All posts by Alex McLean

Staff User

International Conference on Live Coding 2016

We’re happy to announce that the second International Conference on Live Coding 2016 (ICLC 2016), will take place at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada from October 12th to October 15th, 2016.

ICLC 2016 will be the second edition of this interdisciplinary conference, following the inaugural ICLC 2015 held last year at the University of Leeds, UK ( ), under the auspices of the Live Coding Research Network ( ). The overall schedule of deadlines appears below, and a more detailed call for peer-reviewed submissions will be issued at the end of January.

We are currently preparing an application to Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), for additional funding to support the conference. If you have ideas for special events or thematic areas within the conference (for example, panel sessions with invited contributions), you are invited to contact me immediately with those ideas as we may be able to include them in the application to SSHRC.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any ideas or questions about the conference. Thanks for your interest – and I hope to be seeing as many of you as possible in Hamilton at ICLC 2016!

The cal for proposals is now up at

Yours truly,
David Ogborn

ICLC 2016 schedule:

  • 22nd February 2016 – online peer review system opens
  • 4th April 2016* – deadline for submissions
  • 29th April 2016 – notification of acceptance
  • 30th June 2016 – camera-ready deadline for proceedings
  • 12-15th October 2016 – conference

Open calls – round up

There are quite a few live coding network open calls, so here is a round up:

Call for expressions of interest in hosting ICLC (by 1st May 2015)
If you are interested in hosting ICLC in years to come, please fill out the following short form:

Live Coding Alternatives at Aarhus 2015 (by 20nd May 2015)
Call for abstracts for this workshop to be held on the 18th August 2015, and organised by Alan Blackwell, Emma Cocker and Geoff Cox, is now closed.

IJPADM special issue: Live Coding in Performance Arts (abstracts by 15th
September 2015)
The call for 500 word abstracts for this special issue is now open. We anticipate that ICLC attendees will take this opportunity to expand upon the work presented and explored at the conference.

ICLC Call for Stickers (end May 2015)
All ICLC 2015 delegates will get a sheet of kiss-cut stickers. If you’d like to include your logo please send it to us, following the instructions here:

ICLC call for stickers!

All ICLC 2015 delegates will get a sheet of kiss-cut stickers. If your live coding-related project has a nice logo, please send it to us ( in the following form:

  • an SVG file
  • the cutline should be in magenta (‪#‎ff00ff‬), with 3mm bleed
  • your sticker should fit within a rectangle no bigger than about 4cm2
  • before the end of May 2015.

For inspiration, you can see a previous live coding sticker sheet.

We will try to include as many stickers as we can. Thanks!

Call for papers: International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media

 Special issue: Live Coding in Performance Arts
Issue Editors: Thor Magnusson (University of Sussex), Kate Sicchio (Independent Scholar), and Alex McLean (University of Leeds)
This is an open call for papers on the topic of Live Coding in Performance Arts, for a special issue of the International Journal of Performance Arts & Digital Media (Issue 12.2, October 2016).
Live coding has grown as a performance method over the past decade, infiltrating diverse art forms, but with strong grounding in musical and audiovisual performance. Following a decade of music releases, festivals, journal issues, symposia, and conference tracks, with online hubs like TOPLAP ( and the AHRC funded Live Coding Research Network ( supporting both artistic and research activities within the field, the first International Conference on Live Coding ( will take place at the University of Leeds in July 2015.
This journal issue aims to explore the new possibilities offered to artistic performance by live coding, asking whether the algorithmic approach to dynamic thought and action which underlies live coding practice can shed light on aspects of more traditional approaches in the performing arts. Live coding is essentially the act of creating and modifying symbolic instructions in real-time, encompassing historical and contemporary work that goes beyond computer-based systems to include practices in improvisation, choreography, literature, live/performance art, visual arts, and theatre. The issue will explore pertinent questions of liveness and what rule-based instruction formats, such as live coding, live scoring, or live notation, offer to the diverse performance arts. We encourage submissions that engage with the physicality of performance, embodiment, considerations of space, machines, audience, and perceptions of the flow of time. In particular, we encourage interdisciplinary perspectives, which are well situated within the Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media, where any focus on artistic, sociocultural, aesthetic and/or technological aspects, may be combined with or grounded in the others.

Contributions can address the following topics, but are not limited to them:

  • Instructions and open form in the performing arts.
  • Programming as a new form of artistic expression.
  • Live writing/scoring of activities in space and place.
  • Embodiment, movement and perception of time in the temporal arts.
  • The psychology of live coding and performance.
  • Audience understanding and participation in live coding performance.
  • Sensory experience and multi-modal expression through code/instruction.
  • Language design for live coding performances.
  • Live coding in visual, auditory, and kinesthetic education.
  • The ontology of open ended art works.
  • Notation in Live Art practice.
  • Live coding and collaboration.

Expressions of interest in the form of a short abstract (up to 500 words) should be sent by email to Thor Magnusson ( before September 15, 2015. Full articles of 5000–8000 words or artistic position papers of 2000–3000 words will then be submitted for peer review by January 15, 2016.

Research consortium and symposium, Birmingham 25-26th September 2014

The first Doctoral consortium on Live Coding will take place on the 25th September 2014, from 11am until 5pm. Research students will present work and explore ideas with each other and facilitators, map out the future of the field and help steer network activities including the forthcoming international conference.
[Schedule and further info]

The Live Coding and Collaboration symposium will take place on the 26th September 2014, from 9:30am until 5pm and will include diverse peer reviewed papers and demonstrations which explore live coding and  collaboration from multiple perspectives, as well as live research workshop activities.
[Schedule, proceedings and further info]

The affiliated Network Music Festival will begin at 6pm on the 26th September 2014, with a concert in the same building in the University of Birmingham. Those registered for the symposium may attend this concert free of charge. The rest of the Network Music Festival requires separate registration, including the algorave late on the 26th,  and will take place in another part of Birmingham.

