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 Coding WorkShop I

Exploration of code to projector based on an idea from sketches.

produced by: Robert Hillson


Being new to programming from the perspective of an artist has always been a struggle, that is viewing works that are transient in nature whereby the end result ceases to exisit once the power is switched off. Trying to both understand code while impressing my own idea of what I want to see has caused a few set backs in my whole approach to programming; however, code as a material makes more sense to me now than it did a few months ago.



On the positive side, some of the concepts required to produce the following video include classes, functions, array vectors and perlin noise all of which took many hours trying to understand and apply.








Concept and background research


Artistically I tried to stick with the ideas I sketched at the start. These are loosely based around ideas of alientation. The search-light below became flat and the absorbotion of floating debris was also not coded as I wanted. In retrospect, and if asked again I would stick with a purely abstract aesthetic

After time the idea was that these search lights would sort of foam at the mount and the debrois would fall to the floor and then become asbsored by the building in a this was complete the circle. But again, these ideas were found to be easy to imagine and sketch and even perhaps model, but not code. And so over time I started to reduce the complexity of the code to standard chunks of codes that really didn’t do much like I wanted, except for the movement of the lights. This worked how I wanted and having each window accomadate a light sequence with perlin noise was a major win. The soultion came about by using a function for each circle. One of the rare occasions where I felt like I was using code as it was designed to be used.

Specifically I wanted a search light found in WWII films with a movement that was similar, that smooth, a little random and not mechanically except for the cyclical pattern of motion expected from this sort of scene. The tower block was choosen because I felt it sat nicely with ideas of ideological destruction, in terms of political power, again, loose idea with no specificity.


Many of the concepts were to begin with very diffuclt to comprehend, again many of these ideas apply to a very rigid and structured way of working. Unlike drawing, painting or sculpture the learning curve is very much unforgiving with no real room for expression, that is you can flick paint onto the surface of a canvas and feel relatively satisfied but with coding no suchthing exists, if code does not compile it is meaningless.



Future development

In the future I intend on concentrating on a particular method in coding such as computer vision and porjection mapping with stop-motion animation, in this way I think I will avoid some of the pits falls I experienced with this particular project. In additon to this I don’t think it wise to think about anything else other than the material being used, not what it can be used for. To effectively use code for a serious idea I now know takes a lot of skill and exerpience.