Photo Credits: Tonya Whitlock
I recently visited Waubonsee Community College to give a talk to Debra Kayes Halpern's Design students, sharing some of my knitted circuitry and discussing my sculpture installed at the college. Waubonsee had invited me to do a hands-on workshop with the students but the course was in an art room without any electronics tools so I couldn't introduce them to the joy of soldering or breadboarding. Instead, we made Throwies, a brilliantly simple form of electronic graffiti invented by the Graffiti Research Lab at Eyebeam.
Throwies require zero tools and minimal materials. Tape the LED to the battery, then tape on a rare earth magnet. Find a public space with metal infrastructure (a bridge? building pipes?) and toss your Throwie till it sticks. We tossed our around in a black box theater on campus.
***Fun fact: the LED doesn't need the standard protection resistor in this circuit because the coin cell battery's internal resistance prevents it from delivering enough current to damage the LED.