May 2, 2009

Let’s Hand It to Processing Time

by Nick Montfort · , 8:41 pm

No, people weren’t ticked off – we had a great event full of Processing programming today at MIT, at Processing Time, part of the Boston Cyberarts Festival. Update: Screenshot of the winning program from the MIT News Office.

Processing Time teams

Processing Time work

Here are the titles of the pieces presented, and the team names in ALL CAPS, as we saw these pieces presented after an afternoon of coding:

Turquoise Hexagon Processing

Omega Mix

Recycled Broken Clocks



Clock Drawing (After Sol LeWitt)

Tide Clock

Not Enough Time

Spiky Time

Motion Clock, Stillness Clock

Evolutionary Time

It was a great day for participants, audience members, I hope for the many volunteers (thank you!) and definitely for me, the organizer. We programmed clocks or other Processing programs that are displays of time. We saw some amazing stuff that was done during this Saturday afternoon: A display of broken (and stopped) clocks that swelled and diminished to show what the current time is; an extremely elaborate program that sent MIDI signals through a long chain to present an interactive, performing clock; a digital tune transformed into time; a program to catch and release the numbers on an analog clock; a program inspired by the instructions of Sol LeWitt; and much more.

Here are the winners, with the Fame and Wealth prizes picked by the creators of Processing, Casey Reas (appearing via video) and Ben Fry (present in person):

“Motion Clock, Stillness Clock” uses slit scanning to cause one of two clocks to progress: the motion clock, if the image is moving, and the stillness clock, if the image is still.

“Evolutionary Time” gives a view of time on an evolutionary scale, offering the user the ability to browse a tree of organisms.

Congratulations to those who were lauded, but also to everyone who participated, learning more about computation and art while also showing others (including me) the incredible potential of this system.

Thanks to the Festival and George Fifield, to the Center for Advanced Visual Arts and the Program to Writing and Humanistic Studies at MIT, and to Leila Kinney and Pardis Parsa and all the others who helped out, including, of course, Ben and Casey, the creators of Processing and the judges of this competition.

2 Responses to “Let’s Hand It to Processing Time”

  1. hanna Says:

    A definite success: I was seriously impressed by the diverse array of creations developed and presented. My favourites (in no particular order): Turquoise Hexagon Processing, Recycled Broken Clocks, Clock Drawing (After Sol LeWitt), and Evolutionary Time. My recommendation: more Processing code jams, please!

  2. Chris Ball: Processing Time Says:

    […] to the organizers and other participants for such a fun day; it’s great to be given motivation to work on […]

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