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Form Before Function : Perl as visual art medium.

by luis.roca (Deacon)
on Aug 18, 2010 at 02:12 UTC ( #855660=perlmeditation: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

I've been casually learning Perl for less than a year and more intensely in just the past few months.

I'd like to carve out a path in my learning that eventually leads me to a place where I can create visual pieces, (paintings or illustrations) using Perl at least to some degree. I have really been looking to move beyond graphics software for the last three or four years and Perl's expressive qualities give me hope that it would be a great asset in achieving that goal. (I know there are a number of other languages used to accomplish this but I've never really enjoyed working in any of them.)

I've tried to think about this from the perspective of someone having a similar thought about going into the visual arts because they love the look and feel of a specific brush or camera. It seems pretty insane but that's how I feel. There's something about Perl that inspires me to look at the way I create differently. Even at this early stage of my development I am determined to find a way.

I wonder if anyone else has had this experience of knowing they wanted to use a specific method separate or absent of a concrete goal to apply to it. Although a decade ago I was taught in art school that form follows function, I was also taught that forms can inspire us to new questions that will eventually include functional approaches.

EDIT
I watched an interview online with Larry the other day that really helped me see why Perl made sense as a way to draw and paint. I'm sure many of you have seen the interview but it inspired me to write this post so I thought I should at least give it it's due credit.

Comment on Form Before Function : Perl as visual art medium.
Re: Form Before Function : Perl as visual art medium.
by eyepopslikeamosquito (Canon) on Aug 18, 2010 at 12:41 UTC

    It seems pretty insane but that's how I feel. There's something about Perl that inspires me to look at the way I create differently.
    Me too. When I saw your node title, I thought, at last someone who feels the same way as I do about using Perl as a visual art medium. :-) I even see art in golf. Call me crazy, but I was driven to create those things by eccentric artistic cravings. While I and some others see art in Perl obfu and golf, I suspect most programmers don't. Some folks even despise and discourage these pastimes because they apparently give Perl a bad reputation in some corporate environments ... which has saddened me deeply over the years (though I do understand and respect that point of view).

Re: Form Before Function : Perl as visual art medium.
by zentara (Archbishop) on Aug 18, 2010 at 20:05 UTC
Re: Form Before Function : Perl as visual art medium.
by Your Mother (Canon) on Aug 18, 2010 at 22:28 UTC
Re: Form Before Function : Perl as visual art medium.
by luis.roca (Deacon) on Aug 19, 2010 at 01:57 UTC

    Thank you for your thoughts and suggestions.

    I had initially looked into the ImageMagick, Cairo and SVG modules (I've spent most of my graphic design career in Adobe Illustrator so SVG isn't too far a jump). However, the Tk and SDL tools are very welcome additions to that list. At a glance, SDL seems to accomplish similar things OSX's visual programming GUI Quartz Composer does. If SDL can install successfully on OSX then that would definitely be worth doing some sketches in. Honestly they all are worth diving into — fun!

    I haven't delved into golf or obfuscation — yet — but when I first learned about them as pastimes for the community it reconfirmed my belief that there were a lot of passionate, creative people using Perl.

    I did remember a couple of recent examples where I got a tool based on the look and feel of it before knowing how I would put it to use.

    • My matte black Fisher Space Pen :
      It felt a lot like the lithographic crayons I've used in life drawing classes and has a nice weight.

    • My Canon G10 :
      The weight, look and feel of the camera has the spirit of a manual camera. I love not having to dig through menus for different settings.
    • Both of those tools have gotten plenty of use and have been responsible for inspiring and/or moving a few projects forward.

Re: Form Before Function : Perl as visual art medium.
by rowdog (Curate) on Aug 19, 2010 at 12:15 UTC

    I couldn't draw my way out of a wet paper bag but OpenGL can.

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