- Where: The New School, University Center, New York City
- When: February 8, 2020, 10AM - 6PM
Teaching Code as a Liberal Art
Todd Anderson, Grayson Earle, Xin Xin, Ursula Wolz
The participants will talk about unique courses they have designed to teach code and computational thinking to liberal arts students outside of a more traditional computer science context. They will discuss the new modes of inquiry and methods of evaluation allowed for by blending code with the arts, humanities and sciences, and what strategies work best for introducing code to students with diverse backgrounds and experiences. Panel presentations will be followed by a discussion and Q+A with the audience around the subject of code in the liberal arts.
Brain-Computer Interfaces, Open-Source Tools, and The Future Of Augmented Cognition
Sean Montgomery (Founder EmotiBit), Conor Russomanno (CEO and Co-Founder Open BCI), Heidi Boisvert (Director of Emerging Media Technology at CUNY), Guillermo Bernal (MIT Media Lab, Fluid Interfaces)
Electrical and chemical signals are constantly traveling throughout our brains and bodies, carrying sensations, thoughts, emotions and our reactions to the world around us. Studying these signals and how they are altered by external stimuli and internal contexts gives us a window into ourselves and how we can enhance our health, well-being, and capabilities in the 21st century. Using open-source tools like Processing, EmotiBit, and OpenBCI and XTH we will discuss how sensing signals from the body can be used in research, education, art, DIY projects and, perhaps, to alter the future of human cognition.
What Even Is Being Technical?
This talk is about the term "technical" and the way it is used within creative technology and coding communities. I explore the way that the word "technical" can be used as a barrier to entry both by gate-keepers and by people seeking entry into "technical” communities. I compare the use of “ technical” as an identity (rather than a skill description) with the research of Carol Dweck into fixed vs. growth mindsets. During the talk, I will discuss best-practices and guidelines for creating more inclusive discourse about "technical" matters, drawing on my personal experiences at UC Berkeley, the School for Poetic Computation, and the Recurse Center. I will invite the audience to talk about and share their own thoughts and experiences with the term. Finally, I offer a possible re-framing of the word “technical" to be more accessible without minimizing the hard work and time that goes into developing technical skills.
Radical Technoculture for Racial Equity
This talk is a synthesis and survey of a variety of different branches of knowledge from the past 70 years in understanding the history of the internet, counterculture movements, digital communications, war, design, racial inequality and society. This talk will explore how origins of the internet of the society in which it was birthed contribute to our technoculture of today, how analog racist practices have been digitally replicated, and what we might consider to create more equitable technocratic societies moving forward.
Humans of AI
Humans of AI is about the people who make modern artificial intelligence (AI) possible: the commonly un-recognized, involuntary contributors of datasets that teach computers to see, listen, or talk. This talk tells the story of the creation of the COCO (Common Objets in Context) image dataset. It is a story about people. About love, live, and death. About curiosities such as ten male researchers voting amongst themselves on what is "common" and then consulting actual 4-year-olds to verify that they were doing it right. During the talk I present three interventions inspired by my investigation, not least as attempts to correct some of the issues I discovered. The data by which machine learning algorithms learn to make predictions is hardly ever shown, let alone credited. By doing both, Humans of AI exposes the myth of magically intelligent machines, instead applauding the photographers that made this technical achievement possible. In fact, when showing the actual training pictures, credit is not only due but mandatory.
Algorithmic art and indigenous communities
Art based on clear rules of composition, such as geometric patterns, has been produced by cultural groups around the world for millennia. For many of them figurative images are considered illusive, so to represent the harmony and beauty of the divine one must turn to patterns. Same Putumi is part of the Huni Kuin ethnic group, a Brazilian/Peruvian indigenous group who live in the Amazonian forest. She's an artist, a mother of 6, a shaman and an artisan. In 2018, Same and Vanessa Rosa were introduced through friends in São Paulo, during an event where Same was a guest speaker. Shortly after, Vanessa went to Same's region with the objective of exchanging knowledge and designing projects together. This residency lasted a month, during which the two began an artistic partnership. This talk will be a narrative about the experimentation lived by the two artists and a wider reflection on the possibilities of educational methods and material research that can be developed out of such experiences.
