Workshop: Exploratory Programming for the Arts and Humanities

This workshop is for beginners — people new to programming. This will be a true introduction to computer programming and how it can be used for inquiry and creativity, with no previous programming experience needed or expected.

The workshop, led by Nick Montfort, is based on Nick’s book Exploratory Programming for the Arts and Humanities. The workshop will cover the initial, core concepts of the book. The book will allow participants, individually or in informal groups, to continue their explorations in different media and using more advanced methods. Participants get a copy of the book, provided at the event.

Nick will lead participants in exploring computer programs through modification (from the bottom up or inside out) and as they start learning the fundamentals of programming (from the top down).

What You Will Learn:

•  Writing programs is not intimidating; materially, it’s just editing a text file.

•  The difference between valid code (a program that runs) and code that does what you intend, along with how error messages are actually helpful to programmers.

•  The true fundamentals of programming – looping and iteration, bundling code together in functions, and using data of different types.

•  How to undertake small-scale projects and see that computer programming is not an abstract mathematical exercise, but part of our culture.

Although we will be working with JavaScript and Python, the fundamentals you will learn in this workshop will not be specific to a particular programming language. They will provide a basis for a great deal of further programming.

We will be approaching programming as a cultural activity that is accessible to everyone. Our work will focus on text, but the book, Exploratory Programming for the Arts and Humanities, includes exercises and suggested projects that deal with images, statistics and visualization, animation, sound, and interactivity.

The cost of the workshop includes a copy of Nick’s book, Exploratory Programming for the Arts and Humanities, which retails for $40.

In Preparation for the Workshop, Install:

•  A true text editor (TextEdit for Mac OS X is not one). For Linux, you’ll have one installed. For Mac, TextWrangler will work, although Sublime and TextMate, if already installed are fine. For Windows, the built-in Notepad is enough but Notepad++ is better.

•  Jupyter Notebook. To do so, and get many other useful Python libraries, install Anaconda.

Bring your computer to the workshop, of course.

When: Sunday, August 28th, 2–5pm
Where: Boston Cyberarts Gallery, 141 Green St., Jamaica Plain, MA (next to the Green Street Station)
Presenter: Nick Montfort
Fee: $43.19 — this includes a copy of Nick’s book, Exploratory Programming for the Arts and Humanities, which retails for $40.
Register now, space is limited!


About Nick Montfort

Nick Montfort develops computational art and poetry, often collaboratively. His poetry books are #! and Riddle & Bind, and he co-wrote 2×6 and 2002: A Palindrome Story. His more than fifty digital projects include the collaborations The Deletionist, Sea and Spar Between, and the Renderings project. His collaborative and individual books from the MIT Press are: The New Media Reader, Twisty Little Passages, Racing the Beam, 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10, and most recently Exploratory Programming for the Arts and Humanities. He lives in New York and Boston, offers naming services as Nomnym, and is a professor at MIT.

This post was written by and was published on July 30th, 2016 under the categories Events , Past Events.