Workshop the Naked Ear: Tools and Techniques for Sound with Art


Oct. 10, 2015, 12:00 pm

Brooklyn 28 Frost Street

The workshop will introduce participants to the world of sound art, while providing techniques for making tools for creating these experiences. This will include the fabrication of hand-made microphones, speakers, and amplifiers for use in installations, performances, and scientific research. The goal of the workshop is to take these tools into the field and use them for artistic investigation and public engagement.


For the first session, students will be introduced to the sound art practice. Examples of seminal and canonical works will be presented, giving students a taste of potential projects. From there we will move onto describing the basic physics and properties of sound. Our introduction will end with an explanation of how sound is received through a microphone, amplified with an amplifier, and sent through a speaker to produce audible sound. The rest of the workshop will consist of building a contact microphone and an amplifier. From there we will take our tools out into nearby McCarren Park and amplify found sounds.

SESSION 1, 10/10

Overview of sound art
Overview of physics of sound
Overview of how microphone, speaker, and amplifier work
Contact microphone build
Amplifier build on breadboard

SESSION 2, 10/11

Amplifier build on PCB
Placing amplifier in enclosure
Exploring McCarren Park with listening kits
Presentation of experiments


One contact mic
One amplifier
One custom enclosure with custom pcb
*Instructor will also provide students with reference material (excerpts from Electronic Music Handbook, David Dunn’s microphone PDF etc.)


Students do not need to have any electronic experience. Some soldering experience is a plus but is not required. An expertise knowledge of sound and how it works is also not required. A large part of the workshop is to teach that to you! A strong curiosity and willingness to learn about sound is the only basic requirement.




Johann Diedrick makes installations, performances, and software that allow people to actively participate in the production of sound. His work has been exhibited internationally in numerous group exhibitions, conferences and festivals, including the New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME) conference in Daejeon and Seoul, Korea, the Invisible Places, Sounding Cities conference in Viseu, Portugal, and the Dumbo Arts Festival in Brooklyn, New York. He received his Masters in Professional Studies at the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, focusing on sound art. During time at ITP he was a researcher at the InterLab at the Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media (YCAM) in Yamaguchi, Japan. Afterwards he worked as an interactive software developer at Qosmo in Tokyo, Japan. He is currently a software developer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Limited to 8 students

Early bird (register by Saturday, October 3rd): $175
Regular (register by Friday, October 9th): $200

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