] Coding Kente
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The Veranda of Floating Threads

Coding Kente

The ‘test strips’ in this video have been created by RNDR (a design studio for interactive media) by using a specially devised software program that takes text as an input. The strips are a visual translation of the text in the essays inspired by the so-called Huffman encoding, a method of optimally and losslessly compressing data consisting of a row of symbols. This cod-ing is used, among other things, in data communication and for digital images. To create the visuals the program looks at the letters and words in the essay, its order, but also how many times a letter is used in the essay.

Then it maps each letter to a symbol and size, with the goal to be as efficient as possible. This means for instance that often occurring characters get simpler and smaller symbols. Using this method each text can become an input to create an endless series of weaving patterns that still con-nect to the coded language in the original kente weaving. The software to create the images is made in OPENRNDR, the open source framework for creative coding for which RNDR is the initiator and the main developer.

RNDR is a design studio for interactive media that develops ‘tools’ that are only finished by how they are used. Their work explores and engages with hybrid space as it embraces both the digital and the physical. RNDR was founded in 2017 in The Hague, (NL). Its main members have years of experience as partners, computer scientists, designers, art directors and developers at LUST and LUSTlab.