Posted Feb. 16, 2021 by Alex McLean

Live coding is a performative practice where artists and musicians use code to create live music and live visuals. This is often done at electronic dance music events called Algoraves, but live coding is a technique rather than a genre, and has also been applied to noise music, choreography, live cinema, and many other time-based artforms. Working with new media artist/curator and audio-visual live coder Antonio Roberts, we will work with a small group of Black artists in the West Midlands to imagine the future of live coding practice through workshops and performance.


Live coding is a developing practice that is in need of diverse perspectives in order to move forward in a creative and healthy way. There have long been efforts in this direction but with some exceptions, these have largely focussed on gender diversity, countering the heavy male bias in technology, with some success. These efforts have been intersectional but the recent growth of the Black Lives Matter movement during 2020 has caused us to reflect further on the disproportionate lack of Black artists in the UK live coding scene. This is despite much of live coded music heavily inspired by Black music, much of which developed against a political struggle.

Although this project responds to the lack of Black representation in the live coding and Algorave scene we donโ€™t necessarily intend to โ€˜solveโ€™ that problem. Instead we want to provide early career artists with the time and resources to explore live coding and algorithmc music/art, and take it in whatever directions they want to (or not!). In the process we can learn about what barriers and opportunities there are for those futures

These workshops are made possible with the support and collaboration of electronic music researcher Christopher Haworth, and his AHRC Leadership Fellowship project Music and the Internet: Towards a digital sociology of music, which is funded by UK Research and Innovation.