December 12, 2020 · 12:44 pm
I’ve written before about a previous TurtleArt workshop I experienced, and it was also led by the inimitable Artemis Papert (artist, coder, and daughter of Seymour Papert) and Brian Silverman (co-creator of Scratch and creator of TurtleArt and many other Logo/Java based coding environments) and organized by Michael Tempel of the Logo Foundation. Artemis and Brian have been collaborating with programming, art, and life for decades, and it is truly a heady and hilarious experience to learn from them as they pair-code and critique each other’s choices. Brian and Artemis have tons of info and design inspirations for their digital art linked here: https://turtleart.org
Here is an incomplete list of some of the artists who have inspired Artemis and Brian’s explorations over the years: Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, Bridget Riley, Nathalie Goncharova, Piet Mondrian, Kazimir Malevich, Claude Tousignant, Rene Magritte, Ilya Bolotowsky, Wassily Kandinsky, Sol LeWitt, Andy Warhol, Georges Seurat, Max Bill, and Maya Hayuk, Vincent Van Gogh, Jérôme Jasinski, Jean-Paul Riopelle, Jack Bush.
You can install TurtleArt on your computer, pay for their beautiful iOS app, or, as we did for this morning’s workshop, use the free web version: https://playfulinvention.com/webturtleart/
Below, you can download my PNG files from the workshop. Open up Web Turtle Art in a new browser window and then drag one of these PNG files into the window. This should allow you to view or edit the code.
Below, you can access my tweets from the workshop:
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May 25, 2018 · 2:16 pm
I’ve had a lot of interesting conversations with Julian Altschul (one of the fabulous members of Brearley‘s Math Department) over the last two years. I wondered if he’d be interested in taking his tessellations unit into the 3rd dimension, and we discussed various tools we could use for a 2D to 3D transformation. He and I are both longtime fans of Geometer’s Sketchpad, Logo, and Scratch. I suggested trying out TurtleArt since it’s a clean and simple way to make Art while flexing their computational thinking skills. Julian offered a couple of days this week for me to join his Class IX Geometry students and tinker with them.
Yesterday, we began by examining the TurtleArt menus and blocks, constructing simple polygons, and then tessellating shapes. We talked about procedures and loops, and students were tasked with exploring and coming up with interesting designs for homework. Today, girls shared their designs (as PNG files) with the rest of the class, and we peeked at their code and considered ways to make their program as efficient as possible. Here are some initial doodles:
Here’s an example of the code powering the flower drawing below:
Then, something serendipitous happened, and a student shared the “rainbow thing” file below. After opening the file, I immediately hit the clean button to clear the screen in order to watch the drawing evolve before our eyes, but only one spiral popped up on the screen. The student explained she had manually layered spirals — each with a different color and different radius. It was a perfect segue to discuss how to enhance her code with variables (and more math!) so her fully intended design would bloom automatically. Another student talked the class through how to use the box1 and store in box1 blocks to assign and revalue variables. It was super exciting!
I suggested that students convert their PNG to an SVG (using this website), import their SVG into Tinkercad, resize if necessary (including giving their design more height), and export an STL for 3D printing. Julian is thinking that will be their next assignment…
Here’s a link to an earlier post about a TurtleArt workshop I attended last year which was led by Artemis Papert and Brian Silverman: https://karenblumberg.wordpress.com/2017/03/11/turtleart/
You can get TurtleArt for free (!) by emailing Artemis and Brian at the bottom of TurtleArt’s home page: https://turtleart.org/
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Tagged as 9th grade, artemis papert, Brearley, Brian Silverman, Class IX, edtech, integration, Julian Altschul, Karen Blumberg, KarenBlumberg, math, mathchat, STEAM, STEM, The Brearley School, turtle art, TurtleArt
March 11, 2017 · 11:14 am
I spent the morning at a workshop, Turtle Art: the art of programming, the programming of art
, facilitated by Logo Legends, Artemis Papert (artist / programmer) and Brian Silverman (programmer / artist)! The description of the program is pasted below:
TurtleArt is a microworld for engaging with art through code. It allows you to explore art, turtle geometry, and math. It brings programming and art together. The main focus of TurtleArt is to create static, two dimensional images. TurtleArt programs are built by snapping together blocks. Borrowing from the earliest versions of Logo, its language is centered around Turtle Geometry. The vocabulary of TurtleArt is small, therefore fluency can be reached fairly quickly.
