or "Broadway Boogie-Woogie" 1942-43 by Piet Mondrian. At any rate here are the bowels of the beast so to speak. The project is based on the Atari Punk Console project but I have added a second circuit which runs independant of the first, its not quite a square wave, it sounds closer to a saw tooth wave generator.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


The brains behind the wonderful, easy to use, and open, Processing programming language have just realsed an update. Processing is now at version 127. I can not stress how much I love this intitiative. Processing can be used with the Arduino to make interesting interactive works of art.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Arduino Workshop - Update

This weeks Arduino class will be canceled. However, class' will continue the following week.

Additionally the Arduino class will be expanded to cover programming with Processing.

These two systems can also be used in tandem to create interactive works that exist in both a physical and digital world. Hybridize your projects.

Lets collaborate.....

Friday, October 5, 2007

Nuit Blanche

Not much to say watch the video's.

video 1

video 2

Textile Arduino

After being inspired by various Arduino projects I have decided to make a wearable LED based art piece, by incorporating traditional textiles used through antiquity, leather, AVR, and LED's. Leah Buechley's work with Textile based micro-controllers is a great inspiration to me. Her line of textile Arduino's called LillyPads have just been released through SparkFun Electronics.

Here are two images of my ATmega168 connected to leather. The horrible solder job is actually deliberate and is intended to act as a stop for the conductive threads attached to the pins of the integrated circuit. After stitching towards the IC come up with the needle from under the IC, wrap the conductive thread around the pin with the solder bead then make a knot. The hold is very secure. (I will post a drawing of how I tie my knots). I chose leather because of its thickness and rigidity. The likelihood of the leather folding over is also minimal which reduces short outs between traces. It is harder to work with and you need special needles, however, these are often inexpensive
and readily available in most art supply stores (ie. Micheal's). The use of an IC socket is recommended for two reasons, first, you can remove your AVR from your project to reflash it using an ISP programmer. Second, you will need to bend some of the sockets pins and use the other unused pins to secure the IC socket to the leather. On the reverse side of the leather you will bend the remaining IC pins. Use an exacto knife to puncture holes through the leather, this will allow for easy socketing of the IC socket onto the leather.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Desktop Modificationous

After a full days work and five hours in the studio what better way is there to kill time than modifying your desktop. The thing I love about Mac's are the endless modifications you can do to them. I mean full GUI modifications. Simple tools like Unsanity's Shapeshifter, X Labels, and Fruity Menus allow you to do a complete overhaul on Apples beloved Aqua theme. I chose a theme called Kuro, which is handy for someone who produces art, edits photos, and makes music for extended periods of time like me. Combine this with Icons from Interfacelift and you have a winning theme suitable for the next OS distribution.

To continue a shift towards the dark colour of composite plastics I also changed the look of Firefox with a handy tool called Stylish. This add-on allows you to skin web-pages , site by site, change your Google search, Skin your GMail. The possibilities are endless. The thing I enjoy most about this add-on is the ability to avoid horrid, banal and unchanging web-pages. Google come on, its been what 5 years and your still using the white background. I guess unlike objects in the real world digital white is much easier to keep clean.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

AVR Weaerable Continued

Stage two of the wearable project is completed. I have the micro controller off the Arduino board and running on its own. There is a slight flicker issue and I am not entirely sure what is causing it. Perhaps the 8 mHz Clock speed is two slow for a clean transition between colors.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A million billion trillion LCD Screens

So during my normal search for artistic programming applications and possibilities, I stumble across this interesting idea. Vision as the bugs see; this new compound eye has endless possibilities. Alas my dream is a reality. If you have not already come across this in your internet travels, you should know about the delight that is This little programming environment is an excellent way to learn programming and a wonderful tool for artists. Anything and everything are possibilities, interact with the Arduino, Bluetooth, Serial Communications, Trigger Textile-Based works or use Textiles to trigger your program. Oh how I love being uninhibited, programatically speaking of course. Alas you ask what is the point of all this, the "Eye" yes. Has one, two, three, four or even five screens just not been enough. Need to keep up with the Jones' well your in luck. Be the envy of all your friends and neighbours when you show them your Matrix-esque wall of light. Here is the link. Linked with Processing you can now output your eccentric creations ad-infinitum or more simply put in multiplicity.

Before you fling yourself into
the amalgam of this digital utopia I call, take a minute to look at the other projects that are currently underway at the website.

The future is limitless.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


After much pain and mental anguish I have cracked through stage one of the AVRISP mkII programmer using AVRDUDE. Although many readers are thinking what are you jabbering about, this is a huge breakthrough for me and my AVR class on Thursday nights. In the spirit of GNU, FOSS, OSS, and other open initiatives I have decided to post my findings for others who wish to embark on the wonderful journey of AVR programming.

