murmur at NEC, ATNE processing workshop, arthackday:godmode ; creative coding events week of 2-24

A few events this week that look pretty cool in the creative coding space.
Tomorrow at NEC a piece with surround audio and projects called murmur at the New England Conservatory, by Amanda Justice and Amber Grizel Vistein.

Here is a past clip

Murmur Documentation from A Justice on Vimeo.

Details on FB

On Wednesday a processing workshop – generative art using computational physics- by Mark J. Stock at the cyberarts space in JP. Details on the ATNE website.

Generative art is created with the use of an autonomous system, usually a computational process fashioned by the artist.  Many methods used by generative artists such as Golan Levin, Casey Reas, and Scott Draves are, at their origins, simulations of complex systems which exhibit emergent behavior. The natural world is full of such systems. Computational physics is the study of converting the often impenetrable mathematics of real physics into a virtual, computer-friendly form. In other words, it lets us turn differential equations into ordered streams of simple operations: addition, multiplication, and the occasional square root.

And on Saturday in NY will be a closing reception of the arthackday:godmode, at 7pm , at 319 Scholes street. Details on their page. The premise sounds pretty cool:

What would you do if you were granted the power of invincibility? It’s an age-old question and one that game developers have been playing with since the early 80s by incorporating a feature called “God Mode” which offers players unlimited strength, seconds of invulnerability, a change in camera perspective, or access to previously unreachable areas. Since then, God Mode has reached beyond gaming and become pervasive in digital life. It’s the secret backdoor embedded in all our electronics, it’s the jailbreak, it’s how phone companies know where you are, it’s how ISPs know where you surf, and it’s how the NSA can eavesdrop on your communications.

Between February 28–March 2, sixty artists and hackers will inhabit 319 Scholes to explore the idea of God Mode and produce new, collaborative projects. Visitors are invited to engage and interact with the works as they are uploaded online throughout the hack and join the teams on Saturday March 2nd starting at 7:00pm for a closing exhibition, live performances, and massive party.

Over the past few months momentum has been growing in the creative coding space in Boston, with the Boston Creative Coders, and Art+Code meetup. This is exciting.

Light Card

Laser cutting generative design and typography

I designed a card to be in the Museum of Pocket art ALL BUSINESS ALL THE TIME show. I used Processing to design the card, and then I laser cut the pattern in acrylic.

To produce the design I first I set the text centered within a rectangle. I drew points around the perimeter of the letters and additional points were placed within the rectangle randomly, with a higher probability of a point placed closer to the letter points. The added points repelled each other briefly, and then all of the points were triangulated. The text emerged from the density of triangles.


update (october 28th, 2012):

This is a project from 2010, but was recently blogged on NOTCOT so I thought I’d include a few more details.  You can see several iteration of the piece in the first blog post of this site.  You can see among the variations that I began with the Delaunay triangulation, and placed text over it.  Here is an example:

I was working on this after TAing a class taught by Jesse of Nervous System.  He suggested I think of a way to integrate the letters with the underlying pattern.  Hence I began to look into extracting points from the text, and using those points in the triangulation.  If you take a look at the code, you’ll notice I use the geomerative library to do the font analysis.  Here is a later iteration:

You can see the letters emerging from the intersecting lines, but still quite hard to read- especially the web address.  I soon removed the address.  It kind of highlights the question of whether or not it is still a business card, but I liked the idea of removing references to myself in it and focusing on the connection, the us.

I created a ton of variations of this design using the Processing code I wrote above, changing parameters to affect the number of points and spacing of points, until I found a design I liked. Finally, I created a PDF based on this image (I believe it is the one below), and used that with the laser cutter.


Globe Growth

A 3D inflating convex hull of random points with repulsion

I created a 3D object that grows in simulation. Points are placed randomly in a 3D space and repel one another. All of the points repel the center of the simulation. The convex hull is taken of the points at each time step, resulting in a 3D object that is inflating. An offset is applied to each triangle face, and the offset internal triangle is curved using subdivision.
This shape will be fabricated using a 3D printer. For the colorful image, only the curved internal triangles are colored.


innovative user interfaces for the Android using Processing

Android programming can sometimes feel a bit clunky because of that gap of time between changing code and seeing the effect.  It takes some time to compile and upload the sketch to the phone, and even longer to get the virtual machine up and running.  This gap of time can slow the tinkering and exploration process.  Processing allows you to prototype interactive visualizations faster.  I’ve found Processing to be a great place to prototype ideas for Android UIs- especially new ways to interact with screens, using processing-android to export android applications.

In this post I’ll describe a bit how you can rapidly prototype gestural UIs in Processing and then hook them up to a larger Android application in Eclipse.  However, there are limitations.   As you’ll see, there are methods specific to android programming that work only in processing-android, and others that are easier to integrate in Eclipse.

The accompanying code to this post is here.

Whats kind of cool about writing this app in Processing is that my app can run on the Desktop, in the browser and (by changing two lines) on my Android phone.

Making the basic UI in Processing

The application I want to make is an interface to output low frequency waveforms.  I want to generate repeating strings of numbers, which I can then hook up to something else, perhaps an LED, or pitch parameter f