[ OSX ] [ LINUX debian / raspbian ] install wordnet for processing + RiTa

“Wordnet is definitely not written for use by humans.” – a helpful friend

I work with language as a poet. I write “poems for paper” as well as “poems for spoken-word performance”. In both, often, fragments of narrative appear as images.

In video, I’m exploring what I call the ‘variable narrative’, iterating tiny moments of story.

 

the-gravediggers-meditation

untitled video still [ the gravedigger’s meditation, 2014 : hybrid literary project ] spiral text composite layer created in Processing

Playing with ‘text as mark’ in Processing is pretty fun & relatively simple. Text added as strings can be expressed glyphs of this or that font. Strings of text can take particular shapes or be used as brushstrokes. In the image above, the entire text of Gogol’s short story The Overcoat becomes a shifting textured layer composited into an animated short film. The spiral text composite layer was made using math and one loooooong string of text.

~ RiTa : extends Processing’s use of language by referencing text’s meaning ~

RiTa, a Java-based coding toolkit that can be added to Processing, allows artists to work with meaning / words by role in language / rather than just text as mark.

example one : Automatype by Daniel C. Howe

example two : Spin State by Michael Coppola

~ installing RiTA inside Processing ~

With Processing open, go to the menubar: Sketch > Import Library > Add library

The library installer will open. Scroll down to RiTa.

  • If it is pickable, pick it & install!
  • If it is greyed out [ as it was for me ] one must instead go to rednoise.org and download the dependancy, unzip it, and stick the folder in the library directory your installation of Processing uses. If you have not customized your setup,the directory order [ on Mac ] : ~/Documents/Processing/libraries. Stick the folder that happens when you unzip the download into the /libraries folder. Relaunch Processing and you’ll find it. RiTa’s examples will also show up in the examples, under contributed libraries.

The RiTa reference guides the coder through toolset’s functionality & what it can do to explore art-related ideas on the meaning/language tip.

~ Word Net : high level text analysis with ‘parts of speech’ tagging and dictionary definitions ~

To further dig into meaning, to access markov language part-of-speech tagging, the necessary dependancy? wordnet“its primary use is in automatic text analysis and artificial intelligence applications.” ~ wikipedia

RiTa’s toolkit allows me to plug in wordnet analysis & execution functionality into Processing sketches. To do that, I needed a local installation. I tried to use the documentation provided by Princeton to create a local wordnet installation, and fell down several successive rabbitholes, each of which ended on ‘nope’.

Wordnet can be used with many coding languages – PERL, Python, SQL, and PHP etc etc.

Processing and Python use different operational approaches to installing dependancies. It was a head-turner to shift to the Python-like approach – using [ on Mac ] terminal, with sudo pip commands.

There’s this other thing one can add to Mac which provides “one terminal command installation power for many many dependancies”. It’s a  kit called Homebrew, built with the Ruby programming language.

~ an aside on art and technology, transparency of process, and meaning ~

Have your eyes glazed over yet? The mind-numbing list of tasks above this moment in the blog post is not, in itself, an interesting thing. I know that ‘the rest of the art world’ doesn’t know how the ‘studio inside of the computer’ works. I’ve been directly treated with contempt over the digital creative process by painters, in the past*.

I’d love it if my attempts at process transparency help encourage the conversation about meaning, to discover the metaphorical power of what artists can and are doing with computers, and relate to them . . . More directly, I think it would be awesome if more ppl were using these tools in their own work. So lets get back to that to-do list.

~ to install Wordnet locally, install Homebrew. To install Homebrew, install Xcode. ~

Homebrew can install a WHOLE BUNCH of stuff for me, besides wordnet, when attempting to sudo pip3 install various dependancies for Python and something doesn’t internally link. Fantastic! OK, time to install Homebrew.

Aaand I need to install a 4.5 gb thingy from Apple called Xcode wha-  ?

OK so most of the coding things discussed in this post are script-related single-tasking things. XCode is the Mac-based development environment for building OSX software & iOS apps. Its filled with tools, testing environments, and more.

One must install xcode in order to ‘unlock’ the bash commands [ for terminal ] that one needs to install Homebrew. Randomly, you will also now have a C compiler on your Mac. You can delete it once you’re done getting the bash commands you need.

Go over to the coolest guide on the planet, and follow their step-by-step instructions to install first xcode and then homebrew. Then come back here to finish up and see how cool wordnet really can be.

~ use a terminal command to tell homebrew to install wordnet ~

Open terminal. Next to the dollarsign prompt type

brew install wordnet 

Terminal may prompt you to add several other things.

