Sam Aaron - Live Coding the intersection between the arts, research and education
Code is one of the most powerful, creative and transformative media available. However the potential of code is still largely incomprehensible and out of reach for most of our society. How and why should we address this as a problem? In order to help us unpick and explore these simple yet deep questions we will follow the story of Sonic Pi - a live coding music synth designed for the arts, research and education.
Sonic Pi was originally created as a response to the challenge of finding new ways to teach code in schools. It has since evolved into an extremely powerful and performance-ready live coding instrument suitable for professional artists and DJs. It is also a rich research platform for exploring questions related to liveness, time and concurrency in programming languages. Yet, despite this rapid evolution it has maintained its core mission - to be simple enough for 10 year olds.
Through Sonic Pi as a lens we will be forced to confront some interesting and challenging questions: - How is code creative? How can we communicate through code? Can programming languages be expressive interfaces? Can notation become an instrument? To what extent is performance a form of education and education a kind of performance?
You'll also leave with a simple, joyful and powerful new musical instrument to start playing with.