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Alex McLean

Digital artist + researcher

I'm a musician, researcher, digital artist and technologist living in Sheffield.

I make live techno with my handmade programming language TidalCycles, using a technique called "Live Coding". I've been performing with such algorithmic music since the year 2000, co-founding Algorave in 2011, an algorithmic dance music movement which has already spread to over ten countries. I perform solo as Yaxu, and in several collaborations including Slub and Canute, at many festivals including Sonar Barcelona, Club Transmediale Berlin, Sonic Acts Amsterdam, Earzoom Ljubljana, Deer Shed Yorkshire, NODE Frankfurt, Ars Electronica Linz, Dissonanze Rome, Vivo Mexico City, Lovebytes Sheffield, Lambdasonic Gent and STRP Eindhoven. My live, algorithmic approach to music making has been featured in The Wire magazine, the Quietus, Arte TV, Wired, Dazed and Confused, and Red Bull Academy.

I'm also an interdisciplinary researcher, leading a range of research projects, most recently Weaving Codes, Coding Weaves, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. I'm about to start (part-time) work on a five-year European Research Council project PENELOPE lead by Ellen Harlizius-Klück in the Deutsches Museum, Munich. I was awarded a PhD in Arts and Computational Technology at Goldsmiths, University of London, in 2011.

I am Sound Artist in Residence at the Open Data Institute during 2016, exploring using live coding as a form of digital ethnography. I'm also working on my first solo album Spicule, through a crowdfund on PledgeMusic supported by Sound and Music. The album will be available on a new hardware format based on the Rasperry Pi, released on Computer Club, designed by Human and developed in collaboration with Pimoroni - three great Sheffield institutions.

I'm also co-organising a new festival happening in November 2016 in Sheffield -- AlgoMech: the festival of Algorithmic and Mechanical Movement -- in collaboration with Janet Jennings and Jon Harrison (of Lovebytes) and with Millennium Galleries and Access Space as well as other Sheffield venues. It's part of, and funded by the Sheffield Year of Making.