Lecturer: Christian Doeller
Credits: 6 ECTS, 4 SWS
Date: Tuesday, 9:30 until 12:45
Venue: Online, "Park an der Ilm" and Marienstraße 7b, Room 201
First meeting: April 13, 9.30

Video Link: https://vimeo.com/532615636
Password: speculativeAtmospheres


How can we sharpen our perception and look at the seemingly familiar from a new perspective?

In the module "Speculative Atmospheres" we will explore the ever-changing states of our environment. We will operate by means of our own senses as well as with the filters, magnifying glasses and distorting mirrors of technical systems.

We will experiment with Arduino, Processing and various sensors to convert environmental phenomena into electrical voltages and numerical values. Through visualizations, sounds or kinetic objects, we will generate new sensory experiences from the collected data.

Our class will partly take place in the "Park an der Ilm“ in Weimar. Here we will take walks, train our perception, test ideas and develop prototypes. The park as a hybrid ecosystem will be our experimental laboratory, our speculative atmosphere.

The module will be a mix of technical, "creative" and theoretical components. The aim is to not only work together on our technological capabilities, but also to critically look at the topics/positions/ideas we are dealing with.


Artists / Links:



  • Getting started with Arduino
  • Connecting and reading different sensors
  • Getting familiar with different output possibilities
  • Basic visualizations with Processing
  • Establishing a ping-pong connection between Arduino and Processing
  • translating sensor data into movements, drawings, sounds…

Art & Thinking:

  • Contemporary (media) art positions that relate to the subject matter
  • Different ways to observe processes and dependencies in our surroundings
  • Strategies in working with sensor technologies and input/output systems
  • Feedback mechanisms, cybernetic circuits
  • Relations between humans – technology – „nature“/environment
  • Relations between the physical and the digital
  • // DIY: make your own sensor
  • // Anthroprocene - discourse


Material fee / personal equipment:

  • there will be a material fee of max. 30€ for basic things like Arduinos, breadboards, wires, …
  • Links to the equipment needed will be sent via e-mail.
  • Our module will partly take place outside, bringing your own laptop is required.

Venue / Structure:

The module will initially be held online via video conference. However, there will be lots of practical exercises that explicitly involve "the outside world". In summer, it is planned to have sessions outside in the "Park an der Ilm" in Weimar, perhaps also in a kind of classroom situation in the DIY electronics studio in M7 201.

Language & skill level:

  • The module will be held in English, unless all participants are speaking German.
  • No prior knowledge of electronics/programming is required.

Criteria for passing:

  • document exercises on the wiki, present them for the rest of the class
  • experiment, attend the classes and develop your own prototype relating to the topic


  • The application deadline will be on April 6, 2021
  • Please send an e-Mail with the subject „Application Speculative Atmospheres“ to melanie.birnschein[AT]uni-weimar.de
  • Your e-mail should contain the following info:
  1. Full name and matriculation number
  2. course of study, BA/MA
  3. Your e-mail address
  4. A small PDF containing previous works
  5. Your motivation for joining the module