Alex McLean chosen as the first Open Data Institute sound artist in residence

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Alex McLean chosen as the first Open Data Institute sound artist in residence

Live coding pioneer and interdisciplinary artist, researcher and curator Alex McLean has been chosen as the Open Data Institute (ODI)’s artist in residence as part of the ODI Data as Culture art programme and Sound and Music’s ‘Embedded’ composer development programme.

With a career spanning open source programming – his open source software is used by hundreds of musicians across the world – Alex will spend nine months embedded at the ODI, working closely with its experts, curators and network to produce new work.

He will explore ways of working with open data that question its cultural implications among today’s society. He will lead workshops and live coding events and is looking forward to “having time to reflect and develop a new strand of practice in an environment where openness is the norm”.

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Alex McLean said:

The ODI has a really excellent record working with artists, and it’s really great to see them collaborate with the Sound and Music agency. Furthermore, openness is a core part of my practice of live coding, where all the code behind live music is on show. The ODI is a great environment to bring together my various activities around pattern in music, code and textiles, maybe opening up and transforming historical archives of pattern.

Hannah Redler, Curator in Residence (ODI) said:

Alex McLean has the gift of being able to produce work that is both genuinely avant-garde and highly accessible. His live coding performances and public workshops present the beauty of code and opens up its potential to broad audiences. We are terrifically excited to hear Alex’s sonic direction with open data, and delighted to welcome him as our first ever sound artist in residence in collaboration with Sound and Music.

Aimed at talented composers and creative artists, Embedded is Sound and Music’s bespoke professional development programme that gives composers the chance to work with a diverse range of innovative and established creative organisations, providing practical, hands-on experience as well as fostering long-term creative relationships. Partnering with the ODI for the first time, this residency will challenge the traditional ‘composer in residence’ model by creating a new context for sound artists in what is both a tech startup and a visually dominated space, reflecting the wealth of interdisciplinary collaboration in music today.

Kealy Cozens, Creative Project Leader (Sound and Music) said:

As a proudly open and data-driven organisation it’s really exciting for Sound and Music to work with the ODI to place their first ever sound artist in residence. Alex is an incredibly talented artist at the forefront of live coding and this opportunity to work with world-class pioneers such as the Open Data Institute signals brilliant and bold movements forward in both the art and data worlds.

Gavin Starks, CEO (ODI), added:

As data becomes pervasive in all our lives, we need new ways to engage and interact with it as a material. Alex’s specific style reveals the inner workings of the machine, helping to dissolve barriers around digital literacy and creating a causal performance experience for the data-driven age.

See theodi.org/culture for more information