Ptarmigan operated in Tallinn from 2011-2014. We no longer maintain any presence in Tallinn, but this website will continue to serve as an archive of the activities produced at Ptarmigan during these years.
In this workshop, you will wind an electromagnetic coil with magnet wire, to be used as part of of an improvised loudspeaker along with a found-object resonator that you bring in. We will start with a short presentation on the connection between electricity and magnetism, including a practical demonstration with a makeshift electromagnetic pendulum and micro-ampere generator. The rest of the workshop is devoted to experimentation. Possible resonators: plastic containers, buckets, drums, cans, glass. Does it sound good when you tap your finger on it or speak into it? Bring it in! Bring many things, as not everything will work, hence the experimentation.
This is a workshop for artists, taught by an artist. Artists excel at pattern recognition, obstinately persevering and intuitively understanding complex ideas, making them good candidates for learning electricity and electronics. The emphasis is therefore on developing a gut awareness of the subject matter through experimentation, pattern recognition and analogy, rather than an approach based in memorization, formulae and equations.
Peter Flemming is a Canadian artist active for over fifteen years and working with robotics, kinetics, electronics, mechanics, sound, video, performance and new media. His past work has included lazy machines, solar powered robotics, and hypnotically repetitive automata. His current ongoing projects make use of improvisational kinetics and intuitive electronics, exploring sound and resonance in installations and performances featuring electromagnetically activated materials, mechanical performers and makeshift amplification devices. His research has included the use of embedded computers (microcontrollers), motor control systems, networked artworks in remote locations, HAM, AM and FM radio, and designs for open-source hardware kits. He has exhibited extensively at galleries, festivals and museums both nationally and internationally, garnering numerous grants and awards to support both his research and creative practice.