Orlando Visit: FamiLab

I'm in Orlando for the holidays, so Saturday I decided to check out the local makerspace, FamiLab. Met some great makers who showed me the space and some awesome projects. Also learned that FamiLab stands for Four A.M. Lab, not Family-Lab. Big difference!

David "Pocky" Sikes has an RFID chip implanted in each hand. He's wired an Arduino into his motorcycle, so it turns on with a swipe of his hand. His front door knows the difference between his left hand and right hand, so it locks or unlocks depending on whether he's coming or going.

Craft/Work Show and my first Instructables

My work has been accepted to the Craft/Work show, to open at Beauty & Brawn Gallery in April, 2014.  They're interested in my knitted speakers, a project I hope to document here soon. I'm looking forward to working with the Craft/Work artists, and connecting with a community that embraces textiles.  I work in a department of audio engineers and I make a lot of work at the hackerspace Pumping Station: One. They're both great places with strong "engineering" cultures.  They're also both over 80% male. So when I started experimenting with knitting machines in 2012, seeking ways to knit e-textiles, I thought it'd be a great way to connect to a historically female community. However, when I started giving knitting machine workshops at PS:1, I was a little surprised that most of the people who signed up were guys. (In hindsight, it makes sense, given the membership demographics.)

The Clamshell Stompbox: Adding Code

Playing around with the clamshell stompbox, I used two sketches included in the Arduino examples to turn it into a functioning switch.

To make a momentary push-button switch, I used the sketch, “IfStatementConditional”, found in the “Control” examples.  

This sketch was meant for a potentiometer, so I treated the clamshell stompbox as one half of the potentiometer, and used a fixed resistor for the other half.

The Clamshell Stompbox: Part 1

This is a DIY variable resistor I designed as an interface for live performance-- like a stompbox.

Resistance ranges from 0 to about 20k ohms. It's very sensitive to slight changes in pressure. If you want subtle manipulation, I'd recommend using your hands. But with an Arduino, you can use big jumps in resistance as an on/off switch-- perfect for foot-powered control! The important thing is that it can take a beating, as long as the solder points are protected.

Capturing the Audience: A Primer for Sound Art in Public Spaces

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This post has been removed because a substantially revised version is slated for publication in Leonardo Music Journal Issue 24 (2014). After it appears in LMJ, I'll post the new and improved version here, 6 months following the publication. (It's all about copyright, folks!)

If you have any questions, get in touch!