BioElectronix for Artists and Geeks, Ljubljana

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Introduction into BioElectronix, BioTiny (a cheap Arduino), Sensors and Actuators for BioCulture

BioTiny web.jpg

This workshop on Bioelectronix for Artists and Geeks will introduce the participants into the very basics of electronics and simple circuits to be used to measure, amplify and control a living environment, sensing and actuating for biological applications, simple programming of Arduino compatible, cheap microcontrollers aka BioCheapuino. During three evening sessions we will go step-by step through these topics. Activities around the topic BioElectronix has since the foundation of hackteria helped many artists getting a foot into the DIY methods dealing with biology and enabling them to make and construct their own artistic works.


Workshop: 3 Evenings, 18h - 23h, Nov 2012

BioElectronix - Wednesday 7. Nov

  • General Introduction
  • What is BioElectronix
  • Breadboards, batteries, LEDs and passive components
  • Simple electronic circuits
  • Resistance!
  • "It Works - I see light!"

File:Hackteria BioElectronix intro.pdf

File:Hackteria BioElectronix part1.pdf

BioTiny - Monday 12. Nov

  • More examples of BioElectronix in artistic projects
  • Resistance! continued...
  • BioTiny, a cheap Arduino compatible micro-controller
  • Make & solder
  • Voltage dividers, see wikipedia
  • Sensors - light, temperature, conductivity
  • "Hello World, I sense you!" first programming trials
BioElectronix tiny.png

BioCulture - Wednesday 21. Nov

  • "We need more Power!"
  • Actuators - motors, lasers and relais
  • Life supporting environments
  • Culture conditions
  • Electronic control systems
  • Hacked household devices
  • Time, climate and space
  • Outlook into food hacking, incubators, algae farms
  • Build your own BioCybernetic system

Lab Showcase during HAIP festival, 28-30. Nov


Kiberpipa, BioTehna laboratory, Kersnikova 6, Lj, below Cafe Metropol.

Background Information


dusjagr aka Dr. Marc Dusseiller (CH) is a transdisciplinary scholar, lecturer for micro- and nanotechnology, cultural facilitator and artist. He works in an integral way to combine science, art and education. He is Co-Founder of SGMK (Zürich) and Hackteria | Open Source Biological Art, a global community bridging bioart, DIYbio, hackerspaces and science.

BioElectronix Circuits

See some general descriptions on Bioelectronix, with links to other great resources for learning practical electronics, examples of circuits used in this workshop and further tuff.

Also see Andy Gracie's article about What is BioElectronix? on hackteria


The Bioelectronix#bioTiny BioTiny aka Cheapuino aka SGMKtiny. look through older workshop and projects on the main page. You need to download the hardware extension from high-low tech, MIT.


Download the Arduino IDE from their website. There is some great instructions, video tutorials and all, about what the arduino is. As we use a cheap and compatible version, the BioTiny, it is quite similar.

Getting on Plant's Nerves

Another workshop, Getting on Plant's Nerves, more deeply focused on connecting electronics to plants was happening during HAIP2010. See more notes on Plant Electrophysiology on the wiki, including algae hacking and connecting plants to PD.

Example code

<syntaxhighlight lang="c">

int sensorPin = 1; int LEDPin = 0; int sensorValue = 0;

void setup() {

 pinMode(LEDPin, OUTPUT);


void loop() // run over and over {

 sensorValue = analogRead(sensorPin);
 if (sensorValue > 750){
   digitalWrite(LEDPin, LOW);
 if (sensorValue < 700){
   digitalWrite(LEDPin, HIGH);

   if (sensorValue >700 && sensorValue< 750 )   {
   digitalWrite(LEDPin, LOW);
   delay (100);
   digitalWrite(LEDPin, HIGH);
   delay (100);


</syntaxhighlight >


As a continuous educational workshop full participation at all the three sessions is recommended, but participants can also join for individual evenings.

Participation fee

Full 3-evening participation (40€/20€) fee, including all material (15€): 55€ / 35€

Individual evening participation, without material: 20€ /10€

(reduced fee for students, ngo partners and poor artists)

Target group

students, hackers, makers, scientists, artists, geeks and educators

The workshop is targeting people, who want to learn first steps into electronics, soldering and programming to be applied for biological experimentations and biohacking, building your own DIYbio lab-gear, installations for interactive art and bioart, creative new workshop/educational concepts for schools and more. No former experience is needed.


Limited place for participants, maximum 10. please register by mail to

Participant list

Sepp Trütsch



Expectations & plans from the workshop:


Špela Petrič

Background: biology, biochemistry, genetics

Interests: algae + sensors + motors

Expectations & plans from the workshop: i've never actually tried to make the arduino "move" anything & would love to have a go at that


Robertina Šebjanič

Background: art, a bit of hacking of electronics / beginner level, entusiast

Interests: algae, sensors, motors, arduino-mickrocontrolers, moss hacking, nanobots, micro fluidics

Expectations & plans from the workshop:


Saša Spačal

Background: art, design, a bit of programming and hacking

Interests: moss, fungi, sensors, motors, arduino, sound

Expectations & plans from the workshop: connecting electronics with biostuff and getting some useful data out of it


Ida Hiršenfelder

Background: media art, curating, art critique.

Interested: diy electronics & function of basic components, sound, glitches, moss, fungi, sensors.

Expectations & plans from the workshop: to better understand the functions of electronic components and possibilities of connecting them to biological materials.

Links: [to be added]

Kristijan Tkalec

Background: biotechnology, genetics, bioinformatics

Interests: microorganisms, plants, bio-sensors, computing,

Expectations & plans from the workshop: to learn the basics of biosensors, how they work, how can I build it and how to programme it


Mojca Založnik

Background: microbiology, cytology, artistic pedagogy

Interests: ecology, microbial communities, cancer diagnostics

Expectations: to learn basic electronics and how to connect that with microbiological processes and clinical diagnostics