I am Ariel Cotton.  I'm an artist, UI/UX designer, & maker of interactive things.

I craft beautiful, human-centered interfaces for web and mobile applications. I draw and write comics about life in Berlin and New York City. I even tinker with electronics and make interactive art from time to time.


Interactive Journal

Categories engineering, programming, bookmaking
Materials Arduino, Processing, Bare Conductive ink, bookmaking paper


Ariel Cotton Physical Computing Conductive Ink Book Interactive Journal Electronics

This is the first conductive ink book I made. It is a journal, of sorts. It houses many of the most prominent thoughts I had at age 21, both deeper concerns and trivial musings alike. The text is electrically conductive and it is all wired to an Arduino in the back of the book, which is connected to a computer. When the text in the book is touched, it produces sounds and graphics on the computer screen.

Ariel Cotton Physical Computing Conductive Ink Book Interactive Journal Electronics

My aim with this project was to experiment with the experience of reading a book and see how far I could push it. Most people’s range of interactions with books consist of picking them up, flipping the pages, and reading the text. I wanted to create feedback that prompts users to interact with the book in other ways, such as touching the book’s text.

Ariel Cotton Physical Computing Conductive Ink Book Interactive Journal Electronics Ariel Cotton Physical Computing Conductive Ink Book Interactive Journal Electronics

I created stencils in Adobe Illustrator using the typeface American Typewriter and painted over them with Bare Conductive ink. Then I interfaced the Arduino with Processing, which is how I produced the graphical effects on the screen. The text is capacitive, and when it is touched, it produces data values which are ported to Processing and used to generate changes in the graphics. For the sound, I used an 8-ohm speaker.

Ariel Cotton Physical Computing Conductive Ink Book Interactive Journal Electronics Ariel Cotton Physical Computing Conductive Ink Book Interactive Journal Electronics

This book has been exhibited in the NYCResistor 2014 Interactive Show and at the Warp Zone Video Game Art Show 2015 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. I also showed it in my senior thesis exhibit at Cooper Union, The Path of Resistance. It has received press in The Huffington Post, The Holland Times, and Makery.


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