SFPC's Re-Coded

An open-source, collaborative, educational installation.

When I was part of the School For Poetic Computation (SFPC), during the Fall of 2015, we got invited, as a collective, to make a piece for being shown at the Day For Night Festival in Houston, TX. I ended up being one of the main coders of the engine we built for it as well as providing several “re-codings”. After a very successful first show in Texas, we have shown this same project at Google’s IO conference in Palo Alto on 2016, at Sonar Festival in Barcelona, Spain on 2017 and at Microsoft Connect Conference in New York City on 2017. I was able to present this piece, along with some other SFPC classmates, on all these instances but Barcelona. The piece is called Re-Coded.

Re-coded is an homage to innovators such as Vera Molnar and Muriel Cooper whose work exists in the space between art & technology. Celebrating these pioneers, we present reinterpreted works alongside the code that drives them.

Each sketch - a reinterpreted work - is shown on two screens side by side; the reinterpreted work itself and the code that generates it. Each sketch has several parameters that can be animated or controlled live - via a custom controller we built - that change some visual aspect of the sketch. As any of these parameters changes it highlights on the code, which creates a direct relationship between the changes in code and its visual representation. Each sketch is on screen for around 40 seconds, then it switches to the next one. When a new sketch is shown the code is animated as if it was being typed alongside some sound effects. Once this typing ends the visuals show up.

The whole project was coded using openFrameworks. Even when it look not really complex it actually is, in order to glue together all the pieces, make it work smoothly and allow to have a lot of coders collaborating on it.

For more info head to the project’s site sfpc.io/recoded.