Educational Program

Fall 2017 Courses

The Honk-Tweet was founded as a platform for technologists and artists to combine making a living with their creative, and intellectual pursuits. The idea is to build a collective that works on paid projects that also help develop the skillsets they need to continue to sustainably pursue their creative endeavors. That is why we are both a for-profit production company AND an ever-growing community. We invest time and resources into educational programs that train future collaborators.

The mission of our educational program is to increase technological literacy among college students and artists living in Newark and adjacent areas.

We want our students to understand software, hardware, and systems at a fundamental level, and to understand the creative potential these technologies have. Students that complete our core curriculum should be able to develop and implement such technologies professionally and to communicate with other technologists in professional contexts.

The Honk-Tweet was founded as a platform for technologists and artists to combine making a living with their creative, and intellectual pursuits. The idea is to build a collective that works on paid projects that also help develop the skillsets they need to continue to sustainably pursue their creative endeavors. That is why we are both a for-profit production company AND an ever-growing community. We invest time and resources into educational programs that train future collaborators.

The mission of our educational program is to increase technological literacy among college students and artists living in Newark and adjacent areas.

We want our students to understand software, hardware, and systems at a fundamental level, and to understand the creative potential these technologies have. Students that complete our core curriculum should be able to develop and implement such technologies professionally and to communicate with other technologists in professional contexts.

Creative Coding

This course explores programming for creative works using p5.js, a JavaScript library. Programming opens the possibility to create not only tools, but systems, environments, and new modes of expression. The class will introduce programming concepts, and show how these concepts can be applied to make creative web products that span many different disciplines.

The first four weeks serve as an introduction to programming through p5.js, and the rest of the workshop is dedicated to applying and expanding on that knowledge base with a focus on making creative projects and exploring the possibilities of computer programming (including apis, data visualization, natural language processing and machine learning).

This course does not require previous programming experience. There will be a minimum of 2 hours of outside of class work each week.

The class meets on Saturdays from 5:30 to 7:30 pm.
Students must bring their own laptop.

Week 1: Coding your first sketch

  • Coding is a creative tool used by artists, scientists, programmers and designers to create a huge variety of interactive experiences.
  • Covers what is p5.js?, setup and draw functions, drawing shapes, variables and using mouse interaction

Week 2: Generating, saving and modifying data

  • This session will review variables and introduce arrays, and how to store, modify, and reuse data; and how to use Random to get random values from the computer.

Week 3: Your code can make logical decisions

  • This session will introduce functions. We will cover the basics of functions, functions with parameters, and returning values from functions. It will also introduce conditionals, making decisions in code

Week 4: Objects and collisions

  • Use objects to save the state of more complicated elements over time as they change. Learn how to track location and report collisions between objects. Learn how to use an object to make a variation of an element with very little code.

Week 5: HTML, CSS and DOM manipulation

  • Learn how websites go from your text editor to the screen. Create a web page and use p5.js to modify the dom. Use css in a creative way to make animations.

Week 6: Data visualization and APIs

  • We’ll cover the purpose of data visualizations, what an API is, how to get data from it, and ways to display that data with maps and charts.

Week 7: Generative literature and bots

  • Cover the way computers understand and “learn” language. Use the rita.js p5 library to create projects based on existing texts.

Week 8: Machine learning

  • Learn about machine learning how artists are using this technology. Cover Wekinator, and either create a new p5 sketch or use an existing one with wekinator to train a neural network.

Leandra Tejedor is a co-founder of Vidcode, an award-winning software that teaches teens computer programming through their favorite hobby: video-making. Vidcode has reached nearly 300,000 students in over 113 countries. She studied Design and Interactive Media in undergrad, and fell in love with the creative potential of code, and started working for all teens to find a path to computer programming early in their lives. In 2017 she was named one of Forbes 30 under 30 in education.

Physical Computing with Arduino

This seven-week course gives you the main skills to accomplish a project using the Arduino Development Board for creating interactive instruments and objects.

The class meets on Mondays from 7:00 to 9:00 pm.
Bringing a laptop is recommended.

Week​ ​1:​ Introduction​ to​ Arduino​ ​​and ​the​ arduino​ IDE.​

  • The Blinking LED: ​Turn ​​on​ ​a​ light-emitting​ diode​ learning​ ​​the​ basic​ ​rules ​​to​ plug​ and​ ​play​ ​an ​Arduino.​
    Materials: ​Resistors,​ color​ LEDs.

