A few weeks ago I went to Nikki Pugh‘s brilliant GPS orchestra workshop at the Octopus Collective in Barrow. Working with Nikki to connect GPS modules to an Arduino I finally found the right level of workshop with exactly what I needed to learn. Despite the rain we constructed musical instruments that reacted to our GPS locations, or walking speed, or walking direction, and wandered out into the park and the rain.

On the Sunday Nikki and I made some more GPS things.  (Lots of images and video on her site with audio)

In terms of learning how to do this stuff, and going further than just the workshops, this event was the tipping point for me. I’ve had a long history of false starts and collaborative projects that include electronics, from a punchbag that I wired up with pressure pads in 1996, a ‘basic stamp’ course in 1997, being part of a group called ‘Base’ with lots of arduino users in Huddersfield in mid 2000′s, working with a programmer at Banff in 2007 to make a demo of GPS effecting led’s, then a Mztek arduino workshop in 2010, a Madlab arduino workshop in 2011, a residency working with someone making arduino/GPS stuff in 2011, and finally all the workshops we’ve done with Patchworks this year.

But after all that I still didn’t feel I had the time, knowledge or motivation to tinker with stuff enough to be able to do it for myself.

The GPS workshop finally tipped the balance, because I’ve been wanting to make objects that are controlled by GPS for several years, so this was exactly the thing I wanted to know how to do. A big thanks to Nikki for a fantastic workshop!



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