Lock Me Up with Code
produced by: Noa Geras
“Lock Me Up with Code” was created during December of 2020 and beginning of January 2021.
In this project I contemplate anxiety, emotional states, current politics, my personal history and trauma. It served me as a stress relief and functioned as a visual diary.
I spent the winter in my room – it became my universe. The window to the world was my screen, the Internet became a lifeline. Anxieties creeped in and the news from home didn’t help; earthquakes in Croatia, landslides in Iceland, riots in America. I kept asking myself: “Will my family be ok?”
Concerns about the present and past got mixed with the fear of coding. “Are my sketches good enough?” “Am I able to do this project?” “Who am I?”
I tried to fill the silence with audio books, and so words became an integral part of my project. My inspiration for combining sentences with my visuals came from Tristan Tzara’s Dadaist poems (1896-1963). The first words that would appear in my mind, I would include in my sketches. They are excerpts from my stream of consciousness; existentialist questions and nonsensical answers.
The words are as chaotic as randomly scrolling through the internet – a word salad.
The graphic visuals of the project are fluid, chaotic, unlike the typography that is pixelated and rough. The project is full of glitches. Its colours are vibrant; they remind us of old video games and evoke nostalgia.
The question “What do you mean?” repeats itself like a pop up add, never getting a proper answer.
“What is life like when you are in a box?” – Asks someone free. By mentioning “life” we realise that the questions are posed to someone who has been living closed up for a long time. The box references a psychological and physical box.
“Love yourself” is a sentence exploited on social media. It evokes kitsch; it gets distorted into the word “Eat”. In this context “eat” reminds me of a never-ending hunger – consumerism.
I dislike the colour orange. It reminds me of wildfires, Trump’s face hue and of unimaginative sunset sky. When focused on hatred, our mind gets covered with this colour.
The words “be calm” are animated to move around the screen, lost in a sea of visuals. “Be calm” is a sentence that does not bring calm.
“Let there be light” is a phrase from the Book of Genesis. The sun depicted next to it is illustrative and unmoving, designed to imitate a playing card. Half of it is dark, the other half light; a fake sun, a broken sun – a decoration.
“People can get used to anything. Just don’t ask them how.” – A sentence from Viktor Frankl’s book Man’s Search for Meaning. While coding, I was listening to his audio book. It evoked many questions and dilemmas to think about.
I found myself pondering over this line of text: “Here lies the chance for a man either to make use of or to forgo the opportunities of attaining the moral values that a difficult situation may afford him. And this decides whether he is worthy of his sufferings or not.” – Viktor Frankl (Man’s Search for Meaning).
During this project I came to feel more confident in my ability to code. Perseverance brought me to the conclusion of this project and I feel grateful – as grateful as Odysseus felt to be back home after his tireless journey. This project is my Ithaca.
“Ithaca gave you the marvellous journey.
Without her you wouldn't have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.
And if you find her poor, Ithaca won’t have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you’ll have understood by then what these Ithacas mean.”
C. P. Cavafy, Ithaca
The goal of this project was to feel comfortable with code. I analysed exercises I did during the term and used the knowledge I gained from them to create my code sketches. The things I didn’t know I would search online or write to my colleagues. I am grateful for their emotional support and coding tips. I feel that being surrounded with the right people is paramount to have a positive learning experience.
Because of Tier 5 I was unable to access the facilities from University to be able to project my project in real life. I used a 3D photograph of an interior my friend Kevin Kuhn Agnes created in Blender, to map my sketches and make an illusion of space. In the future I would like to work more with text, because I felt it to be a gratifying tool to use in my coding experiments. I am also looking forward to projection map on more complicated structures, such as my sculptures.
I feel satisfied with my project because I know that the project is not only the video result, but also knowledge and confidence gained. I love the cohesion of colours and text that my project possesses, and I am glad I pushed through it to be able to finish it.
- Viktor Frankl – Man’s Search for Meaning, 1946
- C. P. Cavafy, "The City" from C.P. Cavafy: Collected Poems. Translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard
Project created using the knowledge from:
- Lewis Lepton – openFrameworks tutorial series, 2019
Exercises (code): 003_2DShapes, 005_translate, 009_font, 038_ofNoise
- Theo Papatheodorou – Workshops in Creative Coding 1, 2020 (learn.goldsmiths)
Exercises: humbleClock, nestedForLoop, pulsatingArcs, scanLines, shapesFromAgents, solarSystem, triangleVectors, pulsatingRings, bouncingBallVector, bouncingBall, noisySun
Many thanks to my friends Armando Gonzalez Sosto, Kevin Kuhn Agnes, Lucie Stepankova, Dimitri Balojani, Karlo Priselac and my mother Nadia Geras for your support.