Short documentary about The Art of Creative Coding

Lisa of PBS Off Book says:"We just released our first episode of 2013, 'The Art of Creative Coding.' This one was really interesting to work on, since I hadn't previously been aware of the platforms and libraries available to creative programmers. And the projects they create are beautiful."

Programming plays a huge role in the world that surrounds us, and though its uses are often purely functional, there is a growing community of artists who use the language of code as their medium. Their work includes everything from computer generated art to elaborate interactive installations, all with the goal of expanding our sense of what is possible with digital tools. To simplify the coding process, several platforms and libraries have been assembled to allow coders to cut through the nitty-gritty of programming and focus on the creative aspects of the project. These platforms all share a strong open source philosophy that encourages growth and experimentation, creating a rich community of artists that share their strategies and work with unprecedented openness.


  1. While the projects they highlighted are indeed quite interesting, I would take issue with their framing of “creative coding” as a primarily visual medium. They focused on the program these coders created, rather than the underlying implementation.

    In the first segment, the speaker praised Processing for not requiring the programmer to know the meaning of every line of code.
    I’d regard creative coding to be the opposite of this: knowing not only what every line does, but having combined them in a truly inspired way.

    I admit that all this would be difficult to fit into five minutes and would have really dull visuals, but I can dream, can’t I?

    1. I had an undergraduate lecturer once who referred to a particular piece of recursion as “beautiful”. Naturally most of the class laughed, but the beauty – as he described it – was in its elegance.

      I firmly believe that what sets apart good developers from gifted developers is an aesthetic understanding of one’s code – where rather than the aesthetic being purely visual  (brace styles and comment styles aside), it is manifested by appreciation of structure and elegance. That, for me, is the art of creative coding.

      1. I’m quite surprised at the “Naturally most of the class laughed”. To me that would be just incredibly sad.

        I wouldn’t even put it as something only for gifted developers. I would have it as a requirement for any good developer, to be able to appreciate beautiful code. Or formulas… or solutions… or…

  2. At last! The artists have finally wrested control of coding away from the clutches of those dull, uncreative programmers and made it available to the rest of us–as it was always meant to be.

    1. Uncreative programmers? It might not be your kind of creativity, but that doesn’t mean that programming doesn’t requires a lot of creativity.

  3. Am I the only person who misread this title as The Art of Creative Cooing?  I thought it was some kind of goofy relationship guide that bb was skewering.  Now that I’m awake, coffeed and wearing the good glasses, I’ll think about programming.  SMOOCH!

  4. LOL Has anyone else noticed how the placement of YouTuber’s standard ‘Play’ button makes the logo appear to read as “The Pot Of Creative Coding” ??
    heh heh

  5. I watched the first 2  minutes of the movie, read some comments and the text below the movie. I still think that this is about programmers who are creative. What _IS_ “the art of creative coding”?! Is it a programme? A set of libraries? Looking at the movie, I get to think Creative Coding is a bunch of television screens with cool-looking animations fit for MTV.
    Guys, whenever you publish a website, start your text with a definition of what you offer on that website. Such as… “This is an article about Creative Coding. Creative Coding is…” That’s how marketing people reach programmers.

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