Please direct all questions to Alex McLean:

Key dates

  • Submission deadline: 21st July 2014 (extended)
  • Notification of acceptance: 31st July 2014
  • Resubmission of accepted papers: 25th August 2014
  • Registration closes: 15th September 2014
  • Live coding doctoral consortium: 25th September 2014
  • Live Coding and Collaboration symposium: 26th September 2014
  • The symposium will lead into the Network Music Festival, which this year will focus on Live Coding performance, and will continue until 28th September.

Locations, Travel and Accommodation

The consortium and symposium will take place in the Bramall Music Building, in the main campus (Edgbaston campus) of the University of Birmingham.

For those travelling by train, the University of Birmingham has its own train station, called “University”.

For a map showing the location of the Bramall building please click here.

The University offers a convenient option for on-campus accommodation. You may find cheaper options on If you are attending the algorave, you may wish to seek accommodation near that venue (such as the Paragon hotel or Backpackers hostel), as we will continue late into the night.

Organising committee

  • Alex McLean, ICSRiM, School of Music, University of Leeds
  • Shelly Knotts, School of Music, University of Durham
  • Scott Wilson, Electroacoustic studios, Department of Music, University of Birmingham
  • Thor Magnusson, School of Media, Film and Music, University of Sussex
  • Norah Lorway, Electroacoustic studios, Department of Music, University of Birmingham

Programme committee

  • Shelly Knotts, University of Durham (Programme Committee Chair)
  • Duncan Roland, University of Lincoln
  • Thomas Green, University of York
  • Nick Collins, University of Durham
  • Thor Magnusson, University of Sussex
  • Scott Wilson, University of Birmingham
  • David Ogborn, McMaster University, Hamilton
  • Andrew Brown, Griffith University, Brisbane
  • Yael Benn, University of Sheffield
  • Cecile Chevalier, University of Sussex
  • Sam Aaron, University of Cambridge
  • Robert Biddle, Carleton University
  • Jochen Otto, ZKM
  • Alex McLean, University of Leeds

This event is a Live Coding Research Network activity funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Launch report

The network started officially with a great launch symposium back on the 21st March 2014, here’s a quick report.

We had a full day of talks, with the focus being on three presentations providing context for live coding research.  First,  Nick Collins (Reader in Composition, University of Durham) gave a talk about the origins of live coding, for the gist you download his slides here.  Then Emma Cocker (Senior Lecturer in Fine Art, Nottingham Trent University) gave a talk linking with the earlier AHRC Live Notation project (and the future AHRC Weaving Codes project), which created confluence between live coding with the fine art practice of live art. Emma’s talk was based on a Performance Research journal article Live Notation: Reflections on a Kairotic Practice.  Then the third was by Alexandra Cardenas, a Columbian composer currently studying at the University of the Arts, Berlin. Live coding communities are growing around the world, and Alexandra related her cross-continental experience both as a participant for several years during the growth of the vibrant scene in Mexico City, and her experience introducing live coding to 120 keen students in Chennai; the first live coding workshop in India, as far as we know.

Following lunch we enjoyed a remote performance from acclaimed live coder Andrew Sorensen, performing remotely from Australia with his Extempore system.



Then some shorter talks, introducing the breadth of ongoing live coding research. Kate Sicchio spoke about her Choreography Hacks and other live coding dance performances, and Duncan Rowland presented initial steps towards a live coding installation involving multiple Tidal users.  Kate’s talk relates nicely into our later symposium on Live Coding and the Body, and Duncan’s with our symposium in autumn on live coding, collaboration and network music.  There were a good few strange and exciting live coding systems introduced, Sam Aaron talked about the fast-developing Sonic PI live coding system for teaching music and computer science, Alan Blackwell showed his Palimpsest live and highly visual programming language, Nick Rothwell introduced the Field live programming language (and thereby manipulating time itself).


There was some time for open discussion too, which is hard to summarise, although Tom Hall’s idea of Slow Coding emerged as a point of interest, and hopefully we’ll see some (slow) activity around that idea too.

Symposium on live coding and the body (and Algorave), 4th-6th July 2014

After a highly successful launch symposium last month, our next focus is the first of three themed symposia, “Live coding and the body”. it will take place on the 5th-6th July 2014, in the University of Sussex, in Brighton (a short train ride from London), with an algorave performance event on the evening/night before, of the 4th July, at The Loft.

This symposium will focus on relationships between code and the body in live performance arts. In this two-day event we aim to explore questions such as:

  • How can live coding contribute to an understanding of the body, language and notation in live performances using digital technologies?
  • To what extent is live coding an embodied, or disembodied performance practice?
  • How can we better understand audience perception of live coding as performance?
  • What does/could it mean to connect language abstractions of live coding with sensory experience; e.g. tactile, visible, kinaesthetic and proprioceptive as well as auditory?

The symposium will follow immediately after the excellent NIME (New Interfaces for Musical Expression) conference in London, which brings an ideal opportunity to explore all of this in the context of this research community. 

During the workshop, we will aim to challenge assumptions of live coding – computer centric, digital centric, sound centric, audience focussed. We will explore audience perception and engagement, and live coding beyond the keyboard (e.g. Brain/music interfaces, tangible interfaces, machines/analogue computers, gamepads). Furthermore, how does live coding perform beyond sound – we aim to explore finding a language for discussing live coding beyond a perceptual modality.