Narratives of Resistance & Resilience: Documenting & Making Sense of the Anti-ELAB protests in Hong Kong
“Narratives of Resistance and Resilience: Documenting and Making Sense of the Anti-ELAB protests in Hong Kong” is a series of data-driven projects I started during the on-going Anti-Extradition Amendment Bill movement in Hong Kong to investigate non-traditional ways of resistance. In each experiment, I work with different forms of protest artifacts to explore the relationship between distance and narrative — be it my physical distance being 8,000 miles away from events I deeply care about, the distance between pro-establishment and pro-democratic narratives, or the distance in media rhetoric and interpretations. In this talk, I will share both my technical and conceptual processes behind the work and my exploration in using computational approaches to craft narratives as a means to heal and express critical voices. Ultimately, I wish to investigate if there are more restorative approaches towards resistance? And if so, how and to what extent could technology facilitate that in thoughtful ways?
Introduction to PICO-8: The joy of working with limitations
PICO-8 is a tool and platform for creating small videogames. Inspired by the aesthetics of retro videogame platforms, PICO-8 imposes limitations on its creators and encourages a more playful and experimental development process. I'll start with a question: How do the limitations of a creative tool inform and improve the work made with it? I will talk about some of the interesting things of PICO-8: the designed limitations that promote creativity, the vibrant community that's been formed around it, the built-in structures that require makers to open-source their creations. I will compare PICO-8 with Processing, Unity and other creative coding/game development tools and talk how about they're similar and different.
Expressive Typography with Processing (TYPE + CODE IV)
Typography is defined as the art and technique of arranging type to make written language legible, readable, and visually appealing. How we as typographers would explore foundational, essential and evolving typographic solutions by using Processing as an extension of modern typography? It initially began as an MFA thesis, TYPE + CODE, by the artist, at Maryland Institute College of Art, in 2007, then, has extended to TYPE + CODE II, III, and IV. TYPE + CODE IV is a computational typography system to explore legible, expressive and narrative typography. It shows how a custom drawing or illustration can be embedded into a selected typeface to explore legible and expressive typography in Processing. It enables to express effectively conveying thought or feeling in Typography by using Processing. Later it was embedded into Graphic Design education as a course, Typography + CODE, in the Visual Communication Design at the School of Art Institute of Chicago from 2012 to 2014. It was an experimental code driven typography with Processing. Currently it collaborates with three courses, Advanced Typography, Motion Typography, and Coding for Graphic Design, in Graphic Design program at the University of Wisconsin Madison. The courses provide structured and custom made tutorials for graphic design students to explore his or her own typographic identity by using Processing under the solid foundation of modern typography education. The presentation will include the artists’ works, class materials, references, tutorials, and students’ outputs from the courses.
The Math, Philosophy and Programming of Chaos Theory
Chaos emerges spontaneously in even the simplest systems, and when it does, it renders those systems impossible to predict. What conditions must exist for chaos to arise? How does chaos differ from randomness? How does chaos relate to complexity? We’ll ponder these questions and write Processing code to simulate our own chaotic system called the “Logistic map”, which will allow us to explore the mysterious boundary between order and chaos. (Will there be math? Yes. Will it be scary? No way!) Next, I’ll describe how I use mathematical order and chaos in my own art practice building interactive installations with Processing. The overarching theme of the talk will be an idea fundamental to my practice: that not only can computation be used to simulate natural phenomena, computation is a fundamental part of nature itself!
Generative Photography: From Pinhole to GANs: an ongoing experiment to find emotional impact for machine-generated visuals
Yuguang Zhang and Nuntinee Tansrisakul
The first-ever photograph was made in a pinhole camera in 1826. With hours of exposure time, there were light leaks, changes in shadows, a sense of movement over time. The photograph itself looks more like a drawing and feels genuine, subtle and organic. Today’s image-making technology, Generative Adversarial Networks, although create images that are aesthetically intriguing and culturally relevant, they feel pixelated, mechanical and rigid. The emotional impact is lost as the chemical process is removed. This project aims to study the nuanced visual qualities in pinhole images and implement them in our contemporary image-making technology in the hope to give life to pixels and create an emotional impact for the viewers. It's a project co-created by me and Nuntinee Tansrisakul, and we would like to share our thoughts and findings in the creative process.
