Wiring Challenges 4: Ryoji Ikeda

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by Jaime Patarroyo in collaboration with Lina Antolínez and Carlos Mario Rodríguez

This challenge was designed as an exercise for beginners. It is a basic approach to tangible interactions and prototyping with electronics. We assume that at least someone in the groups of people involved in the resolution of this challenge have a previous knowledge in basic programming platforms like Processing and that Wiring software has been downloaded and installed.

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Brief Design a data capture device based on a physical phenomena. The device must have a narrative and must provide an experience related to both the physical phenomenon and a particular emotion. The challenge should be solved in groups of 4 or 5 people. Each group designs a different device. All devices have the same shape. Groups use different emotions and sensors randomly assign. The data collected will be commonly displayed in the same screen with a pre-generated visualization.

What do we need? Materials for the basic workshop (per group):

  • A Wiring i/o board and generic USB cable.
  • 1 breadboard.
  • 2 photoresistors.
  • 3 Different color LED's.
  • 1 potentiometer.
  • 2 switches.
  • 3 220 Ohm resistors.
  • 6 10k Ohm resistors.
  • 6 wire assembly jumpers.

Additional sensors for device (one for each group):
(These sensors are just a suggestion, they may vary depending on the instructor criteria)

  • Force square sensor.
  • 2 Temperature sensors (LM 35).
  • Gas sensor (MQ-3)
  • Sound sensor (MEMS ADMP401)
  • 2 Tilt sensors.

How to develop this challenge? This is a workshop to be developed in 1 day (8 hours). The morning session is an introduction to the tools (Understand) and the afternoon session for the development of the device (Build, Adjust and Test).



Step 1: Introduction

What is this challenge about?

This challenge was created within the Ryoji Ikeda Datamatics exposition at Universidad Nacional de Colombia. To start this challenge is important to think about his work and the relation with Wiring.

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Ryoji Ikeda is a Japanese artist who uses as a mean invisible numbers and data in the world and translates them into sound and visual elements that we as humans can perceive and interpret. Through its impeccable and impressive pieces he immerses us in contexts in which the numbers or data stop being just that to become the cell of an audiovisual work that involves all our senses and raises questions regarding the meaning, origin and function of the numbers we see.

Wch4 intro.jpg
Cc license.png Images above are under a Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA) license
and belong to von_boot , and HorsePunchKid, Flickr users.

Step 2: Starting Point

How can we capture data from our environment and design new ways of interacting with it, to make visible the changes occurring around us?

Present the brief, 'emotions' and sensors participants are going to work with. Emotions and sensors can vary depending on the instructor criteria.
For these workshop, there are three important pieces of code that must be downloaded (in order for it to work, all computers must be connected to se same WiFi network):

  • Server: Is written on Processing and is in charge of collecting and displaying the data send by each group device. Must be running in just one computer.
  • ClientProcessing: Is written on Processing and is in charge of reading values from the device plugged and sending them through WiFi network to the server. It must be running on each computer that has a measuring device connected.
  • ClientWiring: Is the Wiring piece of code that must be modified by each group to transform data in meaningful information. Must be uploaded to each device.

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Feel free to modify any code, if you consider you have done any mayor improvement please uploaded or send it to challenges[at]wiring.org.co so we can share it whit the Wiring community

Step 3: Inspirations

What could be useful to solve this challenge?

In these case, the work of Ryoji Ikeda itself can be very inspiring for solving the challenge, select some of his projects and present them in other to give the participants and idea of the scope of the challenge.

datamatics by Ryoji Ikeda

Wiringch datamatics.jpg
Cc license.png Images above are under a Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA) license
and belong to lmlrpt Flickr users.

