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

oramics1
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!)

First International Conference on Live Coding

Photo: Jon Harrison
Photo: Jon Harrison

ICLC 2015 is now behind us and was awesome. It was great to have so many enthusiastic people come together, and to witness how far things have come over the past 15-year life of the live coding community. It was also great to work with a great team, Thor Magnusson (co-chair), Kia Ng (scientific chair) and Shelly Knotts (performance chair). Then due to illness Kia was very sadly unable to take part in the latter part of the organisation, but Joanne Armitage stepped up to take on a large part of the local organisation as chair of Workshops and special sessions, I don’t know how we’d have coped otherwise. Ash Sagar also helped with production of off-campus events (i.e. the Algoraves), and helped keep things smooth during the day too.. Jon Harrison did a fantastic job capturing everything on film too, we’ll be uploading the fruits of that too.

Beyond thanking all these people (and there are a great deal more volunteers and collaborators to thank) I’ve been struggling to find words to summarise the conference. Part of the problem is as chair I missed a fair amount of it, while working behind the scenes. We’ve asked the attendees to share conference reports though, so hopefully I will find out what happened this way! It felt really great to get so much of the community together though, and discover that live coding is as interesting and interdisciplinary as ever, while still very much having a playful, fun spirit at its heart. For 2016, we’ve passed the baton on to David Ogborn, who’ll be hosting it in some incredible looking venues in Hamilton, can’t wait…

Thanks so much for coming everyone! An inaugural event will always be a leap of faith for everyone concerned, and we landed it together.