Zach Lieberman interview on Open Frameworks

by Andy Polaine on June 7, 2007

There’s an interesting interview with Zach Lieberman by Karl Willis on the Window.nz website. Lieberman talks about his work on the Open Frameworks project, which is basically a set of C++ libraries specifically set up for creative work. I haven’t used it, but I imagine it’s a kind of supercharged Processing as it’s running in C++.

One point that I thought was worth pulling out, given the tension between research and arts practice that often exists in universities, was this:

One thing I was interested in, I always try to do this when I’m teaching, is to really preach this idea that artistic practice is research. That really art-making is research in the same way that, science, you know, a physicist is doing research. So I like this idea, when you think about research, research is really built on the work of other people.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Chris June 7, 2007 at 3:32 pm

I spent 2 days at an OpenFrameworks workshop at Ars Electronica and was able to do this

http://www.pixelsumo.com/post/openframeworks

I hope to get back into it soon.

2 Knotty June 8, 2007 at 12:14 pm

The biggest thing stopping free experimentation with C++ by designery types is the complexity of developing stuff in C++. Memory management is really hard to get your head around and most people don’t have the patience to do the ground work…

Now, what if you could wish away the memory management issues and open up the power of frameworks such as open-gl and quartz-2d (just to name two). Well, Leopard is coming and Objective C 2 has garbage collection… http://developer.apple.com/leopard/overview/

I’ve been experiementing and although I can’t say much because of NDAs etc, there are exciting times coming… I think we’re going to see a new era come to fruition, with designers and artists able to develop high-performance interactive applications that historically have only been within reach of dedicated computer science people… Can’t wait…

3 Karl DD June 9, 2007 at 8:46 am

KNOTTY,
Yes I think that is definitely an issue. For someone stepping up from Processing, memory and perhaps threading could trip them up for sure.

What I appreciate most about the Open Source process, is how organically it can evolve to address these issues. Think, software by artists for artists.

One of the first things I asked Zach was about the cross-platform portability of OpenFrameworks, in particular the GUI elements – but his reply was that OF does not have any of that included so it is not an issue. It makes sense really, while Interface Builder has a huge variation of ‘Aqua/brushed metal’ UI elements, perhaps the majority of artworks/installations just don’t require them.

So maybe there will be a new era, but my guess is that we can’t rely on the likes of Apple/Adobe. As Zach stated, it is more about publishing our ‘research’ and building on the work of others.

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