TOPLAP 15th anniversary stream – 14-17th February 2019

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First, a bit of history, then instructions and encouragement for contributing to the celebratory online livecode video stream!

Back on 14th February 2003, late in a smoky bar in Hamburg, TOPLAP was formed by a bunch of artists and students who had found each other to explore the emerging idea of Live Coding (or Live Programming/On-the-fly programming/Just-in-time programming, as we variously called it then). It took place after possibly the first ever live coding meeting called Changing Grammars, hosted by Julian Rohrhuber and Renate Wieser. Also present were Nick Collins, who came up with the TOPLAP acronym, and Adrian Ward, who came up with the logo (which signifies people looking at a screen). My memory is hazy, but I was also there – Adrian and I were showing our Slub system, Julian doing live coding for silent film with his supercollider JITLib library, and there was talk of a Ge Wang joining us remotely – I can’t remember if that happened or not. Alberto de Campo was there too, joining Renate, Julian and other members of powerbooks unplugged in a performance using the Republic network music system in supercollider. Maybe Fredrik Olofsson was doing some visuals live patching? (sorry I’ll ask the others and fix this paragraph later!)

When I got home I made a wiki, and the manifesto that I think Nick, Adrian and I started on the way home (in Lubeck airport – it’s sometimes known as the Lubeck manifesto..) was edited by many into the strange draft we have today.

Discussion continued online and eventually via the birth of the ‘livecode’ mailing list. It’s less busy now (email discussion lists are not so fashionable..) but in the early days this was an extremely fertile hub of discussion, bringing together the few live coders who were dotted around the world. You can read the early archive here.

Anyway that’s enough history.. We’ve been running an annual Algorave stream (check the eulerroom playlists to watch the extensive archives), but with this being the 15th anniversary year, I thought it would be nice to turn this year’s into a TOPLAP birthday stream.

If you’d like to contribute — and please do! we want the biggest range of performances, if you’re new to live coding and haven’t shared your screen before this is a great way to start — then please join us on the #toplap15 channel on the toplap/lurk chat system. You’ll see the link for signup and instructions there.

There’s over 150 slots available from 14th-17th February, at the time of writing about one third are taken already, quite a few by local celebratory events being organised around the place (Prague, London, NYC, Amsterdam, Madison, Bath, Argentina, Richmond, Hamilton, …), and others by individuals who’ll be live coding from their sofa.

See you there + happy birthday to everyone in the live coding community!

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