M.A.R.I.N. WORKSHOP: Environmental Sensors and Sensor Networks in Media Art

The Pixelache workshop with M.A.R.I.N. brings together artists and developers working with environmental sensors which are either connected as a network or log their data. During the workshop we will set up two sensor setups on Suomenlinna island: SenseStage and API Tatsipaa sensor node. The main focus will be on Xbee networking, data retrieval and storage. How does context of media art impact these designs vs. sensor data management in scientific environmental monitoring? 

Workshop leaders: Marije Baalman (NL), Tapio Mäkelä (FI), Mikko Sivulainen (FI), Tuomo Tammenpää (FI).

**** M.A.R.I.N. (Media Art Research Interdisciplinary Network) develops collaborations around art, science and technology with a focus on marine ecosystems and field work at the sea in the form of workshops and residencies.

Participants can construct an individual Xbee equipped sensor node prior to the workshop. We hope to get an interesting mix of participants. This will not however be an introductory workshop. Participants are thus expected to have relatively advanced knowledge in platforms like Arduino and Xbee or alternatively databases, electronics, networking, or environmental sensors.

During the Summer 2011 M.A.R.I.N. will host a residency series in and around the Baltic Sea. We hope that some of the technologies used and are further developed during the Pixelache workshop will enable project proposals for the residencies or end up used in art projects elsewhere.

Marije Baalman is a Dutch artist and developer who works with interaction and sound, using code and electronics. She has been part of Sense/Stage research project with Chris Salter at Concordia and McGill University in Montréal from 2007-2010 and is currently developing a Sense/Stage sensor network kit for distribution. www.nescivi.nl

Tuomo Tammenpää is a designer and media artist based in Kemiö. He works with consumer and custom electronics as well as design. Tuomo is part of M.A.R.I.N. team for the summer 2011.

Tapio Mäkelä is an artist and researcher working on locative media, art, ecology and information design. He is co-founder of the M.A.R.I.N. project. ***


Work to be done before the workshop: 

  • - intro into M.A.R.I.N., API Tatsipaa and SenseStage
  • - sharing technical specs of the sensor network and station
  • - building in advance few sensor nodes to be added to the system
  • - sharing information, links
  • - making a shopping list for things we need on the island
  • - for dinner on Tuesday (bring your local spice, drinks, ingredients)

Working areas during the workshop: Monday & Tuesday

  • - discussion of different projects developed by participants
  • - needs, problems, solutions
  • - solutions for different environmental sensing tasks (water, air, optical, weather)
  • - setting up sensor systems on the island and their field testing Wednesday & Thursday - low level bee mesh networking - unified database for the different sensor data streams
  • - optimizing power consumption and using solar/wind power for sensors and the network nodes
  • - synchronizing remote sensors that come into contact with networks - making a few demos of data usage (if time for this)
  • - a shared session with the Hackteria workshop


  • - some continue work, some participate to Pixelache other programs Saturday
  • - presentations and demos of the workshop to general public as part of Camp Pixelache

M.A.R.I.N. WORKSHOP has been supported by Kulturkontakt Nord.