Nodevember 2014 - Saturday

Nodevember 2014 kicked off this morning in Nashville after a super fun Nodebots meetup last night.

@elizabrock‘s keynote was a fantastic review of where we came from and who we are as an industry: Not just computer scientists, but computer scientists; not mathematicians, but often doing mathematics. Not just engineers but doing engineering. Not all artists, but doing art.

We’re training the fourth generation of programmers now: The women who programmed the early computers during World War II could be our children’s great grandparents.

I missed @jeffbski’s talk on hardening Node.JS for the Enterprise, but the slides look great and I heard great stuff. Also fighter jets, befitting a talk from someone who was USAF!

Good talk from @ifandelse on ES6. The future is now, for sure. Coming up fast.

@mrspeaker gave a great, fun, funny, reference-filled talk on Gonzo Game Development. Lots of great quotes, and talk about the line between engineering and art.

@katiek2 gave a great intro to Nodebots, and what’s needed to run a good meetup. It’s tempting to do one in Boston / Somerville. Totally @rwaldron‘s turf, and would probably be awesome.

My own talk went well, though my voice gave out part way through and I ran fast. I wasn’t planning on questions, but I guess if you engage your audience, they’ll ask ‘em anyway.

A good intro to couchdb from @commadelimited

And now, “Make art, not apps” by @thisisjohnbrown – simple algorithms! Relating touch to display. Looking up file formats so you can aim glitchiness at interesting places when you corrupt data. Simple trials of “let’s see where the code takes us” become best-of-show art pieces.

He made a “plinko” board (like pachinko), and wired it up to a projector and board, and used it to trigger particle animations. The demo gets “Aaaaahs” from the crowd. Super simple effect but totally wow.

He showed off Iannis Xenakis’ music from the 1950s generated from gas molecule interactions, Frieder Nake’s art created with markov chains. People have been doing wonderful art with code and algorithms for a long time!

And ending with a demo of the Neurosky device and Neuronal-Synchorony library together reading brainwaves and generating output, both audio and visual – imagine that being combined into a multi-person dance party!

Homework: Do your own art. Lots of options!

  • Uncontext: Structured data source without the context or rules for how they’re generated, but a source of data to do art with.
  • p5.js

Walter Benjamin’s 1936 essay on mechanical reproduction and art and what has done to art, if you change ‘mechanical’ to ‘digital’ and you have a manifesto for creative coding.

Time for a party!