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Notes from the May #p5hangout

On Saturday, May 9th, I attended some of the p5 [processing] Community Hangout. The final schedule for the day is here. One of the MCs, Russel Hay, was kind enough to invite me to share on my music since the community is about creative coding, not just p5.

A few things I liked about the meetup:

  • It was long. It was 6 hours long, which meant that people from across many timezones could attend or present
  • It was not recorded. I appreciate this feature a lot, and it makes it much less stressful to present. It also creates a sense of moment that I really like. There’s a tangent here I should expand on in a different post.
  • Organization of the event: It was broken up into hours with an MC for each hour, and then 5 presenters who each present 5 minutes each. The remainder of the hour is some kind of discussion; in hours I popped into, it generally meant Zoom breakout rooms, where attendees are split into multiple smaller chats for discussion.

Since I was attending !!con this weekend as well, I only made it to the hour I was presenting, but the schedule and the notes have so much! I was only at this event for truly an hour (I popped in a couple other times, but I always seemed to accidentally join at the discussion part of the hour, not presentations, oops), but ended up with so much.

The notes from the event are public, and this includes links and info from presenters, and topics that came up in response to a presenter.

My hour had presentations on a projection mapping installation (viewable only from the streets of Seattle!), a machine learning presentation, photography and p5.js, my presentation, and Hydra & creating Instagram filters in Glitch 🙂

Russell shared a COVID-related projection mapping installation, and visualizes data onto a sewing form, representing how bodies lie at the center of the current global situation (cw: COVID-19 data, but you can see a video of the projection mapping development here).

Lia did an ML presentation demoed taking a photo of a person and having the algorithm adjust the photo until it “matches” another person. It was pretty wild!

Hiyo presented using p5 in concert with photography like – what if you have an overlay on a photo so that you can only reveal part of it at a time, based on your movement? Or what if photos or art had “creative censorship” so you could cover parts of the piece, but those coverings are movable so you can get a sense of the whole? Hiyo has some videos on their Twitter that demonstrate this better than I’ve explained it 🙂

Next was my turn, but sadly I had technical difficulties! I had planned to finish composing a song in the demo, and release the recording (it was such a well-intended plan, ha), but getting audio streaming to play nicely with Zoom didn’t work out for me in the end.

While I futzed to try and get things going, Samarth presented a couple projects; I didn’t catch much of the Face Paint project (audio futzing), but the Hydra Blockly is extremely cool: I think this would be really great for kids anyone to play with Hydra in a different way, using block-style programming. Samarth also presented Shadergram, allowing you to make your own Instagram filters from the ground up (how did Samarth fit this all into 5 minutes?? amazing).

We circled back to me and I thought I’d fixed the audio and … it didn’t work. Such is life! So I talked a little about TidalCycles, what it’s doing, and played some of my recorded music from

From the discussion, I learned about Estuary, which is an in-browser livecode environment, and I learned that a bunch of livecoders played at the recent GitHub Satellite conference. I’m particularly interested in watching another TidalCycle musician’s set.

I also learned about this extremely cool online event happening after the hangout, a Night Market that was so beautifully enchanting and weird. The credits are up online, but it went from 7pm to midnight that night, and I searched around yesterday and found the event description and the producers. It was very very cool and I wouldn’t have found out about it had I not been at the p5 event!

Thanks so much for having me, hoping to check out a future one!

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