After a slow start we finally got a bit deeper into the coding language of Processing. Not that I could understand more than 10 per cent of what I was doing, but once all the brackets and semicolons were in place we actully had a piece of code = a functioning animation on the screen.
Below some screen shots of the array of falling balls we ended up with:
The afternoon proceeded with another round of mining, but this time with a very meager solid output. The students found more potential sites for collection but ended up just documenting and not bringing anything back. This was partly due to the bulikiness of the found materials and a slight misinterepretation of the mining exercise in general. The first day we discussed the possibilities of engaging with locals to take or buy materials from their personal storage collections in the courtyards, but after some inquiries it turns out (unsurprisingly) that it’s very difficult to track down the owner of a specific pile, and that if you do, they rarely want to give up something to someone like us.
The conclusion was that we need to act like the other garbage collectors who go around the hutongs, only taking things that are obviously left out to be picked up. This is of course rather difficult since you need to learn the rules of the street in order not to disturb this delicate social system.
Meanwhile, we also started the process of categorization and notation. Each object will be defined by a ling string of values including time and location where it was found, person who found it, size, material, colour, weight etc etc. These values will then become variables in the internal organisation/design process in Processing.
More on that to come…