aPITAGORAS BY ALBA CORRAL

Pick of the Week #75

This week’s pick is Alba Corral‘s ‘aPitagoras‘, a free Art App which creates concentric circles at the user’s touch. The interactive app allows the user to make their own wallpaper for their mobile device.

The app is an extension of Corral’s artistic practice which uses code to create visual tools in real time, giving life to abstract digital landscape. She also teaches visual programming.

“For a while people have been asking me to create wallpapers for their mobile devices from my artworks,” Corral says, “so I decided to give people the opportunity to create their own wallpapers from generative graphics… In the future I am planning to add a musical element. I would like to see this as an extension of my visual art projects, allowing users to play with them.”

 

“I was interested in working with the latest versions of Processing that allow you to export to Android very easily.” Processing 2.0 has a tutorial on how to build apps for mobile devices that use the Android operating system. The code for Pitagoras is also Open Source and is available from Github.

“The name aPitagoras comes from the source code of the application. I have used the pythagorean theorem formula in the heart of the app to generate the circumferences. The name came from an old Processing sketch I created a while ago, so it made sense to give the app the same name. I am very interested in the Greek mathematician and fond of his school. When I studied the theorem at University I didn’t find it interesting as I couldn’t think of an application for it, but with practice and since I started working in visual programming, I realised that it was very useful and needed. So in a way it’s my homage to Pythagoras.”

 
“I find it fascinating how apps can deeply engage with users, while web pages do not seem to have the same effect. Mobile phones are an extension of the current digital culture, so they are the perfect space for the exhibition of creative works by adding simple interactions. As tactile and mobile technologies are integrated in our culture, you don’t need to give much explanation about the app. Users choose when and how they use apps, and they surprise me with new uses. For example the app can work connected to screens or projectors – it opens new possibilities and new spaces to continue creating works. ”

 

Download aPitagoras for free from Google Play(Android Only)

 
Alba’s Website can be found here
 


Full interview in Spanish & English

- Why did you choose the name aPitagoras?
The name aPitagoras comes from the source code of the application. I have used the pythagorean theorem formula in the heart of the app to generate the circumferences. The name came from an old Processing sketch I created a while ago, so it made sense to give the app the same name. I am very interested in the Greek mathematician and fond of his school. When I studied the theorem at university I didn’t find it interesting as I could not think of an application for it, but with practice and since I started working in visual programming I realised that it was very useful and needed. So on a way it’s my homage to Pythagoras.  

¿Por qué le has dado a la aplicación el nombre de “aPitágoras”?
El nombre aPitagoras es por el código fuente de la aplicacion, en el corazón de la aplicación he utilizado la fórmula del teorema de pitágoras que te permite acceder a cada punto de la circunferencia. Era un sketch bastante antiguo realizado en Processing que ya se llamaba así, asi que era obvio que la aplicación la llamara igualmente. A parte el personaje Pitágoras y toda su escuela me parece muy intrigante. Cuando lo estudié en la Universidad no me parecía nada interesante y no podía proyectar la aplicación que pudiera tener, pero con la práctica y al empezar a hacer programación visual me dí cuenta que era super útil y necesario. Así que es un homenaje.

 

- What inspired you to make the app?
I wanted to make a full app and from a technical point of view I was interested in working with the latest versions of Processing that allow to export to Android very easily. For a while people have been asking me to create wallpapers for their mobile devices from my artworks so I decided to give people the opportunity to create their own wallpapers from generative graphics.

¿Cual ha sido tu fuente de inspiración?
A nivel técnico quería realizar el flujo completo de hacer una aplicación y probando las ultimas versiones de Processing que te permiten exportar para Android fue bastante lógico. Desde hace tiempo me pedían fondos de pantalla para móvil basados en mis piezas visuales, asi que qué mejor dar la oportunidad para que la gente a través de una generación gráfica pudiera hacer sus propios fondos..

 

- How would you situate the app, and how would you like it to be seen?
It’s an art app  to make your own wallpapers in an easy way. In the future I am planning to add a musical element. I would like to see this as an extension of my visual art projects allowing users to play with them.

¿En que terreno has situado la aplicación y como te gustaria que se viera?
La he situado en el contexto de una app art, la utilidad que tiene es puro entretenimiento y poder hacer tus propios fondos de pantalla de manera simple. En un futuro esta aplicacion será también musical. Me gustaría que se viera como una extensión mas de mis proyectos visuales, pero dejando al usuario jugar con ella.

 

- What do you think of apps as spaces for art exhibition?
I find it fascinating how apps can deeply engage with users, while web pages do not seem to have the same effect. Mobile phones are an extension of the current digital culture, so they are the perfect space for the exhibition of creative works by adding simple interactions. As tactile and mobile technologies are integrated in our culture, you don’t need to give much explanation about the app. Users choose when and how they use apps, and they surprise me with new uses. The app can work connected to screens or projectors – it opens new possibilities and new spaces to continue creating works.

¿Cual es tu opinión sobre las aplicaciones móviles como nuevos espacios para creación artística?
Es algo increible como puede llegar una aplicación de movil al usuario. Si hiciera lo mismo en una página web no tendría el mismo efecto. Nuestros móviles son una extensión en esta cultura digital, es el marco perfecto para poder exhibir piezas creativas añadiendo una interacción muy facil de usar, sin explicación, porque lo táctil y el lenguaje móvil forma parte ya de nuestra cultura de uso. Así el usuario elige cuando quiere utilizarla, y cómo, me ha sorprendido las distintas utilizaciones, por ejemplo La aplicación puede usarse como proyecciones, con las conexiones a pantalla de los moviles o los proyectores que van incluidos en algunos dispositivos; esto da muchas posibilidades y el espacio perfecto para seguir creando piezas.

 

- I see you are giving the app away for free. Would you like to charge for apps, and do you think Art apps could become a sustainable source of income for artists?
My plan is to give away these apps for free. In fact the code is open source and you can get it from github (https://github.com/janebeta7/aPitagoras). The benefit is that I am gaining experience in creating apps, which is a new adventure for me, and in the future  I would like to use these skills to create commercial apps. An idea to generate income from the app could be releasing an app with a Lite version (less features) and paid full version. But before I make that decision I would like to continue experimenting with free apps.

- Pitagoras se puede descargar de forma gratuita desde la tienda de Google Play. ¿Piensas cobrar por otras aplicaciones? ¿Crees que las apps podrían llegar a ser una fuente de ingresos para artistas?
Por ahora tengo pensado poner estas aplicaciones gratuitas. De hecho el código está tambien abierto (https://github.com/janebeta7/aPitagoras), me está dando experiencia en crear aplicaciones ya que es un lenguaje bastante diferente a otros, y con el conocimiento espero poder hacer aplicaciones comerciales de otro tipo. Quizá en un futuro pueda plantearme el método de app Lite (con menos funcionalidades) y app de pago. Aun no lo he pensado. Me falta experiencia para poder opinar sobre ello.