My coding journey

This article is part of: interface-application-programming.

Processing (Java / Javascript)

In art school, I had two years of digital art workshops. The main tool we used in this class was Processing. And it was so refreshing. Being able to produce an artistic installation with algorithms was something I was looking for. But it was also the rise of another movement: Internet culture. This quickly made me drop Processing for its javascript version, p5js and html/css, in order to create websites. It was not really good, Processing (p5js) is not so exciting when it is stuck in a browser. But the mix of graphic design and coding was definitely the right direction for me. I had the insight I needed with Processing and the motivation to continue creating websites, and then to found my web studio.


In my web studio, I made websites with html/css and Javascript. I used to mainly use vanilla Javascript and Vue.js to build reactives web interfaces. I always found it tricky and not really intuitive. Even if Javascript is powerful and can do many things, I find that it is also a kind of poison for the web: websites get heavier, they track you more and more, and they need an updated browser to be viewed. It is not a language in which I would like to invest myself more. I would even prefer the Internet without it, without advertising and tracking, filled with lighter websites that run on older browsers.


Then I discovered Python, a language that also has many uses, but outside the browser. I'm at the very beginning of my Python's journey but I can already tell that I like it! My static website you are reading now is the result of the second program I wrote in Python (the first was a little expense tracking tool). I wrote about it during the first week of the academy. I like the natural feeling of writing on Python, removing the syntax barrier and inviting us to focus on logic.

TidalCycles (Haskell)

I sometimes do live coding music. Live coding means that I write music in real time, from a blank file. Compose rhythms with logical loops, create synth melodies with random variables. The pattern language I use is called TidalCycles and it is written in Haskell. I couldn't tell you much about the Haskell language, but I can tell you that programming music is super fun to do and reveals its beauty on performances rather than on pure compositions.

Arduino (C++)

Since the beginning of the academy, I started to learn a little C ++ and the Arduino framework in order to speak with microcontrollers and to obtain an interaction between machines and their environment. I really like the new perspective that this gives to my coding practice: I do not only write software from my computer for other computers, but I now interact with the "real" world, being able to better understand and interact with it. Learning the basics of C ++ helps me to better understand some of the main programming concepts, which I had previously learned on the fly, without structure.

What's next

The feeling of having given up on processing too soon mixed with the new excitement of writing programs for microcontrollers using Arduino and C++ makes me want to dig a lot deeper into the relationship between creative coding and the physical world.


To explore that path, I don't want to specifically use Processing itself, which now seems a bit limited compared to what I want to do, but openFrameworks, another Processing-type framework, written in C++ (like Arduino) and able to create more powerful programs and therefore produce more complex artistic installations or tools or whatever you want.

Created 23/04/2020

Updated 23/04/2020