Processing Community Day Tokyo

This article is also available in Japanese.

We organized Processing Community Day 2019 Tokyo at Yahoo LODGE community space on February 2nd. The objective of PCD can be found on the website of Processing Foundation:

A day to celebrate art, code, and diversity —
For PCD 2019, we would like to broaden the reach and impact of this community by organizing with hundreds of Processing communities around the world. The Processing Foundation will be organizing a Processing Community Day in Los Angeles as well as inviting node organizers from all over the world to join us in organizing events in multiple locations.

For the morning session, we had two guest speakers prof. Kubota (Tama Art University) and prof. Hayama (Senshu University). Prof. Kubota talked about aesthetics of computational art through color scheme and blending, using p5.js editor on the screen.

Keynote by prof. Kubota

Prof. Hayama talked about generative and procedural art from the perspective of mathematics, for example, the golden ratio. The first slides were filled with formulas, but soon we saw examples of beautiful geometries.

Keynote by prof. Hayama with the cover of his book to be published soon

In the afternoon, we had two programs in parallel: workshops and lightning talks. Thanks to Yahoo, we had access to 5 separate rooms to host 2-hour intensive workshops. They covered a wide range of topics related to Processing and p5.js from basics of graphics to advanced rendering such as GPU acceleration and game development as well as machine learning using ml5.js and drawing robots using grbl. Generously, all the workshop leaders shared their codes and slides after the PCD.

Ritoco’s workshop with many flowers
Scott Allen’s workshop with a drawing robot

I hosted the lightning talks and 14 people presented, again, various topics such as video installations in museums, programming education for elementary school and tips about daily coding by professionals and emerging artists. Also, mediums are not limited graphical outputs on displays but including book covers, LINE stickers and CNC machines.

Showcasing a processing sketch made by 10-year old student

As an organizer of PCD Tokyo, this was the first time for us hosting an event with more than 100 participants. I learned from the participation in the first PCD in Boston a year ago and the PCD organizers’ kit by Processing Foundation to have an inclusive event for people with various backgrounds and skills. On one hand I did not want to have the day too technical, but on the other hand I kept the event not merely a gathering of friends. I insisted to keep workshops small (10 participants per group) and to make lightning talks open to topics such as diversity in programming education rather than a showcase of finished works. Also, advice from Zach Lieberman was helpful when we talked on Skype during his open office.

I found that hospitality is one of the most important things when organizing an event; regardless of the topic, the festivals and workshops I enjoyed always had good hospitality. Although we are low on budget, I ordered rice-ball lunch for the volunteers and I bought a pile of snacks for the staffs and workshop leaders. Some of them brought snacks too, which made me comfortable to be in this community. The volunteers worked hard, and also every workshop had at least a volunteer to help participants when they have technical issues.

The keynotes and talks were live streamed on YouTube. We decided to do so at the last minute, but thanks to the hard work by one of the staffs, Ioto, we made the streaming and now it is archived on YouTube (although the talks are in Japanese, you can find a famous figure on the screen at the beginning of the video!). And I would like to thank Daito Manabe, who also watched the streaming and shared it on Twitter.

The PCD was not only about the one-day event but also about making the community closer; deconbatch, who was not able to come to the event, posted Processing sketches hourly on Twitter to celebrate the event. I am glad that the community is not temporary but will continue to inspire each other on online platforms.

To close the article, I would like to thank the organizers, volunteers, workshop leaders, speakers, Yahoo and all the participants to make this event successful. While preparing the event, I had precious encounters such as Woosung (PCD Seoul), Guillaume and Rodrigo (PCD Montreal), thanks to Processing Foundation (especially Xin Xin for organizing PCD worldwide) by giving us an amazing opportunity to collaborate. Finally, I would like to credit Shion Fukushima for taking the photos throughout the event, which are also used in this article.