Moshe Ladanga

Expressive Code

with one comment

By another strange stroke of luck, we came across this book in LCC around a month ago. It was big, new and BLUE. Processing, a programming environment built upon Java, was developed by the students of John Maeda, the author of Design by Numbers. Casey Reas and Ben Fry, the authors of the big blue book, set out to write a guide for people like me to learn programming; and more than that, they specifically had visually inclined artists in mind when they wrote the book. It is a revelation.

Casey Reas- Image Derived from MicroImage Software

I am completely blown away. There are quite a number of artists (check out Katrin’s blog) who have been creating moving image pieces- films- with pure programming. Heck, here are my favorites:

Flight404’s Solar on Vimeo

Filght404’s Weird Fishes: Arpeggi on Vimeo

Casey Reas’ Process 16

Whitekross’ 2-Redrum

Processing takes the power of the mathematics, or rather, the descriptive ability of functions and algorithms to make images. Some artists are exploring interactivity via data fed in by video, sound, user input, and others, like Ben Fry, use it to visualize data itself. And the results are evocative.

Ben Fry’s All Streets

There are other artists who use Processing to make these incredible moving paintings.

Jared Tarbell’s Intersection Agregate

Jared Tarbell’s Sand Traveller

And also, there is this guy, he is a god in my book- W.Blut- he makes interactive sculptures. Time to put on those knee pads!

rose at lagrange 2

W. Blut’s rose at lagrange 2

I’ve been teaching myself the programming code by reading the book, doing the exercises, and by mainly fooling around with the basic sketches in the libraries. Processing comes with quite a few video capture programs that we’ll be able to use for our project. We’re currently thinking of using the video feeds as the triggers for the interaction between the screens and the viewers themselves.

I wanted to sketch out visually my ideas for the image interference in my screen, so I made a simple revision of a live drawing program in Nodebox (Python language, simpler than Processing). So the program works with the mouse being dragged across the screen to make marks; the resulting paths are traced and interpolated by random functions defined by the values derived from the position of the mouse (x, y). Keep in mind that these are pulsating lines. Here are snapshots:

*Please click on the images

The great thing is that the mouse coordinates can be assigned to brightness spots, motion fields or even color in the VideoCapture programs in Processing. We can definitely play with this thing. More to come…


One Response

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Thanks for the praise. No need for the kneepads 🙂
    It’s nice to see someone discovering Processing. I’m looking forward to your pieces and hope to share some code with you.



    Frederik Vanhoutte

    May 14, 2008 at 2:00 PM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: