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marius watz

From the Catenary Madness series (created with Toxiclibs, see code on OpenProcessing)

Workshop: Advanced Processing – Geometry and animation
Sat June 29th, Park Slope, NYC

Processing is a great tool for producing complex and compelling visuals, but computational geometry can be a challenge for many coders because of its unfamiliar logic and reliance on mathematics. In this workshop we’ll break down some of the underlying principles, making them more comprehensible and showing that we can create amazing output while relying on a set of relatively simple techniques.

Participants will learn advanced strategies for creating generative visuals and motion in 2D/3D. This will include how to describe particle systems and generating 3D mesh geometry, as well as useful techniques for code-based animation and kinetic behaviors. We will use the power of libraries like Modelbuilder and Toxiclibs, not just as convenient workhorses but as providers of useful conceptual approaches.

The workshop will culminate in the step-by-step recreation of the Catenary Madness piece shown above, featuring a dynamic mesh animated by physics simulation and shaded with vertex-by-vertex coloring. For that demo we’ll be integrating Modelbuilder and Toxiclibs to get the best of worlds.

Suitable for: Intermediate to advanced. Participants should be familiar with Processing or have previous coding experience allowing them to understand the syntax. Creating geometry means relying on vectors and simple trigonometry as building blocks, so some math is unavoidable. I recommend that participants prepare by going through Shiffman’s excellent Nature of Code chapter on vectors) and Ira Greenberg’s tutorial on trig.

Practical information

Venue + workshop details: My apartment in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Workshops run from 10am to 5pm, with a 1 hour break for lunch (not included). Workshops have a maximum of 6 participants, keeping them nice and intimate.

Price: $180 for artists and freelancers, $250 for agency professionals. Students (incl. recent graduates) and repeat visitors enjoy a $30 discount.

Price: $180 for artists and freelancers, $250 for design professionals and institutionally affiliated academics. Students (incl. recent graduates) and repeat visitors enjoy a $30 discount. The price scale works by the honor system and there is no need to justify your decision.

Basically, if you’re looking to gainfully apply the material I teach in the commercial world or enjoy a level of financial stability not shared by independent artists like myself, please consider paying the higher price. In doing so you are supporting the basic research that is a large part of my practice, producing knowledge and tools I invariably share by teaching and publishing code. It’s still reasonable compared to most commercial training, plus you might just get your workplace to pay the bill.

Booking: To book a spot on a workshop please email with your name, address and cell phone # as well as the name of the workshop you’re interested in. If you’re able to pay the higher price level please indicate that in your email. You will be sent a PayPal URL where you can complete your payment.

Attendance is confirmed once payment is received. Keep in mind that there is a limited number of seats on each workshop.

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Happy New Year! Warren Ellis's second novel, Gun Machine, ships today, and it's the kind of grim, mean hard-boiled fiction that is just the right tonic for your hangover from 2012: the booze, the Mayan apocalypse, the austerity, the misery and revolutions betrayed and horror and bile and pain --

But I digress.

As with his first novel, 2007's Crooked Little Vein, Ellis manages to transition the kind of grotesque madcap action that makes his graphic novels so memorable and enjoyable into prose. This isn't a novelisation of Transmetropolitan by any means, but it enjoys a similar kind of density, largely thanks to interludes in which Ellis enumerates all the awful crimes announced on a police-radio that his protagonist, a NYC detective named Tallow, is addicted to.

Gun Machine is a hard-boiled cop story that opens with Tallow and his doomed partner confronting a deranged nude man with a shotgun who spatters the partner's brains all over Tallow before Tallow blows him away. But losing a partner is just the start of Tallow's problems. By chapter two, he's checked out the seemingly empty apartment next-door to the killer's, and discovered an enormous cache of mouldering guns, arranged in a kind of patterned tapestry on the walls. What's more, each of these guns is from a seemingly related, unsolved murder on the streets on New York, stretching back decades.

Tallow has just discovered the trophy room of the most prolific, most successful serial killer in New York City history. And now his troubles have started. Because while Tallow should technically be sent off for mandatory leave while he gets over the death of his partner and his own killing of the deranged slayer, he is instead sent to the bowels of One Police Plaza, charged with solving hundreds of crimes, some of them decades old. The only help he has in this is a pair of misfit CSU investigators, and in their way stands some of the richest and most powerful people in New York -- some of whom seem to have benefited from the killer's convenient removal of their rivals at key junctures in their stellar careers.

As if that wasn't enough, Tallow is also being hunted, by -- who else? -- the serial killer whose trophies he has just discovered and seized. The most remorseless killer in New York's history is after him with a literal vengeance, and now his problems are really kicking off.

Gun Machine is a novel that never stops to draw breath. It's a monster of a book, bowel-looseningly scary in places, darkly uproarious in others, and remorseless as the killer who hunts in its pages. Ellis never disappoints, but this is particularly good, even by the high standards of a Warren Ellis tale.

Gun Machine

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A tad bit dizzying, but dazzling nonetheless, the always-creative photographer Richard Silver puts a spin on our usual view of panoramic pictures. Instead of shooting a landscape of pews and aisles, his NY Churches: A Unique Perspective series is a long shot of the church ceiling, with assortments of art, grids, and balconies.

“Each photo is about six to ten photos stitched together to make the panorama. Shooting from the pew to the exit door and back again making sure I get the shot the second time if there is something not good from the first one” – Richard Silver


“As someone who has traveled all over the world sometimes you forget how much New York has to offer to a photographer. I am always trying to find new and different ways to photograph this city. This is my newest renditions of New York in photographs.” – Richard Silver

See more of his work at

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Video published by NY Daily News on YouTube, shot by Sean Blackwell. "Looking down at flooding from Hurricane Sandy on East 8th and Avenue C before the blackout."

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Amazing New York Aerial ShotsIf you, like me, enjoy this stunning aerial shot of New York. Head over to Tim Sklyarov’s photostream or his website, there are more mind-blowing city aerials.

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