Tag Archives: #meda102

Project Process Planning – 3D printed flower #1


My idea for my project is to compare the natural aesthetic of a flower with the manufactured aesthetic of a 3D printed flower. The main idea is to try and create a 3D printed flower that has the appeal of a natural flower.

The above sculptural flower was formed by simulating the biological process that plants use to form their own flower buds, branches and leaf stems.

There is a need for the project to be an example of repetition and iteration. In my project the repetition could be in the production of the 3D printed flower or in the placement and comparison of presenting the flowers. The repetition and iteration will need to be thought about more.

Understanding Processing: My hands-on learning


Much like anything else I try to learn, I need to have a hands-on experience to learn what needs to be done. It is the most effective way for me to learn so Processing is no different.

I was given the following image and the code for how it was created, the task was to change the way it looked, simple enough –

MEDA102 no changeMEDA102 only a little bit of codeThe code had new functions (rileyDot, leWittlines and hesseDot), the functions are 3 custom designed functions that represented A LOT more code. They are called after the artist that created the image. The black dots, the lines added the dots of colour are from 3 different Artists. With only looking at the code above I changed some things –

MEDA102 little changeLooking at the image the changes are:
– leWitt lines changed to white
– background changed to Red
– A rileyDot was moved and both were enlarged
– hesseDot went from a single row to filling the entire screen, the shade of black was changed and they was moved closer together to overlap.

Simple enough!

Next came the code of what the custom functions represented – that was a lot more code and a lot more of a challenge. Here is the picture I ended up with and the code I ended up with. Can you spot the changes?

MEDA102 big changeNow the code:

MEDA102 code behind final changeI enjoyed this exercise and I am looking forward to incorporating code into my final assessment.

Computer coding – summary and analysis


In the past 3 weeks we have explored how algorithms and computation impacts art. Week 5 introduced us to the world of Processing. Processing is a type of programming language that is open source and an integrated part of computation art. Our task was to create an image using pseudo-code and understand key concepts and elements that go into making a code. These steps being: objects, properties, methods (or functions), method parameters, loops, loops within loops, the program entry point, and its exit point.

Understanding the basic functions of Processing it was time to put our knowledge into practice. Given the exercise of:

  1. Find out how to create different shapes and lines (e.g. square, circles, rectangles, triangles, eclipses etc.) and the different properties (fill, colour, dimensions etc.) by looking up the Processing Reference (http://www.processing.org/reference/) and Tutorials (http://www.processing.org/tutorials/).
  2. Find out how to fill the shapes/ change colour.
  3. Choose one of the artworks below and create it in Processing.
    1. Bridget Riley’s Encircling Discs with Black.
    2. Piet Mondrian’s Composition in Red, Blue and Yellow
    3. Kazimer Malevich’s Self-portrait in Two Dimensions
    4. Damien Hirst’s Controlled Substances

Choosing Piet Mondrian’s Composition in Red, Blue and Yellow we ended up with:

Though this was the first exercise we came across, there are principles of coding that we need to take into account. These Principles being:

  1. Don’t Repeat Yourself (DRY) – code should have a singular representation
  2. Test as you write – deals with efficiency in the long-run
  3. Reduce dependencies as much as possible – specify specific connections so chunks of code aren’t largely dependable
  4. Validate your data – being able to not break down when fed “garbage” data
  5. Handle errors nicely – give a reason when an error has occurred
  6. Keep it simple – so it is easy to construct and maintain
  7. Tidy up after yourself – when an error/bug occurs fix it, don’t leave it for another time
  8. Learn new tools
  9. Maintain your flow
  10. Make your code unsurprising
  11. Don’t program by coincidence
  12. Code entopy

(source – http://www.hurricanesoftwares.com/most-important-coding-principles/)

Week 6 was specific to the idea of how loops effect codes and what can be changed so drastically through minimizing the code. Using the “for” command which related to repetitions, iterations and loops we simplified the code and made it easier to use. Using a compressed picture and showing how the “for” command works we get the following images:

Pikachu Random(count x row x 51) Pikachu background change Pikachu shade black to whiteThe only line of code that was changed was “tint” in each code.

“Tint” is a lexicon of the processing language. “Lexicon” is defined as – the vocabulary of a person, language, or branch of knowledge. Regarding Processing – processing is the language and the popular lexicons would be: size, fill, for, if, int, void, ellipse, rect, loop, float and tint.

Week 8 was about slit-scanning. This exercise was to explore the aesthetic dictated by slit-scanning. The exercise was to record a short video and insert it into the following code:

import processing.video.*;
Movie mov;
void setup() {
  size(950, 540);
  mov = new Movie(this, "/Users/kathgadd/Desktop/sample_code/bikePathed.mov");
// Display values from movie
int slitPosition = 0;
void draw() {
  if (mov.available() == true) {
    for (int j = 0; j < height; j++) {
        // copy the slit from movie into one column of screen image
        pixels[ (width * j) + slitPosition  ] =  mov.get(slitPosition, j);
    slitPosition++; // move head across one column
    if ( slitPosition == width ) { noLoop(); } // make sure we stop at the end of the image!

slit scanning 3

slit scanning codeslit scanning 2

Slit-scanning 1

By changing the parts of the code we can change the speed of the slit, when the slit occurs and even the repetition of the slit.

The artistic style of slit-scanning has been popularized by artist Daniel Crooks with his piece “Static No. 12”.

Object-orientated programming (OOP) approach is when values and statements are packaged into objects. Object-orientated approach “shifts the emphasis from passive elements acted on by statements to active elements, the object, interacting with their environment”. OOP lets you write a set of functions, then expand them in different direction without changing or copying them in any way

(source: http://www.cmi.univ-mrs.fr/~piar/REPORTS/CMI_M2_EDP_CS2.pdf)

Procedural and object orientated approachProcedural programming approach is when code is organized into small procedures that take some input, do something and then data comes out. The functions/procedures have no intrinsic relationship with the data used. Procedural program is used when needing specify the steps the program must take to reach the desired state.

(source: http://objectorientedcoldfusion.org/procedural-vs-object-oriented.html)

Algorithms – Processing Practice


Learning Processing is no easy task – unless you are force to, by it being a part of your University class, so while I continue to look at how processing uses algorithms to produce anything – let us have a look at some example of how repetition and variations are produced from processing, jumping straight into it seems to be the way to do it (well it’s the way I get told).

The following code is for a multiple random, coloured, Pikachu Picture:

//declare image object
PImage img;
// set up
void setup () {
// canvas size
size(500, 600);
// Make a new instance of a PImage by loading an image file
img = loadImage (“/Users/jb523/Desktop/Pikachu.jpg”);

void draw () {
// Draw the image to the screen at coordinate (0,0)
for (int row = 0 ; row < 5 ; row = row + 1) {
for (int count = 0 ; count < 5 ; count = count + 1) {
tint(random(255), random(255), random(255));
image(img, count*100,row*120, 100, 120);

The indication of the line that starts with ‘tint’ indicates a random colour to each individual picture as well as changing the colour rapidly – below are 3 screenshots that show the change in colour – using only the process above:

Pikachu Random(255)

Each line represents a piece of information that tells the computer what to do – the lines are broken into a command and a function. If we just change the code we can change the appearance of how we want something to look.

What if we wanted a gradual change from black to anything, going from the top left to the bottom right using colour as a transition, we would get:

Pikachu Random(count x row x 51)The only change made was in the “tint” command, instead of random colours per each picture we made the process start at black and multiple by a number to get another colour.

Continuing the change of the “tint” we can make the tint all one colour, shown:

Pikachu background change
We can even change the columns to individual colours while using grey-scale to get to white.

Pikachu shade black to whiteWhile I find Processing difficult, the creations – even if nothing useful are still interesting. This isn’t my strong point, though I enjoy doing it and exploring what processes I can explore and the things I create.

Algorithm and Computation in Art


Art today has been able to utilize technology and create something more than just paintings and drawings – the way that art use to be created has changed and we are seeing new developments in art coming from the use of technology.

At the base of all art creations there lies an algorithm and/or process in the development of the work being created. These processes and algorithms have moved to technology and the impact is a new form of creativity and expression. Creating “Contemporary Art” through researching science and adding computational power we discover new algorithms.

Looking at Murray McKeich’s “P zombie” there are indications of a human-style presence being consumed by or created by nature. Technology at its most creative – by algorithms input by humans result in a “back to nature” type creation.