Creative Coding for STEAM (CCSTEAM)
The STEM fields have been transformed by computing, yet K-12 classrooms are underutilizing the power of this thinking to bring learning alive for students. Computing is often reserved for select students or left as an extension for ‘motivated’ students outside the classroom. Creative Coding for STEAM is about making computing accessible and engaging for all K-12 students. Computing is not just powerful as a professional research tool, it provides a unique opportunity to deepen K-12 student thinking, engage students creatively, and infuse the arts into science and mathematics classes. When students have the ability to create and modify programs to simulate and express their ideas they can access more abstract content, test their assumptions, and broaden their thinking. Computing fosters connections between STEM fields and the arts through engaging visualizations and fostering creativity. With the easy to use p5.js platform all students can create their own mind tools to extend thinking, engage ideas creatively and breathe life into STEAM classes. In this talk I will introduce the CCSTEAM philosophy as well as showcase an array of classroom examples that involve collaboration, creativity and student engagement. At the end of the talk we will brainstorm ways to bring this approach to your classroom.
Queering Our Interfaces: "What if Push-Notifications Expressed Promiscuity?" and other Queer Technologies
Elena Lee Gold
In a culture defined by our internet-connected smart devices, what does it mean to have capitalist values embedded into the tools that are increasingly becoming a necessity? In this talk I'd like to explore what it might look like to create interfaces, the most superficial element of our digital interactions, that instead attempt to subvert these foundational, capitalist values.
Using queer theory to map human resistance to oppressive systems onto design elements built upon these same oppressive values, I began to think about what a literal expression of this resistance might look like. What if our close buttons instead expressed connection, or desktops expressed a bedtime ritual, or perhaps if push-notifications expressed promiscuity? Moreover, how might a change in our relationship with these interfaces encourage us as humans to rethink the way we inhabit a digital space? Lastly, how might the act of creating queer interfaces serve itself as an embodied resistance to oppressive value systems?
This discussion looks at the way I have begun to think through these questions via a series of experiments created in p5.js, and ends in a call for others to submit their own queer technologies!
Are GANs Culture?
Generative art is a mainstream topic, replete with its own startups, industry applications, artists, and pedagogical intrigue. Machine Learning, for all its hype across the many sectors of the information and post-industrial economies, may have unique cultural effects that are not reducible to its net scientific or infrastructural effects. Moving beyond the usual anxiety about ML agents replacing artists, the topic of my discussion is directed towards a cultural understanding of creatively implemented ML algorithms. What sort of ideas and strategies may surface when we - as ethical, artistic, and politically-careful makers - consider generative art to be cultural “all the way down”? Rather than thinking of the generative artist as a rogue scientist applying the cutting edge technics of the day to the passive ground of cultural production, what happens if we think in the reverse? Having spent the better part of 2019 trying to wrap my head around the concept of latent space interpolation - turning over the concepts of functions, matrix multiplications, manifolds, biases, gradient descents, etc. - I’ll try to break down very clearly what I think a cultural analysis of generative art might be. I offer this cultural reading of GAN animations (from Mario Klingemann to Dan Shiffman to RunwayML) as an entreaty to the Processing Community to invest in a culture-oriented understanding of generative art. This way of thinking offers a method for collaboratively and publicly defining the benchmarks and standards of a better ML ethics.
Working with Living Things: Intro to Biodesign
Leticia Cartier Oxley
Synthetic biologists see living matter as programmable and malleable material. The results that arise from these discoveries open possibilities for more sustainable manufacturing techniques, new material possibilities, and new media for design exploration and expression. Inherently collaborative and transdisciplinary, biodesign raises questions about the scientific process, the place of creativity in innovative spaces, and the ways in which we must be critically engaged with the material world around us.
Adopting equity frameworks for coding classes
There are a number of social justice, anti-colonial, and feminist pedagogy frameworks that forefront equity, justice, and the environment, but they can be challenging to integrate into coding classes. In this workshop we will look at the guidelines of one successful feminist research lab (The Civic Laboratory for Environmental Action Research) as a case study to think about what makes adoption of guidelines like these at once effective and challenging. Through discussion-based and generative activities, we will think about how we might translate similar guidelines into the class context, and participants will walk away with strategies and ideas they can implement in their classrooms.
