tracks and traces

Recurse Center - workshops! (Week 10!?)

I co-hosted two workshops at RC recently, one on Monday, and one on Tuesday. Both went pretty well!

On Monday, Bryan and I ran an “interactive art jam.” This was something I came up with partially (ok mostly) as an excuse to use Kate Compton’s Generominos with a group of people. Last Thursday, I gave a creative brainstorming presentation, and we practiced rapid idea generation using the Generominos as guiding constraints. People seemed to have a lot of fun, and I think that it encouraged participation in the main event on Monday.

We received a lot of positive feedback after the Monday event. Participants made beautiful p5.js webcam visualizations, a flower that grows when you yell at it, a sad game about a dance party, a hypnotic Unity world, a thermal printer Zoetrope generator, and Cameron and I made a Kinect/Minim synthesizer in Processing. Some of the feedback reminded me of the reaction to the Stupid Hackathon — the freedom to create something useless or ineffective or just fun also freed people to learn and experiment with technological tools they felt less confident in using.

On Tuesday, Conor and I hosted a music live coding night. We created a tutorial to some of the essential concepts in TidalCycles, which I think fills a gap in existing reference sources for a sometimes opaque language. We presented the tutorial to a group of about 20 recursers, before splitting off into separate rooms for collaborative jam sessions. This event had two hiccups:

But on the whole it went well and people had fun! I also formalized some of my understanding of Tidal in the process of building a tutorial and teaching others.