Code and Material
Basic Seminar (Grundlagenseminar) in the Category »Material/Skulptur/Code«.
This seminar has been held over several years. It always slightly chances its focus and the issues students have to work on, but in general it is offered once a year. It formerly started with a stronger emphasize on code and later slipped more and more to the material side. Over the years I have held this seminar together with changing assistants: Lasse Scherffig, Karin Lingnau, Christian Faubel, David Hahlbrock, Andreas Muxel, and Martin Nawrath. Its forerunner »Sensor – Aktor« was more focused on electronics, arduino micro controller programming and sensors and effectors. Beside an introduction to processing it also included Max/MSP and Pure Data parts.
In recent years, my basic seminars are again more about code, cognition and artificial intelligence.
Other examples of this type of seminar can be found (here), (here) and (here).
Material is a base for every artistic work, as a carrier, a medium, or to stress aesthetics and functionality. Code in this respect can also be seen as material. As a semiotic part of a work, describing the performance and functionality of an object, code in itself always creates new connections with physical and tangible elements. Both of these aspects of material complement each other and none the less keep their own and specific features. Therefore they can be used and combined under various angles.Code meanwhile is also a run-of-the-mill material. What only two decades ago belonged to the exclusive field of engineers and programmers today is omnipresent and part of the standard equipment in many different design and production processes. Thereby Code is a material like any other. Its basic possibilities, qualities and behavior have to be explored, routines have to be practiced and the stubbornness of the material has to be experienced. Autonomous behavior, networking, collaboration and interaction are features the new semiotic material supports. During the seminar we will work with sensors and microcontrollers to provide programs with events from the surrounding world. And we use LEDs, motor, servos, and other actuators to control objects or actions in an environment of people, machines, and things. Beside simple programming skills laboratory work and the conception and construction of your own basic experiments are at the center of the seminar. We will learn and understand that only the interleaving of digital codes with physical material are able to unfold the surprising behavior patterns between people and their animated objects.