In this workshop you will get an introduction to programming in TurtleArt. You will have lots of hands-on time to do your own exploration and create your own images. You do not need to have any previous programing experience. Just to be willing to try something new and creative. Our aim is that at the end of the workshop you will be comfortable with the basics of TurtleArt and able to continue to explore on your own and with your students.
Michael Tempel of the Logo Foundation posted this opportunity, and I usually attend everything Michael and The Logo Foundation host (because I love supporting him and his endeavors, and I love learning with other teachers). I’ve been exploring Logo (created by Artemis’s father, Seymour Papert!!) since the turn of the century (literally!), as it was in 2000 that I joined the faculty of Sacred Heart 91st Street and initially taught robotics and programming to Grades 5-7 using Microworlds and LegoDacta. Later, we used LogoBlocks (which eventually morphed into Scratch), RoboLab, and Mindstorms. I remember downloading and tooling around with TurtleArt years ago as well. Everything old is new again, and I’m excited to have had this day to re-explore TurtleArt with such influential artists, programmers, tinkerers, and educators!
First, let’s pause and thank Seymour Papert, Cynthia Solomon, and Wally Feurzeig for Logo! Second, Brian and Artemis wanted to create an application used primarily to make Art. How lovely is that? There is no coding complexity in TurtleArt, rather it consists of simple pieces of code give you incredibly complex images. Rather than making Build your own Block (BYOB) an advanced feature, they have children learning to name procedures (or little pieces) right away. (Note: Logo was founded around 1967, PicoCricket was founded around 2006.)
As per the history of TurtleArt, Brian said it started “because a rainstorm in Manhattan.” A flight from NYC was cancelled due to rain, so Brian, Mitch, and Paula drove to Boston where Brian caught a flight to Montreal. They thought Scratch was too complicated, so as a design exercise they took a version of PicoBlocks and put the turtle on the screen. They had a year when they were waiting for PicoCricket (a toy product) to pass safety tests, so this was time to think about this side project, TurtleArt. Would it be for design, math through code, or Art? Brian translated TurtleArt into Python for the OLPC program (remember One Laptop Per Child?).
Info about TurtleArt:
Notes about using TurtleArt
- Start Fill/End Fill — fills a closed shape. Note: you can’t fill after you make the shape (only while you make the shape). Fill non-overlapping shapes the same way on iPad and Macbook. Filling overlapping shapes is a little different.
- Store in Box are like variables, you can have two variables in the laptop version, three variables in the iPad version
- Random numbers can be generated, also the ability to pick one of two numbers randomly
- There is a great built-in help menu
- Window size is 700 x 560
- Can hide the turtle after creating your design by adding a final “SetXY” block which moves it off-screen
- If TurtleArt doesn’t do something that you’d like it to do, then use Snap or Scratch or some other app
- Designs can be saved as .png and .svg files and exported to printers, photo editors, vinyl cutters, 3D printers, CNC machines to make posters, jewelry, trivets, molds, wall art, tshirts
- Josh Burker, who took over my position at The School at Colunbia University, shares great ideas for TurtleArt and other projects on his site joshburker.com
Inspiring artists that can influence TurtleArt designs:
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Tagged as Art, artemis papert, Brian Silverman, code, computer science, denise daley, Hope Chafiian, Karen Blumberg, KarenBlumberg, Logo, math, Michael Tempel, programming, The Logo Foundation, TurtleArt
February 17, 2016 · 1:51 pm
Thanks to the hard work and generosity of Josh Burker (@joshburker), Erik Nauman (@openblackboard), and Brian Silverman, we can ALL experience a flashback to the last century and build/program a 2016 version of the original Logo Turtle! This robot rolled all over the floor with a pen inserted down the middle and drew geometric shapes hand typed with code generated in LogoTurtle!
Check out Josh’s awesome documentation here which includes links to all the printable files on Thingiverse, a parts lists (including links to websites to purchase), and amazing instructions with many photos documenting the necessary steps: monograph.io/joshburker/logoturtle
I’m excited to collaborate with Michele Damiano (@mudamiano), science teacher extraordinaire, to assemble and code our own turtles. Hopefully this will be a project that can translate well to a class unit too…
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Tagged as 3D print, @joshburker, @mudamiano, @openblackboard, Brian Silverman, code, Erik Nauman, Josh Burker, Logo, logoturtle, michele damiano, programming, STEAM, STEM, turtle