Zachary Lieberman, Theodore Watson
openFrameworks is an open-source, cross-platform C++ library for creative coding.
The library is designed to assist the creative process by providing a simple and intuitive framework for experimentation. What it does is allow beginners and experts alike a starting point for developing real-time software interfaces that move far beyond traditional screen-based interaction and into physical space.
The project was initiated by Zach Lieberman and Theo Watson and was inspired by the following question: can artists make tools at the same time as they make their art? As artists, we took things we learned from projects such as Drawn (Lieberman, 2006) and L.A.S.E.R tag (Watson, GRL, 2007) and tried to find a way to distill them down into building blocks for others. We have always fought for an understanding of art-making as research, and this open-source, tool-making seemed like one creative, useful outlet to publish the results of that research. Our goal was simple: to make a platform for people to easily express themselves, and to be able to build remarkable interactive works.
As we released openFrameworks into the world, we were amazed at the creative avenues people took it down. It was proof of something we had always intuited: better tools lead to better projects.
We started spreading openFrameworks through workshops, in which we helped groups of people make projects, and online, where we tried to make a tight community of hackers and experimenters.
We were continually surprised by the ingenuity and spirit of the community building projects using openFrameworks. From their energy and response, and from the works we've seen made via OF, it seems clear that this project is helping spawn a new generation of artists making interactive art works that are expressive, organic, provoking and unique.
openFrameworks was produced with support from Eyebeam Art and Technology Center, New York, and Hangar Centre de producció d'Arts Visuals, Barcelona. http://eyebeam.org http://hangar.org