Intro to Programming

An Intro

Coding has become a basic requisite today, even if you are a designer or an artist, having the ability to code means that you can exponentially increase the number of projects you can build as well as communicate through new media. In this course, the class was split up into two, one part focussed on beginner friendly platforms like P5 whereas the other part focussed on platforms like processing, ableton live, MIDI, intelliJ and a bunch of other libraries. The theme behind this one week course was creating music through coding and above all the objective was to familiarise everyone with the coding environment.

Dennis Paul and Jacob Remin

Our Teachers

Dennis Paul and Jacob Remin were our teachers for this week who focussed on processing and other tools. Dennis is a new media artist and interaction designer from Bremen and holds a professorship for Interaktion und Raum in the Digitale Medien Program at Hochschule für Künste Bremen. He has a rich experience in generative design and on creating captivating installations for public spaces. This is one of his most popular works "An Instrument for the Sonification of Everyday Things":

Jacob is an artist and curator from Copenhagen and is part of the critical new media collective called Science Friction. Some of his latest works that opens up technology for intrepratation through an artistic medium can be seen here. He is also an alumni of CIID, from the pilot year of 2008.

Joshua Noble and Annelie Berner

Moreover, Joshua Noble and Annelie Berner were the teachers who were guiding the second half of the class on P5. Joshua Noble is a developer, designer, teacher, and daydreamer based in Portland, Oregon and Copenhagen, Denmark and is the author of Programming Interactivity: A Designer’s Guide to Processing, Arduino, and openFrameworks. He is also an alumni of CIID, from the year 2011.

Annelie Berner is a data artist, designer and technologist. She is interested in how to understand, think about, and interact with our digital worlds. Specially, how we can make data experiences that are aesthetic, tangible and consider all of our senses – from sight to taste. Annelie graduated from New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) and studied Government and Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard. She is currently part of CIID's research team.


This class had a lot to offer for me, starting from getting familiarised with the expert IDE: intelliJ for processing, to even integrating an arduino to a music composition software like ableton live. We start the class everyday with a 30 minute listening session, where Jacob plays some music for inspiration, these were anything from ASMR recordings to 8-bit music. Some of the topics we were able to play around with this week were:

  1. Getting familiar with intelliJ IDE.
  2. Basics of Processing.
  3. Processing libraries for sound creation, particle physics and network communication.
  4. Ableton live music composition software.
  5. MIDI and OSC protocols.

Moreover, our objective for the week was to build a klangmaschine (german for sound machine), in other words to create music through coding. Throughout the week we explored building sound systems that integrated with the particle physics libraries in processing and furthermore used MIDI from processing to control instruments in Ableton live.


PerSong: Bora Kim, Ine-Charlotte Asakskogen, Arvind Sanjeev

PerSong is a project that tries to create music through collaboration. The system works by taking text inputs from users and putting them into different rhythms whose parameters can be varied. Two people can use this system to create a soundtrack together. Here, the first person enters text through the GUI whereas the second person can control the background track or rhythm. The inputs from them are then processed through a third system which produces the audio.

The input systems consist of two programs running on P5 whereas the third system which processes the inputs run a processing sketch. All the computers are connected on a local network to allow this communication. The third computer accepts the text input and uses a text to speech synthesiser to make it audible. The same process happens for the slider input, it accepts the values and controls the soundtrack playing in the background through the Ableton Live software. MIDI protocol is used for communication between processing and Ableton Live.


A peek from the Friday exhibition:


Some more experimental projects from the class:

SublimiLoop: Can Yanardag, James Zhou


Psychedelic Drum Machine: Clara Subirats, Esther Bretschneider


Jazz Piano: Vytautas Gudaitis, Jens Obel

More projects from this class can be seen here: Intro to Programming.

This is just a short intro to my life at CIID, I will be publishing more posts on the different topics we learn as well as the projects we do through this blog. Furthermore, all the credits to the media content for this blog goes to the IDP class of 2017.

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