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Saturday, 20 April 2013

Live coding in Mexico

Centro Multimedia is a space for arts research in new technologies. The have an audio workshop with a special interest in code and FLOSS ("software libre").

The history of live code:

  • 3 concerts in 2006 by an experimental laptop band called mU.
  • Another concert in 2009
  • A telematic concert in 2009
  • A supercollider course since 2007 in the audio workshop and also Fluxus since 2010 - this grew a code community
  • They had a collective live coding session in 2010 just after the first fluxus course

They had used MAX. Later, SuperCollider changed everything because of the philosophy of Open Source. It was free and legal to share. They felt a sense of ownership and it grew a community.

since 2011, they've organised 21 live coding events. They do collaborations with other institutions in Mexico City. This is a local scene.

At the National Autonomous University, they did a blank slate coding sessions where everybody had 9 minutes. This was especially beneficial for coding practice of participants.

There was a Vivo conference in 2012 which had more participation form overseas, with longer time slots and had some non-blank slate code, which also caused an explosion in the community.

Their audiences are very diverse with a lot of new people coming in. They are receptive to new ideas.

They are now doing a series of live coding concerts that also mix practices, so with dance, or with circuit bending, sound art, poetry, etc. There now a website hackpact.mx, which has a philosophy of live coding. These projects grow community. Sharing builds personal relationships and knowledge. People form many backgrounds are involved.

Questions

What else goes on at the centre? Lots and lots of new media stuff. They have artistic residence programs. Once specific to Germany. One for Latin Americans. There is a electronic and video festival this year with an open call.

The centre is free, so anyone can come and learn without paying. This increases diversity.

Does anybody in the US or Canada pay attention to what's going on in Mexico? Artists from the Canada can come for residences, so there is some collaboration there. There are some collaborations with the US through other institutions, but not this one.

Do they do any teaching of coding or live coding in schools? There is not official school of electronic music in Mexico, so teaching mostly happens through workshops. Mexicans who want to do electronic music degrees go abroad. There is not a strong programme for children or teenagers during school time. They do some workshops in summer. They may expand this, but need to do some work on pedagogy. They have also been running some workshops with indigenous people who have no background at all with computers. Sometimes they learn faster because they don't know it's supposed to be difficult.

what's the future of live coding in Mexico? More people, more groups. The future is bright across Mexico for live coding.

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