Busy day in Aix today. I started my new class integrating Processing, Arduino, and Wiring, while all around us rigs were going up for Arborescence. But by far the most interresting was the concert Servovalve gave this afternoon. Amazing, as always. I’m not sure what the students thought of it, although several seemed quite pleased. Whatever the case, starting this year Gregory Pignot (the instigator of the Servovalve brand) will be teaching part time at the school, working with the Atelier Photographie on finally integrating new media into the photography curriculum. I know some of his previous art-direction work which is quite subtle, very « efficace » as they say here. An excellent choice for mixing up photography, computation, interactivity, etc, if you ask me.

So now we have Servovalve, France Cadet, Peter Sinclair, Jérôme Joy, Louis-Philippe Demers teaching here, amongst others, along with all the invited artists for workshops. Um… er… uh… why don’t we have more new media students beating down the doors? Has anyone noticed the tuition fees cost almost nothing (~300 euros!) ? Did I mention the weather?

I also went to go hang out with the very first Atelier Hypermedia student, in fact the one who helped me put it all together, Guillaume Stagnaro. He was preparing his installation for Arborescence with Julien Hô Kim (already mentioned in yeasterday’s post) — their collaboration looks great. Typical geek moment when the two of us get together, Guillaume showed off his Arduino circuitboards — apparently he’s a total Arduino freak with a dozen of them already at work in several installations, including his first non-computer installation (yeah!) at the state museum exhibit that just finished in Pernambuc, Brazil. I’m totally thrilled about this change of direction in his work. And I’m glad to have a local expert for Arduino tips.

Update: I forgot to mention that Guillaume recently built an FTP library for Processing. We decided to put it up on the Hypermedia Processing Libraries page once he cleans it up. On t’attend Guillaume!

For the students that missed this morning’s presentation, here are a few of the links we looked at for inspiration — not all of it Processing based, although most was: Shadow Monsters (guilty pleasure — I love it), Wooden Mirror, Buttons, We Feel Fine (cf. Benjamin Walker’s Theory of Everything show on « We Feel Fine »), The Manual Input Sessions, Messa di voci, Natalie Jeremijenko, Generator.x, Code & Form, Daniel Shiffman’s blog, Makezine, Beatriz da Costa (Preemptive Media, Pigeon Blog, etc). There were others, but I’ll stop there.

We also looked at a Processing<>Wiring system I quickly put together with the Wiring board. I should also suggest their excellent tutorials, that explain even the simplest of designs such as how to correctly connect a switch : Learning Wiring.

We also debated John Maeda’s Nature exhibit at the Fondation Cartier, which many of the students saw, most hated, and even mentioned gived digital arts a bad name (« ça donne pas envie »). To their suprise, I couldn’t have agreed more. That from such a brilliant artist (come on, accept it, he’s shifted everything for coding|artists) we could have such an amateur presentation (next time he should do it himself) in such an important, high-profile exhibition … I’ll just stop here because I’ll probably get hate-mail. But for the students who didn’t believe me that Maeda can do some interresting exhibits, might I suggest they check out the list of works from his Post Digital exhibit for example, or read through his books which are all at the Centre de documentation, by the way. That should give you all some reading materials until class next Thursday where we’ll start by throwing messy lines around the screen with the mouse.