Research
Jessica Field Drawing on a blackboard in studio

Jessica Field

Adult Workshops

Field Studies V2
Field Studies V1
Robot Zoo Project
SICB
Early Robots
Allegory of Pulse
Automata Films
Tantalus Synthesis
Performances
Mechanical Sculptures
Youth Workshops
Adult Workshops
Bio
Exhibitions
Contact Info

General Information about Workshops

I typically teach workshops to individuals in the art community that are hosted by non-profit organisations. I personally do not have the facilities to teach large classes from my own base of operations.

For organisations who are interested in creating New Media course content to the community, these tabs describe courses I have designed to teach and courses that I have taught in the past. If you are interested in me doing workshops for your organisation, please to not hesitate to contact me. My fees for instruction follow the Fee Guidelines of CARFAC Ontario.

I am very open to teaching many kinds of workshops for Adults. I think that Adults would enjoy learning about Automata, electronics and programming skills. I can teach on many topics to do with these three topics and I am not limited to the courses suggested in these tabs. These courses listed have just been popular and of interest to organizations that I presently work for namely InterAccess in Toronto.

I do teach part-time at Ryerson University where I teach courses on interactivity, generative programming, AI programing techniques, digital visualization, and on courses that develop creativity in this highly technical field of electronics, mechanics and programming.

Sensors Workshop

Blackboard of distance data map of the Max Sonar Sensor What are Sensors?
There are a wide variety of sensors out on the market, but they all have one thing in common, they all work in one of three ways. They all either have a digital, analog or serial interface that can be used to make any project autonomous. So once one knows what these interfaces are and what they mean, one has the opportunity to use any number of interesting sensing devices (ie: sonar, motion detection, light detection, temperature sensing, and the list goes on).

So what is a digital sensor? It is a sensor that is either seeing something or not. An analog sensor can see a range of things, giving the user lots of data to work with to make more than one response depending on what the sensor is seeing. And lastly, the serial interface is a specially timed method of sending lots of information using one output. Thus, it makes the sensor have very large number of possible responses for your project to use to respond to the object it is sensing.

The advantage of using sensors allows anyone to make their project autonomous, meaning their project can think for itself and doesn't require you, the creator, to sit by your project and turn it on and off, but alas, that too is a sensor.

About the Workshop
The workshop will introduce you to a variety of different sensors. Explain how they work, show the three different types of interfaces to work your sensor and prepare you for using any sensor you would like in the future. This course is designed to show you all the dirty tricks to avoiding the microcontroller to make interactive art, it is also designed to learn to understand when you need a microcontroller to make your projects work.

The main focus in this class is on the nature of sensors and learning how to figure out what the numbers mean, so the serial interfacing method will only be explained hypothetically as it is impossible to teach microcontrollers as well. The main focus in working with digital and analog interfaces as they are the most affordable and simple sensors to work with and as it so happens they are actually the only two types of sensors that exist but some kind company simplifies them into serial interfaces so you don't have to get to know your sensor, they tell you what the numbers mean.

Prerequisites
This course is directed to students who are new to electronics and would like to learn how to make effective projects in the simplest way possible. It is always to the student's advantage to know some basic electronics so only the principles of sensors is the main focus of the class.

Bring with You
You will want to bring a notebook. You will want to bring any sensors that you may own to play with if you have them already.

References
HVW Technologies: http://www.hvwtech.com/
Robot shop: http://www.robotshop.ca/

Trouble shooting course

Jessica Field working on Allegory of Pulse at Common Pulse residency Electrons at there worst
We all like to copy schematics that claim to work but inevitably, our copied version doesn't quite work like the original claims it should. This is the ugly side of interactive art, no matter how simple we think the project is, it just never seems to work the first try. Like all things, troubleshooting is a methodology that can be used to solve problems – a sort of routine one goes through to tease out why our circuit just won't work. The greatest enemy in electronics is noise, stray signals that interfere with our computers or logic chips commands causing the outputs in the circuits to run amok. The other advisory is the infamous soldier blob that touches two pins together but is no more visible than a hair. Then there are the embarrassing problems of miss wiring the circuit and putting the parts in backwards. Using a multimeter will usually sort these things out, but if it is really bad, then we have the Oscilloscope.

About the Workshop:
This workshop will teach a methodology to troubleshooting electronics; where to begin, how to look for problems and isolating what you need to learn more about so you can tackle a problem outside your knowledge scope. The course will show how to use our troubleshooting friends, Multimeters, logic probes and introduce the Oscilloscope. It will also give a practical check list of popular problems to watch out for and introduce components that are notorious for causing noise problems in circuits with a check list in how to get them under control.

Prerequisites
This course is directed to students who are new to electronics and would like to learn how to make effective projects in the simplest way possible. It is recommended that the students have taken some class in electronics and have hands on experience with it. It is always to the student's advantage to know some basic electronics so it will be easier for the participants to understand the examples given.

Bring with You
You will want to bring a notebook and any problems you have had with your electronics. The best would be to bring a troublesome circuit to class, so we can have a look at it.

References
CMOs Cookbook by Don Lancaster
Getting Started in Electronics by Forest Mimms II

Sneaky Chips that Do Complicated Things

Jessica Field working on Allegory of Pulse at Common Pulse residency What is Hardware Electronics:
There exists many useful logic chips that are preprogrammed to do specific functions. They allow for an Artist who is overwhelmed by all the electronics they have to learn to do their project without necessarily worrying about having to learn how to program too. You can buy timer chips to run your project for a certain length of time of your choosing. Use PWM fan controller chips that can translate your sensor information into motor/electromagnet data so that your output reacts in a direct relationship to a sensor. You can use a chip to simplify wireless so that you can turn on and off parts of your artwork reliably from across the room by buying a chip that does all the serial protocols for you. There are motor controller chips that take care of changing motor directions for you. And you can use relay logic to control artworks. These types of chips allow the artist only to focus on the hardware in electronics. They come with instructions on how to put them together so making projects become more about following a recipe rather then making your own recipe by programming.

About the Workshop:
This workshop will introduce you to a variety of chips that are useful for acting as a simple brain to control your projects. You will be given the recipe in how to use the chips in practical ways. We will discuss at which point in your project idea will you require to learn programming and when is using one of these hardware chips more applicable.

The main focus of the class is to familiarize students to electronics so they feel more comfortable using hardware and to learn how to wire chips together to create increasingly more complex logic so that they can be used for art projects.

Prerequisites
This course is directed to students who are new to electronics and would like to learn how to make effective projects in the simplest way possible. It is always to the student's advantage to know some basic electronics so it will be easier for the participants to put these circuits together.

Bring with You
You will want to bring a notebook and any ideas you have about projects you would like to make.

References
CMOs Cookbook by Don Lancaster
Getting Started in Electronics by Forest Mimms II
Make Magazine
Nuts and Volts Magazine