The first time I came to this, the mother of all Wikis, I spent hours completely filling my screen with browser windows in a mental feeding frenzy. I come back from time to time for the challenge of being mentally stretched by intelligent programmers. Being an InformationAddict
, I also added pages on HyperCard
Although - if too narrowly applied - SpecializationIsForInsects
, I respect specialists and like working with them. However, sometimes a synthesist's view (integrating techniques from other disciplines, like music, art or philosophy) can help with solutions to some problems that specialists might overlook. In my case, discovering a method of loosely tracking two people walking through an infra-red sensor grid was an example of this in practice. If you don't know what's 'not possible', you might find novel solutions.
I'm currently an independent researcher in digital art and software design, and a research fellow at the Institute of Creative Technologies (IoCT) and at The Institute of Environmental and Sustainable Development (IESD) at De Montfort Uni, Leicester UK. I've given talks on things as varied as complexity and creativity, the insecurity behind applications of the '2.0 suffix', and emerging technology and disability. Although never a commercial programmer, I once had funding from the (now-defunct) Digital to design a pilot version of a UI to help small businesses manage their own environmental strategy, and developed an app for 'the rest of us' to monitoring energy consumption. With BenDaglish
I also completed a pilot project to help Arts Council England move towards web-based information solutions to gathering quantitative data on the arts, acting as translator between programmer and user, including the development of a rapid website generator from one long text file using Perl.
An applet by BenDaglish
was the starting-point for a digital artwork called 'cubeLife', designed and developed in collaboration with GregTurner
. Greg got a first for his computer science MA for writing version 2, which includes a flocking algorithm, PerlinNoise
and other refinements.
It's written in Java and takes input from a heartbeat monitor to generate sound with images based on magic cube patterns. As an artist-technologist I'm generally interested in potential developments in physiological computing.
Apart from HyperTalk
I've never completely learned or specialised in a single language and probably never will, but for web stuff I've used the PerlLanguage
and HTML::Template and have a reasonable working knowledge that allows me to mess with code in various languages. I once did a trawl of Ruby MicroWebFrameworks
, and made two tiny apps in Sinatra and Camping. Other programmers I know laugh or sigh when they see me starting yet another 'exploring whatever' book or tutorial. The last were on Ruby and Python (see RubyLanguage
). I also like experimenting with Processing, an OpenSource
language favoured by artists and musicians. It (kind of) sits on top of the JavaLanguage
, has an IDE with a neat editor and screen-drawing built in, and was developed from JohnMaeda
are similar GraphicProgramingEnvironments?
, which interest me because of their teaching and learning potential, and because Maeda was right about how seeing an instant graphic result has drawn more people to programming, especially artists and makers.
I'm interested in software usability and innovation, accessible interfaces, and in Web design and standards (including ValidHtml
). I also added a DocType
page for those interested in choosing the right pre-XHTML DTD for HTML pages (remember those days?) - with occasional browser issues and patchy HTML 5 support there is still an argument for good old HTML 4.01 - see: