the code that always compiles
It finally dawned on me that writing and drawing keep me in sanity.
I usually don’t have a specific image in my mind. The way I enjoy drawing is this: I start with a blank page, stare at it. Then I do either of two things: put a basic dot/line/shape somewhere random on the page or I close my eyes and let my hand scribble something at a random place on the page.
After this, I look at what I did (in the latter case I have to open my eyes first), and see what it looks like and then I continue to make it look more like what I see in it. I am more interested in the energy between the graphical elements (lines, dots, shapes) than representing something from nature.
What I really love is the improvisation process as I sketch. I feel that this is the kind of process that I miss when I am coding.
Of course it might just totally be that my coding skills are not good enough yet. That certainly is true. However, one fundamental difference between coding and drawing is that you always code with a goal in mind whereas you can draw without any plans or purpose.
At least so far that is how coding is to me – always a tool to achieve something. With a new project, I start with concept, moving on to form, and finally code.
I suppose you can certainly start with a bit of code that draws something, then you can try to build in some random variables with different probabilities and see what the algorithm produces. When you find something interesting, you build your code further on top of that. Maybe this is how generative art works partially. Instead of me making decisions every moment my pen is touching the paper, a computer algorithm will determine on my behalf following a pre-designed decision tree.
I would love to work this way if either
1. I am so skilled at coding that it is like writing a blog post
2. no matter what I write in the code, it always compiles
By No.2, I mean that the computer will be so smart that it will give me the closet output to what I truly wanted to achieve. But how can it do this if it doesn’t know what I truly wanted to achieve because it can’t read my code? And if it knows what I truly wanted to achieve, why wouldn’t it just give me that? Maybe it just keeps guessing.
Lack of proper computer science knowledge prevents me of exploring this topic further (machine learning? AI? ) Well in all honesty, the computer is already doing this by pointing to me what he thinks where the errors are.
Nonetheless, there is something so intrinsic in us about drawing. It’s like writing, the way the hand moves on paper brings our minds in sync with our body. Besides the meditative aspect, drawing also requires no previous knowledge; children can draw and I actually adore children’s drawings immensely exactly because they have no prior knowledge of how things should look.
Is my rant merely a reflection of my frustration that I can’t code as freely as I want?
I always wondered…. If one day I can make the computer do whatever I want, what would I make it do? Or would I feel the same as what I feel about pen and paper —- the possibilities are so vast that you feel powerless and lost at times. (which led us to the notion that limitation stimulates creativity).