Invitation: on-the-fly cantina

The on-the-fly research group invites everybody interested in live coding to participate in a series of monthly casual video chats. Each session will be hosted by one or more members of the community and will be based around a different question. Rather than focusing on tools and specific programming languages, these meetups will provide a space to discuss aesthetics, meta levels and how we relate to live coding - both as artists and as audience.

The first meeting will be on April 12th with the theme “Now that we have gathered - what should we discuss?”. This will be an opportunity for everybody to meet and share interests, concerns and areas of interest for future discussion. On May 10th we have scheduled: “How alive is a livestreamed Algorave?” - a topic very relevant to our current situation and one that considers the practice of televised live coding in general.

So come join us on the 2nd Monday of each month starting this April and share your ideas and questions on everything you always wanted to know about live coding (but were afraid to ask).

At 8PM CEST follow this link: https://jitsi.hangar.org/ontheflycantina

We follow the code of conduct of the live coding community that can be found at the end of this page.

We are looking forward to chatting with all of you soon! And if you have any further questions or comments let us know also in this thread :).

Anne, Dare, Iván, Luka and Patrick

(the on-the-fly research group)

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Coming up, the 2nd on-the-fly cantina!
May’s Monday meetup is titled: “How alive is a live-streamed Algorave?”

As corona-life well and truly passes the one year mark, let us take a moment to reflect on live-streamed Algoraves and other live-coded performances. Whilst these online events have become an integral part of cultural life, how much of the Algorave essence and vibe is still there? Are we dancing in our living rooms, pumping the music loud enough to feel the beats in our bones? Are live-coders still making the same type of music for the at home Algorave experience? Or is it anyway time to focus more on live streamed performances so as to reduce the carbon footprint of the touring artists and to level the playing field for those who can’t afford or are unable to travel?

Grab a beer or tea, and come share your thoughts with us on May 10 at 8PM CEST on https://jitsi.hangar.org/ontheflycantina

Is there any documentation of the last discussion?

not yet online but some notes were taken!

Coming up on on Monday July 12th:

How do the tools we use shape our artistic statement?

Although we all are aware that the tools we use shape our artistic statement maybe we do not talk about it as often as we should. In what way have you become aware of these constraints? Which implications does it have for people building their own languages and tools? What happens with concepts such as time, pattern, etc, when we have all these different languages and libraries? Does a live coding language has a specific sound?

Grab a beer or tea, and come share your thoughts with us on July 12th at 8PM CEST on https://jitsi.hangar.org/ontheflycantina

Anne, Dare, Iván, Luka and Patrick
(the on-the-fly research group)

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This time on a Tuesday, September 14th, the first on-the-fly cantina after the summer break:

“How can we contextualize live coding practice within the social and political conditions of the present?”

In recent years climate catastrophe, disaster capitalism and the pandemic have affected all of our lives, but social justice movements have highlighted the unequal distribution of their impacts. Technology is often proffered as a solution in global crises, but in many cases contributes for the worse. How does live coding assert or resist techno-utopian narratives? What socio-political anxieties are revealed in our performances? How can we shape our live coding practice or use the attention we are given as artists to foster mindfulness around these topics? Is live coding by itself already a political statement? Or is “L’art pour l’art” still a sensible mindset in live coding practice?

Grab a beer or tea, and come share your thoughts with us on September 14 at 8PM CEST on

Anne, Dare, Iván, Luka and Patrick (the on-the-fly research group) together with our guest host Shelly Knotts.

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Coding is generally associated with computers but what’s to say a computer must be involved?

To code is to write a precise set of instructions or rules. Sure, these are usually then interpreted by a computer but they could also be interpreted by a human performing actions. Or perhaps applied to a series of physical objects. As educators seek new and alternative ways to teach coding to younger audiences and/or those that don’t have access to a computer, computerless coding is a growing field both relevant to live coding and the broader programming community.

Furthermore, when we think of live coding without a computer, we need to consider alternative interfaces for the code input and/or output. These interfaces may allow for greater embodiment or hybrid approaches to live coding. From theater, to wearables, to audience interpreters and reappropriation of other interfaces or instruments, this session invites you to share your ideas and hear about computerless coding in all its forms.

Grab a beer or tea, and come share your thoughts with us on October 11th at 8PM CEST on

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What can networked live coding bring besides telepresence?

Computers these days are not just programmable machines, they are almost universally networked. How do we take advantage of this when collaborating on live coding? In many environments, we have tools and support for networked livecoding. Which of the different ways to communicate and share parts of the session have you tried and liked, or perhaps struggled with?

Is it sharing a clock, the code or program state? Do you use the network for communication or to set up a framework for structured improvisation? Centralized or distributed? How does it change when we are far away from each other, or performing as a “band” on a fast LAN? Is latency always our enemy, or can we make friends with it? Do the inventors of OSC have a momument yet?

Grab a beer or tea, and come share your thoughts with us on November 8th at 8PM CEST on What can networked live coding bring besides telepresence? - On the fly

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