Week ​2:​ ​The​ ​Arduino​ IDE ​and​ the​ ​basics​ ​​of ​Arduino​ ​Coding.

  • ​Building​ ​a​ ​Simon​ ​Says: Learn ​the​ first​ lines​ ​of​ ​​code​ to​ ​​send​ ​and​ ​receive electrical​ ​signals​ ​with​ ​the​ ​Arduino and learn the​ ​main​ ​concepts​ ​of​ ​Physical​ Interface.​
    Materials:​ Resistors,​ ​​leds,​ ​buttons.

Week​ ​3: Sensors​ ​and​ basic​ ​​electronics

  • My​ first​ ​Theremin: Use ​sensors ​of​​ different​ ​kinds​ track​ ​the​ electrical​ ​changes​ of​ ​the ​measurements​ ​​of​ this​ ​​sensors​ ​and ​​transform​ ​this​ signals​ in​ ​sound ​​frequencies.
    Materials:​ ​Photoresistors,​ ​infrared​ ​distance​ ​sensors,​ ultrasonic​ distance ​​sensors, ​​thermal sensors, ​etc,​ small ​​speakers.

Week 4: Motors

  • The​ ​Robotic​ ​Drum​ ​Machine: Create​ ​a ​​mechanical​ ​drum​ ​stick​ ​that​ ​is​ activated​ by​ a​​ ​button​ input,​ or​ ​is​ triggered​ automatically ​from​ the​ ​code. ​​The​ ​drum​ ​stick​ ​can​ ​hit​ ​any percussive​ ​instrument​ to​ ​create​ a ​​musical​ ​rhythm.
    Materials:​ ​Step​ ​motors,​ ​DC​ ​motors,​ Resistors,​ ​motor​ voltage​ drivers​​ ​(Arduino’s​ motor​ shields).

Week ​​5: ​Connecting​ ​Arduino​ ​with​ ​the​ computer.​ (Controlling​ Music​ and​ Visuals)

  • ​Design a​ ​​physical​ controller: Connect Arduino​ and​ Pure​ Data​ ​using ​​a USB ​cable and via​ Bluetooth.​

Week​ ​6:​ ​Final ​Project​ development

Week 7: Demo Day!

Present your work to friends & family.

Sebastian Gonzalez Dixon is an Interaction ​and​ Sound​ Installation​ Artist​. He ​​investigates ​and​ ​develops ​​electronic ​​systems​ ​for​ ​the​ ​processing​ of​​ ​audio ​​and video​ ​signals.​ ​His​ ​works​ ​concentrates ​in​​ the creation​ ​of​ ​immersive ​​environments,​ ​smart objects​ and electronic​ instruments,​ for​ different​ kinds​ ​of​ ​interactive ​​experiences.​ ​He has lectured ​​in art​ ​and​ technology​ for​ ​the​ Performing​ Arts career​ at​ ​​Pontifical​ ​Xavierian ​University, Bogotá and​ ​the ​Digital​ Arts​ ​career​ ​at​ Unilatina​ University,​ ​Bogota.​ ​His​ ​artworks​ have​ been presented​ in​ ​events​ ​such​ ​as​ ​Sonar​ Festival​ Barcelona,​ Flussi​ ​Festival​ ​Napoles,​ ​and​ ArtBo​ Art​ Fair, Bogotá.

Audio Editing, Production and
Sound Design with Ableton Live

This course will offer a comprehensive survey of technical and creative approaches to working with audio in Ableton Live. Lessons will focus on the fundamentals of sampling, editing recorded sound and designing new sounds from the ground up. During this seven-week class, students will study and recreate classic examples of sample-based music, complete hands-on projects to workshop new skills, and work on creative pieces of their own.

The class meets on Tuesdays from 7:00 to 9:00 pm.
Students must bring their own laptop.

Week 1: Basics of DAW environment. Tape splicing and history of audio editing.

Week 2: Ableton session and arrangement view. Sequencing and MIDI.

Week 3: Creative approaches to audio editing and manipulation.

Week 4: Musique concrète, Tape collage, student projects.

Week 5: History of sampling, contemporary approaches.

Week 6: Pete Rock: T.R.O.Y. – recreating a classic.

Week 7: Student projects, open workshop, group critiques.

