Last week I was kindly invited to speak about my work with Isadora at an event in Manchester called ‘inProcessing’, run by Cybersonica (http://inprocessing.cybersonica.org). It was held at MadLab (http://madlab.org.uk) – a volunteer run arts space in the Northern Quarter that provides basic workshop and tech facilities to digital arts activities.
InProcessing is an event to showcase and discuss work primarily developed using the Processing language (http://processing.org) but also other kinds of interactive design. Some of the discussion that night was about how different creative disciplines tend to think (visually, inguistically, spatially etc) and how this affects their approach to programming.
From my own experience as a visual artist, I have enjoyed dabbling with coding in a very limited way (eg Flash actionscript), but it wasn’t until I started using isadora (http://www.troikatronix.com/isadora.html) – a node based programme for creating interactive video tools – that I was able to realise my ideas more fully. This is partly the fact that isadora does some of the work for you, providing self contained modules, but it is also the interface, which is more akin to plumbingumbinglogic than text logic. Altogether, it provides me with a low enough threshold to engage with the programme and develop work.
Lewis Sykes of Cybersonica also showed an application developed at MIT to run alongside Processing, called Kaleido (http://kaleido.media.mit.edu) . Kaleido allows people to create a visual layout alongside their text and use it to navigate through their code. It’s a bit like mind-mapping for coding but I think it is something which again for me might lower that threshold into engaging with Processing.