PzombieBy understanding the processes and finding algorithms that computers work by we can see that every basic process people use to live their lives, to achieve a result follows an algorithm. By using computers, and exploring how computers follow instructions through the use of simple algorithms we relate that to other aspects of our lives – showing us that algorithms exist outside of art, computers have facilitated the exploration of algorithms outside art and, exposing algorithms present in our daily technological life.

Understanding how a computer works and processes there is the need to know how computers use commands in order to create something. Looking at the Processing website we will be able to understand the basics in creating a process and algorithm in order to create art – or an attempt, as what is shown below (image and code – code may be off).

Hello Worldsize(400, 400);
background(70, 120, 170);
fill(80, 140, 80);
triangle(200, 10, 10, 390, 390, 390);
fill(255, 255, 255);
textFont(createFont(“Impact”, 38));
text(“HELLO WORLD, THIS IS ME”, 200, 200);

fill(255, 255, 255);
textFont(createFont(“Impact”, 20));

Analog Coding Exercises – Summary and Analysis


Over the past 4 weeks we have learned that there are difficulties and considerations when it comes to communication – changing the language that we speak into a transferable item in which can be coded, sent, decoded and understood by people all over the world breakdowns into a simple process that is used by technology. Looking back at the past 4 weeks:

Week 1 dealt with the coding of a visual communication, where we were given a sentence and were required to translate the message into a code using visual gestures and movements, from about 3 stories high and 50 metres away from the receiver of the message, we came up with a process I simply called “Clockwise Clapping” which you can find here.

Clockwise Clapping

Week 2 provided us with the challenge of using sound as a form of communication – using a series of different noises to send a picture from one group to another (only using sounds). This task was to represent what it would be like to be a “human fax” where the image being sent did not leave the person sending it, the receiver of the message would interpret what was being sent to create a copy. We were given Andy Warhol’s Banana and Stiletto to “human fax” from one group to another – follow this link to see the process of what we came up with.

Andy Warhol bananaWeek 3 questioned the principles and what aspect of human interactive art is “art” – brought to our attention by Sol Lewitt’s artistic style – conceptual/minimalist approach, his creations of “Paragraphs” are meant to be explored, interpreted and executed. These works bring into question that it isn’t the physical creation from Sol Lewitt or the people that have a finished product of his work is the art, but the emotional, psychological challenge in deciphering what Sol Lewitt is trying to come across and the different possible outcomes, it is this entire process that is “Art”. We were given the opportunity to try a couple of Sol Lewitt’s artworks for ourselves – here is how we ended up.

Sol LeWitt 232Week 4 compared the procedures undertook by the process of knitting, to the process of how a computer is programed to work. This idea that the basic understanding behind any “domestic”/simple procedure such as knitting, following a recipe or playing a board-game are all forms of the same program to achieve or accomplish something. Given the understanding of the process, we were asked to knit, which I have talked about here in a bit more detail – to utilize the process involved and execute an outcome.

Knitting completeGoing back to Week 3, the constant changing of technology has allowed for a change in what is called “Art” and what is needed to be represented when a piece is created. Nam June Paik focused on the aesthetic when it came to challenging the approach of technology and the way people communicate/interact with technology.

The artistic vision of Nam June Paik challenged the idea of what technology is and what it can be used for, using television, radio and lasers he represented to people the changing aspect that technology can be in a form that resembles the aspect of “how to humanize technology and the electronic medium”, “instead of creating another scientific toy“, said by Nam June Paik.

The creations of Nam June Paik have impacted the forms of communication through video art and to a certain degree the influence on commercial production – by being able to utilize technology with the idea of humanizing the creations he has lead the way for artists and people to develop a different understanding of technology and its uses.

Relating to the conceptual approach of Sol Lewitt there is a constant change for artists and communication through human interaction and development – by challenging the simple art approach it has allowed for a new understanding in communication art. Utilizing the audience as a participant in creating a piece and constructing a conceptual idea to what is art – Sol Lewitt and Nam June Paik have captured different aspects of time and relevance with-in the art community and created a path for others to follow and an art method for translating different understandings of art – from making art more human-like or audience interactive that questions the process of how art is made and who is the artist involved.

