Buildacode Testing and Musical Plants

Artist-in-Residence Mónica Rikić tests out the Buildacode cubes, and shares about her time at the Garduino and Makey Makey workshops.

Mónica: There’s only a bit more than 3 weeks to go now and YES I think I’m allowed to say that I’m a bit stressed 🙂

I’m planning to do a first test with kids on Saturday next week so I have to work very hard in order to get as much as I can done by then.

I finally managed to get the transfers done in the cubes – believe me, it wasn’t easy – and almost all the patches are ready, except for some that I still have to decide, and I’m just waiting for the velcro to arrive so I can attach them to the covers.

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The first test has lead me to some conclusions that I didn’t think about before. For this version of the project, for example, the space will be reduced to fit the 24 cubes in scene and no more like before. Some of the interactions I was thinking about didn’t work as well as I expected so I was able to correct them and make them easier and simpler, which will make not only my job easier, but will improve users’ understanding of the project. I almost have all the MIDI part of the project ready. Next week I’ll be working with the synthesizer side of the project! For me it’s the best bit but I know that I have to make it easier so the kids understand and enjoy it!

MR Buildacode2

Another bit I’ve been working on this week is the visual feedback. It’ll help the users to understand what they’re doing and it’ll also be very useful to deliver workshops to teach music principles and programming, which is one of my main goals in the project. I’m working around getting the same style the patches of the cubes have so it’s easy to relate. I still have to decide if I’ll put some text in the cubes’ visual feedback, but I’m pretty sure I will in some of them so I don’t have to give much further instruction.

I also had a meeting with the guys who are in charge of the setting of the project at The Cube when it’s done and I’m quite happy because they were very nice and apparently it’ll be easy to set up. So thumbs up for this and keep working hard for me!!! 🙂

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This weekend I gave the Garduino workshop for making musical instruments with plants. I was really looking forward to delivering this workshop. Although the weather was horrible on Saturday, I had seven cute little kids join the workshop.

I was pretty amazed by how many things they already knew, particularly those children who often attend activities at The Cube. I’m actually a bit jealous I have to say!!! How I wish I could have had access to a place like this with all these workshops and learning facilities… And also how I wish new technologies would’ve been as accessible as they are now back when I was a kid!! I hope those kids are able to appreciate this at the same time they enjoy as much as they do!


And to finish, I’d like to thank all the Visual Art students I had during the three Makey Makey workshops I delivered. I’m very impressed by their dedication and engagement. I hope I’ve been able to open a little door – or window – to a new world of possibilities for them the same way new tech did to me as an art student. Thanks very much for all the respect and attention they’ve all had and for making me feel as happy as I feel now! Great experience!

And of course thanks to The Cube for giving me the opportunity to do all these workshops during my residency! 🙂

Here’s one last image of a project one group of the Visual Art students did at the Makey Makey workshop.


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