>$ sudo avrdude -c avrispmkII -p m168 -P usb:0000B0005522 -U hfuse:r:high.txt -U lfuse:r:low.txt

avrdude: AVR device initialized and ready to accept instructions

Reading | ################################################## | 100% 0.11s

avrdude: Device signature = 0x1e9406
avrdude: reading hfuse memory:

Reading | ################################################## | 100% 0.03s

avrdude: writing output file "high.txt"

the command line entry to access the AVRISP mkII through usb and print the fuse bits to files is:

sudo avrdude -c avrispmkII -p m168 -P usb:0000B0005522 -U hfuse:r:high.txt -U lfuse:r:low.txt

The next stage is programming the fuse bits, and the processor itself. More will follow.

Friday, September 21, 2007

What a twist.

Well this project wins over all other projects I have seen this week. Nicola Tesla eat your heart out.

It's the Barbie Doll electric chair.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Tolerance. Tonight a sliver of life was relinquished willingly. In order to understand intolerance. Perhaps there is a certain dearth of logic in such a task. That is to say trying to logically understand the illogical. To paraphrase, in the end the only thing that matters is whether you do or do not made a difference in the world.

What have you done?

Perhaps this gives us all the possibility to leverage a turning point. To critique our own intolerance in an attempt to gain more of what we lack. For we are all guilty parties to a larger or lesser extent.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Imaginus Iconificus

War'ing Warhol's

Warhol how I love to hate you! Your multi-billion dollar glorious comodification of the art world. This object is so useless but holds such an important role. I still wonder why I carry it. Perhaps its obsessive. It hardly posses a burden on me.

Although I think of Ed Burtynsky's manufactured landscapes every time I look at it. How much waste resulted in your manufacturing, how marred is the landscape.

Oh how I hate this little object.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Arduino Workshop

This Thursday from 7:00 to 8:30 an Arduino workshop will be held at my studio #2, 3rd floor @Rodman Hall. The workshop will be informal and the main topics will cover the potential use of the Arduino board in visual arts. No experience is required, and a collaborative approach to developing interesting projects will be discussed and pursued.

or you can

Order One

Sunday, September 16, 2007

LED Throwies

During a recent conversation with my multi-tool my attention was directed to this wonderful webpage. Specifically the very controversial and highly aesthetic act of LED Throwies. These things are a fantastic alternative to the aimless act of spraying, "I was here" all over the place. Spice up the night with light!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Verso Versa

For all you artist types reading this wonderfully contrived blog, I have decided to include some useful information on occasion, to break up the monotiny of the random craziness of my normal ramblings.

What is this?

A book you say!?

Yes this newly translated and released text is a fantastic read. This discourse on the modern image offers a wonderful answer to the question what comes after the death of the image. Jacques Ranciere is a professor in Paris and his new book "The Future of The Image" is a must read.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Amorphous Multiplicity

Amorphous blobs, contrived in linear fashion. How you remind me of Ukrainian Easter Egg's. This memory brings back feelings of nostalgia. Oh how we long to have you back, the friends the smells, the innocence of play. It was a simpler time, perhaps our relationship would not have been so strained had we met then. Oh how hindsight is 20/20.

Cranial Decimilia

100 grams of pure black injection molded perfection, adorned with silver hexagonal metallic Allen-key. Castoff into the abyss scorned by the Gitzo from which it came. A seemingly useless object, but one which contains such hidden and divine powers. Its dominion is our realm. It breaths by our use, your tightening of screws and fastening of bolts. Certainty resting on the knowledge that everything has its place. That everything is in order. After much internal discourse the notion of such a small hunk of plastic and steel vexes me. I think back to all the Ikea furniture hardware packages, the various car tools and the like acquired over the years. Redundancy, as I have never seen before, but with a twist. "A plastic socket wrench," I exclaim, unsure of the excitement or revulsion. Perhaps an idea born of the 1950's complete infatuation with things space-aged, or a 1960's furniture sensibility. It wreaks of solubility, a lack of permanence shared by soil along rivers edge and snow at the coming of spring. A useless castoff item born in the forge of capitalism.

Although the use value is clear and the utter lack of need apparent, but still, I cannot discard thee. Carried forth on my back I burden you as you gleefully anticipate my next move, to which you will undoubtedly mirror. Mimicry is a form of flattery so they say; but who are they anyway? You are tucked away deep in pocket, but there you hum a ditty to your own cadence, that has always been your way.

I think back to the day we first met. You a recent arrival from Italy, and I a local to southern-Ontario. You traveled so far to enter into such a charged relationship. How could either of us know the contempt we would share for each other.