Interactive Installation and Performance Syllabus

Interactive Installation and Performance

Laura Simpson
Parsons Design and Technology Graduate Student

Class: Wednesday 3pm-5:40pm
Location: 2 W 13th St. 1009

Course Description:
This course is an intermediary course that can be taken after Max/MSP1 and Physical Computing1, and before Max/MSP 2 and Physical Computing 2. The coursework focuses on combining sensor and outside data with the Arduino and Max/MSP to create interactive spaces. Students will be exposed to theoretical work on installations, performances and interaction design, as well as technical knowledge to better enable the student to further his or her knowledge in building interactive spaces.

Students will complete two smaller themed projects and a student proposed final project. The final project will not require a final paper, but in the final presentation, students must cover the design questions raised and desired user outcome from the project.

Special class sessions and guest presenters will offered to address the interests and level of the class.

The course will be structured in three phases: 1) Conceptual development via readings, lectures, class discussion and viewing interactive works. 2) Technical lectures, expanding the students proficiency with designing and developing interactive environments. 3) Lab time where students can learn from peers and the instructor can assess progress.

It is open to graduate students and advanced undergraduates.

Prerequistes: Max/MSP 1 and Physical Computing 1

Class Blog:

Students will be sent a WordPress login and be responsible for posting assignments online.

Reading Assignments:
There will be regular reading assignments to complement our studies. Most readings will be linked on the course website or emailed directly to the students. When students begin to work on final projects, some additional readings or viewings may be assigned. All reading assignments must have a written response posted by the end of the day that they are due.

Project Documentation:
Each project must be properly documented with photographs and video of the project. Students will post the project description, documentation, materials used and encrypted Max patch to the class blog.

Final Project:
Students may work collaboratively on the final project. Collaborative pairs must show individual documentation of their contribution to the pairing.
Student’s progress and final documentation should be updated weekly as well as feedback from peers.

Max/MSP 5.0
While students are welcome to work with Pure Data, the course instruction will use Max/MSP.

Sensors will be made available in class for demonstrations. For individual projects, students can purchase sensors from RadioShack, or
Other materials will vary.


Some of the Readings for this course may be taken from the following texts:

Space, Site, Intervention: Situating Installation Art
Erika Suderburg, Editor
Designing Interactions
Bill Moggridge

Digital Art
Christine Paul Max Objects and Patches made by some of the most active practitioners out there. The Max/MSP Jitter Site The Arduino Site The Maxuino Site

Course Outline
Week 01 27 Jan Introduction and Overview Max/MSP Jitter + Arduino Refresher
Week 02 03 Feb Reading Assignment #1 Maxuino + Types of Sensors
Week 03 10 Feb Project #1 Assigned Reading Sensor Data
Week 04 24 Feb Reading Assignment #2 Smoothing Sensor Data
Week 05 03 Mar Project #1 Due Guest Speaker TBD?
Week 06 10 Mar Project #2 Assigned Multiple Sensors
Week 07 17 Mar Spring Break
Week 08 24 Mar Reading Assignment #3 Networked data
Week 09 31 Mar Project #2 Due Guest Speaker TBD?
Week 10 07 Apr Reading Assignment #4 Wireless/ Large Spaces
Week 11 14 Apr Final Project Proposals Due Individual Meetings with Students
Week 12 21 Apr Work Session: In Progress Reports TBD: Student’s interests
Week 13 28 Apr Work Session: In Progress Reports TBD: Student’s interests
Week 14 07 May Work Session: In Class Critique What’s Next in Max & P-comp?
Week 15 14 May Final Project Presentations

Week 1: Refresher for Max
Patch Organization
Encapsulating Patches
Max Community Of Resources

Week 2: Maxuino
Types of Sensors
Sensor Ranges
Max, Arduino and your Computer
Reading Assignment

Week 3: Reading Sensor Data
Your sensor and its schematic
Maxuino Patch
Moving the Data Around

Week 4: Data Smoothing
Noisy Data, what is that?
Streams of Numbers
Delays and Buckets

Week 5: Project #1 Due / Guest Speaker

Week 6: Multiple Sensors
Multiple Sensors to one Arduino
Streams of Data
Misfiring/ Overlapping Ranges

Week 7: Spring Break
Start thinking of what you want to do for your final
Work hard on your second project!

Week 8: Networked Data
What to not send across the network
OSC Route
UDP and Max

Week 9: Project #2 Due / Guest Speaker

Week 10: Wireless/ Large Spaces
Setting up a wireless Arduino
Dealing with cords for large spaces
When is it appropriate?

Week 11: Individual Meetings with Students

Week 12: TBD – Possible topics below
Computer Vision
Java Script/ Write your own objects
Regular Expressions

Week 13: TBD – Possible topics below
Computer Vision
Java Script Write your own objects
Regular Expressions

Week 14: What’s Next in Max & P-comp?
Who’s doing interesting work
Open GL
Max for Live

Week 15: Final Presentations

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