sep. 2017 | Matthieu Savary

Pixel is Data goes live at the Pompidou Center

The free Pixel is Data Live edition app for Mac interprets your photos' pixels in real time and transforms them automagically into art pieces that you can instantly tweak with code and/or sliders.

 

The free Pixel is Data Live edition app for Mac interprets your photos' pixels in real time and transforms them automagically into art pieces that you can instantly tweak with code and/or sliders.

We exhibited this work at the Pompidou Center in March 2017 for the "Fête du Code Créatif" (the "Creative Coding Party"), in two versions: one took the shape of a very large touchscreen installation, and the other was set up on 15 iMacs that kids could use for as long as they wanted.

The principle

The principle is based on the iPhone brew of the app: using photos' pixels data to create art pieces that represent captured reality in a different way that's not necessarily figurative.

Indeed, photos' pixels are always organized in the very same way that the photographic sensor that is used to make them is organized into. What if, for example, one will decide to reorganize pixels by colors instead of using the default order? Would it not represent reality?

We have put a great effort in designing a scripting code – sort of a programming language – that kids that age can immediately grasp and use to produce their own images:

© Hervé Veronese, Pompidou Center, 2017

The Mac app

The Mac application was used for two weeks within workshops at l'Atelier des enfants with classes of kids aged 6 to 12 years-old. The app gave them the opportunity to code for the first time – with a super simple language we designed and an instant, live visual result. This latest feature – the live aspect – is one the most important qualities of such a coding tool: giving real-time feedback while the young users are coding is crucial to maintain focus and avoid frustration in the best way possible.

To make things simple and fun, kids were able to make pictures of themselves directly from within the app, or use a collection of photos that we previously gathered. They could also use our scripting language and tweak parameters via sliders:

© Hervé Veronese, Pompidou Center, 2017

The Installation

The installation version of the work is fun and straigthforward: you make a selfie and play with it. It's a fun way to get acquainted with the principle before actually digging into the code version.

  

When at the studio, the large touchscreen also became a fun new way to leave a photo before taking off!

Youngest coder ever

Oh, and here was our youngest coder, probably the youngest coder ever:

© Hervé Veronese, Pompidou Center, 2017
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