Círculo e Meio | Circle & Half

An audio-visual live coding performance combining choreographic thinking and algorithmic improvisation.

Performance Schedule º º

Audio & Video Documention

The performance currently combines two distinct but connected digital interfaces - an audio system for live coding in Haskell (Bell, 2011) and a visual system for live coding in the web browser (Chicau, 2017) - with additional tools enabling data-sharing and possibilities for each to influence the other’s system. The interaction use a shared choreographic vocabulary, creating meaning and producing an imaginarium around the act and conditions of coding. It provides a platform enabling spontaneous joint composition and audio-visual interactions. Continue reading..

Writing spaces: a hybrid language and dual interface

The authors make use of two distinct but connected digital interfaces for engaging in live algorithmic composition-making processes, exploring the intersection of existing and new semantics (technical and conceptual) for generating the performance “Circulo e Meio”.
Renick Bell uses Conductive, an audio system live coded in the programming language Haskell, and Joana Chicau uses the web browser and live codes in JavaScript. The two interfaces are in constant dialogue, connected through OSC tools enabling data-sharing and possibilities for each to influence the other’s system. Thus these interfaces or writing spaces serve as a stage for cross- referencing language systems performatively linked to the “co-creation of a discursive vocabulary”. Serving as platforms for “talking” (Laermans, 2015) dance and sound or “speaking code” establishing the “limits defining a space of communication” (Cox, 2012). In this performance piece not only is space seen as linguistic, but language is seen as spatial: “The static analytic space both allows these mutually referring chains to complete circles and the space of language to cut itself free from reference...Language becomes a series of synchronous spatial relationships that work to defer meaning not in time but in space.” (Sack, 2017).

Figure [top]: Joana Web environment: Chicau will be activating her choreographic score written in web programming languages (HTML / CSS / JavaScript). Chicau will use the the browser (Firefox) console to write functions that draw on choreographic concepts. She will be using both local files and already existing interfaces, such as google search. [bottom] Renick Conductive: Bell will live code in Haskell, using functions from the Conductive library to compose, perform, and improvise the musical component of the performance to support the choreographic goals of the piece. He will be triggering sounds specifically designed for the performance as well as some sound processing through external hardware also connected to the live coding environment.

A live performance

Following our conceptualization of the círculo, the choreographic thinking being developed brings repetition and reversibility as central concepts to the dramaturgy of the piece. The live coding interventions in the different web interfaces and the tempo of the actions unfold in a circular pattern. The code input written in the web browser will be revisited and activated in different moments of the piece, and as part of the nature of online platforms (such as Google search) unpredictable results will be displayed. To augment the notion of circularity, a series of relational dynamics will set the stage for various interactions between the code read by the computer machine and our human understanding and perception of the same. Euclidean rhythms are used as a starting point for creating rhythms with a particular feeling to give this piece its unique character. The title of the piece can be translated as “a circle and a half”. With regard to Euclidean rhythms, this “half” is interpreted loosely to mean an incomplete circle. In concrete terms, one or more complete cycles of a Euclidean rhythm plus an incomplete cycle are auditioned for the audience. Up to three base rhythm patterns are used, including both standard Euclidean rhythms and “circle and a half” rhythms generated using the Euclidean algorithm.
Sound design gives flesh to this theoretical skeleton. A selection of common percussion instruments were recorded, edited and processed by Bell to strengthen the connection to the idea of drum circles and emphasize the universality of Euclidean rhythms. The electronic processing was done to increase the range of what could be expressed with these sounds. A three-stage mapping of (1) text theme to (2) emotional/sensorial/perceptual characteristics and finally to (3) sonic characteristics was used to design additional sound atoms for the piece.
The live performance structure will be divided into moments of live coding in which one or both screens are active and will potentially include physical movement in the performance space.


Link to a video recording (v.01)
Link to the audio recording (v.02) & (v.01)

Paper published on the International Conference on Live Interfaces 2018

Read more about the research in our log.

Performance schedule:

April 2021: Online Peformance @iii

February 2021: Live Demo at Transnodal.TopLap

April 2021: Online Exhibition @Homeostasis Lab
April 2021: Online Peformance @iii
February 2021: Live Demo at Transnodal.TopLap
February 2021: Online Workshop @BMA lab
2020-2021: The Stage is (a)Live - soon presenting a digital installation at Gnration!
2020/ November [cancelled] - DA Z Digital Art, Zurich
2019/ September — Worm, Rotterdam
2019/ January — MediaLab, Madrid
2018/ June — Passos Manuel, Porto
2018/ September — Spektrum, Berlin