Workshops 2020

WORKSHOP: DIY Solar Panel Design

Alex Nathanson

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MONDAY, JUNE 8th • 9:00AM • WALKER ART CENTER

This workshop will give participants insight into the possibilities and challenges for electronic art in the context of the climate crisis.

OVERVIEW
This hands-on workshop will introduce participants to creating solar powered electronic art. Over the course of this workshop, we will cover basic electronic knowledge, methods for upcycling solar cells, off-grid solar circuit design, and ways to incorporate photovoltaic solar power into kinetic, sound, and light art. We will also explore a variety of techniques for working with photovoltaic cells as sculptural material. Participants will build a solar powered art piece and have new insight into the challenges and possibilities of incorporating alternative energy into our daily lives through both practical and experimental uses.

SKILL LEVEL: Intro

WORKSHOP OUTLINE:
- Intro to creative applications of photovoltaic solar power
- Intro to soldering solar cells and building small kinetic solar bots.
- Design and build sound based solar powered artwork.

WHAT TO BRING:
• Pens/pencils & paper
• Bringing a computer may be helpful if you want to look at some of the additional web-based resources that be mentioned in the workshop.

SOFTWARE TO HAVE INSTALLED:
• None

REGISTRATION FEE: $315
MATERIALS FEE: $45

WORKSHOP: Interactive Machine Learning

Gene Kogan

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MONDAY, JUNE 8th • 9:00AM • WALKER ART CENTER

Machine learning is a versatile and extremely general technology, with broad applications to all the other sciences and humanities. It has reignited long-standing debates about the nature of intelligence and the limits of technology, reshaped notions of authorship and originality, and facilitated recent innovations in human-computer interaction. It has numerous creative applications and is rapidly becoming a default faculty in much of the software we interact with daily. Until recently, it has been a relatively obscure technology, requiring uncommon computer skills to work with in a hands-on way. Libraries like ml5 lower the barrier of entry to programmers without specialized knowledge of AI, while tools like Runway lower the barrier even further still to non-programmers and people in other fields.

OVERVIEW
This hands-on workshop introduces techniques from machine learning for real-time interactive applications. We will be using Runway, a tool which makes it easy to install and run models inside your existing workflows, as well as ml5.js, a JavaScript library which wraps neural networks into an intuitive high-level API. Each of these tools, in their own ways, make AI more accessible to non-specialists and people in creative fields who want to apply these state-of-the-art machine learning models to their own craft. We will cover a wide array of vision, sound, and language-based models which do everything from extract structured meaning from raw data to generate photorealistic images and paragraphs of coherent text. Each model will be presented along with its use cases and stubs of ideas for unguided exploration. The class is beginner-friendly and targeted towards artists, designers, and other creatives. Prior experience with programming is helpful but not required.

SKILL LEVEL: Intro / Intermediate

WORKSHOP OUTLINE:
- An introduction to deep learning and how neural networks actually work.
- A review of general use cases and core applications across different types of media and interactive contexts.
- A tutorial on Runway, an application which makes it easy to run open-source deep learning models found on the internet.
- A tutorial on ml5.js, a JavaScript library which wraps GPU-accelerated deep learning into an intuitive interface.

WHAT TO BRING:
• personal laptop

SOFTWARE TO HAVE INSTALLED:
• Most recent RunwayML
• Optionally, also install Docker
*All participants will be given some free RunwayML credit for the workshop.

REGISTRATION FEE: $315
MATERIALS FEE: None

WORKSHOP: Creative Data Visualizations with SVG and D3.js

Shirley Wu

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MONDAY, JUNE 8th • 9:00AM • WALKER ART CENTER

D3.js is the most powerful tool for creating data visualizations on the web because of the amount of control and flexibility it gives. Yet we often hear that it has a learning curve, and could be intimidating. Similarly, having a good understanding of SVG paths is really powerful for creating any shape in the browser, but the path commands are hardly human friendly. This workshop will introduce these concepts in a fun, intuitive way and participants will go home feeling empowered to design and code their own data visualization projects from scratch!

OVERVIEW
In this workshop, we will go through the entire process of creating a custom data visualization from scratch. We will learn how to create any shape we want with SVG paths, and translate our data into those shapes with D3.js. We will cover the core fundamentals of D3.js, including selection, data-binding, the enter-update-exit pattern, and scales. We will learn all this while turning movies data into fun, beautiful flowers, like in this project: film flowers. Finally, we will use D3.js transitions to animate the flowers, and force simulation to position them!

SKILL LEVEL: Intro

WORKSHOP OUTLINE:
- SVG paths, with an emphasis on the cubic bezier curve to design a custom flower petal
- D3.js fundamentals to create a flower (selection, data binding, enter-update-exit).
- D3.js scales to translate movie data.
- Render all film flowers to the screen!
- D3.js transitions to animate the flowers in.
- D3.js force layout to cluster and position flowers by their movie genres.

WHAT TO BRING:
• Laptop
• Colored pens or pencils & paper

SOFTWARE TO HAVE INSTALLED:
• A modern browser (Chrome or Firefox) and a Github account.

GOOD TO BE FAMILIAR WITH:
• Basic data knowledge (JSON, CSV)
• Basic Javascript and coding knowledge (arrays, objects, map/filter/reduce, callback functions).

REGISTRATION FEE: $315
MATERIALS FEE: None