Pushing Pixels

Some time ago I caught a random radio brodcast where the presenter was narrating an artist working with oils. When asked what they were painting they they said they wern’t sure yet they were just “pushing the paint. Exploring the texture and colors mixing”. As a programmer this is not the way you work, you explore and solve problems but it is always very structured. You always know what the outcome should be and actively discourage non planned programming.

Teaching #DataVisDD in Processing, particularly developing small examples of techniques, has been a really interesting experience. I now find my self on the train, needing a break from work or movies and just fire up processing and start hacking around, exploring, Pushing Pixels. Most of the labs I have set for #dataVisDD have been very open ended and hopefully offer this same flexibility and opertuunity for students to be playful in there programming. I wonder if this is just fun, if it is harmfull to novice programmers or if there are legitimate learning benefits to be had from an exploritry approach to cutting code?

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