Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Prossessing Through the Post

I have this friend, Eric, who used to teach remedial math in the Bronx to pregnant teenagers and the boys who impregnated them. After a few years of doing this, he decided to live alone in a secluded Montana cabin for a while. He wanted to grow a really long beard, do math, and possibly write a manifesto. We told him that if he got aviator glasses and a hoodie, we'd turn him into the the authorities.

A huge part of what made him excited about this trip was to be away from the internet and phone for a few months. The only way we have to communicate with him is through the United States Postal Service. I am sure he would have accepted telegrams if they still existed. Every couple weeks, I get a letter from him in the mail that he wrote on a vintage typewriter. It's not as twee as it sounds, mostly because he uses boring envelopes.

Earlier this year, I took a class to learn this programming language called, Processing. You can do super awesome things with it. I am not sure exactly how to make awesome things with it, but I try! I told Eric about it since he likes math and nerdy shit. He was better than it than i was. He also taught it to the pregnant teenagers and the other teenagers who impregnated them and they were also better at than I was. Whatever. Did they ever make a hamburger clock? Warning, if you click on it and you don't have a 15 or more inch monitor because it will look pretty dumb. And it might make your browser barf and cry. My friend Davida with some people at Pratt did something with Processing and a breathalyzer test.

Here are things that don't look dumb that you can do with processing.

Anyway, I would make him a simple program in Processing, write it out by hand, and mail it to him. The idea is that he would just have to imagine what it looks like until he has access to a computer.

Here is what the code looks like:

//October 13, 2010

//Hi! Eric!

//I wrote you a program in Process. Since
//you are living an antiquated life, I am writing you
//with a bamboo pen and ink. I thought you could just
//imagine what it looks like for now. When you return to
//civilization, you can look at it for real.

float skyChange=.1;
int r = 194;
int b = 244;

float y=15;

void setup () {
size (600, 600);
frameRate (5);

void draw () {

background (r+skyChange, 214, b-skyChange);

for (int x=0; x<(600); x+=40) { { fill (242, 101, 34, random(150)); noStroke(); ellipse(x, y, random (25), 30); y=y+random(1); } } for (int x=0; x<(600); x+=70) { { fill (181, 56, 35, random (200)); noStroke(); ellipse(x, y-25, random (10), 15); } } for (int x=0; x<(600); x+=20) { { fill (133, 50, 178, random (100)); noStroke(); ellipse(x+15, y-10, random (5), 10); } } for (int x=0; x<(600); x+=15) { { fill (133, 50, 178, random (100)); noStroke(); ellipse(x+15, y-30, random (5), 10); } } if (y>600) {
y=580; }


//I hope you are still having a good time!



Here's what the letter looks like:

If you can't imagine what it looks like, you can see it here.

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