Open sourcepres eva2013


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A argument for academics to get on board the open-source sea change in digital media creation and teach their students new tools for digital creativity beyond proprietary software applications, but programming skills to make their own along with stunning creations.

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  • Hello, I am Camille Baker, a media artist, researcher, lecturer at Brunel University, in West London, in the School of Engineering and Design, Digital Media Dept. I will present some parts of my paper, show some examples and review some of the landscape of art work by exceptional artists and performers working with and developing their own open-source tools and technologies, as well as ‘ hacking ’ or repurposing commercial, mobile and gaming devices for performance, and interactive artworks as part of their practice.
  • Art has always responded to the social currents of the time and milieu it is situated within, and even with so many still working in traditional forms of art and performance practices, such as painting, sculpture, mixed media, drawing, music, opera or ballet, most artists today cannot ignore the impact of technological and communication media on modern living, and in turn on their artistic practice.
  • Technology-based art and performance can be traced to the 1950 ’ s with such works as the ‘ Oscillon 40 ’ made by Ben Laposky. As early as the 1960s, electronic instruments and devices began to be used to create music and computers were used to make art, as Brown showed us last night.   Artists have been often included in big corporate R&D departments from as early as the 60 ’ s, to help foster more aesthetic or cutting edge approaches to technological development, such as the artist in residencies in places like Bell Labs or more recently at IBM with William Latham in 1990 and Sony Computer Science Laboratory with Atau Tanaka as one of their artists in residence (2001-2007). CERN and The Centre for Computational Neuroscience and Robotics have had artists in residence on on-going basis now.
  • Today the interface between technology and art is exponentially increasing in size and scope, attracting artists from all varieties of art making and performance backgrounds. The artistic landscape has been radically shifting around us even in the last 5 years; with tablet painters, sketchers and smartphone photographers everywhere. The evolution of internet and communications technology has formed, informed, and reformed art and performance practices by infusing them with fresh and innovative approaches, tools, interaction, and imagination – as can be seen here at EVA, at SIGGRAGH, CHI, ISEA, Creativity and Cognition and the many other technology-based art conferences and festivals around the world each year.
  • The use of open-source tools and technologies is not new and creative commons have been around since the early 2000’s, but it has been rapidly developing and expanding phenomena ever since. The growth of the Open Data movement, along with initiatives such as Smart Cities, Open Data Cities, Climate Code and mySociety, has brought open-source initiatives into the public eye, and fuelled a growth in the DIY and maker movement.   Projects such as nuigroup ( and OpenNI ( provide access to cutting-edge HCI techniques and require other open platforms, technologies and networks in order to work, without encountering economic and security barriers.  
  • With increasing mobility and globalisation, as well as environmental issues and the search for sustainable practices, including the influence of the smartphones, tablet computing and handheld devices, and techniques such as laser cutting and 3D printing – emerging and open-source technologies have had great influence on current and exponentially evolving art and performance practices. The use of open-source digital technology and electronic devices in artistic practice, coupled with the plethora and easy access of online forums and knowledge, reveals an explosion of creativity, collaboration and new forms of art and innovation. It also enables new forms of interaction with audiences and the public, which has increasingly the blurred boundaries between creators and audiences, giving rise to the significant potential for learning and engagement between them.
  • Open-source programming environments including: Processing, Arduino, PureData, Apple ’ s Quartz Composer, openFrameworks, VVVV, SuperCollider and many others, specifically for creativity, have exploded in popularity among techno-savvy artists, as well as DIY makers and crafters in recent years, and many incorporate the more traditional programming languages like C++ and Java. “ Maker ” communities have emerged around the world where engineers, programmers and artists or crafters get together, pool their resources and support each other to make new unusual projects – outside of traditional corporate and academic research environments (such as the London HackSpace, MzTeK or the worldwide Dorkbot or Maker Faire communities). Cory Doctorow spoke about the politics of making and the need to things apart and remake, and how this skills now starting to be taught to children.
  • This development and the accessibility of the tools enables more people to engage in and learn programming and electronics, to get involved in creative technology progress, making their own software applications and electronic devices. This creative open-source revolution has opened up a new opportunities and creative applications driven by the ever-emerging variety of devices, systems and interfaces with entirely new capabilities. In this context, art and performance are also part of the social movement of openness, sharing and empowering of oneself and others in the making and using of technological tools for creativity.
  • Many digital art and technology festivals are now sponsoring ‘ hack ’ days or Meetups and events where artists and technologists meet for the first time, bringing sometimes only their ideas, skills and perhaps their laptops or DIY electronics kits, to build something together by the end of the day. This flurry of ‘ making and collaboration is increasing innovation and enhancing creativity rapidly, and will surely have a huge influence on the future artistic landscape . Dancers, theatre and live artists and especially musicians are very active in the DIY and ‘ Maker ’ movement, developing exciting electronics and applications for their artwork and performance, and greatly contributing to and enhancing the larger open-source coding community in the fast-paced evolution.
