Open Frameworks, a look back
To what extent should a new media artist understand his tools? I'm tempted to say "all the way", but new media art has shown that it can get too infatuated with the technology itself. This produces art that is more of a technological exercize than anything else.
New tools have made it easier to create a healthy middleground. Frameworks such as Processing, Arduino, and so many others have made it possible to produce complex and potent work without requiring a degree in informatics. At the same time, these frameworks still allow you to dive deeper into the technology if you wish to do so. They've created middle ground.
One of the latest Frameworks in Open Frameworks. This framework, like scaffolding, allows you to get the full power of a real programming language like C++, but it holds your hand as you get into it. At SETUP this was reason enough to organise a beginners workshop.
After a walkthrough by Rick Companje who hosted the workshop, the group split up into teams. We explored image recognition (the computer tries to recognise things in pictures), audio synthesis (creating sound through computer code), and much more. The day ended with a look at the various projects that were created. The day also hosted the Open Frameworks Freakday (normally organised in Amsterdam), and even got visitors from Germany!
Below is a video from one amazing project that was worked on: Shadowboxing. two players can fight with each other using their shadows as boxing avatars. A brilliant concept.
Notes from the event can be found on the piratepad we shared.