ICLC 2023 – Planning and Organizing

ICLC 2023 is here!

What does it take to organize and pull off an event like this? How does all this happen?

The event has an Organizing Committee and they took some time away from last minute preparations to respond to questions and provide information. The live coding community owes a lot to their efforts. This post is intended to provide insight into the work involved, share details on the preparations, and to give credit to the awesome team that is making all this happen! When you see them, be sure to thank them!

Several things stand out from this content – first, there is a lot involved. The submission review and decision process is at the heart of planning a big conference – kudos to the team for providing transparency, details and challenges on their work. And thanks for sharing your insights, particularly where future conferences can benefit and the broader community can do better.

Organizing Committee


Programming Committee Chairs

(Responses coordinated by Lina Bautista.)

This year vs other years: how does the 2023 event compare with past ICLC conferences? What stands out this year?

We’ve been thinking about how Live Coding is spreading around the world and how communities are growing, making Live Coding more than just a technique. That’s why we’re excited to include community reports this year, so we can keep track of what’s happening in different places.

Another exciting addition is the Satellite Events, a series of events, concerts and meet-ups that extend the conference in time and space. (editor: check it out – 18 satellites – amazing!)

We, as organisers, have also moved away from the convention, with the tasks of organisation, peer review, programming and production distributed among volunteers in 4+ countries.

Planning & Organizing: When did you start working together? What have been some of the challenges? What has gone well?

The idea of organising the ICLC started within the on-the-fly project, as a continuation of the idea of fostering Live Coding. The project, funded by Creative Europe, ended in October 2022, and we thought that a good continuation of that spirit could be organising this ICLC, and here we are. Since organising something like this involves a lot of work (and we knew this because some of us worked on the Madrid ICLC in 2019), and this conference is a self-sustaining project we decided to share the work, so this year we don’t have the figure of a single “chair”, which has made some things easier, but has also been a challenge. So far, it’s been an amazing experience, we can’t wait to see each other in person.

Submissions: How many responses did you get in each category? What % of submissions were accepted in each category?

(editor: To see more on the submission process, check out the submission templates and instructions, still available in github.)

We received 191 submissions for peer review, including papers, community reports, workshops, performances, and video documents. Regarding diversity, while proposals for performances and workshops were more balanced regarding gender and location, those of papers were rather biased towards men living in countries of the global north. This should raise the attention of a community concerned about its diversity.

Paper sessions review: Live coding is around 20 years old and since the first ICLC pic where there are around 74 persons (go ahead and count yourself!), 8 years later the community has grown. From a total of 33 papers received, we were able to accept 16, which results in an acceptance rate of 48%. We struggled deciding whether to reduce the time for each presentation in order to accept more, but we were inclined to give each participant their time. However, it is clear that we have to find more creative ways to present so that more papers can be included. We also have to think if they should all be presented in the same way, there could be demos for example. This, without falling into the traditional poster sessions, which when mishandled give the sensation of being a kind of “second-class accepted proposals”. We need to address this as the live coding community aims to have a conference with as high acceptance rate as possible, providing an inclusive space for discussion.

Paper sessions are organized into these broad categories: (Schedule)

  • Languages – Recent Developments around Live Coding Languages & Notations
  • Hybrid Systems – Interfacing Live Coding with the Rest of theWorld
  • Performance Concepts & Art Practice – Aesthetic considerations etc.
  • Social Implications & Education

Something we noticed during the reviewing process is – maybe this time it was just a coincidence- that “scientific” papers are consistently scored above “no scientific ones” by the reviewers. This could be part of a well-known phenomenon that observes that we tend to be less critical with research that follows specific rules, we need to be aware of this and other biases that appear in the conference.

Regarding performances, we received 118 performance proposals between Algorave performances and all type of concerts. We’ll have a total of 42 acts, divided in 7 concerts with different approaches. We also struggled with the time slots versus the number of performances we received, it’s been a tremendous work to deal with all the technicalities and specifications of everyone, but we’re very excited to see it happen. (see concert details)

Community Reports

It was predetermined at the call opening that 100% of Community Reports would be accepted to the proceedings, this being a primary focus and an area where academic gatekeeping would be inappropriate and counterproductive. A total of 8 communities will present papers and documentaries, and will make up a panel for discussion and Q&A about the evolution of live coding communities around the world. 


We received 14 workshop submissions. Only one didn’t make the cut and another one withdrew after it had been accepted. The one that got the best score is actually not a workshop, but a visualists meetup.  There’s an interesting balance between workshops for live coding music and visuals, and room for two theoretical workshops: one about documentation and another one for packaging tools.


Videos came in short form (<5 mins) and long form, with 11 entries and 7 submissions accepted. Videos will have a dedicated web gallery where they can be streamed at will, and will also be published in the proceedings of the conference. 

The main struggle of all the programming efforts is probably the limited time we have to make an overview of all the work that is being developed by the live coding community.

Keynote Speakers

We’ll have three keynote speakers, with several live performances.

  • Dr. Kate Sicchio is a choreographer, media artist and performer whose work explores the interface between choreography and technology within performances, installations, web and video projects. Creating a range of choreographic works for stage, screen and elsewhere, Sicchio employs live coding, wearable technologies, and real-time video as means to investigate dance and movement. During her talk, Sicchio will discuss how live coding can be seen as a methodology for centrally placing the artist and their process in new media artwork.
  • Marije Baalman is an artist and researcher/developer working in the field of interactive sound and light art. She makes music and music-theatre performances. She uses tools such as physical computing (performance interfaces and/or installations), live coding (both as a skill, as well as a performance interface), digital and analog sound processing, and improvisation. In this keynote, she will address different aspects of human-machine entanglement by drawing on her past live coding works.
  • And finally, our mystery speaker!
    (The Committee  wants to keep us guessing – in any case it should be good!)

Organizing Committee: contribution details
(This is only a partial list – many more things were done – too numerous to mention them all!)

  • The main supporting institution and local production host is Creative Coding Utrecht.
  • Local production and fundraising have been driven from the start by Fabian van Sluijs and the CCU team.
  • Our website task force owes much to Timo and Saskia for the main site.
  • The peer review platform was implemented by and the review cycle itself, once kicked off, was managed by Niklas and Alicia.
  • Our core international volunteers have all served as Programming Chairs (as listed above).
  • The online Catalog was implemented by Patrick – who also is posting and responding on the Toplap Discord server.
  • Pre-publishing activities for the Proceedings have relied on Niklas and Iván.
  • Alicia has spearheaded data management and copy editing for communications and catalogue.
  • Communication & marketing efforts have relied on AnneLinde Munsterman.

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