Processing: A Programming Handbook for Visual Designers and Artists Hardcover – Aug 17 2007
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"A whole generation of designers, artists, students, and professors have
been influenced by Processing. Now, a handbook is published that goes far beyond
explaining how to handle the technology and boldly reveals the potential future for
the electronic sketchbook."Joachim Sauter , University of the
Arts, Berlin, Founder, Art+Com
" Processing, the handbook and tutorial, is an
indispensable companion to Processing, the integrated programming language and
environment that has developed from phenomenon to revolution. Bridging the gap
between programming and visual arts, the Processing handbook, in
a concise way, connects software elements to principles of visual form, motion, and
interaction. The book"s modular structure allows for different combinations of its
units and self-directed reading. Interviews with artists who create software-based
works and extension chapters that expand software practice into computer vision,
sound, and electronics successfully connect the realms of art and technology. Now
used by artists, visual designers, and in educational institutions around the world,
Processing has been groundbreaking not only as an alternative language for expanding
programming space, but as an attempt to nurture programming literacy in the broader
context of art and cultural production."Christiane Paul , Adjunct
Curator of New Media Arts, Whitney Museum of American Art
"Processing is a milestone not only in the history of computer software,
of information design, and of the visual arts, but also in social history. Many have
commented on the pragmatic impact of the open source movement, but it is time to
also consider Processing"s sociological and psychological consequences.
Processing invites people to tinker, and tinkering is the first
step for any scientific and artistic creation. After the tinkering, it leads
designers to their idea of perfection. It enables complexity, yet it is
approachable; it is rigorous, yet malleable. Its home page exudes the enthusiasm of
so many designers and artists from all over the world, overflowing with ideas and
proud to be able to share. Processing is a great gift to the world."Paola
Antonelli , Curator, Architecture and Design, MOMA
"This is an elegant and practical introduction to programming for artists
and designers. It is rigorously grounded, informed by a vast amount of practical
experience, and visually compelling. The worked examples are terrific. There's no
better starting point for visual artists who want to learn how to think
computationally, or for programmers who want to give visual and spatial expression
to their ideas." William J. Mitchell , Program in Media Arts and
"This long-awaited book is more than just a software guide; it is a tool
for unlocking a powerful new way of thinking, making, and acting. Not since the
Bauhaus have visual artists revisited technology in such a world-changing way. Ben
Fry and Casey Reas have helped a growing community of visual producers open up fresh
veins of expression. Their work proves that code is open to designers, architects,
musicians, and animators, not just to engineers. Providing a powerful alternative to
proprietary software, Processing is part of a new social phenomenon in the arts that
speaks to self-education and networked engagement."Ellen Lupton ,
Director of the graphic design MFA program at Maryland Institute College of Art,
Baltimore, and author of D.I.Y: Design It Yourself
"With Processing, Casey Reas and Ben Fry have opened
up the world of programming to artists and designers in a manner that inspires
playfulness and creativity with code." Red Burns , Chair and Arts
Professor, Interactive Telecommunications Program, Tisch School of the Arts, New
About the Author
Casey Reas is Professor of Design Media Arts at UCLA and coauthor of Processing: A Programming Handbook for Visual Designers and Artists (MIT Press, 2007).
Ben Fry is Principal of Fathom, a design and software consultancy in Boston. Together, Reas and Fry cofounded Processing in 2001.
An internationally recognized leader at the intersection of design and technology, John Maeda is Design Partner at the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in Silicon Valley. He served until 2014 as the 16th President of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and before that was Associate Director of the MIT Media Lab. He is a designer, technologist, and catalyst behind the national movement to transform STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) to STEAM with the addition of the arts. He is the author of Design by Numbers (1999), The Laws of Simplicity (2006) and Redesigning Leadership (2011), all published by The MIT Press.
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Would have given five stars, but binding glue came unstuck in only a few days of normal use.
But, that's the thing. You're supposed to work, massage, twist, graft, apply, subtract and otherwise mangle these functions and commands until they do some (random, unexpected) beautiful thing. This is exactly what the authors want you to do. Take their simple equations and use your imagination to change them up a bit and make your own.
And, a big plus is how the whole book is structured. It starts with simple enough topics and progressively increases in difficulty, BUT, and here is the stroke of genius for artsy types, it does so by switching the topics here and there from shapes, to type, to math, to random, to trig, to type again, back to shapes...etc. So, you see, it's structured (if you read from cover to cover in a linear fashion) in a way that will NOT bore the reader in any way. It's as if Reas and Fry knew that most of us artsy types were (completely and hopelessly) ADHD and needed this kind of variety to keep our interest (lord knows they probably wish they did, coming from artistic backgrounds before entering MIT as grads). And, as an added bonus, if you are the kind of person that likes the topics all neatly together, there is a second topical index behind the main index so you can jump through the book by topic.
In closing, Reas and Fry have done us "new media" types a great service by developing a trimmed-down form of Java programming so that we don't have to do the heavy work and learn full-blown Java or C++ on our own (though, after using this language, the hope is that it WILL get us "artsies" to learn those higher level languages and make genre-smashing art). So, get going!
P.S. The only thing I wish this book had were MORE Exercises at the end of each topic. Or, a workbook that had more problems to solve, like my old Calculus text that had 30 problems after each section. Guys, could we, just maybe, extend the problem sets in a future edition, from three to maybe 10? It would be much appreciated! :)
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