Faculty Name

Joshua Gumiela

Document Type






Course Subject


Course Number


Course Section


Course Title

Special Topics: Microcontrol

Academic Term and Year

Winter 2015



Hamline Plan Letter


Course Description

Physical computing refers to the study of the human-machine interface. This course will teach students how to harness real-world data, such as human motion, to create and control electronic media such as video, sound, and kinetic sculpture. Students will learn the essentials of Arduino and Max programming, how to connect electronic sensors and kinetic devices, and how to use Arduino input and output in concert with the computer to create digital interactive and installation art. As they develop their projects, students will be introduced to the history of user interface design and discuss contemporary digital media artwork, theories, and trends. (It’s hard to say who/what will be available during that month, but a visit to the Walker and/or a visiting artist might be in order.) Artists and engineers discussed will include Doug Englebart/Bill English (mouse), Norbert Wiener (cybernetics), Alan Kay (GUI), Nam June Paik, the Fluxus Performance Workbook, John Cage, Golan Levin, etc. Students will complete two physical computing projects during the course, which will culminate in a public exhibition of their work. Both projects will involve Arduino and Max programming, where one project is designed for physical input (i.e. sensors) and the other is designed for physical output (i.e. servos). Along the way, students will build several standalone applications in class exercises that they can incorporate into their projects and share with their peers. Example projects include, but are not limited to: - realtime VJ software and controller design - public interactive video installation - kinetic sound/video sculpture - generative audio software and controller design - hands-free digital drawing/painting - interactive digital music installation - glitch/demoscene art - visual music installation NOTE: This course has a $250 fee. For more detail, click here.