  • Meanwhile, mobile phones OS ’ s have opened up more, now with Google ’ s Android OS (and Apple ’ s more limited developer program), mobile open-source application development has exploded, with huge opportunities for creativity, digital artwork and performance. Generative elements are incorporated through the custom iPhone and iPad tools, as well as inexpensive electronics kits with easy to learn open-source programming environments and other technologies.
  • There now is a proliferation of tools for musicians incorporating tablet computers into their composition and performances as instruments and controllers. As such, the possibilities of playful, expressive, interactive and performative artworks, as well as using the DIY Maker/hacker ethos in multi-sensory projects with new devices and controllers – are beyond comprehension. Live coding or showing openly showing the code while performing, has become a new and popular form of laptop music performance using SuperCollider.
  • Previously, non-coding artists and performers are increasingly learning coding for their practice in order to their own open-source tools and applications for their projects and performances, as well as to make them available for others to use and reuse.
  • Artists working with these tools are always adapting to and developing new techniques, while finding new ways to create compelling visual and sensual works. Artists making live, generative or database projects are taking advantage of mobile media or wearable devices, sensors, video, musical instruments, network and tracking, or mapping devices on mobile phones (GPS, Accelerometers, QR readers, AR apps etc.), as well as gestural gaming interfaces (Wii, Kinect, OmniTouch), and using shared forums and tutorials, such as to develop them.
  • This increase of such powerful technologies have given birth to unique forms of socially connected, interactive and collaborative creation, new ways of experiencing art and performance (e.g. 3D projections of artworks, virtual tours of artists ’ works, cultural context webs), as well as to the abundance of totally novel forms of cultural and educational media content, including e-books, iPads, e-paintings, digital 3-D/ interactive/ immersive videos.  
  • I have felt the impact of open source tools and technologies on digital and electronic art practice, and have increasingly felt the pressure to acknowledge this now huge movement to a greater degree than it has been in forums like this, and I am making concerted efforts to have these tools taught in my digital media department and my own classrooms.
  • To summarise this presentation I found a great move clip on the current uses of open-source creative technology.
  • Open sourcepres eva2013

    1. 1. Camille Baker, PhD Digital Media Media artist/researcher/lecturer Digital Media Dept. Brunel University, London, UK Open-source, custom interfaces and devices with live coding in participatory performance EVA Conference London July 29-31, 2013 British Computer Society, Covent Garden, London
    2. 2. new open source digital art practices Painting Apparatus OSA, Sopot, Poland 2011
    3. 3. Ben Laposky, 'Oscillon 40', 1952. The Evolution of Technological art Sony Computer Science Laboratory with Atau Tanaka (2001-2007).
    4. 4. Open-source performance Music video made with Kinect + Processing + Cinema 4D + After Effects. The 3d footage was captured using a a Microsoft Kinect, using Processing to store the sequence files and Cinema 4D R12, with some built-from-scratch python tag scripts to read these sequence files to Cinema 4D in real-time. Files and code available online at:
    5. 5. The Rise of Open-source Technologies in Society The Open Data Cities project is FutureEverything’s longest running project spun out of Futuresonic 2009
    6. 6. new open source digital art & design practices 3D Printed Dress mage via 3D printed shoes, images from
    7. 7. The Rise of Open-source Culture Image from Cory Doctorow
    8. 8. The Rise of Open-source Sharing Image taken in Byron Bay, Australia, June 15, 2013 - soft circuits workshop run by Kate Sicchio & Camille Baker Image from
    9. 9. The Rise of Open-source Community Image from
    10. 10. The Rise of Open-source Mobile Performance S.A.R.A. is an interactive software app for mobile computing devices by Margarita Benitez and Markus Vogl
    11. 11. Kate Sicchio and Camille Baker August 2010 Live Coding Performance A live coding performance by Thor Magnusson at ICMC 2011 using SuperCollider Alex McLean’s online demonstration of live coding
    12. 12. The Rise of Open-source Art Images via
    13. 13. • Processing • Arduino • openFrameworks • Pure Data (PD) • VVVV Cyclotone in VVVV by Paul Prudence 2012 at Spherical Motion by Tim Stutts in openFrameworksat Open-source Technological Art Today
    14. 14. Open-source Technological Art Today Images examples from
    15. 15. Open-source Technological Art Today ‘Ghost’ interactive snow storm installation reated by Thomas Eberwein / Thomas Traum and Tim Gfrerer using openFrameworks and
    16. 16. Kate Sicchio and Camille Baker August 2010 Image from PBS offBook video The Art of Creative Coding (5:40) Art of Coding
    17. 17. contact details: Camille, Baker, PhD Digital Media Media Artist / Curator / Lecturer Brunel University
    18. 18. References Aicardi, C. (2011) “Nexus of Art and Science: The Centre for Computational Neuroscience and Robotics at University of Sussex,” ed. Lanfranco Aceti, Leonardo Electronic Almanac (Mish Mash) 17, no. 1, pp. 56-81. Available online at: (Accessed April 3, 2013). Ahmed, S.U., Camerano, C., Fortuna, L., Frasca, M., Jaccheri, L., (2009) Information technology and Art: Concepts and State of Practice, Handbook of Digital Media in Entertainment and Arts, Borko, F. (Ed.), New York, NY: Springer US. Available online (Accessed Jan 10, 2013). Alleyne, B. (2011), ‘“We are all hackers now”: critical sociological reflections on the hacking phenomenon’, Under Review, pp. 1-32, Goldsmiths Research Online, [Online] Available at (Accessed Aug 21, 2012). Baker, C, (curator) (2012), “Mobile Performance”, Vague Terrain, Issue 22. Available online (Accessed April 3, 2013). Baker, C. C. (December 2010), “MINDtouch - Ephemeral Transference: Liveness’ in Networked Performance with Mobile Devices”, PhD Thesis, published in University of East London Library in print with DVD support materials and the British Library in digital form.
