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people studying at laptops in SFPC space paper notes about coordinate systems spelling out N E T A people comparing notes on paper and in code on a laptop a group sfpc creative coding bootcamp photo, with projected stars on top

Creative Coding Bootcamp (online)

  • Total of five classes and additional study sessions held over three weeks.
  • Classes will be held twice a week. Teachers and TAs will be available for additional one-on-one discussions through office hours throughout the session.
  • Let us know your email here and we’ll let you know AS SOON AS the next dates are announced.

School for Poetic Computation’s Bootcamp introduces the foundations of coding to beginners by creating visual art and animations in openFrameworks. This 5 session class will now be open to online participation for the first time and we welcome anyone who wants to learn to code. The bootcamp will be taught by Robby Kraft with teaching assistance from Ilona Brand and Zachary Lieberman.

Students will be coding in C++, learning concepts like variables, memory, and scope; branching, looping, boolean evaluations, and logic; functions, recursion, and events; object-oriented design; and working with media like video, sound, and responding to keyboard and mouse inputs. Students will become competent in Xcode/Visual Studio, GitHub, and openFrameworks.

Who are the teachers?

  • Robby Kraft, Teacher - is an origami artist, educator, and software engineer based in New York City.
  • Ilona Brand, Teaching Assistant - is a freelance tech generalist building technology to empower communities.
  • Zach Lieberman, Visiting Teacher - is a new media artist, designer, computer programmer, and educator.
  • This class is organized by Lauren Gardner of the School for Poetic Computation.

How will the class be conducted?

We will conduct the class online via Zoom between 1 - 3 pm EST on Tuesday’s and Thursdays. Teachers and TA’s will be available at dedicated hours through the week for individual questions and discussion.

In addition to online classes and one-on-ones, we will be using Slack for communication, GitHub for sharing course material, Google calendar to stay organized and to schedule one-on-ones. You do not need to create accounts on these services yet, we will send you information once you are accepted. Please be prepared to dedicate up to 5 hours of additional study and work time to the class outside of the two hours of class time each week.

SFPC fosters a collaborative and relaxed learning environment. We value your questions and want to make sure all students feel comfortable engaging with the teachers and material fully. Although we will not be sitting around the same table, we are committed to offer the same level of support and dedication to this cohort of students.

Click here to see what last semester’s bootcamp class felt like from a student’s perspective.

What is expected of me?

  • Come to all classes and thoughtfully engage with your classmates, teachers and TAs.
  • We are looking for autodidacts from all backgrounds who are curious, generous and open.
  • We welcome students with a broad array of technical experiences–no coding experience is required, but a basic comfort level / curiosity with technology is preferred.
  • There are no prerequisites. Students are required to have a computer (Mac/Windows/Linux), an internet connection, and pre-install Xcode or Visual Studio. Links will be provided before class.
We encourage you to show your work.
We encourage you to show your work.
And give / receive feedback from peers.
And give / receive feedback from peers.

Is this the right class for me?

If this sounds like you, then YES!

  • I don’t know code and want to learn so I can make 2D-based or visual art.
  • I know how HTML/CSS works but haven’t delved deeper into coding.
  • My art practice is music/photo/design/language(…) based and I want to learn code so I can play around with some ideas.
  • I have learned code in the past but I could use a basic review of concepts (ie, a getting started course makes sense).
  • I’d like to have a better grasp on the basics of code (variables, functions, objects) and to learn how to ask questions / get unstuck faster.

If this sounds like you, you should consider signing up for an upcoming ‘Recreating the Past’ class with Zach. Note that bootcamp is geared towards beginners and you may find the first classes a little slow.

  • I have a good understanding of what variables, functions, control structures are. I even may have done object / OOP programming.
  • I am a developer at my job but want to expand my knowledge of using code for artistic purposes.
  • I have experience with code (C++/P5/P5js/pyton, etc) but not openFrameworks - or - it’s been a while since I’ve played with it.


Weekly class times

  • Twice a week, 2 hours of mandatory online class (dates and hours TBD)
  • Approximately 3 hours of Teacher & TA support during the week based on student availability. Use this time to schedule one-on-ones to review any problems or questions you might have about assignments.

