Creative Coding Resources | When Artists Write Code

This is a follow up to my article reviewing the exhibit at Artechouse DC.

If you’re interested in popular creative coding tools like Processing I suspect the artists behind the Artechouse DC exhibit used, you should absolutely check out some of the links below.

While I certainly can’t guarantee that learning Processing will ever get you selected to exhibit at Artechouse, you will come away with a better understanding of how some of these art exhibits are formed. There’s also tools like Arduino which I am sure were involved at some point.

The main Processing website. Lots of examples, documentation, and tutorials for getting started with Processing, even if you’re new to code. Processing uses a very simple language based on Python that is quite easy to learn. There are also examples that allow artists to experiment with to start creating generative art quite quickly.

A community for Processing developers, where its super easy to share your work and create a portfolio. If you’re looking for inspiration or source code to experiment with to see what sort of changes happen, this is a good place to go.

Tons of examples of Processing in action, with code snippets alongside the result. All the exercises and examples are accessible online for free, with the code displayed alongside. There are also comments in the examples explaining parts of the code. It’s easy enough to copy and paste it into your IDE and make changes if you want to experiment more.

Open Frameworks is a open sourced, C++ based toolkit for creative coding. As they say in the about section, “Our intended audience are folks using computers for creative, artistic expression, and who would like low level access to the data inside of media in order manipulate, analyze or explore.” Might be a little harder to get started if you don’t have any coding background, however.

One of my personal favorite Processing artists, who also experiments with artificial intelligence and machine learning to create amazing images. Although he sometimes uses Processing experiments to inspire his paintings versus the other way around, I find looking at his work always inspires me.

Arduino boards are often used in tandem with Processing, because they allow for users to actually interact with the art. They are like miniature computers that can be setup with whatever inputs and outputs your project needs.

Did you find any of the above links helpful? Did you think the cherry blossom exhibit was better? Are you already exhibiting in spaces like Artechouse, or hope to in the future? I’d love to hear from you about your own experiences with tools like Processing and Arduino, and what you think of where the world of creative expression with technology is going. Leave your comments below!