Electronic Tinkering 101 - Arduino & DIY

Patrícia Reis
Institute of Fine Arts and Media Art, Digital Arts
2024S, artistic Seminar (SEK), 2.0 ECTS, 2.0 semester hours, course number S04890


Tinkering and hacking have become common practices among post-internet artists nowadays. By subverting the system, reverse engineering, defending access and openism, repairing and de-grow, we employ a top-down methodology using deconstruction as a method to create art. 

Acknowledging Vilém Flusser's (1986) challenge of opening the “black box”, we question what lies behind the tech industries, unravelling their toxic commodity chains while simultaneously challenging the potentialities of the apparatus with an awareness of the impact of technology in the current neoliberal market. 

Instead of consuming commodities off the shelf, we recycle materials; instead of accepting the toxic afterlife of dysfunctional devices, we analyse the genesis and establishment of control over distributed development, production, and introduction of (new) technologies to demystify the actors benefiting from their application and licensing, those who profit from opacity and designed obsolescence. 

Electronic tinkering is an invitation for those interested in intersecting their viewpoints with other politics of perception, contributing to critical thought towards the necessity of demythifying and demystifying the apparatus.

Drawing on the context of the lecture, students will practice hands-on electronics and programming to develop interactive art projects with microcontrollers—Arduino, Teensy 3.1, and/or LilyPad. The program will focus on tangible HCI interfaces, using nonconformist materials such as clay, plants, fruits, and e-waste to build hardware. Students will be encouraged to create their own art projects inspired by DIY and open-source communities.

Examination Modalities

Regular attendance, active participation and commitment in applying the contents of the lecture in an art prototype is a prerequisite for obtaining a mark. Examination: 80% attendance; 20% practical experiments/ prototype


Maximum number of participants: 12

Preference will be given to second-semester students of Digital Arts and Transmedia Art. This course is compulsory for second-semester students of Digital Arts. 

Alternatively, students may choose to enroll in Kunst als System und Prozess II by Anna Zwingl from Transmedia Art or Elektrotechnik und Elektronik

No previously knowledge in electronics and programing is required 

Key Words

hacking, feminism, HCI, interactive art, media art, electronic media


10 April 2024, 10:00–14:30 Seminar Room 30 , "Seminarraum 30 (GCP, 1.OG)"
17 April 2024, 10:00–14:30 Digital Art, Lecture Room , "Mz* Baltazar's Laboratory Jagerstraße 52-54 1200 Wien"
24 April 2024, 10:00–14:30 DONAU INSEL GRILLPLATZ Nummer 6 (Li. Ufer, Parkplatz Neue Donau Mitte,km 10,5
08 May 2024, 10:00–14:30 Digital Art, Lecture Room , "Electronic Lab - Digitale Kunst | PSK, Georg-Coch-Platz 2, A-1010 Wien"
15 May 2024, 10:00–15:30 Digital Art, Lecture Room , "Electronic Lab - Digitale Kunst | PSK, Georg-Coch-Platz 2, A-1010 Wien"

Course Enrolment

From 05 February 2024, 00:00 to 17 April 2024, 14:37
Via online registration

TransArts - Transdisciplinary Arts (Bachelor): Artistic and art technology foundations: Artistic and art technology foundations 180/002.01

Media Arts: Specialisation in Transmedia Arts (1. Section): Künstlerische Methodik und Technologie: Kunst als System und Prozess I - II 566/102.02

Media Arts: Specialisation in Digital Arts (1. Section): Künstlerische Methodik und Technologie: Kunst als System und Prozess I - II 567/102.02

Co-registration: not possible

Attending individual courses: not possible