Hacking is a much-misused term
Cracking vs Hacking
“a material practice that
produces differences in
computer, network and
Repurposes but recognises the
Low level or DIY
“As part of this practical capacity,
the very nature of hacking – turning
a system against itself – is the
processing of using existing code,
comments, and technology for more
than what the original authors
intended” (Coleman, 2013:99)
Recognises the original
“Hacking is in a dialogic form, not in
dialetic opposition. Not to operate
with its object as an opponent or foe,
but as a field of gravity. Not regarding
a system of belief as opium, but as a
path of liberation, using it as a
trampoline, as a line of flight and a
force of gravity” (von Busch and
Recognises the original
“As I see them they are operating at a low level, using
existing infrastructure and power of a system to tinker,
twist and modulate it after their own will. Building on the
existing system with local patches and modifications.
Adding small operational programs to the toolbox and
presenting them with a journey of the same stream.
Bending flows of power, but keeping the current on”
(von Busch and Palmås, 2006:28-29)
Low level or DIY
“Hacker knowledge implies, in
its practice, a politic of free
information, free learning, the
gift of the result in a peer-topeer network” (Wark, 2004:28)
“Whatever the code we hack, be it programming
language, poetic language, math or music, curves or
colorings, we are the abstracters of new worlds.
Whether we come to represent ourselves as
researchers or authors, artists or biologists, chemists
or musicians, philosophers or programmers, each of
these subjectivities is but a fragment of a class still
becoming, bit by bit, aware of itself as such” (Wark,
“Hackers have constituted an
expansive pragmatic practice
of instrumental yet playful
production. In these activities
the lines between play,
exploration, pedagogy and
work are rarely rigidly drawn”
Anti-disciplinary Principles (Joi Ito, MIT Media Lab)
Resilience over strength
Pull over push
Risk over safety
Systems over objects
Compasses over maps
Practice over theory
Disobedience over compliance
Emergence over authority
Learning over education
How do you repurpose
Ongoing project since 2012
Hacks include: fluxus scores, spoken
scores, 'object oriented' scores,
Programming Language – Live
TOPLAP Draft Manifesto
Give us access to the performer's mind, to the whole human instrument.
The code allows the audience to view the choreographer and the
performer's mind, process and interpretations. Not just their bodies.
Obscurantism is dangerous. Show us your screens.
Code is visible on stage to the audience, not just performers.
Programs are instruments that can change themselves.
The dancer always has the ability to change the program, ignore the
program, or subvert the program.
The program is to be transcended - Artificial language is the way.
Choreography transcends dance. Artificial language is one way.
Code should be seen as well as heard, underlying algorithms viewed as
well as their visual outcome.
Code is seen as well as the visual outcome of the choreography.
Live coding is not about tools. Algorithms are thoughts. Chainsaws are
tools. That's why algorithms are sometimes harder to notice than
Dance technique is a tool. Choreography is thought and sometimes
harder to notice than dance technique.
We recognise continuums of interaction and profundity, but prefer:
Insight into algorithms
Algorithms are insight into the choreography.
The skillful extemporisation of algorithm as an expressive/impressive
display of mental dexterity
The decision making process of the dancer is on display as part of the
No backup (minidisc, DVD, safety net computer)
The show must go on. If there is no score the dancer creates the score.
But it is still generated in the performance.
We acknowledge that:
It is not necessary for a lay audience to understand the code to
appreciate it, much as it is not necessary to know how to play guitar in
order to appreciate watching a guitar performance.
It is not necessary to know the choreographic score to appreciate a
Live coding may be accompanied by an impressive display of manual
dexterity and the glorification of the typing interface.
Performance involves continuums of interaction, covering perhaps the
scope of controls with respect to the parameter space of the artwork, or
gestural content, particularly directness of expressive detail. Whilst the
traditional haptic rate timing deviations of expressivity in instrumental
music are not approximated in code, why repeat the past? No doubt the
writing of code and expression of thought will develop its own nuances
The live coding of dance may be accompanied by typing or other forms of
gesture to convey the movement choices. This writing of code is not the
dance itself but a way of expressing choreographic thought.
Ongoing Collaboration with Camille Baker
Soft circuits, DIY electronics, Wearable
Crafting and sewing to make electronic
3 Workshops last summer in Australia
Crochet Breath Sensor
Hacking the Body