Tag Archives: programming
Notes and pics from “#TurtleArt: The art of programming, the programming of art” with @LogoFoundation. #artsed #STEAM
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:
- TurtleArt site http://www.playfulinvention.com/turtleart/index.html
- They are on Twitter as @PicoTurtleArt
- TurtleArt.og site created by Artemis Papert https://turtleart.org/
- Educators can get a free download of TurtleArt software. Simply send an email to the address linked on the website ( email@example.com )
- There’s an iPad app which is a bargain at $9.99, though it goes on sale periodically around the winter holidays. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/turtleart-make-art-with-code/id1041064776?mt=8
- Turtle Art image gallery https://turtleart.org/gallery/index.html (images can be opened up in the TurtleArt app and you’ll see the code — just like a Scratch program let’s you “see inside”)
- Turtle Art cards https://www.amazon.com/TurtleArt-Cards/dp/B01LE87TZA (attendees at today’s workshop all received a box of TurtleArt cards!
- Awesome post from Exploratorium using BeetleBlocks to recode TurtleArt and then print it on the WatercolorBot https://tinkering.exploratorium.edu/2015/07/07/beetleblocks-watercolorbot-and-turtle-art-more-explorations
- Book by Artemis and Brian (with the TurtleArt blocks re-coded into Text Logo) http://www.blurb.com/books/763646-turtle-art
- Another page of images (with screenshot of the blocks) that can also be a printed book from Artemis and Brian http://turtleart.org/programming/book1/
- Invent to Learn‘s TurtleArt cards: http://www.inventtolearn.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Garys-new-turtle-art-cards.pdf
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:
- Josef Albers http://news.yale.edu/2015/09/01/yale-school-art-exhibition-examines-impact-josef-albers-art-and-teaching
- Rothko https://www.google.com/search?q=rothko&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiEife36s7SAhVT02MKHSm-B-YQ_AUICCgB&biw=1023&bih=626
- Miro https://www.google.com/search?q=rothko&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiEife36s7SAhVT02MKHSm-B-YQ_AUICCgB&biw=1023&bih=626#tbm=isch&q=miro&*
- Mondrian https://www.google.com/search?q=rothko&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiEife36s7SAhVT02MKHSm-B-YQ_AUICCgB&biw=1023&bih=626#tbm=isch&q=mondrian&*
- Russian Avant Garde at MoMA https://www.moma.org/calendar/exhibitions/1668?locale=en
- Tousignon https://www.google.com/search?q=taussig+artist&espv=2&tbm=isch&source=lnms&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj9p-LX687SAhUlwYMKHV_9C_oQ_AUIBigB&biw=1023&bih=626#tbm=isch&q=tousignon&*
- Calder https://www.google.com/search?q=calder&espv=2&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjhq6GD7M7SAhVHwmMKHfNtCxoQ_AUIBigB&biw=1023&bih=626
- Marcel Duchamp Cinema Anemic https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXINTf8kXCc
Kaho Abe and Ramsey Nasser, media artists and teachers, run the Playable Fashion Afterschool Program for high schoolers in collaboration with Eyebeam in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. With support from CSNYC, Kaho and Ramsey are running a workshop for teachers on a module from their program called “The Slowest Computers on Earth.” Two teams of participants will form into two “computers” competing to execute code as fast and as correctly as possible. These computers use pen and paper for memory, a grid of sponges for a screen, human minds and bodies as processing units, and a simple turing-complete assembly language as their instructions. A stack of printed code will be given to each team to execute, and clock speeds in Hertz will be measured and reported.
This embodied exercise aims to foster a visceral understanding of computation in the abstract. By not involving actual computers, the exercise avoids the distractions of contemporary operating systems and programming languages, and instead focuses on the underlying concepts that are timeless and platform-agnostic. By running this exercise before teaching actual programming, Kaho and Ramsey aim to give students a foothold into reasoning about what the machine is actually doing when it is executing their code. Following the workshop, participants will discuss how an exercise like this can be incorporated into existing computer science curricula.
Kaho (@kahodesu) and Ramsay (@ra) collaboratively developed many modules for teaching creative computing, coding, wearables, game design. Their workshop on Sunday was all about The Slowest Computer on Earth, and it was truly remarkable.
- Attendees split into groups of 4 at tables. Each table had a big bucket full of classic kitchen sponges (yellow with a green scrubbing side), a few pads of post-its, and some markers.
- We placed 100 sponges yellow side up in a 10×10 grid with no gaps in between.
- We labelled along the top of the grid 0-9 with a number corresponding to each column (this is the x-axis). We also labeled this axis COLUMNS so as not to be confused later.
- We also labelled along the side of the grid 0-9 with a number corresponding to each row (this is the y-axis). We also labeled this axis ROWS so as not to be confused later.
- We tacked additional larger post-its to the table below our sponge grid. These were labelled a to p in two rows. The top row was for a – h, and the bottom row was for i – p.
- We were handed reams of paper bound with two binder clips at the seam like a book. The pages were full of instructions.
- As a group, we followed the instructions – this is where the users are “slow computing”. These instructions mimicked loops, calculations, if-then statements, and more.
- At some points, we were assigned or we had to calculate different values to the variables a to p. Different commands were to turn over the sponge at a designated (column, row) coordinate. Since we laid them out with the yellow side up, when we turned over a sponge, it’s visibly green due to the scrubby side.
- Each group competed to complete the given activity first. We were timed, and these finish times were calculated into MHz (the equivalent speed a computer would take to execute the same program).