Alex McLean

Researcher into algorithmic patterns in music, textiles, choreography, etc

Alex is a researcher and practitioner investigating algorithms in pattern-making from an interdisciplinary perspective, drawing from a background in computer science, creative technology design, music performance, creative/live coding, and textile research. He wrote his PhD thesis “Artist-Programmers and Programming Languages for the Arts” at Goldsmiths, University of London funded by EPSRC, and has since held postdoc positions at the University of Sheffield, University of Leeds, and the Research Institute of the Deutsches Museum in Munich, including work on the AHRC Digital Transformations “Weaving Codes, Coding Weaves” project, and the ERC PENELOPE project.

Alex is active across the digital arts, co-editing the Oxford Handbook on Algorithmic Music, as well as co-founding major festivals, conferences, and movements including AlgoMech festival, Algorave, TOPLAP, and the International Conferences on Live Coding and Live Interfaces. He also regularly performs live coded music himself, using the popular free/open source TidalCycles environment that he created. Until November 2021 he holds a part-time postdoc position on the ERC PENELOPE project lead by Ellen Harlizius-Klück, exploring weaving as a technical mode of existence.

From December 2021 Alex joins Then Try This full time, conducting the UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship project “Algorithmic Pattern”.

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