I’ve not done much creatively for several months, but just recently I’ve had a surge of interest. Playing Martian Fluxx encouraged me to start designing a version based on Star Wars, not just substituting one set of text and graphics with another but altering the mechanics in an appropriate way.
I’ve also resumed reading about genetic algorithms, and arranged for online tuition sessions with Ollie Glass to help me use them in Processing. The tutoring was due to start last night, but had to be postponed for a couple of weeks. In the meantime, at Ollie’s suggestion, I’ve summarised my understanding of evolution in plain English then expressed it as a flowchart. I can glimpse the structure of a Processing sketch, but I’ve still to grasp some of the bigger hows and whys.
Thirdly, I’ve been exploring some elementary Arduino projects, and ordered parts for a touch screen controller, taken from Practical Arduino, which I might link initially to the virtual colour mixer example on the Arduino website. Yes, I know that touchscreens are no longer exotic, but I’m intrigued by the possibilities. I can imagine using the touch screen controller to adjust a genetic algorithm project, perhaps even intervening wirelessly as simple robots attempt to pass on their learning to future generations.
Alternatively, the touch screen could be a remote controller for a stop motion camera…
Normally I’m not keen on blogging about my work, but today has been encouraging in all sorts of different ways. Not only is this the first time I’ve posted on here for a long time, but it’s also the first time for several weeks that I’ve posted on the Leave No Trace blog.
But it’s wider than just blogging. Early this afternoon I felt inspired to get some paints out and be messy (though that will have to wait until the weekend), and decided on a particular technique that I want to explore.
Later on, I went to a meeting at the university where I discussed Bridget Woods‘ life drawing and saw some amazing stop-motion animation models which were inspiring, and afterwards went to a meeting with local digital artists which was also stimulating.
I hadn’t been sure about going back to the life drawing class but now I’ve decided that I will, though I need to be careful to get out of the rut I was finding myself in towards the end of last term. Perhaps Bridget Woods’ book would be a starting point.
My hero is at work again, releasing an application called Trope in the iTunes App Store.
I missed him on the recent South Bank Show programme about Coldplay, but for some reason, the South Bank Show isn’t available on ITVPlayer, so I can’t watch it now or providce a link to it. Grr.
It turns out that, despite the lull between festivals, culture continues in Edinburgh. We went to four blog-worthy art exhibitions and events in the National Gallery complex alone, and these will probably be the subject of future posts, but before writing about those, I want to recount a conversation I had on the train coming south.
I normally avoid conversing with strangers, but I felt drawn to the young lady opposite me. She was working away at a laptop and I didn’t want to disturb her, but she was repeatedly distracted by some boisterous lads further down the carriage and she commented twice to me on their youthful exuberance. After a while, she gave up her attempts to work and we started to chat. Initially we talked of food and cooking, so I recommended Nigel Slater’s books, but the conversation soon turned to creativity.
She appears to be where I was a few years ago, in an unfulfilling and stressful job, with half-forgotten ambitions to do something more interesting and creative. I recommended The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, as I often seem to, and she seemed intrigued. Indeed, she went as far as to say that we had been destined to meet. The conversation ostensibly revolved around my proselytising, but in fact, I got a lot out of it too. It reminded me of what I’ve frequently claimed is important to me, and although I don’t yet feel ready to immerse myself in drawing and painting, the idea seems closer and more realistic.