Always learning

I don’t have a current deadline for a creative project, which is a double edged sword. Deadlines are really great motivation, but they can also restrict freedom of exploration. There’s a freedom that comes with a lack of pressure or expectation of high performance when you’re doing something you’ve never done before.

So, my newest challenge is coding. On the advice of artist/programmer friends, I am spending my time free of project deadlines learning Processing. I’m interested to learn more about the relative strengths of Processing and Max/MSP (with which I’m more familiar.) They are used to run similar kinds of projects, and can, I think, also be used in tandem.┬áIt feels a bit odd- I am surrounded regularly by friends who have turned programming into successful careers- and artists creating the kinds of work I find the most interesting and inspiring tend to have computer science or engineering backgrounds. I hope to not let the excitement of learning new things diminish by comparison or otherwise feeling like I’m somehow behind. That stuff is nothing but counterproductive!

In the same turn, I am very much looking forward to getting past the basics, to the point I can make things in which I am more invested artistically and intellectually. (I believe this process never stops, which, really, is pretty exciting.)

Several wonderful projects that use the tools I’m learning are linked in an online gallery on the Processing site. This one is a current favorite, particularly the coffee grinder.

Next week I will leave for Toorcamp, where I’ll also be seeing things I’ve never seen before- including the northwest Washington coast. Looking forward to it.


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