Thursday, June 19, 2014

Eyeo Festival 2014!

A few months into my current project with Mirada, David, the lead programmer on my project, told me about an art, design, and code conference in Minneapolis that I should consider attending, called “Eyeo Festival”. I visited the website and thought it looked neat, so I went ahead and bought one of the passes when they went on sale. I didn't think too much about it for the next four or five months, up until I was checking into my hotel room in Minneapolis the day the conference began.

Wow. From the beginning of the first keynote of the opening ceremony Tuesday night, up until the end of the closing party Friday night, I was blown away by how encouraging, friendly, and open an environment this was. There was so much collaboration between artists/designers/creative coders from all industries, and so much YES-AND-ing.

I saw a great variety of innovative creative coding projects, from apps to interactive installations to creative code/performance art hybrid pieces, and beyond. Every talk I went to, every person I met or spoke with, inspired me or changed my perspective in some way. Over the next few posts, I'll discuss some of my favorite talks and the resulting thoughts and ideas I've had.

Eyeo was by far one of the most eye-opening, stimulating, and enlightening experiences I've had. There are not enough words to describe how much I enjoyed this amazing conference, and I'm excited to see what they'll have in store next year!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Life Update!

Wow, I didn't realize it had been so long since my last update...

Since we last spoke, blog, I have been to Turkey, to Greece, and back, and begun a new job as a programmer/creative coder at Mirada Studios in Los Angeles. I was fortunate enough to be able to stay on the Westside where I lived and worked previously, and have spent the last eight months working on a super-secret and super fun data viz installation project for Mirada's Special Projects team! I have learned an immense amount since I've begun. I am working with a really smart, creative group of people who continue to inspire me every day, and I'm looking forward to learning even more as I finish out the project this year.

I've also, for the past 5 weeks, been teaching an introductory programming course to 11-17 year-olds in Processing at Digital Dragon. The kids are all really smart, sweet, and eager to learn. It's been a great learning experience, and very rewarding to boot! I did a short interview for DD a few months ago. You can check that out here.

Kos, Greece
During this project, I've gotten to experience working with algorithms and code as it relates to design and design principles - that is, designing with code, rather than creating a design and implementing it with code. It's a very different way of approaching problem solving that I think makes more sense in the creative/entertainment tech context. One such algorithm I've encountered is the Slabtype algorithm: a way to dynamically generate typographically beautiful layouts for text. You can read more about the algorithm and how to implement it here. I highly recommend checking it out; it's an interesting read!