I’m hoping to keep October clear for getting things done, but November is looking fun:
- 10th November, full Slub performance at the Mozilla party in at the National Film Museum, London.
- 12-17th November, off to the /* vivo */ International Live Coding Symposium in Mexico City. I’ll be giving a talk called “Is live coding really live?” (spoiler: yes), running a workshop with Dave called “Time as functions in space”, and doing a two-thirds Slub performance with him too.
- 19th November, I need to confirm this 100%, but very likely I will be performing again in London, some exciting new work with Hester Reeve at a major national event.
- 21-23rd November, back in London again for PPIG, it looks likely that there will be a live coding workshop, a performance or two and panel session during the conference.
7/8th September 2012, Leeds – Live Interfaces
As my first act as research fellow at ICSRiM, I’m chairing this conference on live interaction in performance technology, two days of papers and performances, including a (free) club night. The quality of submissions has been fantastic, and we have people coming from 11 different countries outside the UK, can’t wait!
10th September, Slovenia – ICMC 2012
Then I’m off to give a paper on Live notation at the International Computer Music Conference with Hester Reeve. Looking forward to hanging out in Ljubljana, hope to spend some time in the kiberpapa while I’m there (Sunday-Thursday).
16th September, Germany – Documenta festival
This isn’t 100% confirmed, but the book Speaking Code will be launched at Documenta festival, and while I can’t be there, I will still be live coding there. More on this once it’s done..
17th September, Goldsmiths – Graduation
Although I was done with this back in November 2011, this is the final step where I get to wear the stupid clothes. Hoo.
25th September, Leeds – Psychogeography Pecha Kucha
I’ll be trying to argue for computer programming being a form of psychogeography in 20 slides over 6.66 minutes. Drop me a line if you’re interested and I’ll pass on the room info once I know.. The event is organised by Tina Richardson.
29th September, Sheffield – Do It Thissen
Happy to be performing in the exhibition about post-punk Sheffield, I’ll be somehow re-interpreting a wall of 7″ record sleeve cover art. Neil Webb and Ron Wright will be playing too, and Sensoria will be launching their musical map. Register here for a free beer!
Fresh back from holiday, with a lot of things coming up:
- Thursday 21st June, Ruskin Gallery, Cambridge
Live coding at the opening of the Poetry, Language, Code exhibition
- Friday 22nd June, BEAM Festival, Brunel University, Uxbridge
Talking about live coding during the day and performing in the evening
- Friday 29th June, InterFace2012, Birmingham City University
Lunchtime live coding performance, and afternoon live coding workshop
- 27th July, Live Notation Unit, Arnolfini gallery, Bristol
Presenting Speaking code with Geoff Cox, and live coding with Dave Griffiths and Hester Reeve
- 1st August
Starting a two year university Research Fellowship on Human/ Technology Interface at ICSRiM
- 7-8th September, ICSRiM, Leeds
Chairing the Live Interfaces conference on performance technology
- 9-15th September, ICMC, Ljubljana
Presenting Live Notation paper with Hester Reeve
By the way, the paper/performance proposal deadline for the Live Interfaces conference is the end of this Sunday 17th June!
I’m really excited to be working with Hester Reeve on a project funded by the AHRC digital transformations call, bringing together live artists and live coders for a dialogue, hopefully leading to new ideas and approaches within both fields. Live artists work with their body as a medium, and live coders work with abstract symbols, and it will be fascinating to see how these seemingly completely different practices approach one another.
The project is called Live Notation: Transforming Matters of Performance, and the first event will be a performance involving Hester and I on Thursday 22nd March as part of the soon-to-be-announced LoveBytes festival (more on that in my next post). We are not sure what we will do yet, except it will be in a large cinema and involve sound-based dialogue in some way. It will be an experimental performance (as in risky and prone to failure) and we’ll learn something whatever happens.
Later on we will be holding workshops leading to a big conference/performance event around June/July.
Last month was a bit crazy, lots of grant applications in the air and amongst it all my PhD examination with Alan Blackwell and Matthew Fuller. Both are leaders in different fields, it was a real privilege for me to have time with them. It turned out to be a really enjoyable discussion, and they identified only minor corrections which should take me a couple of days to fix.. So a pass!
November also included a fine trip to Piksel festival, where I performed as “Silicone Bake” with Jake Harries. Here’s our blurb:
A new collaboration between singer/guitarist Jake Harries and live coder Alex McLean, a bridge between semi-improvised pop and live coded techno, brought to life with unsolicited tales of sex, death and capitalism.