The processes that were involved in the different weekly activities offer different perspectives of how communication is created, refined and executed – by limiting the style of communication, such as visual or sound based, there is a bigger challenge in finding what works and what does not. Creating a different form of communication such as the visual communication from week 1 it was easier to distinguish between different actions/gestures used – this method was highly successful. Compared to week 2 the sound communication there was a greater challenge in using only sound to dictate what was needed to be translated. The limitations of the processes created are strictly to their form of communication that was intended but also that they were not always as refined as necessary when it came to certain aspects of trying to communicate. The translation dealing with coding, sending and decoding all depend on the understanding of the codes used and were understandable when dealing with the basics, however when it came time to situations where we did not have a code then our translation of the message was obscure – particularly when it came to sending pictures.

Analog Coding Exercise – Knitting


Knitting – not just a hobby for the retired women who knit scarfs and jumpers as gifts for their grand-kids, behind the gift is a process that is relate-able to the method in which a computer is programmed and how it makes decisions – knitting, a programmable process.

How does knitting relate to the working process of a computer? To put it simply, both areas break down into simple programming commons – a start, loops, method, properties, objects, forks, functions and an end, these are the basic elements that are fundamental for a working process.

Looking at knitting we were given the opportunity to learn knitting and how a process is implemented in creating a final product. Going through a bunch of “Learn to knit” and “The basics of knitting” tutorials on the internet, we were given the task of representing the braille alphabet letters “B” (left) and “R” (Right) as knitted material.

Braille B Braille R




We chose “knit” to represent the flat part/white space, and a “purl” as the bump/black space of the braille letters. We choose a 12×18 area as the total area of each letter, so a 6×6 knit or pearl in each square.

Knit and PurlTo start we would cast on and loop the amount knit’s/purl’s needed to complete the letter… unfortunately the setting up of instructions was way more easy than the knitting itself so we were not able to finish the letters. Lucky there is an example to show what the final product would look like – I believe it to be the letter “O”.

Knitting complete

Knitting is a programmable activity, much like the process of following a recipe or playing a board game – through looking at the process involved we think logically in creating/getting to an outcome; much like a computer.

Created and “somewhat” finished by Jo, Lydia, Daniel and James.

Analog Coding Exercise – Sol Lewitt’s Wall Drawing #232


Sol Lewitt is an American Artist who connects the constructionist/minimalist art style with an algorithmic approach. Sol Lewitt use paragraphs to aid his conceptual approach, these paragraphs are comprised of algorithms that are then needed to be deciphered, such as Wall Drawing #232:

Sol LeWitt 232The artwork that Sol Lewitt creates is meant to question what part of the process is art. The processes that are involved deal from the deciphering of the message to the execution of the image. The main impact of the artwork is in the execution of the artwork by the public, in the execution of the art lies the visual aesthetic, and the effectiveness of the conceptual art trying to get across. Whether the art comes from the paragraph or the creations from the public who follow the art is all a part of impact of Sol Lewitt and his deeper representation of what is art.

In a group we given the option to decipher the Wall Drawing #232 (above) and create what we interpreted what was being said. We had to read it a couple of times before we understood completely what we were going to create – the deciphering of the algorithm.

The task at hand was more a question of what aspect of the process was considered art – not so much what we ended up drawing. In the end we did not pay enough attention to what was being said and just drew a square – lazy I know.

Going over Sol Lewitt’s Wall Drawing #232 as I right this I see that there is room for ‘mistakes’ and ‘mishaps’ – getting the idea that the art that Sol Lewitt creates goes from the creation of the piece, to the individual understanding and execution, or the tiredness of students trying to decipher what was trying to be created. The art is the entire process.

Executed by Lydia, Jo, Rhiannen, Daniel and James

Analog Coding Exercise – The Human Fax Machine


Using images of a banana and a stiletto by American artist Andy Warhol we were given an exercise in which we were to recreate the image on another piece of paper only through the use of sounds and noises – we were essentially told to be a human fax machine.

Our process started with folding up the piece of paper into a 12 square area – 3 columns and 4 rows. In each of the 12 squares we created a number plane (only dealing with positive numbers, quadrant one) 10 by 10, 1 to 10 horizontally (x-axis) and 1 to 10 vertically (y-axis) – so we had a set of co-ordinates for each point that was chosen from the pictures we had to ‘fax’. The 12 square set-up and 10 by 10 plane is also used on the banana and stiletto so we could co-ordinate the points on the images and thus create a co-ordinate to share with the receivers of the message. Each co-ordinate sent would connect from the last one to form the image sent.

