Thursday, January 26, 2012

New News

Well, it appears our Computational Art class was featured in a Centre News story, which you can read right here.   If you're a visitor coming from there, welcome!

This blog, "Artful Computing", is the main course blog, which I posted various updates to throughout the three-week term... but you may find it even more interesting to check out some of the students' own blogs, which are featured on the sidebar at right.

Regarding a few of the pieces mentioned in the news story:

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me: forrest.stonedahl<at>


Dr. Forrest Stonedahl
Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Mathematics
Centre College

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Fin, finis, finale...

I am pleased to report that the "Computational Art Fair" was a great success.  The students showed off a variety of unique/interesting projects that they had pulled together in only a little over a week.  Some of them were quite impressive.  Attendance was also good -- I didn't count, but I would estimate that around 40 guests came throughout the event, along with a photographer & a writer from the college's communications office.

I'm afraid these photos don't do the artworks justice at all, but here are a few pictures nonetheless!

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed following along a whirlwind tour of Computational Art, and glimpses into the CSC 271 course here at Centre College.  I'll be signing off blogging (for the present anyway), and going back to teach some more traditional courses (Algorithms, and Discrete Mathematics) for the Spring term...

Monday, January 23, 2012


This was the last day of regular class, but the final presentations and Computational Art Fair/Exhibition is tomorrow!  If you're in the area (i.e. Danville), come to the Ewen Room in the Campus Center between 12:00 and 1:30 p.m. tomorrow (Tuesday, January 24).  The students have been working very hard, and I expect the quality of their projects will reflect that...

During class today I showed off a potpourri of remaining topics or neat projects relating to computational art.  So here's a collection of bookmarks to browse through, for your entertainment/enlightenment:

Friday, January 20, 2012

Computational Music, Sound, and Poetry

This morning we had our second guest speaker, Dr. Timothy Polashek, of Transylvania University.  Dr. Polashek is a computer music specialist and composer of electro-acoustic, instrumental, and vocal music.  He discussed several of his projects, including fixed-media videomusic works, interactive and algorithmic music works, multimedia installations, and computer generated poetry.  He frequently writes his own computer programs to produce aspects of his works, and he demonstrated examples for us in the C++, Max/MSP/Jitter, and Csound computer languages.

Dr. Polashek also directed the STUDIO 300 Festival in Lexington last September, which had an impressive array of digital art and music works and performances.  Keep your eyes out for the 2012 edition of this fascinating event!

In the afternoon, we finished our last round of "art critiques", giving peer feedback on final project progress.  Now it's just a rush to the finish, at the final Computational Art Fair/Exhibition next Tuesday.  The students are working hard on their final projects, and I anticipate great things being accomplished over the next 3 days...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

L-systems, computer-aided oragami, and computational clothing

A nasty technological hiccup (the classroom projector not working) prevented us from having student pair presentations this morning, so we had studio/lab work time instead.  The projector was fixed before the afternoon session, so we were able to enjoy presentations on the beauty of L-systems (Lindenmayer systems), and computational paper folding (oragami/kiragami/polyhedral nets) (e.g., JavaGami),  and wearable computing/fashion (e.g., work by Leah Buechley's research group)...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Theater, Music, Dance, and deceiving your eyes

Today we had group presentation on computation and robotics in theater (see, e.g., Death and the Powers), as well as physical robotic music and dance (e.g., this automated wonder from Intel, based on the rather famous 2004 "Pipe Dream" animation by Animusic).

an autostereoscope

This afternoon I showed the class an antique stereoscope, and discussed the mechanism behind autostereograms, which was popularized by the Magic Eye (TM) book series.  Fun stuff!
An abstract autostereogram created using NetLogo, by having the "butterfly" agents start at the left hand side of the screen and move forward differentially depending on their y-coordinate.  You may have to view the original size image to get the 3D effect to happen...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Frogs, Dice, and the Art of Computer Game Design

This morning we had an invited speaker (Pang Hartman, Centre class of '97) come present to us about her work (as co-owner, Vice President, and Creative Director)  at FrogDice, a small indie computer game development company based out of Lexington, Kentucky.  She gave an interesting talk, emphasizing some of the benefits of a liberal arts education for game designers.

In the afternoon, I demonstrated the use of the "qtj" (QuickTime for Java) NetLogo extension, and how it can be used to incorporate webcam input into your art piece (on Windows & Mac only, unfortunately).  Then we settled in for some studio time, with students working independently on their final projects.