With live coding increasingly widespread in arts festival calls, live coders must confront the new normality of their practice. Live coders have always argued for focus on the human role in the algorithm, but now they leave the comfort zone of the radical, they find themselves at last on equal terms with traditional musicians who can touch and resonate with their instruments rather than try to weave their music from the functional compositions of computer language.
Through this collaboration ‘Silicone bake’, Jake and Alex explore the algorithmic limits of the 3.5 minute pop song, distracting themselves from the task with the constraints of spam, ignoring the question of the human in the algorithm to celebrate love, death and counterfeit watches.
All lyrics will be taken from spam emails and sung live. All guitars will be plucked and strummed live. All generative algorithms will be edited live. Nobody will die.
It turned out nicely and was a lot of fun, here’s a write-up from pixelache:
“Silicone Bake” -performance ended the saturday evening at USF with a wonderful contrast from the predominant “corporeal volume” of the previous performances with singing, acoustic guitar & live-coded beats & bases. Live coder Alex McLean with his Tidal music improvisation software collaborated with singer/guitarrist (&FLOSS advocate) Jake Harries. The lyrics of the “3.5 minutes pop-songs”, sung beautifully by Jake Harris, were all from spam emails, with themes of love, death and counterfeit watches. Reading the projected Alex’s coding on Tidal was surprisingly effortless and entertaining. The low light & mellow sounds carried us back in time to the intimate small-club-feel of the best MTV Unplugged gigs in mid 90′s, only to be interrupted by frequent and hysterical bursts of laughter from the spam lyrics.
We also improvised a cover version of the Free Software Song with Jag, a spooky, late night cafe performance fuelled by fine Norwegian pancakes..
Then on the 23rd November there’s the second dorkbotsheffield, a great line-up.
So, plenty to take my mind off the viva..
Had a really great time at dorkcamp, and have a couple of more things coming up…
Despite now living in three different cities, slub will manage to perform together on 30th September in La Maison Rouge Paris, as part of the Sony CSL 15th anniversary. Really looking forward to this one.
Then on 28th October I’m honoured to be invited by Aarhus University to give a talk on Artist-Programmers.
On the 15th March 2012 I’m doing some kind of live coding performance at the Life Centre in Newcastle although details aren’t set for that yet.
I’ll also be co-organising another dorkbotsheffield in the next month or so.
That’s it for now..
Still a bit busy with work & thesis, but had a great time last week at the first dorkbotsheffield, and played to a very nice bunch of people at Vex, Portland Works. Here’s some more things I’m going to:
On Monday the 4th July I’m in Newcastle at a BCS HCI Workshop on Music Interaction presenting a paper with Dan Stowell (who sadly can’t make it). Later that same day I’m presenting at dorkbotnewcastle about future directions in live coding.
On Saturday 16th July it’s the Sheffield Placard Headphone Festival which I’m co-organising with the excellent Access Space. The line-up is looking excellent, still after a few more performers though…
Then 18th-22nd August it’s the legendary dorkcamp, this time in the Lake District. This year dorkcamp will be a collaboration between dorkbotlondon, dorkbotsheffield and hopefully other nearby dorkbots. Hope to see you there!
There are some interesting comments to my “languages are languages” post that I wanted to highlight — a disadvantage of blogs is that comments are often the best bit but are subservient to the posts they are on. I also brought the subject up on the PPIG (Psychology of Programming Interest Group) mailing list, again prompting some enlightening discussion.
By the way, PPIG are holding a Work In Progress meeting here in Sheffield from the 18th-19th April. A call for abstracts is out now. Heartily recommended!
A few things coming up
1st May 2010 – Slub VJing with Kirk Degiorgio at Lambda Festival, Antwerp
2nd May 2010 – Slub Live at Lambda Festival again
13th May 2010 – Participating on a Cenatus Panel Session on the Future of Music at FutureEverything, Manchester
3rd September 2010 – Live coding at FACT Liverpool (TBC)
Plus we’re doing a live coding tour of the North of England towards the end of the year.
Also coming up, next month’s dorkbotlondon, probably at a venue near Kings Cross. Dorkbot will likely have some involvement with the Big Chill this year too. Been thinking about doing a another placard or pubcode too, and the date of the annual dorkcamp should be confirmed soon…