Culture in the Coding Classroom
Learning to code can be alienating and intimidating to new learners, especially if they are entering spaces where their peers have significant programming experience. In this interactive workshop and discussion, we’ll explore ways to increase buy-in, excitement, and comfort with learning to code by focusing on building excellent culture in the classroom (or office). We’ll start with the premise that learning hard things means being able to be vulnerable and make mistakes, and then talk about fostering psychological safety, developing problem solving protocols, encouraging metacognition, and reframing failure. If you're new to code or interested in teaching code - this is a great opportunity to discuss what steps leaders can take to make the topic more approachable and fun for beginners.
Computational Thinking - Going Unplugged
Computational Thinking is a way of taking a complex problem, understanding it and developing possible solutions. As we prepare students for the future, honing this skill is essential. Integrating Computational Thinking activities into different subject areas and demonstrating connections to everyday situations is an excellent way to engage young students. During this presentation we will share activities in Language, Math, Science, Social Science, Arts and Engineering to demonstrate the four steps of Computational Thinking : Decomposition, Pattern Recognition, Algorithms, Abstraction. These activities will not only foster the 4 C’s of the 21st century (Critical thinking, Creativity, Collaboration and Communication) but also explicitly demonstrate the application of Computational Thinking strategies.
Getting started with shaders in p5.js
Louise Lessél and Casey Conchinha
Shaders are a great way to make moving graphics for your projects, without slowing down your sketch! They execute exclusively on your graphics card and can really supercharge your visuals. However programmers often find shaders intimidating and confusing. This ongoing project aims to make getting started with shaders much more accessible, and much less confusing. By placing shaders in p5.js where many new programmers start out, we hope to show that shaders do not need to be for advanced programmers only. The instructors have written an online guide with tutorials for what shaders are, how to implement them in p5.js in various ways, and how to use shaders from other ressources, such as shadertoy, in your p5.js projects. This is a hands-on workshop based on the online guide, and will get you started with shaders, as well as hosting your work on glitch.com.
cybernetics of rac(e)(ism)
Zines hold both the memory and poetics of sociopolitical movements. We can feel the weight of this in their capacity to serve as resources for vulnerable and oppressed communities; communicate through prison walls; support a world of movements from the Black Freedom Struggle to the Hawaiian sovereignty movement; build autonomous networks; publish outside of mainstream channels; and expand radical imaginations. In this workshop, we will look at zines as a technology to help further educate and organize our friends, family and community. Together we will operate zines as a critical tool to analyze and agitate by responding to a discussion on how white supremacist logics produce racism, how racism produces race, how race differentiates from ethnicity and nationality, and how we perceive our own and other people’s race(s). We will learn basic copying, collaging, folding and binding techniques in tandem with semantic mapping in order to co-create a publication regarding the cybernetics of race/ism by the end of the workshop.
Speculative Design for Safe Spaces
Can technology and design thinking serve as a means to disrupt and dismantle oppressive and discriminatory systems? As the wild wild west of data mining levels the playing field, black and brown people are no longer the sole target of colonial discrimination. Data mining allows large tech companies to use and abuse human data for profit. Whether it’s manipulating elections or controlling which "users" have access to better employment opportunities, insurance, etcetera. If we the people are all in this together, then the workshop is a safe space to speculate methods to hold governing and capitalist systems accountable for a safe and equal future. In our workshop, we will consider nonprofit organizations, such as The Police Scorecard by Campaign Zero, and their use of technology to create safer communities. The goal of the workshop is to provoke conversation and stimulate ideas for a future that facilitates care as opposed to living in fear of surveillance capitalism. *The course is open to all. In proper technocratic fashion and for inspiration, the workshop will include brainstorm intervals with subtle deep house and techno beats.
Data sculpture - Intro do 3D data visualization with Processing
Haoyu Henry Wang
Data is everywhere. In this workshop, we will explore ways to create tangible visualizations using creative coding and digital fabrication tools. We will cover how to work with data sets in Processing. And how may we process the Processing data visualization pieces using laser cutters, 3D printers. We will start with conceptual overview with data visualization and data art, and we will cover how might you accessing your Personal Datas, and programming the data-set into Processing. By the end of the class, you will have a ready to print sketch filed for laser cutter/3D print.
