GMU:Speculative Atmospheres II

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Lecturer: Christian Doeller
Credits: 6 ECTS, 4 SWS
Date: Wednesday, 9:30 until 12:45
Venue: Online and Marienstraße 7b, Room 201
First meeting: October 20, 9.30 am


How do digital technologies influence our perception of »natural« processes and environments? And how can we use these technologies to generate new perspectives and experiences?

In the module »Speculative Atmospheres« we will explore various artistic, technical and theoretical approaches to measuring, translating and interpreting environmental phenomena.

We will learn techniques from the fields of DIY - electronics and creative coding (sensors/actuators, Arduino, processing, ...) and explore different positions from art, design, and the humanities. The aim of the course is to develop prototypes (e.g. installations, objects, performances, ...) that translate different states and actors of our »natural environment« (e.g. weather, animals, plants, ...) into new acoustic, visual and performative experiences.

In addition to regular discussion groups and hands-on tutorials (online or in the electronics lab, depending on the situation), we undertake small excursions to Weimar's Ilm Park or the Thuringian countryside to test our ideas and experiments together in the field.

The course is aimed at beginners with no previous knowledge as well as advanced students and participants of the first part (SS21, A fee of max. 30 euros will be charged for material cost. Personal computers / laptops are required.


  • The application deadline will be on October 17, 2021
  • Please send an e-Mail with the subject „Application Speculative Atmospheres“ to christian.doeller(at)
  • 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


Artists / Links:


October 20 – Introduction



  • Getting started with Arduino
  • Connecting and reading different sensors
  • Getting familiar with output possibilities
  • translating digital sensor data into physical phenomena (movements, 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

Literature (tech):

Literature (theory):

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 after our first meeting.
  • Bringing your own laptop is required.

Venue / Structure:

The module will be equally split into physical meetings and online conferences. Physical meetings will take place at Marienstrasse 7 room 201, online conferences at We will have at least one excursion to the Ilm-Park or to the countryside around Weimar to test our ideas and prototypes in the field.

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 your thinking / working process on your wiki page
  • experiment, attend the classes and develop your own prototype relating to the topic