Computational Media / by Pippa Kelmenson

How does computation apply to my interests?

Computation applies to my interest in creating a dialogue between sound and art through interactive projects. While working on my thesis at Bard College, I used Max/MSP to route audio signals to a six-channel speaker array installation. Although using the software familiarized me with “if, then” statements and the use of object systems, the visual aspect of the program made it more intuitive than the more standard coding of functions and arguments.

Using computation in my creative endeavors would allow me to simplify and expand upon my projects. I hope that, by learning various different coding languages, I can rely less on analog equipment to motorize electronics and produce dynamic audiovisual content. With digital functions, I would be able to automate processes that would be more difficult to execute in circuitry or fabrication. This way, I can implement creative coding into my mixed media sculptures and installations.

Projects I love:

43 prepared dc-motors, 31.5kg packing paper | 2013


Opera for a Small Room  | 2005  Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller

Opera for a Small Room | 2005

Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller

P5.js Screen Drawing

Rather than approach the assignment of creating a screen drawing from my imagination, I decided to attempt replicating a photo. At first, the logic of coding shapes along x- and y-axes seemed intuitive and logical, and I enjoyed discovering how things moved and changed with differently-valued inputs. I often referred to the P5.js reference guide, and found it helpful to apply various potential shapes to my screen drawing, editing them out later. I also found that labeling each grouping of shapes was useful in looking back and revising my code in P5.js.


Step 1

My Muse

My Muse

Step 2

Final Product


It wasn’t until I was forced to create my own lines and curves that I ran into some issues. When reviewing the reference guide, I was frustrated by the complications of rotating objects by radians and degrees, and would have preferred drawing my own shapes (rather than manipulating existing ones). I also ran into trouble trying to apply definition to my shapes—although I used stroke() and noStroke() with many elements of my drawing, deciphering what would be in the background and foreground proved difficult with shapes of the same color. Similarly, I found that moving groups of code defining separate segments of the drawing (i.e. face, eyes, body, legs, etc) would often cause other aspects of the drawing to be moved and disorganized. This happened particularly when arranging shapes in the foreground and background.

You can find my P5.js code here: