Throughout the history of science, diagrams and graphs have been essential thinking tools. In the past, such visualizations were drawn with pen on paper, and could embrace the directness, freedom, and expressiveness of hand drawing. Most modern visualizations are programmed instead, where a single description can dynamically generate a unique picture for any dataset.
Today's tools offer the benefits of one or the other -- either directness or dynamics -- but not both. Photoshop and Illustrator allow direct-manipulation drawing of static pictures. D3, R, and Processing allow indirect-manipulation coding of dynamic pictures.
This talk presents a tool for drawing dynamic pictures -- creating data-driven visualizations, like D3, but via direct manipulation of the picture itself, like Illustrator.
Recorded at the Stanford HCI seminar on February 1, 2013.
People are alive -- they behave and respond. Creations within the computer can also live, behave, and respond... if they are allowed to. The message of this talk is that computer-based art tools should embrace both forms of life -- artists behaving through real-time performance, and art behaving through real-time simulation. Everything we draw should be alive by default.
Part 1 talks about the potential of the computer as a new visual art medium. I show a collaboration between art and artist, with the art behaving through simulation, the artist behaving through performance, and the two of them working together, responding to each other.
Part 2 demonstrates a tool for "programming" how art should behave and respond. The artist directly manipulates art objects on the canvas, the way that visual art has always been created since the time of cave paintings. The tool is based around direct, geometric construction rather than indirect, algebraic "code".
Part 3 is a short performance.
This talk was originally presented to SF SIGGRAPH on May 16 2012, and was recorded at the Exploratorium on November 27 2012.