Yesterdays toys and discarded electronics are hacked, modified, and ‘bent’ (act of random short-circuiting) into low-voltage battery powered musical instruments. Experimental electronic artists look to re-appropriate lo-fi, antique digital items for manipulation during live performances. This class explores the theory and practice of circuit bending, while challenging the students to create their own circuit bent toys to use in sound art or performance. Students learn basic electronics skills while gaining practical experience in 'Do it Yourself' (DIY) culture.
Students of Sarah and Jane circuit bending during "The Art of Science" class at Science Discovery Denver 2009
Phase 1: Introduction and Theory
Participants will explore the theory and practice of:
- History of circuit bending and re-appropriation of discarded electronic mediums
- Technical aspects to circuit bending
Soldering (wires and connections on electronic boards)
Programming (chips and cards)
Engineering (how will it connect and be transmitted)
- Resources for circuit bending
- Circuit bending culture (Artists and perspectives)
- Hacking your medium
Shorting the circuits (almost)
Adding 1/4' and 1/8" audio jacks
Jane working with kids bending an electronic book strip. "The Art of Science" is a science discovery 2009 class which explores the art of circuit bending, while teaching practical skills in electronics. From thrift store to soldering, students learned the basics of circuits, and the complex concepts of circuit bending and experimental electronic art.
Phase 2: Practical Experience: Bending your childhood
Students will find discarded electronic items from their childhood, in which to circuit bend. Working with the guide of the instructor they will seek to hack and reprogram their electronic device for use in a live demonstration and performance
Also students will have an opportunity to meet an artist who uses circuit bent instruments to perform live.
Phase 3: Finishing Process and Perspectives
An evaluation and feedback session will be held so participants can have an opportunity to improve in the future with regards to technique, skill, or style. A final performance of students playing their circuit bent instruments will complete the class.
Art of Science "Circuit Bending" class @ Science Discovery Summer 2009