Using pure data as a source for sound and visuals, datamatics combines abstract and mimetic presentations of matter, time and space in a powerful and breathtakingly accomplished work. datamatics is the second audiovisual concert in Ryoji Ikeda's datamatics series, an art project that explores the potential to perceive the invisible multi-substance of data that permeates our world. Projecting dynamic, computer-generated imagery - in pared down black and white with striking colour accents, Ikeda's intense yet minimal graphic renderings of data progress through multiple dimensions. From 2D sequences of patterns derived from hard drive errors and studies of software code, the imagery transforms into dramatic, rotating views of the universe in 3D, whilst the final scenes add a further dimension as four-dimensional mathematical processing opens up spectacular and seemingly infinite vistas. A powerful and hypnotic soundtrack reflects the imagery through a meticulous layering of sonic components to produce immense and apparently boundless acoustic spaces. datamatics, alongside the recently released and critically acclaimed dataplex album, marks a significant and exciting progression in Ikeda's work. video.

Step 4: Content

What do we need to know to solve the challenge?

In this challenge it is important to do some exercises to understand how the electronics work. With these exercises participants can become familiar with basic components and i/o board connections. Exercises of the Getting Started section are ideal for this:

1. LED Blink Turn on and off a LED

2. Photoresistor Connect a photoresistor and turn on a LED when reaching a specific value.

3. Switch Connect a Switch and turn on a LED when pressing it.

4. Digital Read Read and print data from a digital pin.

5. Analog Read Read and print a value from an analog pin.

6. Sending Multiple Data Sending data from Wiring to Processing.

7. Air Quality Connect a gas sensor and print data in the serial monitor.

8. Temperature Connect a temperature sensor (LM 35) and print data in serial monitor.

9. Force Resistor Connect a force sensor and print data in serial monitor.


Step 5: Planning

Which is the interaction script for every controller?

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Each group must design and sketch the interaction script based on the given sensor and emotion. For this, is important to synthesize the assigned emotion into an action that best represents it and can be measurable with the sensor.

In many cases it is interesting to share sketches and present the experiences designed by each group to get feedback and opinions of other participants so that they can consider them and think in the most appropriate way to solve the challenge.

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We suggest making different sketches where groups can draw the experience during different moments of the game to understand and choose the correct electronic components. It is necessary to always think about the robustness of the prototype and the right materials.

Step 6: Implementation

What do you need to make real the interaction?

Understand actions, phenomena, components and identify which are the right ones to build a prototype and why. It is important to think how the action is going to be evident in the prototype and how the data is going to meaningfully change the common visualization.

Step 7: Connections

How does the components should be connected?

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After choosing the electronic components, they have to be tested in a breadboard before welding any component. Once the components work you can install them in the prototype structure and weld all the connections.

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It is important to be sure that the connections are well done to avoid burning any component and that the wires are protected at the moment of integrating them to the prototype because movements of the players can affect them badly. This challenge proposes the use of delicate and expensive sensors, be very careful about the connections.


Step 8: Problems and Adjustments

What problems were identified and how were they solved?

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Participants must identify the problems that they had at the moment of integrating the circuit to the prototype and make different plans to solve them. Examine the most common problems and make necessary adjustments for each problem identified. It is common to have to regulate the speed of the code to adjust the designed control to the ideal interaction.

Groups must check the response of the common visualization in order to verify how meaningful it is and make the right adjustments.

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One of the most common problems at this moment is the Bad Election of Components because of considering some that don’t measure correctly the chosen action and the Fragility of the prototype for considering weak materials which wouldn’t support the final test.


Step 9: Competition

Participants of the challenges should present their projects and the process they followed during the 4 moments until the final result. The prototypes must be fully functional and robust enough Every result has to have a description showing how it works and has to be documented with photos and video to be added to the Wiring challenges Exhibition.

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Step 10: Certificate

In this last step the certificates of participation should be given to the participants. For doing this, the team should download the file bellow and print the necessary amount depending on the number of participants and fill them with the information about this challenge.

Download Certificate of Participation: Wiring challenges 4

This challenge was developed and documented at Universidad de Los Andes in December 2011.

Leader Team: Lina Antolínez, Jaime Patarroyo, Carlos Mario Rodríguez and Luis Alzate.

Photo and Video: Santiago Orjuela and Carlos Perez.

Language: English  • Español
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