10 years of teaching artists to code and coders to art
17 Jan '20
10 years of art & code at ANU
the c/c/c studio and the Reimagine project
but first, some music
10¹ years of teaching artists² to code³ and coders⁴ to art⁵
💻 + 🎵 = 🤯
loads of students, large classes
some resources are plentiful, others scarce
huge opportunities, but how to make the most of them?
first-year elective available to both CS & art students
started in 2011 (~50 students)
2019 enrolment: ~250 students (80% CS, 20% art)
major project (40% of total grade) is an interactive browser-based artwork in p5.js
lots of students new to programming (and some stick around)
forces students to figure out what excellent work even looks like
even wider range of “starting places” than usual
(some) CS students struggle with the subjectivity
later-year elective available to both CS & music students
started in 2018
“boutique” class: less than 20 students total
whole-class crits & jams
similar to COMP1720
get to assess my students in a nightclub
getting students to truly work as an ensemble
getting students to grow during the course
a $350m+ investment in CS & Eng @ ANU
new departments, 2x faculty
finding new ways of being a computer scientist
a series of Reimagine Fellowships to support this…
I’ve been awarded a fellowship to build the c/c/c studio
an A-levels extension course in creative computing (selective entry, 2 year program)
small cohorts (<20/year), first intake in 2021, first graduates in 2022
a joint venture between CS & the art/music schools
2h on-campus ~4h self-study per week
1st year: interactive visual & generative art (p5.js)
studio-based learning: students conceive, plan & build something each year, with an exhibition at the end
needs to be approved by the board of education
making music & art isn’t a side track on the road to computing
can we go all in on creative coding? i.e. could this be CS101?
how do we make the cultural artefact part of the incentive scheme?
what’s the appropriate entrance exam/portfolio/other?
how do we make sure we don’t just stretch the privileged kids?
how do we study it?
how do we scale it?
what do we call it?
if you’d like to chat, let me know 😊—I’m here till Thursday
Ben is a multidisciplinary researcher and Senior Lecturer in the Research School of Computer Science at the Australian National University. He’s interested in computational art & music, human-computer interaction, AI/machine learning (particularly in pursuit of creative ends) and the intersection of code, creativity and culture as those boundaries dissolve in the modern world. He’s the director of the code/creativity/culture group within the ANU Research School of Computer Science.
He is a livecoder, and is the vice president of the Australasian Computer Music Association (ACMA). Ben is one of the inaugural ANU Reimagine Fellows, part of a $300m+ investment from the ANU charged with re-thinking (and re-doing) what it is to be a computer scientist in the 21st century.