When it finishes, don’t close terminal just yet. Jot down the directory location of your wordnet installation. You’ll use it in the next step.

Go back to Processing.

File > Examples. In the pop-up : RiTa > ReplaceableWriting.

Updating the sketch to include the local directory url for wordnet. Press play.

BLAM. Now you can see what it does.

Here’s to less maddening ‘getting going’ on ideas you’re interested in . . .

~ footnotes ~

*“Oh you just push a button – ” and a some other disparaging remarks

On a Windows machine? Try Scoop instead of Homebrew; here’s a list of terminal-like command line editors for Windows systems. Processing installs for PC, and the RiTa installation workflow should hold there as well. I have no idea if Wordnet can be installed on Windows in this way, but its a starting point.

If you’re on Linux you’ve got the work ethic to figure it out yourself 💗 and that Linux installation is on a raspberry pi, all you have to do is open terminal and type this:

$ sudo apt-get install wordnet

answer a few questions and you’re set.

??? !!!

The Raspbian install of Linux is a child iteration of Debian; it includes a compiler and you don’t need to “unlock” other OS features in order to get it to work. . .

animating the tarot trumps [ processing ]

My colleague Christian Kriegeskotte composed a set of piano pieces that are, for the lack of a better word, portraits of the Tarot Trumps. He funded recording this work, ably performed by pianist Eric Clark, via Kickstarter.

I have at various times incorporated imagery or made creative process decisions with Tarot cards in mind. I have not, however, explicitly worked with this material.

Since Tarot is, for me, a living set of principals, it made sense to put ‘image into motion’. I’m abstracting the forms that so often get reduced to cartoon-like images. Color choices are inspired by the same Tarot deck Christian used for his inspiration; as the project moves forward, color will gain its own closed system of internal reference. Movement and form are relative to individual cards’ meanings and mutual relationships in the system.

I’m using Processing to code these animations, capturing them to video and then editing them further in Final Cut Pro X. Its a fun puzzle, using complicated tools to work very simply. I’m enjoying this process a great deal!

Videos :
0 Le Fou
I Le Bateleur
II La Papesse
III L’Imperatrice
IV L’Empereur
V Le Pape

 

Project stills : at my flickr

Purchase the music here: argentowl.bandcamp.com/album/le-mat-xxii-arcana

Gogol’s Overcoat: The Gravedigger’s Meditation [ view online through 2/28 ]

 

 

The Gravediggers Meditation-HD 720p 1750

untitled video still : the gravedigger’s meditation

 

An experiment in audience relationships, exhibitions, intimacy, the internet – – I’m streaming The Gravedigger’s Meditation at station-number-six.com through Feb. 28. After that, it disappears into the land of ‘password protected screener’ as I work to get it shown elsewhere.

Vladimir Nabokov said of Gogol: “When, as in the immortal The Overcoat, he really let himself go and pottered on the brink of his private abyss, he became the greatest artist that Russia has yet produced.” Gogol’s story of a poor, quiet copyist who finagles a new overcoat in the bitterest of Russian winters. Then, the coat is stolen; what was a blessing becomes a disaster.

This animation – – yes, I did steal images of overcoats from the internet in order to make it … The piece is also a meditation on the relationship of copying, language-as-object, record-keeping, and technology to a community’s memory. There may be a wink at the commodification of appearances but you know, the first rule of capitalist materialism is you don’t talk about how it works.

Animation frankensteined together in Adobe AfterEffects from parts created with QT7, Processing, and Quartz Composer. Audio created & mixed in Apple Logic, better with headphones.

 

Reas & Fry: Processing … 2d Ed > vs < 1st Ed [ review ]

Processing: A Programming Handbook for Visual Designers and Artists, 2d Ed.

TL;DR: Reas & Fry 1st edition told the reader about what Processing can do and encouraging reader to try it & learn from their experiments. 2d edition introduces readers to Processing in a user-friendly way – the book has become a ‘teacher’.

processing-handbook-second-edition

1) The second edition reads like a college textbook. Reas & Fry have defined their audience, and are clearly writing for it.

Concepts are brought to an intelligent, creative, new-to-coding reader with holistic detail. The denser text gives beginners a better sense of ‘net’ as they experiment (the text can catch them). Experienced coders will find rewards of nuanced language discussing processes in the richer text.

This allows faster learning through bookwork with less ‘running into walls’ experimenting. This point may represent a culture shift. Teaching concepts and ideas with a stronger ‘narrative’ can create a text-based authority of ‘shoulds’* vs. the user’s earned authority of experiential learning.