Class 1

  • building openFrameworks applications
  • introduce basic C++ syntax and openFrameworks graphics functions
  • working with the painter’s algorithm
  • creating our own variables and functions

Class 2

  • functions that return values
  • openFrameworks utility methods, random numbers, time, using sine curves
  • animation and changing states
  • control structures: branching and looping
  • event handlers: mouse and keyboard

Class 3

  • container data structures: C arrays and C++ vectors
  • object-oriented design
  • classes, methods, properties, and states
  • ofPoint and other openFrameworks primitives

Class 4

  • openFrameworks object types: polylines, vectors
  • cameras, transformations and the matrix stack
    • rotate, translate scale
    • push, pop matrices
  • function recursion

Class 5

  • ofxAddons, community extensions to openFrameworks
  • reading and writing data
  • displaying images, playing audio, capturing video

How much is tuition?

$550 USD. Upon payment, your space in the class will be reserved.

We are committed to being fully transparent about how we make and spend money. In the spirit of radical openness and generosity, on which the school was founded, we open-source our finances on Github. There, you can read financial reports and download raw statements.

What if I can’t go, can I get a refund?

  • Yes, we can give you 100% refund up to 2 days before class starts
  • 50% refund after 2 days, until the first day of class
  • No refunds can be given after the first day of class

How do I apply?

Applications are now closed but give us your email here and we’ll let you know as soon as we announce the next dates.

We will be accepting up to 17 students on a rolling basis. We will respond to your application within 2 days of submission. Rolling admissions means there are fewer and fewer slots the longer you wait, so if you’re interested in the program get your application in early!

Feel free to reach out to us if you have questions about the school:

SFPC is filled with amazing people and an open mindset to learning, and doing. It has taught me different ways of thinking, ones that I would be sure to bring back to my endeavors outside of the art world.

Ying Quan Tan

I'm half way through the program and I'm already missing being here. SFPC was a much needed breath of fresh air in my hectic creative existence, an unlikely place to stop and remind myself what was it I was into in the first place.

Fernando Ramallo

SFPC messed up my life a little bit. Actually, I think it's going to mess it up a lot. Before this program I thought I knew what I was doing and what the shape of my life was going to look like. Now I don't and each day I wake up scared I won't get to be a part of a community like this again. Everyday also now brings a fresh but welcome creative terror to overcome. Also I think I may have ended up moving to New York accidentally.

Amit Runchal

SFPC is the best place you can explore your interest as much as you want and the place you start to write your own poem.

Yosuke Sakai

SFPC is not really a school or a course — it is more like a door into an extraordinary world. It is driven by passion, kindness and the thrill of teaching and learning. I would love to live those inspiring weeks all over again.

Jesse Wolpert

SFPC was amazing — life-changing even — i want to do all this stuff for the rest of my life!

Rachel Uwa

I've never been consistently surprised and inspired as much as at SFPC.

Jonathan Dahan

If you think SFPC is what you think, that will be wrong. SFPC is a space for a group of people who badly want to try something new. SFPC will become a spirit embedded in your blood which makes you think things with a different angle, just like its motto: more poetry, less demo.

Paul Cheng

I learned a lot at SFPC. It was only a 2 week program last time, but I learned many things from other participants and got the chance to explore and fail freely. SFPC helped me to reshape the way I think. It's your turn.

Hyojung Seo

School For Poetic Computation is equal parts The Factory, childhood blanket fort, and mad scientist's lab. I learned a ton from the teachers and the whole SFPC community in a huge collaborative and exploratory environment.

Lee Tusman

Attending SFPC is like walking into an all day buffet supplied with food from hyper-talented chefs. There's more than you could ever consume, naturally, and you will most likely find yourself requiring a digestion period, but holy crap is it tasty.

Daniel Wilson

My takeaway from SFPC: Never settle for code that isn't at least a little bit magic

Nathan Rosenberg

In SFPC I found a great community and it gave me the confidence to take on coding projects I couldn't have done before.

Scott Leinweber

SFPC is the purest, most honest exchange of knowledge and experience among peers I have ever experienced. It is a supportive space where everyone learns from everyone, and bridges are built that continue to be strengthened for years to come. You won’t get a certificate or a title at the end of it, but I would be amazed if you ever looked at your world the same again. I haven’t.

Ramsey Nasser