Re: [-empyre-] ~~NMR

The Voices in my Head tell me that on 1/14/04 11:33 AM, noah wardrip-fruin
at wrote:

> I think Henry's right
> that it might be best to use a new media environment (e.g., Max) for
> the course. In fact, I believe I heard that Actionscript 2.0 (which
> comes with the new Flash) is a real programming language and the code
> can be edited outside of Flash. So if there's that real debugger, CS
> for New Media could even be taught with examples in Flash.

Max is still a rather forbidding climb, but it beats the crap out of C++ in
terms of ease of use.

One big problem with MAX/MSP, Jitter, Jade, NATO, etc. is this:

You can't just pick it up and make something. the context level is exactly
reversed: with a pencil, anyone can pick it up and make marks on paper, and
be assured of some level of satisfaction measured against intent. You can
only do that in MAX/MSP if you know the environment dead cold, and even
then, it behooves one to plan in advance.

Flash's GUI is a disaster. It was a disaster when they bought it (I was
working at Macromedia at the time) and it's a disaster still. It needs to be
completely and radically overhauled - the work flow, the timeline structure,
everything. they should do it now, while they have the advantage of complete
market saturation.

> At the same time, I disagree with Henry about "Physics for Poets."
> Physics is not directly related to the work of most poets, whereas CS
> is directly related to the work of NM students. Maybe it's more like
> "Statistics for Social Science" vs statistics for mathematicians.

Once again you're making the NM==Computer connexion, which is implicit, even
in the denial:

> I didn't mean to 
> suggest that every new media class should include computer science,
> or that computer science should be the basis of a new media
> curriculum. Rather, I think computer science is one of the things
> that should be studied early in a new media curriculum.

I think it is something that should be available but not a prereq : it
should depend on the kind of NM work the student is looking to do. If it is
a prereq (a "should") then the work will tend to be computer based - to a
hammer everything looks like nails.

Example: I saw an installation a while ago:  4 projectors w/ images of kids
playing patty-cake. Creepy electronic music underneath.* I honestly don't
remember who made it - but that's an example of a kind of NM. To do that
work, all that would be needed would be some time with Propellerheads REASON
(for the music) and an afternoon with iMovie. done.

I don't see how learning how to comment code would help such an artist get
their work done. Such an artist might benefit from the more "General" course
you described, but not so much from a pre-CS course, which would more likely
cause a lot of daydreaming and boredom, instead of active artmaking.


*Personally I thought the work was dreck, but the curators obviously

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