An artist working with electronics and electronic media, based in Brooklyn, NY

DIY Renewable Electricity: Solar and Dynamos

DIY Renewable Electricity: Solar and Dynamos
a class taught by Phillip Stearns @ 3rd Ward

Where does your electricity come from?

To contextualize the complexities of energy production we’ll look at the life cycle of the materials and energy used to harness electrical energy from our environment. We will investigate the most prevalent electricity generation methods and the industrial processes involved in mining, refining and burning the fuels used in each. We will then create our own renewable power generators as an alternative means of powering our energy-hungry electronics.

In this workshop we will focus on creating a small solar array strong enough to charge a couple of AA batteries. We will also build simple dynamo generators that convert a permanent magnet DC motor in a device that generates electricity from mechanical energy. These power sources can be used in future electronics workshops offered at 3rd Ward.


Phillip Stearns is a practitioner of sonic and visual arts; music composer and performer; electronics sculptor and installation artist. He views technology as a site for exploring the global society-environment system and how changes in the relationship between society and environment manifest in our technology—particularly as solutions to a cascading set of problems created by contemporary culture. Through the medium of networked systems, his work explores the horizons of information, politics, noise, control, proximity, subversion, corruption, interconnectedness and interrelatedness. Central to his practice as a visual artist and a performer are the use of custom electronics, hand-craft, hardware hacking, media technologies and iterative processes marked by a judicial use of materials, restraint, simplicity, a careful balance between conceptual depth and playfulness. He has presented, performed, lectured, exhibited, led workshops and screened works at various festivals, conferences, residencies, museums and institutions around the US, Latin America and Northern Europe.

Enroll in the DIY Renewable Electricity Workshop today:

3rd Ward Basic/Custom Member Price: $80 + $50 Materials Fee
Nonmember Price: $100 + $50 Materials Fee


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