Art & Technology

artists, galleries & organizations

An electrical engineer (MIT) turned artist, Rath’s work is an excellent example of technology as the medium: up front and in-your-face, rather than hidden behind the scenes. The choice of form is making an important statement in his work.

Excellent example of very aesthetic, technology-mediated pieces. Particular favourites: electronic sculptures Capsule #1, Box With The Sound Of It’s Own Critique, Patronage, Cask, Time Machine.

Transgenic art; sure to stir debate.

A Toronto gallery & work space, home to numerous technology-mediated exhibits. They play host to a number of groups, notably the Art & Robotics Group (ARG) and the Art Interface Device (AID) project.

Ken’s work experiments with the organic: organic behaviour, but also in some pieces, organic materials like live fish. These pieces have a fairly high technological overhead, but are good examples of the use of the addition of time and space to the three dimensions afforded by “classical” sculpture.

Innovative work in organic & intelligent sculpture. Particular favourite: Octofungi.

Mark’s pieces are an excellent example of work that uses electronics and interaction in an integral way. His web pages have limited documentation on the pieces, but look for the ones dealing with “time” which generally have descriptions.

The Table: Childhood is one of my favourite pieces, because it is outwardly so simple and elegant, yet in fact quite complex. In interactive works such as this, there is a beauty to a technological piece which is entirely transparent to participants. Note: there’s a video with sound, which plays immediately when the page loads, but you need to scroll to the bottom(-left) to see it.

Design engineer and techno-artist, Natalie Jeremijenko has explored various applications of technology throughout her career, from technology-enhanced sculpture, to biotechnological works.

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s body of work deals with what he calls “relational architecture”, transforming existing structures and environments with large-scale interactive projection pieces.

Australian performance artist who uses technology, often controlled by participants over the web, to augment his body.

Big, mean machines. Fun, fun, fun

list of suppliers

Active is one of the best places to buy used equipment. They stock old lab equipment, pumps, electronics, audio/video equipment, lighting, project boxes, and pretty much anything you can think of. The location is hard to miss as there is a picture of a man in gorilla mask at the top of an orange doorway on Queen Street.

Creatron is a great supplier of electronics in the heart of Toronto. They have become well known by the students at the University of Toronto as well as Ryerson University and they offer good professional advice. They stock basic electronic components much like Sayal but they also stock microcontrollers, sensors, robotic equipment, electro-luminescent wire, motors, and diagnostics equipment.

Digi-Key is another online parts supplier with a vast number of products. If there is an electronics piece that you can’t find elsewhere, chances are that you will find it through Digi-Key. Items ordered are shipped the same day and the shipping fee is a flat rate of $8.00 for orders under $200.00 CAD and free on order above. It is a good idea to talk to other people in class and see what they need to order, this way you can all order together and save on shipping charges.

E-Waste management is a recycling facility that tears apart anything and everything that can be recycled. It is hard to state what they have in stock as it is always changing so your best bet is to either call or visit them. Prices are very reasonable as all items are being recycled.

KW Surplus is a great place to get new or used surplus in the KW area. They stock anything from garden equipment to military supplies (sorry no weapons) to electronics. They prices are great for students on a budget. This should be one of the first places you look at for supplies as it is easily accessible by the bus.

Maxim IC is an integrated circuit manufacturer with wide variety of applications. You can order the products directly from them online but they also supply samples shipped to your door for free. This is a great place to get ICs if you are trying to test different chips. Shipping does take some time so get your orders in early!

If you are looking for building supplies such as lumber, cement, piping, or anything hardware related, Home Depot and Home Hardware are the best places to go. There are many locations for both so look up the one closest to you.

RobotShop is a robotics part supplier based in Quebec. They mainly stock robots and robot kits but also stock robot parts such as servos, motors, sensors, and micro-controllers.

Sayal is located in Cambridge near the Toyota manufacturing plant. They have a wide variety of electronics supplies such as wiring, breadboards, and connectors; integrated circuits, resistors, and capacitors; power supplies, voltage regulators, and relays; speakers, lights, motors, gears, belts and pulley.

You should either check their website or give them a call before you pay them a visit as they are not always well stocked.

Sparkfun is an online supplier of electronics. They have a wide variety of microcontrollers and ready-to-go kits. They also have a tutorials section which is very helpful for those that are just getting started. Their forum is a great place to ask question and getting help from experienced individuals and professionals. Shipping usually takes 3-5 business days.

optional readings & resources

“Over the past decade, the world of contemporary art has experienced the beginnings of a tectonic shift: digital technology has arrived as a component of everyday life and contemporary art on a global scale. … Museums struggle to keep up, as audiences, too, are changed by the presence of technology in their lives. … Neither art, nor those who make it, show it, and look at it can ever be the same again. This situation is the subject of 010101: Art in Technological Times.”

“During the past hundred years the definitions of sculptural practice have changed radically. This guide, organized by the theme of each gallery, will take you through highlights of the exhibition, from the pedestal to the pixel.”

A hyper-textual introduction to multimedia: its history, evolution, definition, and its impact on art, technology and culture.

A categorized, interactive time line of art on the ‘net. Useful and fun for browsing.

A comprehensive list of links from the author of Information Arts.

readings for discussion

IEEE Spectrum Magazine, July 1998, Volume 5, Number 37

distributed in class

by James J. Kelley, Waveland Press, ISBN 1-57766-259-8
On reserve at Porter: NB198.K4 2004, 1 day loan

recommended readings

by Stephen Wilson, MIT Press, ISBN 0-262-23290-X
On reserve at Porter: N72.S3 W55 2002, 1 day loan

by Stephen Luecking, Prentice-Hall, ISBN 0-13-095975-8
On reserve at Porter: NK1510.L77 2002, 1 day loan

by James J. Kelley, Waveland Press, ISBN 1-57766-259-8
On reserve at Porter: NB198.K4 2004, 1 day loan