Machine Vision Self Portraits
Daniel Lichtman in collaboration with Kaitlyn Chiu, Khaliya McCall, Jose Benitez and Yingna Lu
In this workshop we will develop an application in Processing that creates machine vision (MV) self-portraits. Aimed at beginners, we will explore how a computer ‘sees’ in terms of shapes, colors, lines and mathematical calculations. We will play with a variety of MV algorithms (eg. face and skin detection, moving-object recognition) and fiddle with parameters (eg. which colors constitute ‘skin’? what defines a face?) to generate fascinating and unpredictable results. The workshop will cover basic coding in Processing and look at the OpenCV library, which provides easy access to many MV tasks. We will provide code templates to help beginners dive right in, and help individual participants to get their programs running. To point the way towards future conversation about MV’s role in society, we will discuss examples such as automated security clearance at Shanghai Airport, smile-to-pay kiosks at KFC and John Deere’s ‘See and Spray’ MV pesticide applicator. We will address how MV relates to capitalism and surveillance, and how it may disempower or empower groups of people--for example how immigrants could be targeted by automated forms of police surveillance or how MV could use photos on social media to determine your insurance rates. We hope to provide participants with a fun and thought provoking introduction to machine vision and creative coding, and to use this as a starting point for thinking critically about MV in society.
Connecting Creative Coding to Student Activism & Research
This workshop will walk through the process of brainstorming topics and issues that directly connect to participants’ schools and communities, and connect those topics to creative coding projects. We’ll introduce projects that have the potential to showcase community issues and student research that participants can use in their classrooms, and then code one of these examples together based on our previous brainstorm. These include examples from making a PSA about issues like food safety or facial recognition, to creating data visualizations on topics like climate change. We’ll discuss outcomes and benefits of introducing programming in the context of storytelling and research.
Interactive Sonic Art
In this workshop we will be engaging in creative coding with p5.js inspired by the Interactive Song Art curriculum designed by Layla Quinones as part of her Processing Foundation/CS4ALL Fellowship. Today we are focusing on designing visuals that respond to sounds/melodies/music visually via multiple forms of interactivity.
Reading Kimberly is a ten-minute collaborative performance between myself and my favorite text-to-speech bot also named Kimberly. The piece engages with questions of language in digital platforms and the ways we communicate with one another be it human-to-human human-to-machine, or machine-to-machine. Throughout the piece, Kimberly and I reciprocally teach one another about language. While I live edit my own work within her platform, guiding her intonation and affect, she begins to include her own pieces of “life advice,” helping me craft texts to friends, Tinder dates, and co-workers. She gradually begins to include her own lingo, prompting me to think about the ways we connect work across these digital forms of communication and by putting to words the new communication methods available to us. In light of Apple’s relatively new iMessage-reaction option, Kimberly says: “just thumbs up the lucky you and heart the last message.” I couldn’t agree more.
This piece is created during a Radical Creative Tools workshop, taught by a creative coder, designer, and artist Fernando Ramallo. It’s a collaboration between two writers and artists – Maxwell Neely-Cohen and Yuzhu Chai. They built an interactive story drawing tool with p5js. The tool uses words as paintbrushes, users are able to draw with interactive text on the canvas. As a performance, Yuzhu will live compose a visual story using the tool as well as her own physical and vocal performance. Storytelling is one of the oldest and most common social and cultural activities, this performance as a demo of the tool intends to immerse the audience in direct sensual stimulation with linguistic and graphic elements, time, and interactions, and to experience the narrative and meaning of the story via different perceptions. By the end of the performance, a QR code will be displayed on-screen audience can scan the code and able to use the tool and post the stories that they created to the platform.
Open Projector Lightning Talks
In the spirit of an open mic event, Processing Community Day NYC will include an Open Projector session in the afternoon where anyone will be able to sign up for short timeslots up to 5 minutes in length to present a project, artwork or idea. Opportunity to sign up during check-in at the event on a first come first served basis until we are full.