Hello_World!: How Open Source Is Changing The Art World

<p>A new documentary looks at the opensource programming languages that are changing how artists make digital artworks.</p>

HELLO_WORLD! Presentation clip from Ultra_Lab on Vimeo.

We’ve all heard of software like openFrameworks and Processing—the raw material of new media art, these open source languages and libraries provide the underlying digital structures that allow new media works to function and express the ideas of their creators, whether that be turning the weather into music, controlling 250 flashing cameras, or facilitating the latest Kinect hack. Ultra Lab and Raúl Alaejos are putting these languages center stage for a documentary series called Hello_world!.

The project is in the production stage at the moment and seeking funding on IndieGoGo (the other crowdfunding platform). The series will look at three open programming languages that helped start a revolution in creative coding: Processing, openFrameworks, and Pure Data. The project aims to show “the software culture that has revolutionized the codes of contemporary creation” and give recognition to the people, contributors, and communities who’ve built these languages and value them so highly.

So, naturally, you’d expect them to have interviews with all the notable names from the generative art and interactive design scene, people like Marius Watz, Golan Levin, Jer Thorp, Kyle McDonald, Maria Mendez, Casey Reas, and Zach Lieberman. The list reads as a “who’s who” of the new media art world, assembling the brightest minds powering this scene to discuss how these open source programs have changed electronic arts and visual design by making artists’ lives easier and, as Marius Watz says, “allow[ing] people—just about anybody—with any kind of background, to start working with code as a creative medium.”