Conference paper Open Access

What Does Live Coding Know?

Cox, Geoff

Live coding can be seen to reflect contemporary conditions in which our lives seem to be increasingly determined by various scripts and computational processes. It demonstrates the possibility for more expansive ideas that emerge in the uncertainties of improvised performance. This paper further situates the practice of live coding in the context of artistic research and the notion of ‘onto-epistemology’. One of the challenges, it is argued, is to bring code back into the frame of ‘material-discursive’ practice so that code can be understood for what it is, how it is produced and what it might become. This is arguably the critical task of live coding: to expose the condition of possibility in this way; in other words, to remain attentive to the contradictions of what constitutes knowledge in contested fields of practice, and to demonstrate modes of uncertainty in what would otherwise seem to be determinate computational processes.

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