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On Thursday we had an Arduino Technology workshop with Sylvia. The aim of the workshop was to master the basics of the Arduino Microchip board and how we can use its capacities to control sound and light in our artwork.

The Arduino board is made by an Italian company however a similar model called Makey Makey was made by American Duo Jay Silver and Eric Rosenbaum. Makey Makey was our first insight into this kind of technology. The idea behind it is to connect everyday objects to the computer in order to create a keyboard. All that is needed is the board, two alligator clips and a USB. In class we experimented with this using objects that we found around us. After many tries and many fails, we found that the most effective material was tin foil. From this we managed to use the spacebar.

Sylvia explained the Arduino is cheap and easy to use making it accessible with artists which is enhanced by the Arduino community which spreads ideas and thoughts about this technology. Arduino uses a unique coding program and language which simplifies and builds upon C

After playing with the Makey Makey we connected the Arduino board to the computer and experimented using coding in order to turn on and off an LED light. I found the coding aspect difficult but very rewarding once I knew I had completed it. Although I find this technology complexed and I have difficulty grasping hold of the concept, I can see the ways in which Arduino can be used for many alternative types of art. For this reason I am eager to explore further Arduino and its capacities.

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