Tech Labs


Thursday, April 5 – 7:30am

We will be visiting Democracy Now!  Breakfast will be provided and we’ll get to watch the taping of a live show and meet the journalists for a discussion afterwards.

Please fill out this survey soon in preparation for our visit:

Democracy Now! is located here:  207 W. 25th St., Floor 11

We will be meeting right at Floor 11 at 7:30am for breakfast.  Looking forward!



Thursday, March 8 – 10:00 – 12:00

Location:  Room 1011 at 2 West 13th Street

Oscar Brett and Leif Percifield will lead an aerial mapping workshop.  Here is an illustrated guide to Grassroots Mapping that might help you feel prepared for this Tech Lab.

Arduino Workshops with Nick Brewer – Attend either or both.

Wednesday, February 29:  6:00 – 8:00pm

Location:  Room B 261 in 66 West 12th Street

Thursday, March 1:  6:00 – 8:00pm

Location:  Room D 1002 in 6 East 16th Street

Arduino Workshop with Nicholas Brewer
Description of Arduino

Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It’s intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments.

Arduino can sense the environment by receiving input from a variety of sensors and can affect its surroundings by controlling lights, motors, and other actuators. The microcontroller on the board is programmed using the Arduino programming language (based on Wiring) and the Arduino development environment (based on Processing). Arduino projects can be stand-alone or they can communicate with software running on a computer (e.g. Flash, Processing, MaxMSP).

The boards can be built by hand or purchased preassembled; the software can be downloaded for free. The hardware reference designs (CAD files) are available under an open-source license, you are free to adapt them to your needs

For a really great and easy to read Judy Culkin’s Introduction to Arduino. It is set up like a children’s book and gets the main points across in a very fun way.

We have Arduino boards for the class…but please download the following before the Tech Lab:

Arduino IDE software – Download from here
If you can, please bring a laptop. We need to use them for the programming and install the arduino software from here.
If you can’t bring one in, you’ll be partnered up with someone who does.
Hardware Information
     – ATmega168/ATmega328 Chip
      – I/O digital pins
     – I/O analog pins
     – What is a pwm pin?
     – Power
     – What is a shield (more in depth on this later)
Software Information
     – Arduino Language Reference guide –
     – What is a sketch?
          – Blink –
     – Libraries
     – Definition
Open source hardware is hardware whose design is made publicly available so that anyone can study, modify, distribute, make, and sell the design or hardware based on that design.
Examples of interesting products
     – The Awesome Button
Shield definition from
     Shields are boards that can be plugged on top of the Arduino PCB extending its capabilities. The different shields follow the same philosophy as the original toolkit: they are easy to mount, and cheap to produce.
Useful Websites – Knowledge base, wide array of the possibilities – Great site with several small lesson plans to go through – Way to document electronic prototypes – List of the many different shields available
Resources Needed

If you would like, we do need basic components, LEDs, potentiometers, pushbutton switches. These aren’t required to attend, but would be useful to experiment with.

Thursday, February 23, 10:00am – 11:30am

Location:  Room 1011 at 2 West 13th Street

Scratch Workshop and Introduction to Processing w/Christo and Peter

Saturday, February 25, 2:00pm – 4:30pm

Location:  405 55 West 13th Street

Processing Intensive w/Christo

Please let us know which lab(s) you will attend this week as soon as possible.

Thursday, February 16

One of the artists involved in “Shifters”, Valerie Tevere, has agreed to open the gallery early for us, and will lead us in a personalized tour and discussion of the project!

Shifters proposes new means of engagement with public space in cities as diverse as Guadalajara, Cairo, Novi Sad, and Austin. Like the pronouns “I, you, we,” which shift depending on the person who is speaking, the title suggests relational shifts in the grammar of cities. Deploying strategies in video that range from music and fantasy to documentation, these artists’ practices also operate on an intimate scale in relation to larger urban dynamics.

We will meet at 10:30 at 365 Fifth Avenue (between 34th and 35th Streets).

For more information:

Thursday, February 9

We will meet from 10:00 – 12:00pm at The Brecht Forum at 451 West Street for a workshop taught be Miriam Aziz.

Here is a description of the workshop:

Miriam Aziz is a European performance artist, composer, musician and filmmaker who performs in a variety of music styles that she has referred to as “acoustic cinema.” Initially trained as a lawyer, she continued to experiment with different art genres, initially as a musician and then later combining dance and film.

She will be teaching a workshop on invisible social conflict based on her Artist (s) at Large lab.  Artist (s) at Large is a performance lab based in Italy and New York which aims to explore stories that are both particular and universal, underwritten by the inherent tension between the constructed self and the self that appears out of no-where. It is a way of engaging with the world drawing inspiration from and collaborating with artists from a variety of disciplines (music/dance/theatre/film) across borders – hence the name Artist (s) at Large.

The aim of the lab is mainly three-fold; first, to provide a laboratory for creative experimentation; secondly, to develop performance based projects in Europe and further afield; thirdly, to co-ordinate the Creative Thinking for pedagogical initiative in universities and law firms. These aims are separate yet related ways of fostering imagination, improvisation and innovation not only as values in their own right but as a way of promoting communication amongst society as a whole in order to embrace the diversity of human experience.

The lab is based on exercises drawn from theatre, music and movement and also includes textual analysis.

Thursday, February 2

We will meet from 10:00am – 12:00pm in Room 1011 at 2 West 13th Street.  We will be learning about critical interviewing technique. Please bring your own recording equipment – audio or video – if you have it.

Here is a link to the blog recap of the February 2nd Tech Lab.

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