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Computer Music Journal special issue on Live Coding

COMJ3801-Cover.inddWe’re very happy to announce that the Computer Music Journal special issue on Live Coding is now available on-line, and the print copies are finding their way to libraries now, hopefully near you. It features a wide range of articles on live coding and its role in participatory laptop orchestras, choreography, self-manipulating code, network music, semantics and copyright. Thor Magnusson’s overview paper “Herding Cats: Live Coding in the Wild” was selected as a sample article, as is available for free download.

This special issue appears at around the ten year mark for Live Coding research, within a highly respected journal, and is the result of a great deal of work by authors, editors and a fastidious copy editor. Congratulations to all involved.

Series editor: Douglas Keislar
Guest editors: Alex McLean, Julian Rohrhuber, Nick Collins


  • Thor Magnusson, Herding Cats: Observing Live Coding in the Wild
  • David Ogborn, Live Coding in a Scalable, Participatory Laptop Orchestra
  • Kate Sicchio, Hacking Choreography: Dance and Live Coding
  • Till Bovermann and Dave Griffiths, Computation as Material in Live Coding
  • Scott Wilson, Norah Lorway, Rosalyn Coull, Konstantinos Vasilakos and Tim Moyers, Free as in BEER: Some Explorations into Structured Improvisation Using Networked Live-Coding Systems
  • Andrew Sorensen, Ben Swift and Alistair Riddell, The Many Meanings of Live Coding
  • Martin Zeilinger, Live Coding the Law: Improvisation, Code, and Copyright

Continue reading Computer Music Journal special issue on Live Coding


We are happy to announce the launch of the Live Coding Research Network (LCRN), hosting a series of symposia and other events over the next two years, funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

Live Coding involves writing and modifying code while it is active, turning computer programming into a performing art. The TOPLAP movement ( has explored live coding in music and video animation since 2003, and during this time live coding has expanded into cross disciplinary field. The LCRN steering committee alone includes researchers from such diverse fields of Education, Digital Aesthetics, Computer Science, Live Art, Music Informatics, Human-Computer Interaction, Choreography, Cognitive Neuropsychology, Participatory IT and Computer Games. The reason for this diversity is that live coding not only offers creative approaches to design, but also insights into how Human thought might to some extent be externalised and made public, a promise that is of interest to critical theorists, psychologists, pedagogues and practitioners alike.

Our first event was on the 21st March, and was a kick-off day designed to introduce the technology, philosophy and practice of live coding as a cross-disciplinary field of research. In the coming days we will announce details of the first symposium to be held at the University of Sussex in Brighton in early July.

Our partner organisation TOPLAP has also been awarded funds by Sound and Music to showcase live coding practice through a diverse practice-led programme alongside our research events. The first will be in London in partnership with the Craft Council.

Here’s to the next two years of Live coding research!