GMU:Bioelectronics, aesthetics and other interesting things

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Try to light up LED with no battery

Lecturer: Mindaugas Gapševičius
Credits: 6 ECTS, 4 SWS
Date: Tuesday 11:00 - 15:00
Venue: Marienstraße 7b, Biolab (Room 202)
First meeting: Tuesday, 12th of April 11:00 - 15:00
Block seminar: 17-19th May

Deep brain neurostimulators, retinal implants, implantable neural electrodes, muscle implants, etc. belong to the interfaces between living tissues and artificial human-made implantable devices. Although these devices might still sound being from the series of fantasy they are reality in the contemporary medicine.

This course is designed as an introduction to work with interfaces between living organisms and machines. The weekly seminar is divided into theoretical and practical parts. During the theoretical part, we will discuss artworks in relation to bioelectronics, also will take a look into contemporary discourses around biosemiotics and media theory. The practical part will involve work with organisms, electronics and computers. Participants will be introduced to the free, open source, and cross-platform Pure Data visual programming language. The biosemiotics part will be introduced by Dario Martinelli during the block seminar.

Living and non-living systems will be considered while sensing and recording their shifts with the help of sensors, sonifying, visualizing and analyzing their behavior. Participants will be encouraged to work on their individual projects, which at the end will become a part of the exhibition foreseen in summer in Berlin.


  Please send a motivation letter before April 8th, 2016 to mindaugas.gapsevicius [ät]

To: mindaugas.gapsevicius [ät]
Subject: Bioelectronics, aesthetics and other interesting things /// Application

  • Your motivation to join the course
  • Name, Surname
  • program and semester (Studienprogramm und Fachsemester)
  • matriculation number (Matrikelnummer)
  • Valid email address

Block Seminar

Dario Martinelli: A seminar on bio- and zoosemiotics

17-19th May

Despite their popularity within the semiotic environment, biosemiotics and zoosemiotics are still surrounded by a certain curiosity, the kind of curiosity that manifests itself in attitudes like scepticism and ‘exoticism’. At the same time, there is a growing interest not only about bio- and zoosemiotics, but also about the whole area of the “non human”. Finally, after decades of prejudices, this area caught the interest of cognitive sciences, human sciences (is it still fair to call them just human?), art research, and more generally are now also approached according to a wider perspective. more


12.04.2016. overview, interfaces.

  • biosensors
  • microcontrollers
  • computers

19.04.2016. Pure data

  • Literature
  • Patch for analog to digital signal conversion

26.04.2016. Crystal radio

  • Joe Davis bacterial radio
  • Conductors, Insulators, & Semiconductors
  • Crystal radio circuit

03.05.2016. Plant sensing.

  • Martin Howse circuit
  • Musical Bench circuit

10.05.2016. Bacteria battery and carbon sensors.

  • Bacteria battery (RIXC/Rasa and Raitis Smits)
  • Earth computer (Martin Howse)
  • Sonification of bacteria, slime molds and other interesting things on agar plates (feat synthesiser of Leslie Garcia)

17-19.05.2016. A seminar on bio- and zoosemiotics. block seminar / with Dario Martinelli

24.05.2016. No class

31.05.2016. Individual projects work in progress

07.06.2016. PhyChip synthesiser

  • Interspecifics experiments with physarum
  • Leslie Garcia introduction to the synthesiser
  • analysis and experiments

14.06.2016. Work in progress / individual ideas

21.06.2016. DIY biolab

15.07.2016. /Summaery

Individual projects



  • Landwehr, Kuni: Home Made Bio Electronic Arts: Do-it yourself: Microscopes, Sensors, Sonifications ISBN 978-3856165673 (Introduction)
  • Landwehr, Kuni: Home Made Bio Electronic Arts: Do-it yourself: Microscopes, Sensors, Sonifications ISBN 978-3856165673 (Projects)
  • Getting Started in Electronics By Forrest Mims - Basic Electronics by Radio Shack Engineer's - Electronics for dummies (handwritten)