At the beginning of this century, dye-sensitised solar cells (DSSCs) were considered a green energy technology of tremendous potential, despite being so simple that they can even be made at home from plant and fruit dye. Unfortunately, as DSSC’s electrolyte easily dries out and the plant dye fades quickly, the solar cells never amounted to much commercially. Their artistic value, however, remains largely untapped.
In this workshop, participants will be shown how to use natural dyeing to make DSSCs, and use them as a light-sensing interface to control music by max/msp. The session will guide participants through each step in the process, including connecting their DSSCs to coding art at the intersection of interactive design and material science.
Shih Wei Chieh works with sound, electronics, e-textiles and laser audiovisuals. Since 2011, he has focused on e-textiles applications for wearable art, and for the past few years he has worked to expand the scope of art at the intersection of craft, appropriate technology and new medias. His “Laser Dye” project in 2015 generated cyanotype images exposed by a laser source, exploring the reuse of old craft from an archeological media perspective, whilst solidifying community connections by creating crafts commons. He is the founder of Tribe Against Machine, an attempt/platform to link art, hacktivism, material science and ancient culture which seeks inspiration for material design from ancient practices.