Workshops in Time-based Media (TBM) Art Conservation

ART WITH A PLUG - Introduction to Electricity and Electronics

January 8, 15, 16, 22, and 30, 2021
via Zoom

This five-day course will provide an introduction to electricity and electronics in the context of modern and contemporary art. Topics will include: basic principles of electricity, power supplies, soldering, circuits, circuit schematics, and components such as resistors, capacitors, diodes, transistors, and motors. Also included will be an introduction to programming microcontrollers and the operation of electronic test equipment, such as digital multimeters, oscilloscopes, and sensors. Participants will gain practical knowledge of basic electric, electronics, physics, and programming concepts, as well as an elementary understanding of coding. Attendees will become familiar with the core components of a computer, as well as commonly encountered equipment such as projectors (slide, film, video), speakers, lights, microphones, foot pads, cameras, motion sensors, motors, and transformers. The workshop will give participants guidance to safely install artworks and to develop preservation strategies.

Course content and level of instruction are aimed at emerging or already established conservation professionals who are confronted by electric and electronic components in artworks. The workshop will consist of hands-on lab work, lectures, directed discussions of case studies, and conversations with artists. 

Enrollment in ART WITH A PLUG – Introduction to Electricity and Electronics is limited to twelve participants for all four days. The selection criteria for participants may be based on their personal training and experience, the impact and motivation to implement acquired knowledge after the workshop, number of registrants from a single organization, and geography. This workshop is part of the TBM initiative at the Conservation Center, Institute of Fine Arts, NYU, and is tuition-free, thanks to generous support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Participants are responsible for all other expenses.

Workshops Instructors

This webinar will be instructed by Scott Fitzgerald (Industry Associate Professor, Co-Director of IDM and IDM Online, Tandon School of Engineering, NYU), and co-instructed by Tamanda Msosa (Tamanda is a creative technologist/tinkerer and student of life who creates installations, things and experiences using physical computing and functional programming interdisciplinarily. He has an MS in Integrated Digital Media from NYU Tandon and BTech in Emerging Media from New York City College of Technology. He has previously showcased his work at Maker Faire 2017 and NYC Media Lab 2018. His recent collaborations include working with Pioneer Works to assist Carolyn Lazard in her “Extended Stay” 2019 Whitney Biennial piece and Meriem Bennani’s “Mission Teens” piece as well. Other notable art events include assisting Wild Flags Studios with building their “Footprints” 2019 Venice Biennale installation. He has also assisted Smooth Technology in building and setting up the 2019 Nerf Ultra One Championship in NYC).

With a guest lecture given by Roopa Vasudevan (Roopa is an American media artist, computer programmer and researcher, currently based in Philadelphia. Roopa’s work uses data and technology in order to interrogate or subvert social and cultural practices, focusing on issues of human identity and agency in the digital era; power relationships and how they manifest through technology; and coming up with more creative and ethical practices for tech-based art and design. Roopa's work has been supported by Eyebeam (Brooklyn, NY); the Sachs Program for Arts Innovation (Philadelphia, PA); the Philadelphia Area Creative Collaboratives (Haverford, PA); SOHO20 Gallery (Brooklyn, NY); the Arctic Circle Residency (Svalbard); China Residencies; SPACES (Cleveland, OH); and Flux Factory (Queens, NY). Roopa received an MPS from the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in 2013, and was selected as an ITP Resident Research Fellow in the academic year 2013-14. Between 2016 and 2018, she was an Assistant Arts Professor of Interactive Media Arts at NYU Shanghai. She is currently pursuing her PhD at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, where she is researching the relationships between tech institutions and new media artists).