HoSTEM Outreach Workshop #1

16th May 2017, Foyle Arts Building, Ulster University at Magee

Shane Byrne (Maynooth University), Lewis Smith (Ulster University) and Dr Brendan McCloskey (Ulster University) led a small group through tools and methods for Inclusive Creativity and Digital Practices, emphasising DIY sound toys, Arduino and Web Audio API. The participants were offered a pot pourri of tools, and first chose to investigate ‘Arduino 101′, a gentle introduction to digitising physical gesture data, and the group quickly grasped the concept and process of building a simple dynamic sensor (DIY force sensors), and writing simple code in the Arduino IDE, to turn touch data into a dynamic stream of 10-bit values. Next, they were shown how to turn that data into sound, by building a graphite-and-copper ribbon controller, and by using the “tone” function in Arduino to generate pitches based on contact location. Finally, Lewis demonstrated how to access and control web-based touch interactions for sound, sharing and analysing code via codepen.io, and Lewis’ own website withsmiles.com. The participants left with a keen desire to explore the creative/interactive possibilities of the tools and processes demonstrated; it is hoped that their comments to friends and colleagues will generate greater interest for any future event of this nature.

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