Coding Art

The Four Steps to Creative Programming with the Processing Language

by Yu Zhang and Mathias Funk, to appear in Winter 2020.

About the book

Coding Art is based on the Processing language and coding environment and it integrates "art thinking" and "computational thinking" in practice, by using a 4-step process that unfolds over 74 code examples and one larger artwork case. The primary motivation for this book is to teach a new creative process intertwined with creative computation. We want to inspire artists and designers to work with computation effortlessly and confidently. The book focuses on practical examples and includes both high-quality renderings and code of all examples. All examples are also available in a Processing example library.

In this book, we write about creative (computational) techniques that we taught to hundreds of students over the years. We deliver what worked for them and what we believe will also work for the readers.

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The authors

An artist by training, Yu Zhang finished her PhD in 2017 on the theory and artistic practice of interactive technologies for public, large-scale installations. She approaches visual art with mixed reality installations and projections, sensor-based interactives, and computational arts. She roots her artistic intent in the symbolism of Asian traditions and transforms the artistic unpacking of drama and cultural signifiers into experiences of interactivity and connectivity that ultimately bridge artistic expression and audience experience. Yu's teaching experiences cover over ten years and a board space including traditional classrooms and design-led project-based learning activities.

Mathias Funk is Associate Professor in the Department of Industrial Design at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). He has a background in Computer Science and a PhD in Electrical Engineering. His research interests include complex systems design, remote data collection, design for musical expression, and design tools. In his teaching he focuses on designing with technology and data. He is regularly invited to give international workshops on large-scale interactive systems, group music improvisation interfaces and expressive (musical) interaction. He has been an active musician for years, and is very interested in the intersection of music, art, and design in particular.

Who should read this book

Coding Art as a creative programming book based on Processing platform targets the market of higher-education professionals in university and art school programs. The book offers various ideas for educators to set up related lectures in a flexible way. It can be readily used as teaching resource as all code examples are available from a companion example library integrated in Processing.

We also target creatives working in the fields of design, art, or architecture--for anyone interested in using computer programming and interactive technologies as expressive tools in their professional practice. The Coding Art book adds value by being practically meaningful as a process reference for creatives’ practices. With the Coding Art book, we structure the content in a creative process with four progressive steps, helping creatives express ideas into both visual and computing structures.

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