Eventually I managed to get Processing up and running again and explored Kim Asendorf’s ASDF program that you could use with a cp5 control panel in a version posted on github. I found that made it much more understandable, and I spent a considerable amount of time trying to reverse-engineer how they built the controls. For the next season, I spent a lot of time finding different freely available programs on github or openprocessing and figured out how they worked, how to add controls to them, and I built a few little sketches that were nothing more than free programs that now had controls, sliders, ways of using them without dipping into the code over and over to input/output and change the settings. I find that you can really make art much more easily this way – since you doesn’t try your patience experimenting with different settings. This includes some nPx sorters, some that sort horizontally or radially, some more advanced experimental sketches and just a few original programs (I’m still kind of a hack at programming). I genuinely feel this does *something* to set my work apart from other glitch artists. I’m not a brilliant coder like some of the real pioneers out there creating new actual glitches or generative systems or apps, but my work also looks a little different from what’s coming out of some of the (admittedly impressive) apps. Maybe that sounds elitist or pretentious, and it probably is a little bit, but it makes me feel better about my own glitch art to know that I at least tried to make it unique. I don’t use those effects all the time, but eventually I repackaged one of the better and more unique processing sketches and called it “Mother.”
This was the radial and directional sorter by Xavier Burrow. It was eventually packed as an unlockable into the Your Electronic Arms trading card. The “Mother” image is from another art project called Mystica.
One of the advantages to doing the art this way where I have more control over the code is resolution. Uploading art to most browser-based or app-based stuff has size limits. The GUI that came with the ASDF code has virtually no size limit – I still couldn’t figure out how they managed that, but I built in graphics buffers on some other programs and was able to apply effects whose only limit ended up being how many times the loop could run before the program thought it had crashed. I could make artwork at greater resolutions than 2160×2160, and the detail that comes through in the pixels is a treat to the trained eye – and produces better prints (I think).