A Classy Context Free Book

February 2nd 18:55
by why

The Context Free community has assembled this remarkable coffee table book of art from their gallery. Each page is an image and its code, illustrating the notable and succinct cunning of their little tool. The book says 2005 – 2007, but it looks like it was published the other day some time ago.

I hope this sets a precedent for the Processing people, who have made a habit of putting out some absurdly thick textbooks of late. This Context Free book is slim and punchy: 150 pages of just graphics and code. It’s not exhaustive and it doesn’t narrate, but it looks fun and it gets right to the graphics. In the spectrum of Hack-Ed literature, this quadrant is far too sparsely populated. (Also, I understand that Dan Shiffman’s Processing book is (maybe?) more bite-sized and gentle.)

For some close-ups, go fullscreen and they show a few pages.

Too expensive for you? Prefer Processing or NodeBox? Make your own. I mean there’s code all over the web. And if you get back to me with a link, I’ll be sure to pass it on to the readers here.

Now begin the comments …



said on February 2nd 19:44

when will you make a port of hackety hack for mac os x ppc im eager to use it


said on February 3rd 00:53

How would you feel about a Shoes design book?


said on February 3rd 01:30

A very minor quibble: 2008-01-28 isn’t quite ‘the other day’.


said on February 3rd 05:20

which do you prefer? halibut or cod?

do nascimento

said on February 4th 20:39

So, I got up to the challenge and did my own book. I don’t use Processing tough, I use the browser. I hope that still counts.

Whatever you can do with plain html (and inline CSS) – no images, no flash (duh). I call it markup art, but you may find it with different names.

And I have a link.


Check it out. And submit your own stuff.
That’s pure fun to create – It kinda brings up all the narrativeness of the web interface that was lurking inside the ever-so-purposefully markup.


said on February 5th 08:05

I had actually never heard of Context Free before – this stuff is amazing.


said on February 5th 15:37

Sometimes people act like vultures around _why. Give the guy a break!


said on February 9th 19:22

this book is on my coffee table!


said on February 11th 02:26

Is _why becoming a falconer again? You’d think these vultures could find another shoulder to perch on.


said on February 13th 19:38

Thanks so much for the nice review of our book. I indeed published it about a year ago. The artwork was culled from submissions to the Context Free gallery through about October 2007. I’ll probably wait another year before doing a second edition.


said on February 27th 13:09

That’s a great idea. And that Blurb has a real classy site. Purchased!


said on March 3rd 00:33

Context free seems very cool. For those of us who are not programmers by nature but designers and artists. Please provide some tutorials. The more information about this software, the better.

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