In early January, Side x Side collaborated with the University of Southern Maine (USM) to teach a week-long intensive art and technology program for Casco Bay High School students.
Fourteen students from Portland’s expeditionary high school spent the week working with the Side x Side team of teaching artists, a professional expert, and college interns to combine art with technology.
On Monday and Tuesday, students worked at USM’s C12 Studio (creative intelligence) to program an Arduino board (a small motherboard) to light up a strip of LED lights.
The student teams learned to program their strips to respond to sensory input received by pressure, distance, and sound sensors.
Each pair of students wrote their own custom code under the guidance of systems analyst Patrick Seitz from Maine Medical Center.
Each team then planned a physical sculpture that would incorporate the Arduino board and lights.
On the final two days, the students worked at Oak Street Studios in Portland to construct their sculptures out of reclaimed materials ranging from chicken wire to cardboard to upholstery samples.
A wide variety of colorful creatures and objects resulted, all with unique programmed responses to sound, motion, and touch.
Special thanks to the teaching artists who also collaborated on this project: sculptor Kaitlyn Hunter and USM art professor Raphael Diluzio.
The Artronics team was rounded out by interns Mia Bogyo and Nicole Tombarelli (USM), Reese Partlow (Sterling College), and Chloe Shelford (Bennington College).
Special thanks to interns Chloe Shelford and Reese Partlow for creating this video of the project. Time lapse photography provided by student Jonathan Harm.