Talking to Machines (Interactivity: Tools and Approaches)

© P. Hughes, 2010

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© P. Hughes, 2010

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Talking to Machines (Interactivity: Tools and Approaches)

Workshop September 11–12 and 18–19, and October 2–3 and 9–10, 2010, from noon to 4 pm

This workshop is specifically designed for artists and musicians wanting to learn how to use computers for interactive projects, or physical computing to build their own instruments. Covering the basics in electronic components & circuits typically used in DIY art projects, and introducing a few useful languages (MaxMSP/Jitter and C for Arduino), each session will provide an opportunity for participants to get some hands-on practice through small interactive projects.

The workshop will be given in French by a bilingual instructor.



  • Taking the "artist's fear of computer programming" away by demystifying what MaxMSP is and isn't;
  • Learning the basic functionalities of the Max language through example patches that we will reverse engineering together;
  • Learning about the magic of building sequencers to control sound, videos, and hardware (i.e. arduino).


  • Triggering things with basic sound (amplitude) analysis;
  • Building a versatile sound sampler and learning methods for using it in real-time.


  • Building a visual sampler/scrubber;
  • Doing a video analysis (computer vision) using the cv.jit. (Libraries by Jean-Marc Pelletier.)


  • Demystifying what a microcontroller is and what it can and can't do;
  • Understanding what sensors are and how they work.

Communication protocols

  • Learning about MIDI/OSC/IP streaming sound with Skype.


  • Be a professional artist, creator or cultural worker;
  • Be a self-employed worker or a salaried employee in an enterprise not subject to 1% Training Investment*;
  • Attend every session.

* Any enterprise whose total payroll is $1.000.000 or more is subject to 1% Training Investment. (Emploi-Québec Program)

Number of participants
12 people

$115 – Payment required before Wednesday, September 8, 2010 at 5 pm.

Saturdays and Sundays, September 11–12 and 18–19, and October 2–3 and 9–10, 2010, from noon to 4 pm.


before Wednesday, September 8, 2010 at 5 pm
Please submit your registration request to:
Annie Tremblay, Lab services Coordinator
phone: 514-844-3250, ext. 230 / fax: 514-847-0330


Reservation / Payment
Reservations can be made by phone or email. Full payment must be made for inscription to be valid. You can pay by credit card (Visa or MasterCard), cheque or in cash. Inscription to a workshop is not transferable.

Cancellation / Refunding
OBORO does not refund inscription fees except in case of illness (with a medical note) or of absolute necessity. In such cases, inscription fees are transferable to another workshop or service offered by the New Media Lab.

Workshop Cancellation
OBORO reserves the right to cancel workshops at any time and without advance notice. In this case, inscription fees are fully refunded.

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Philippe Hughes

Philippe Hughes Philippe Hughes is a teacher/muscian/composer and interactive artist & designer with over 18 years experience. He has developed interactive systems and composed music for works such as Wonderland, presented at PechaKucha, and Music Box II presented at La Centrale. He has been invited as a guest speaker to present aspects of his works in festivals such as Elektra:Lab.