2) Content is presented with a ‘narrative through line’ – it is clearly organized in ‘arcs’ of chapters that loosely link and build. This differs from 1st ed, which felt more like “ok here’s some of this, and some of that, go try it out & see what you get!”.

3) Large communities of people have been working with Processing. Certain working arcs have developed; people tend to code in particular directions. Perhaps this influenced the interlinking of concepts inside the book. Reas & Fry provide jumping off points with page numbers to other parts of the text – – as if they put internal links in the book.

The 2d edition is, in that respect, more holographic and unified as a text. The 1st edition now feels like an extension of the online reference, a big index or dictionary of terms and functions that I use in response to my own curiosity or problem-solving. The 2d edition is narratively cohesive in multiple ways, delivering the ‘whole user approach’ to a beginning creative coder very well.

4) content differences:

3D has shifted from appendix to ‘main content’; rearrangement of content and ‘synthesis’ chapters brings a more easily-digestible ‘narrative’ to content; new artists & artwork.

Vertex & Array both got a lot of ‘explain’ love; so did Function – concepts that I’ve seen beginners get stuck on. Also, all of the discussions of ‘how to code well’ have become comprehensive.

Sound seems to have disappeared. I think PureData has won sound. Most of that is done via external libraries but there isn’t even an entry for ‘sound’ in the Index or in Topics.

Certain details of Processing’s functionality have disappeared – i.e. the discussion of image manipulations that mirror photoshop blend modes. The image processing section of the 2d edition’s text is concerned with functionality unique to Processing.

Additionally, image processing instruction arrives much later in the text (p. 529) so the ‘beginning reader’s’ comprehension of what’s happening is going to be very different than if the beginning reader is perusing the 1st edition and looking at images on p. 95, where they introduced ‘how to manage data files w/processing sketches’  discussion in a little pile-on.

*authority of ‘shoulds’ : the obsession with ‘doing it right’ becoming a block for creativity & discussion of concepts driving the work

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Author’s note: I spent 5 years working as a computer trainer [hardware/software] so, parsing the texts used to teach ppl how to use software/hardware is kindof my thing.

[ collab ] »radiant devices« 08::30::14 : metro, chicago

This summer I finally buckled down and learned processing, the coding language built for artists. I find it incredibly responsive and immediate, unlike some of the user-interface based traditional video editing tools. And its so much fun to play with!

Back in Pittsburgh I created many video projections for live performances by bands and other live events. I also created & projected visuals for theatrical and dance productions. I’d been looking for the chance to work like this again in Chicago, and was blessed with the invitation to work with »radiant devices«!

»radiant devices« are inventive musicians, with a big live sound augmented by instruments they’ve built from bicycle forks and abandoned gas tanks and other objects. Each instrument weaves into a rich bed of sound – yeah, guitar, bass, drums but also dj with loops and Mojdeh’s haunting voice – sometimes augmented with skilled use of a megaphone. Listen to »radiant devices« at their bandcamp  – –

August 30 saw our first performance together, at Chicago’s historic live club, Metro. You’ll find my view from the projection booth in the attached image – for more stills from the show and samples from the live-responsive code please visit the flickr album of stills from this collaboration – –

rd-metro-mv

 

transition : from analog to digital // Tony Balko

Last night I got to surprise an artist-colleague, someone I haven’t seen since he left Pittsburgh in the oughts. In the 412, Tony did projected video work. Sometimes he edited together film-like things, sometimes he improvised with multiple 8 or 16mm projectors. Much of it, for me, was threshold-recognition work, immersive stuff playing with the viewers perceptual equipment (i.e. our eyesight & optical processing system). Yes, fear of seizure could be part of the experience, and fear of flashbacks, if acid or mushrooms were ever one’s particular trip. Always I found an engaging sense of wonder in Tony’s work, wonder at playing with the illusions underneath all projected film.

 

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Balko packed the equipment for this installation into the pedestal supporting the piece. He created the software that manages the dilating, color-shifting projection using Processing.

I really enjoy watching Tony’s work make the shift to digital instrument creation. In Pittsburgh, I got to audience some of his collaborative video projection work. That content was created with existing video editing software, and was projected with live music performances with bands like Centipede Est. I also got to experience some of the pieces he made with analog projectors. Good stuff.

The leap to Processing deepens the instrumental improvisation. By building software, Tony creates the instrument projecting the work. His prior 8mm/16mm stuff worked, for me, as instrument/improvisation. The software made with Processing allows the art to respond to input during the show, a major departure from edited-together ‘finished films’ built on existing editing platforms.

Concerns with image flicker rate and abstraction unfolding over time certainly remain . . .

 

 

Check the flickr set, including video.