Alex McLean

Making music with text

Category Archives: rant

Hack circus

by Alex on March 3, 2014

Hack circus is a great new quarterly magazine about all the ideas between art and technology. I wrote an article for the first issue, and have an interview between me and Kate Sicchio in the upcoming second one. It seems each issue has a live event attached to it, and Kate and I will be doing […]

What on earth is live coding?

by Alex on June 20, 2013

Busy times at the moment, but a quick pause to link to the afore-mentioned full interview in Dazed and Confused by the fine Stephen Fortune. I think the on-line version is a bit longer than in print. There’ll likely be another algorave related article in Wired magazine (the UK version I think) in the next month or […]

Appearances elsewhere

by Alex on April 23, 2013

I got a couple of kind mentions etc lately: Dazed and Confused May issue – an interview with Stephen Fortune about live coding and algorave, see the photo over there for proof, and I’ll post the full text here once it’s off the shelves. I got a mention in a lovely article “coding the software/art nexus” […]

Women in computer music

by Alex on March 6, 2013

(An earlier version of this post was directed at some other events in addition to mine, but these references turned out to be factually incorrect and more upsetting for the people involved than I could have imagined, partly because they have been working tirelessly and successfully to address the below concerns. Sincere apologies.) Here’s an […]

Transient and ephemeral code

by Alex on March 4, 2013

Be sure to read the comments – Sam Aaron makes some important corrective points… The below left as documentation of thinking-in-progress. There is now an exciting resurgence of interest in live programming languages within certain parts of the software engineering and programming language theory community. In general the concerns of liveness from “programming experience design” and […]

Real programming

by Alex on February 19, 2013

On to another point I tried to make at the Node forum, perhaps not too well.. That perhaps that the usual conception of “real programming” is misconceived. (I have a nagging feeling that I’m going to regret writing this post, but here goes..) Programming is generally conceived in terms of professional programmers, implementing software for […]

What is embodied programming?

by Alex on February 18, 2013

I had a great time at the Node Forum in Frankfurt this weekend. I got to meet my software art hero Julian Oliver finally, who gave an excellent and provocative talk on the technological ideology of seamlessness from a critical engineering perspective. Kyle McDonald gave an excellent related talk on the boundaries between on-line and off-line life, […]

We have no idea what we are doing: exclusion in free software culture

by Alex on April 10, 2012

The following is a live post which includes some strong statements which I might temper later.  If anyone asks, I do know what I’m doing and understand recursion just fine.  There’s an interesting thread on the eightycolumn mailing list on gender and exclusion in free software, which has prompted me to write up some thoughts […]

PhD Thesis: Artist-Programmers and Programming Languages for the Arts

by Alex on February 22, 2012

With some minor corrections done, my thesis is finally off to the printers.  I’ve made a PDF available, and here’s the abstract: We consider the artist-programmer, who creates work through its description as source code. The artist-programmer grandstands computer language, giving unique vantage over human-computer interaction in a creative context. We focus on the human […]