Advanced Digital Practice, part ii

Today was a more extensive version of last week. We copied out the code and altered it till we had our own thing. Before that, we were talked through all the code that we were using and there were several things that I had never known before, for example. All counting is started from 0. The example in the code we were using today was that there were 6 cubes and 6 colours. The colours are set in an array list, so to give each cube a colour you would reference it by its number, the first one would be ‘0’ and the second colour would be ‘1’.

Below is what happened when I messed around with the numbers and added much more cubes than the original 6.







Lesson 2 with Nick and Ross

Today we discussed more what the project actually was about and how we would be going about it. We were also should several artists who all used data visualisation in their work.

  • Katie Paterson

An artist who created a sculpture using sections from every single tree on earth. She also translated Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata into Morse code and reflected it off the moon. Sections of the music were lost by the time it was returned and Paterson had a piano play the returned music.

  • Addie Wagenknecht

Wagenknecht has programmed robots and drones to create art, like painting.

  • Laurie Frick

Frick does a lot of work to do with sleep, and the sleep patterns people have.

  • David Mccandles

Mccandless is a designer who does a lot of work with infographics and data visualisation. Whereas some of the artists above have more scientific backgrounds, Mccandless is purely design oriented but is very invested in data and information. His website is even called ‘Information is Beautiful’.

I was quite interested in Laurie Frick’s work about sleep and how it affects people’s moods. So I’ve decided to do a similar subject, laziness and procrastination. So far it’s only an idea and I have no idea how I’m going to collect this data or present it. So those ideas will have to come over the next few weeks.

Animated Alphabets, part 2

Our lesson on the 9th October was more of a workshop to develop our ideas and work on what we would be doing. I made some more detailed sketches of the shape I would be using and how removing certain matches would work.

Here are the designs I did.

Over the past few days, I have been thinking to add another 4 matchsticks so that some of the letters don’t look so similar. In this design on the left, the letters, ‘D’ and ‘O’ look identical and ‘V’ just looks odd.

On the left is the new design of the shape, with this, I can have more angles to show the letter with. This week I plan to film a few letters, even if it’s just with my phone, to see how it looks.

I have also been thinking about when I will be putting the letters together to show the phrase, “Program, or be programmed”, and I had the idea that whichever music I choose it will have some kind of beat to it and the letter will appear as at random to form the sentence.



Advanced Digital Practice, the start

On the 6th October was our first Digital Practice lesson of the year. Over the next few weeks, we will be learning and experimenting with interactive posters and videos. The aim of this is to use code to create these images and then if they need it, some touch ups in Photoshop or After Effects.

To do this we will be using a software called Programming, to create a video which we can screen shot to get different results each time. As an example to show us the kind of thing we will be able to do, we copied out some code which just created 4 balls in random locations, with random colours over and over again. This created a different shape with different colours everytime you pressed play.

Lesson 1 with Nick and Ross

On the 5th October, we had our first ID1 lesson with Nick and Ross, where we discussed the subject of our project presentation. In this module, we would be looking into Data Visualization. Now, this is a subject I only know a little bit about and so will need to do quite a bit of research on it before I start my work.

We will also be making a presentation to show the work we have done as well as the research we’ve done on our subjects, and data collection/visualisation as a whole. We do have the option to just do the presentation, but I would rather do the presentation and a practical piece as well, using data I have collected.

Critical Analysis level 2, first lesson

On October 2nd we had our first Critical Analysis lesson of the year. The final thing we will be doing in this module is writing a 2000 word essay which will be linked to the book, Program or be Programmed, by David Rushcroft. This year’s Critical Analysis has also been split up over the other modules, so with Nick and Ross we’ll be doing a visual presentation and with Wayne, a website on the subject we pick. At this stage, I am far from deciding what I will be doing these projects on.

Animated Alphabets, the brief

On 2nd October was our first seminar of the year and the start of our first module. There will be 2 briefs throughout this module.

The first brief is to create an animated alphabet, of our own design. This means that each letter will need to be filmed being created, destroyed, moved around etc. and then after the whole alphabet is done, we will use those letters to write the phrase, “Program, or be Programmed” which is the title of a book by Douglas Rushkoff.


Whilst being told about the brief I sketched down a few ideas of different things I could do. First I had the idea of a revolving cube which had different parts of
different letters on each side so depending on what angle you looked at the cube you would see a different letter. While this idea seemed really interesting, getting halves and quarters of different letters would have been extremely difficult and potentially taken more time than I actually have.

After that I thought about swinging a stencil of each letter across a wall, then when it reached the middle the stencil would carry on but the letter from inside the stencil would stay in the air.



As was sketching out that idea I had another idea involving individual lines that all start or the same and all contain every letter of the alphabet, and I already liked this idea better so I left the previous one in the sketch book. I had several ideas on what to use for the sticks, matchsticks were the most obvious, but I could have used thin wooden sticks or thin poles of metal.

I have gone through each letter of the alphabet to make sure that I can actually make them all out of the shape I’m using.

After that, I needed to decide how the sticks would be removed to show the letter. First I had ideas to just use my finger to pull away each stick individually. I realised that this would be a very long video per letter, even if I made it appear as a stop-motion, by removing frames. Speeding it up may look a bit odd too. My second idea was to glue down the ones I need for the letter and blow at the shape. Then all the ones that were not glued down would be removed, leaving the letter.

After mentioning my idea to a few people it was suggested that I could dowse the sticks needed for the letter in water and then set them all on fire. That way, the sticks would burn away and the letter would be left.

With a bit more thinking and sketches, I settled on the second idea, glueing certain sticks to the ground and blowing the rest away.