Creative Coding for Absolute Beginners

Over the course of this week, we’ll explore different dimensions of creative coding, including glitching, bots, procedural remixing, generative storytelling, and games. Students will be exposed to Python, Tracery, Twine, and other platforms for creative coding. No programming experience is required. No experience is in fact preferred.

Most programming is goal-oriented, tasked with solving a problem or optimizing a solution. Creative coding is different. Rather than asking how do we do x?, creative coding muses, what happens if we do x, or y, or this crazy z thing over here? In other words, how can we use code to screw around, and what can screwing around tell us about the cultural practices and productions we study in the humanities?

Instructor: Mark Sample, Davidson College

Mark Sample is an Associate Professor of Digital Studies at Davidson College. Mark’s teaching and research focuses on experimental literature, digital media, and algorithmic culture. His examination of the representation of torture in videogames appeared in Game Studies, and his critique of the digital humanities’ approach to contemporary literature is a chapter in Debates in the Digital Humanities (University of Minnesota Press). He is also co-author of 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10 (MIT Press), a collaboratively written book about creative computing and the Commodore 64. Mark’s creative coding experiences encompasses poetic remixes of American literature such as House of Leaves of Grass, procedural disasters such as Don’t Drink the Water, experiments with interactive fiction using Twine and Inform 7, and a host of Twitter bots, including the popular MobyDickatSea.

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