Code and Language

Code and Language

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On Tuesday, I started the class Code and Language with Paul Catanese. This class introduces the use of coding and programing languages for creative outcomes, and it is one of the Interdisciplinary Arts & Media core classes. After only two days of class, it has been amazing.

The class is only two weeks long, and in this two weeks we are introduced to three different programming languages that are used by visual and sound artists: Processing, Max Msp Jitter, and Isadora. We’ve already begun to explore two of these languages.

On Tuesday, we were introduced to Processing, which is an open source programming language for people who are interested in data visualizations, creating images, animations, and interactions. This is closer to what I expected programing to be—typing in lines of text. However, it is a fairly friendly programing language and has been used widely to teach and introduce people to programming. Here’s some interesting stuff people have done with processing.“unnamed-soundsculpture”/

Earlier today, Paul introduced us to Max Msp Jitter, which allows you to make unique software without ever writing any code (well, almost). In Max, you essentially start with a blank canvas called the patcher window. In that window, you add what are called objects— tiny programs that perform specific tasks. You then connect these objects with patch chords, so it’s kind of like drawing a program or programming with legos. Here are some interesting videos of work made with Max.

Tomorrow, we dive into Isadora, which is an award-winning media presentation tool for creating interactive visuals, sounds, and environments.  Isadora was originally created by composer and media artist Roy Coniglio to realize the performances of the dance company Troika Ranch.  If Max is like programing with legos, perhaps Isadora is like programing with duplos.

Before I had heard of Max Msp Jitter and Isadora, I never thought computer programming would be something accessible to me. But Paul has changed that. I’m excited by the creative opportunities that these languages present.