Proof of vaccination now required to enter UrbanGlass. Click here for details.

If Neon, THEN Blink: Intro to Coding for Neon

November 5th - November 20th
James Akers |

Become a cybernetic crafter! Dive into the world of physical computing by learning to digitally control neon tubes. Using a high level visual programming language, students will learn to rephrase their blinky demands into digital “if then” logic statements to program sophisticated micro-controllers and drive controllable transformers. Program them from scratch, or load and edit pre-coded online examples to fit your needs. A perfect class for hunkering up next to your computer for weeks at a time! This class will have a final in-person: Saturday Blinky Debugging Masquerade! Show and tell your favorite sketches, get in person wiring/ programming help, and mix and mash your code together to create unexpected results!

No coding/programming experience is required, however students should be comfortable with connecting neon tubes to transformers as well as dragging and dropping files on a computer. Students with programming experience in Python, Javascript, or C will find themselves in their native languages.

This class will have three virtual sessions (Fridays, Nov 5 - 19, 6:30-8:30 PM), with the fourth and final session occurring in-person at the UrbanGlass Studio (Saturday, Nov 20, 11 AM - 5 PM). Health and safety guidelines will be emailed to you upon registration.

Materials list: 
Additional materials are required to participate in class projects (not included in the price of the class) at an estimated cost of $80 if the minimum materials are purchased. Materials include at least (1) transformer and (1) Microcontroller kit. Upon registration of the class, students will receive resources on suggestions for purchasing, as well as specs for the customizations needed for the transformer(s). Your needs may depend on your neon sign.

As of September 7, proof of at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine must be shown for in-person classes and studio access. Proof of vaccination* can be shown via:

  • CDC Paper Card
  • Digital Record or Copy of Vaccination Card
  • NYC COVID Safe App
  • Excelsior Pass

Please bring your vaccine record for a visual check on the first day of class.

*Any WHO approved vaccines are accepted as part of the city’s order.

Class Schedule
  • Weekly Class | 4 Sessions: November 5 — November 20
    Friday, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

James Akers

My name is James Akers, and I am an artist currently based in Brooklyn, New York where I work as a commercial neon bender and as a sculptor. I create dense, frenetically active sculptures that often incorporate neon and sound circuits.

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