I am Ariel Cotton.  I'm an artist, product 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.

Monster Mash

Categories engineering, programming, robotics, found-object sculpture
Materials Arduino, servos, LEDs, Vex frame & wheels, assorted found objects

Ariel Cotton Drawing death by audio comics Zeichnung
Photo by Nick Normal

Fellow artist, maker and NYCResistor member Olivia Barr and I teamed up once again after creating our screaming flower dress to hack this little doozy together. We collaborated in Art Hack Day DELUGE at Pioneer Works, where the theme was, well, deluge. Most participants created works having to do with environmental decay, extreme weather events, and the way technology affects nature.

Olivia and I decided to form a creature from the Gowanus Canal. The canal is notorious for being toxic from pollution and nearby industrial waste, and has been designated a Superfund site in Brooklyn. At the time I had just created my comic about Carroll the Gowanus Underlord and was fascinated by the idea of creatures being born from the toxic sludge of the canal. In less than 24 hours, Olivia and I managed to take an old robot frame I had built, hack together a bird-like specimen made of garbage, and make it light up and wheel around. I wrote all the wall-detecting code and Olivia took care of the LEDs. We both put the garbage doll together.

At the end of the hackathon was a flash exhibit at Pioneer Works, which showcased everything the participants made. Monster Mash was featured in Make Magazine’s coverage of Art Hack Day DELUGE.