Using the following sounds and the way we used them we are able to co-ordinate points:
– a number of claps would indicate which of the 12 squares the point/dot was to be placed (1-12)
– Using a drum beat we made out the horizontal number (0-10)
– Banging a harmonica on a table we made out the vertical number (0-10)
For example: 4 claps would be the 4th square, hearing 3 drum beats and 6 harmonica bangs would be point (3,6) – so point (3,6) in the 4th square we would make a point.
This method was repeated for every point, however for the line between the points.

We used a number of open-hand bangs on the table to indicate if the line joining the points would be straight, curved upwards or curved downwards:
– 1 open-hand bang would mean it is a straight line connecting the points
– 2 open-hand bangs would mean the line would curve upwards
– 3 open-hand bangs would mean the line would curve downwards

Starting with example of point (3,6) in the 4th square, if the next set of sounds the receiver hears are 2 claps, 4 drums and 3 harmonica bangs then the point would be in the 2nd square on (4,3) – then hearing 1 open-hand bang on the table would mean these two points – (3,6) in the 4th square and (4,3) in the 2nd square, are connected by a straight line.

All of these sounds are initiated by the sender of the message.

If the receiver of the message had a problem they would signal with a bang on the table to indicate a ‘re-do’ of the last point transmitted. The receiver of the message was able to know when the message was finished by the last point sent would be the 1st point repeated – indicating that the points connected.

This method of transmitting the images worked well – only major challenge I found was the speed in which the message was sent – we needed more time to decipher the sounds to the corresponding place, so a more steady pace of sounds with distinction between the ending of one sound to the start of the next sound would be allow time to understand where the points were.

Overall the exercise was deemed successful.

Created, produced and executed by MEDA102 students Jo, Lydia, Christine, Dan, Matt and James.

Analog Coding Exercise – Clockwise Clapping


“The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”

A simple sentence to communicate – just have to say it. However, when limited to getting the sentence across only through using visual communication, it leads to creativity, and problem solving skills are tested.

It is understandable to use pre-existing visual communications such as semaphore flags or Morse code but that would mean to learn what each position of the flag means or what each dash and dot sequence meant, so there has to be an easier way?

Through collective speculation of what we could do, we came up with putting a number to each letter in the alphabet – pretty much the position in-which the alphabet is said: A is 1, B is 2, C is 3… Z is 26. We then took the number and made it a visual gesture – a clap of the hands: A is 1 clap, B is 2 claps… Z is 26 claps. However clapping 26 times to get to the letter Z was inefficient and bothersome, the receiver of the message could easily lose count of the claps so something had to be added.

A suggestion was made to add a sequence of gestures that would also separate the alphabet into smaller groups, 5 groups of letters – a clockwise series of claps, above, right, down, left and patting the chest/stomach (clockwise motion/sequence from sender of message).

Clapping above represents letters A, B, C, D and E
Clapping right represents letters F, G, H, I and J
Clapping down represents letters K, L, M, N and O
Clapping left represents letters P, Q, R, S and T
Patting chest/stomach represents letters U, V, W, X, Y and Z

Clockwise ClappingWith the grouping of letters alongside different gestures of clapping this allowed for a more efficient visual communication. With different groups of letters then we only need to clap to 5/6 to understand what letter is trying to be received.

The clockwise motion is meant for the sender of the message. It was understood that the receiver of the message would see it counter-clockwise so we came to an agreement to have the sender of the message dictate how the message was to be presented. This issue wasn’t a big problem as with the help of a key it was easy to decipher the letters being communicated.

For example with the word “hello”, the sequence of gestures/claps would be:

– 3 claps to the right (H)
– 5 claps above (E)
– 2 claps down (L)
– 2 claps down (L)
– 5 claps down (O)

With the gestures understood for the letters, we then needed to create gestures for spaces and a full stop. We found a space would be easily noticed by have the sender of the message stretch out their arms as if about to do a star jump, a full stop and thus completion of the sentence was more so seen from a sign of glee from the sender of the message but would also be seen as something that would be different from gestures previously used.

This exercise was completed successfully.

Created, produced and executed by MEDA102 students Rhiannen, Jo, Lauren, John ‘Zema’, Ralphie and James.