Making Art with Computer Programming (3 workshops - 25% OFF; max. 12 spaces)

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Price £75.00

25% reduction for pilot programme - future price £100


What is Processing?

In 2001, researchers at MIT Ben Fry and Casey Reas developed the programming language 'Processing' as a language that would be easy for artists and designers to learn to use for interactive digital media works. The language has gone from strength to strength, and offers a good starting point for any artist interested in learning computer programming who finds the possibility of learning code too daunting.

What will I learn?

Artist Shane Finan will introduce the basics of programming for artworks. Participants will learn to write a computer program in the Processing programming language that draws and animates shapes, and they will learn how to make those shapes interactive through mouse or keyboard buttons. Although the terms and ideas in this workshop might seem complex, Shane introduces them from a background as an artist and will lead this workshop to the ability of the attendees.

Reading materials and further information will be provided.

The workshops will include one-to-one feedback and group collaboration in developing computer programs for artworks.

What is covered in the three Introduction Modules?

Part 1: Image processing:

Theory (1 hour): What is 'Open Source'? What is the Processing programming language? How do computers display images (RGB matrices, how data becomes colour)? What are coordinate maps?

Practical (1 hour): Participants will write a computer program that will draw their first shapes in Processing, using colour and placement, and gaining an understanding of mapping on x-y coordinates


Part 2: Animation:

Theory (40 minutes): How do programs animate? What is a draw function? What is Java programming language and how does it relate to Processing?

Practical (1 hour 20 minutes): Participants will animate their first program, using the 'draw' function in Processing, and gaining an understanding of how mapped objects can move.


Part 3: Interactivity

Theory (30 minutes): What is interactivity? How do I engage audiences?

Practical (1 hour): Participants will add interactive elements to their Processing program, where they can change parts by clicking with the mouse or pressing keyboard keys.

Theory (30 minutes): Critical theory and conclusion - an outline of why technology is important to the arts, and how art can critique technology by using it in ways that are not commercial.


Part 1: Image processing

Running 5:00pm to 7:00pm on 4 June 2020

An introduction to image processing, how computers generate images, and how this relates to computer programming code. Includes theory of image processing and a practical workshop on creating basic images using coordinate-based programming.

Part 2: Animation

Running 5:00pm to 7:00pm on 11 June 2020

An introduction to image animation, and how the illusion of animation is created by computer code. Includes theory of the background to animated images on computer screens, with a high-level introduction to the Java programming language.

Part 3: Interactivity

Running 5:00pm to 7:00pm on 18 June 2020

A first look at interactivity through Processing, creating reactions in a computer program using keyboard keys and mouse. Includes theory on using technology in a critical and conscious way, the role of technology in environmental issues, and how artists can engage audiences through interactivity.

Shane Finan

Shane Finan is an artist and project manager from Ireland who works with interactive digital media, painting and installation. He holds a BA in Fine Art (IT Sligo 2008) and an MSc in Interactive Digital Media (Trinity College Dublin 2013). He writes computer programs as artworks for web and site-specific installations, exhibited in Ireland, the UK, Poland, Switzerland, Iceland, China and the USA.

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