Introducing Kickstarter’s Creative Coding Club

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Distributed Web of Care workshop inspired by Taeyoon Choi
Distributed Web of Care workshop inspired by Taeyoon Choi

Most people who work at Kickstarter have some kind of creative practice. Our user interface designer makes furniture, our marketing manager curates museum exhibitions, our trust and safety analyst directs plays, and our games outreach lead is in a post-apocalyptic disco-punk brass band, to name a few. And many of our engineers are artists who make creative coding projects.

Early last year, a group of designers, engineers, data scientists, and marketers here came up with the idea of starting a regular meetup focused on our mutual interest in creative coding. We host reading groups, workshops, screenings, and studio visits, and we go on field trips to exhibitions and conferences. We call it Creative Coding Club.

Creative Coding Club is an opportunity to further our understanding and appreciation of code as a creative–and often, political–practice. We held a Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon to increase diversity and representation of minorities in articles about creative coding, led workshops on three.js, p5.js, and codesandbox, and have regular reading groups exploring topics such as cyberfeminism, racial justice, design justice, and the ethical implications of artificial intelligence. We also hosted our first Creative Coding Project Jam to gather like-minded creators and get inspired by new ideas and technologies.

For our first event this year, we're inviting Taeyoon Choi—an artist, writer, organizer, and cofounder of the School for Poetic Computation—to give a keynote presentation on the environmental impact of code and host a workshop focused on decentralized protocols. Taeyoon will talk about ways of thinking about distributed, peer-to-peer learning, which he also unpacked in an interview with Laurel Schwulst for The Creative Independent.


Read on for some of the many artists, books, and talks inspiring CCC right now:

How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell

Selected by Carlos Sanchez, Senior Graphic Designer

Lots of fun tidbits on how capitalism has informed the tech industry’s approach to product at the expense of users’ emotional well-being, despite having a “human-centered” rhetoric.

!!Con: The Joy, Excitement, and Surprise of Computing

Selected by Jenn Su, Software Engineer

One of my favorite talks from !!Con 2019 was Nabil Hassein’s keynote, Finding the joy and excitement in a... colonial tech world, which addressed the cultural and historical implications of programming and the class character of knowledge.

Expanded Internet Art: Twenty-First-Century Artistic Practice and the Informational Milieu
by Ceci Moss

Selected by Lindsay Howard, Senior Marketing Manager

I've been following Ceci's work since she was the Senior Editor of Rhizome.org, and then went on to curate some of my favorite exhibitions at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Her book is required reading for anyone interested in how internet-based art practices are expanding beyond the web.

Nicky Case

Selected by Tom Lum, Frontend Developer

The Evolution of Trust
inspired me to learn web development. It blew me away to see what you can use the web to make. Nicky's work is somehow always insightful, personal, and fun.

Trash

Selected by Katheryn Thayer, Brand Content Director

My friend Hannah Donovan is the founder of this AI video editor app. It asks you to select a mood, then upgrades your dinky iPhone videos into much more polished edits you can tinker with and add soundtracks to. It’s a great example of easy, delightful tech that still asks users to make creative decisions.

Everything Has A Resonant Frequency: On Crystals, Networks, and Crystal Networks by Ingrid Burrington

Selected by Amanda Pickering, Software Engineer

Radical Networks is an annual conference that promotes artistic, grassroots activist, and experimental work on the world wide web. As someone who spends a lot of time thinking (and fretting) about where technology comes from, I appreciated how Ingrid’s talk on crystals went deeply into the relationship between supply chains, capitalism, colonialism, the history of technology, and current digital and physical trends in a thoughtful and cohesive way.

CW&T

Selected by Rosana Liang, Software Engineer

CW&T (Che-Wei Wang and Taylor Levy) create thoughtfully engineered and unique objects that are made to augment our interactions with everyday surroundings. One of my favorite projects is Earth Clock, a web-based digital clock assembled from views of Earth from above that resemble numbers (you can even download it as a screensaver!).

Support creative coding projects on Kickstarter, and join the club! Kickstarter is hiring.