    19. 19. References Bourriaud, N. (1998, 2002), Relational Aesthetics, Dijon, France: Les Presses du Réel pp. 84-102. Brown, P. et al. (2009) White Heat Cold Logic: British Computer Art 1960–1980, Leonardo Book Series, Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. Brown, P. (1996) “Emergent Behaviours: Towards computational aesthetics’, Artlink: Art in the Electronic Landscape, Vol 16 no 2&3. Available online at (Accessed April 3, 2013). Chatzichristodoulou, M., Jeffries, J. and Zerihan, R. (2009), Interfaces of Performance, Farnham, UK: Ashgate Publishing. Cogan, R. (1991), “Varèse: An Oppositional Sonic Poetics,” Sonus, Vol. XI, no. 2, p. 26-35. Available online at: (Accessed April 4, 2013). Dwyer, T. (1971) Composing with Tape Recorders: Musique Concrète for Beginners. London and New York: Oxford University Press. Galloway, A., Brucker-Cohen, J., Gaye, L., Goodman, E., and Hill, D. (2004), ‘Design for hackability’. In Proceedings of the 5th conference on Designing interactive systems: processes, practices, methods, and techniques (DIS '04). New York, NY: ACM, 363-366.
    20. 20. References Grant, C (2010), “David Hockney's instant iPad art”, BBC News: Technology. Available online at (Accessed April 5, 2012). Hockney, D, (2012) iPad Drawings at the Royal Academy in London. Available online at (Accessed April 3, 2013). Hyde, J. (2012) “Me and My Shadow”, Body>Data>Space project, performed at The National Theatre in London. Available online at (Accessed April 3, 2013). Jordan, T., Hacking: Digital Media and Technological Determinism, Digital Media and Society, Polity, Cambridge, UK, 2008. Kozel, S. (2007), Closer: Performance, Technologies, Phenomenology, Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. Kresin, F., Reitenbach, M., Rennen, E., van Dijk, D., Sabine Wildevuur (eds.)(2011) Users as Designers: A hands-on approach to Creative Research, Waag Society. Available online at (Accessed Jan 10, 2013) Lynch, D. (2010), Handset Review Nokia N900, technology blog. Available online at (Accessed April 5, 2013)
    21. 21. References Miller, A.I. (2000) Insights of a Genius. Imagery and Creativity in Science and Art, London: The MIT Press. Shanken, E.A. (2002) Art in the Information Age: Technology and Conceptual Art LEONARDO, Vol. 35, No. 4, Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. pp. 433– 438. Available online at: (Accessed April 3, 2013) Shaughnessy, H. (2013) “Apple's Rise and Nokia's Fall Highlight Platform Strategy Essentials”, Forbes Magazine online March 8, 2013 issue. Available online at: fall-highlight-platform-strategy-essentials/2/ (Accessed April 4, 2013). Shapiro, P., ed. (2000), Modulations: a History of Electronic Music: Throbbing Words on Sound, New York: Caipirinha Productions. Wilson, S. (2010), Art + Science Now: How scientific research and technological innovation are becoming key to 21st-century aesthetics, London: Thames & Hudson. Research department, Victoria & Albert museum (date unknown), A History Of Computer Art. Available online at: (Accessed April 3, 2013). Soderberg, J. (2008), Hacking Capitalism. The Free and Open Source Software Movement. New York: Routledge.