Dionysius is the design of a system for generating media art in a Dionysiac state. What exactly does that mean? A Dionysiac state is one in which you are feeling more than thinking, very much centered on flow instead of anything cerebral. Currently, there is no good way to make things with code in such a state. Visual DJ processes and live coding is a step toward that, but you are never not aware that you are still coding. And since nothing like this exists, a new system must be created to allow a person to interface with the creation of media art in this state.
I want the device that creates code to disappear the same way a musical instrument falls away to a talented musician. Only by removing the input mechanism from your consciousness can a person focus on the creation of the output in and of itself. I also hoped to achieve a similar learning curve that a musical instrument has, anyone can pick it up and do basic things, but you have to spend time with it or have talent to do the most difficult things. A musical instrument is a very apt metaphor in my opinion, as music is very similar to code in terms of the different ways people can experience it. It can be as Apollonian as a symphony, when a talented coder sits down to write, but music also allows for experienced player to discover new forms by sitting down and “jamming”. Since thematically this instrument is similar to a music instrument, I used it as inspiration for guiding the building and layout of it as well.
However, trying to create a single instrument to do all of code is like trying to create a single musical instrument that can replicate a symphony. That’s why I’ve decided to break the concept of “code” up into different instruments. If a traditional program is a symphony, I need to decide what an oboe is, what a violin is, etc. In my mapping, I decided to break code up into the following instruments: vector geometry, pixels, audio, information/text, and actions.
Dionysius was built in Openframeworks, Arduino, and Supercollider.