Matthew D. Gantt is a composer and sound artist based in New York City. He is an active collaborator, and has performed at the New Museum, Roulette, the Stone, IRCAM Academy (Paris), Outpost Artist Resources, Fridman Gallery, Knockdown Center, Abrons Art Center, Silent Barn, Panoply Performance Laboratory and countless DIY spaces across the US. He has been an artist-in-residence at Signal Culture (NY), released music with Orange Milk Records and presented virtual reality work at Time Media, Inc. He holds an M.M. from CUNY Brooklyn College, teaches music technology to a diverse group of students through Face The Music at Kaufman Center, and currently works as a studio assistant to electronic pioneer Morton Subotnick.

Intro to Audio/Video Editing

This course is designed to give beginners a comprehensive introduction to the principles of video editing, basic proficiency in Adobe Premiere, and an understanding of audio post-production processes. Students will be given the chance to apply their skills towards a hands-on editing project that they will take from start to finish in a typical editorial workflow.

The class meets on Thursdays from 7:00 to 9:00 pm.
Students must bring their own laptop.

Week 1: Introduction to postproduction workflow, file management, and tools.

Week 2: From prepping an edit to rough cut.

Week 3: From rough cut to final cut.

Week 4: Audio Lab – working with audio for video.

Week 5: Finishing, exporting, and project management.

Week 6: Editing tricks, final critique.

Zarah Cabañas is a video artist and Co-Founder of Space Acres Studios in the Catskills of NY. As vj Lady Firefly, Zarah creates live visual experiences, most recently collaborating with The Roots, Erykah Badu, Dave Chappelle, and Yasiin Bey. With an extensive background in creative video direction and post-production, Zarah was Associate Creative Director and Video Production Director with Blue Man Group, and Field Producer at NHK Japan Broadcasting. She is also a Guest Lecturer at NYU, educator at Manhattan Neighborhood Network, former Artist-in-Residence at The Experimental Television Center, former member of The Office for Creative Research, and Film/TV alumni of New York University: Tisch School of the Arts. Lately Zarah has split her remaining time between music and martial arts. Her newest musical project is City and Forest, a collaboration with partner in crime Matt Werden. http://acres.space/

Matt Werden has:
Been the Chief Engineer at the legendary LoHo Studios.
Jumped out of a helicopter. While staring at the Eiger.
Ridden to the Super Bowl with Donnie Wahlberg.
Graduated from Berklee College of Music.
Transmitted murder ballads into space at sunset.
Escaped.
Made records with bluegrass superstars.
Slept it off.
Professored.
Helped take some mimes throughout the world.
A few guitars.
Eaten fugu.
Coached a world champion.
A few new musical projects.
Plenty of ideas.

Lately Matt splits his time between Brooklyn and Space Acres, a frequent traveller of Rte Future 86. When he’s not making records and playing guitar you can find him listening to records and playing guitar. http://acres.space/

Systems Thinking & Aesthetics of
Information

This course is a diverse study of systems, information, and their aesthetics. Only after a system intakes data can we have information, from which we can cull insights using intelligence. If the information exists as symbols, signs and signals, then the presentation of info is governed by syntax. We’ll study how aesthetics serve as a system that judges, permits, and shapes syntax.

The class meets on Wednesdays from 7:00 – 9:00 pm.
Bringing a laptop is recommended.

Week 1: Information & the systems that love them

  • What is information? How is gathered, stored, transformed, approved,
    distributed, archived? What is process? Why a system?

Week 2: What does culture taste like?

  • Can a menu serve as a recipe for cultural understanding? Cookbooks
    versus secrecy: does tourism permit genuine transparency or promotes
    privilege. (Case studies: thanksgiving; greek funeral cake; The Dumpling)

Week 3: Non-verbal communication

  • Boolean systems and logic gates. Sign language, braille, etc.
    Cryptography and graffiti. What’s a closed system?

Week 4: Audio, Visual, Audio/Visual

  • Hearing and seeing artistic expression. Artists working in systems,
    outside of systems, and with systems.

Week 5: Business Systems

  • Process, workflow, and change management. Collaboration, game theory, KPI.

Week 6: System Failure

  • It’s bound to happen; need we force it? What’s gained in dissembling a
    machine? Root cause, chaos, catastrophe, safety, experience.

Week 7: Modeling

  • How exact to make a model? Machine Learning, problem solving, taxons
    and hierarchy. Case study: Five Ring Systems

Tim Hospodar serves as a trusted advisor to clients on product, process, and decisions by working closely with the system users across a number of teams and ensuring business needs are met.

He employs strong analytical reasoning and critical thinking, manages accounts in retail, financial and gaming verticals, writes code, mines massive data sets, and trains teams.

He can empathize with a client or direct a systems team. He’s working in the tech sector, while maintaining an artist practice.