Category: misc

Open Data Summit – Creative Labs

ODI Summit 2015I’ve been happily asked by the Open Data Institute to curate their Creative Labs, as part of their excellent annual Summit, taking place in that London tomorrow, Tues 3rd Nov 2015. I took the name “creative labs” to heart, and invited around twenty lovely artists, researchers and otherwise confused people, all taking a wide-eyed approach to technology, to come along and do activities outside of any top-down structure. People taking part:

If you’re at the summit come and check it out.. It’ll be running from 11am until 4pm. There’ll be headphone performances running through the day, showcasing live coding and other forms of strange technological music performance, as well as mini-installations, hands-on activities, and people trying out new ideas, looking for feedback.. Some of it will be open data driven, and it’ll all be in the wider spirit of open exploration.

This is connected with other alternative hack events as part of the Inhabiting the Hack project.

Hugh Davies concert

Here’s the outcome of my LX-80 meddling, a performance curated by James Mooney as part of his Sounds Heard weekend. The printer performs a piece by Hugh Davies at the start, and I do my live coding bit at the end:

Live coding the Epson LX-80

Here’s my first go at live coding the Epson LX-80, in preparation for the Hugh Davies concert in Leeds on 17th October. I’m just sending characters to print, and changing the print speed.. Already getting some interesting timbres out. It’s in sync with the rest of my Tidal stuff, although gets a bit behind towards the end when I send it too much data.. It catches up in the end.

Reminds me of seeing the awesome Treewave at the runme/dorkbot citycamp in 2004:

Post barrow

Just back from an inspiring few days in Barrow at Digital Media Labs.

Among other things I had a fun couple of improv sessions with Shelly, in order to see whether Gemma could see differences in brain activity (via EEG) between solo and collaborative live coding. Here’s one of them:

When I got back home I did this stream, the start inspired by a strange noise that cropped up halfway through the above..

Protected: Open letter to Sound and Music Computing committee

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Inhabiting the Hack

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I’ve been running the inhabiting the hack project with Helen ThornhamEdgar Gómez Cruz and a range of arts practitioners and organisations, exploring alternative hackathons. Above is a photo of a group drawing exercise from the “Uncanny Valley” retreat in Burbage Valley with Lovebytes, and below is a video from the “Wrekshop” with Paul Granjon at Access Space. More to come!

Live code improv

Here’s a recording of a screencast sent to the IBC hackfest in Amsterdam as part of a TOPLAP extravaganza.

Daphne Oram award

Daphne Oram on her Oramics machine

I gave the inaugural BSA Award Lecture for Digital Innovation at the British Science Festival in Bradford earlier this week. It’s a special honour because the award is given in the name of Daphne Oram, happily her niece came to the lecture, who told me she painted on the Oramics machine when she visited her Aunt. I was in too much of a pre-talk fluster to write down her name, sadly.

The talk itself was called “Live coding: creating languages for making music”. It wasn’t recorded, but here’s a nice interview which I think captures most of what I was trying to say very well.

The Generative Manifesto, August 2000

generative-manifestoThe Generative Manifesto
Ade Ward and Alex McLean (Slub)
Presented at the Institute for Contemporary Arts, 23rd August 2000

  1. Attention to detail – that only hand made generative music can allow (code allows you to go deeper into creative structures)
  2. Realtime output and compositional control – we hate to wait (it is inconceivable to expect non-realtime systems to exhibit signs of life)
  3. Construct and explore new sonic environments with echoes from our own. (art reflects human narrative, code reflects human activity)
  4. Open process, open minds – we have nothing to hide (code is unambiguous, it can never hide behind obscurity. We seek to abolish obscurity in the arts)
  5. Only use software applications written by ourselves – software dictates output, we dictate software (authorship cannot be granted to those who have not authored!)

Events rhino

I just had a total blast at Sonic Pattern and the Textility of Code. I wrote a little bit about it over on Weaving Codes.

It seems people still aren’t getting tired of the word ‘algorave’, now looking forward to

  • xCoAx 2015, in Glasgow. The third edition of this conference which really plugged a gap in my world.. I went to the first edition in Bergamo which was excellent, the very well conceived call for participation drew a wide range of thinkers and makers together. I couldn’t make the second one but am happy to be presenting a paper about live coding collaboration, and performing at the algorave with some greats.
  • Then much of the live coding field descending on Yorkshire for an Algorave in Sheffield and a three day conference in Leeds that I have the pleasure of organising as part of an excellent team.
  • Then thankfully things slow down for the summer, but looking forward to spending some time in Vancouver and playing the ISEA Algorave there together with fine algorave veterans both human and computational.
  • Then to Tilburg with Yee-King for the huge Incubate festival, which includes a little Algorave. It’ll be good to see Leafcutter do his first ‘official’ algorave, although he’s been bringing algorithms to actual raves for quite some time. Stalwarts Sam and Norah will also be there. It’ll be techno.

I’ve also got a load of collaborative alternative hackathons planned, including one at the ODI summit, as well as a public lecture to be announced very soon..