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Programming for Artists

  • Prof. Joseph Moore
  • Monday 6:15 - 9:05
  • email:
  • Office hours: Monday 4:30 - 6:00 and Wednesday 12:00-1:30 in CG205

Useful Links

Course Description

Programming for Artists is an entry level programming class geared toward teaching artists and designers fundamental aspects of computer programming. Throughout the class students create a variety of projects that introduce technical aspects of New Media Art while also investigating the history of computation in the arts though the work of canonical and contemporary artists and artworks. Additionally, related topics such as the history of interactivity and participation will be explored though class discussions and presentations.


  • Learn fundamental programming concepts and approaches.
  • Gain knowledge of artists working with computation.
  • Apply this knowledge effectively in the creation of artworks.

Student Responsibilities

  • Turn in work on time.
  • Turn in work before class starts on the course wiki.
  • Sign the role, this is how I know you were in class.
  • Participate in discussion.

Method of Evaluation

  • Participation and Attendance: 20%
  • Exercises: 20%
  • Midterm: 30%
  • Final: 30%

The grade you receive will be based on participation, exercises, and a final project. Attendance is required for every class and missing 3 classes = an automatic failure of the course. Late work will not be accepted without penalty. 1 week late = a subtraction of 2 letter grades. More than a week = a failing grade. If you do turn in work late, you must email me immediately after you post a link to the project on the wiki.

Plagiarism will not be tolerated and will result in a failure in the course! Please see CUNY's policy on plagiarism here.

Class Etiquette

When I am presenting the class lecture I ask that students refrain from texting, checking their email, etc. I will not do those things when you are speaking and I ask for the same courtesy. This same respect should be extended to your fellow classmates. If someone is being disrespectful during critique they will receive a 0 for the day.


For this course we will use Daniel Shiffman's Learning Processing.

Class Schedule

Class 1

In Class

Class 2

In Class

Homework Due

  • Read chapters 1-3 in the book.
  • Exercise 1: Using the basic shape commands, e.g. line(), ellipse(), rect(), etc, create a self portrait.

Class 3

Wednesday 2/15/2017
In Class

  • Primitives
  • Variables
  • Conditionals and Boolean Logic

Homework Due

  • Read Chapters 4: Variables and 5: Conditionals
  • Exercise 2: Write a program that gives the user the ability to draw on screen. Try to make this an interesting and surprising experience for the user. Use conditionals that alter the "drawing experience" based on user interaction.

Class 4

In Class

Homework Due

  • Exercise 3: Create a sketch that has a basic interface element such as a button. Clicking this button causes a change in the sketch. This change could be in terms of form, color, composition, or movement. Consider, how can you make something as mundane as button clicking an interesting user experience?

Class 5

In Class

  • Examine Exercise 4.

Homework Due

  • Read Chapter 6: Loops
  • Exercise 4: Create two processing sketches that explore repetition, variation, and change. One sketch should use a for loop, the other a while loop.

Class 6

In Class

Homework Due

  • Read Chapters 7: Functions

Class 7

In Class

  • Work on Midterm

Homework Due

  • Work on Midterm

Class 8

In Class

  • Midterm Critique

Homework Due

  • Midterm: Create a “chance composition” using algorithms you develop encapsulated in functions. The outcome of the program should be non-deterministic, meaning that you, as the author of the program, cannot be sure exactly what the outcome of the program will be.

Class 9

In Class

Homework Due

  • Read Chapter 8: Objects and 9: Arrays

Class 10

Wednesday 4/20/2017
In Class

Homework Due

  • Exercise 5: Create an object-oriented version of one of your previous programs.

Class 11

In Class

Homework Due

  • Exercise 6: Create a project using the processing video or image library.

Class 12

In Class

  • View Exercise 7

Homework Due

  • Exercise 7: Add sound to an old project or create a new project that uses sound.
  • Final Proposal Due: Write a page describing your final project. The proposal should include both a technical description of the project (how/with what materials) and a more conceptual description (why/what ideas are you exploring.)

Class 13

In Class

  • Work on Final Project

Homework Due

  • Work on Final Project

Class 14

In Class

  • Work on Final Project

Homework Due

  • Work on Final Project

Class 15

In Class

  • Final Critique

Homework Due

  • Final Project!