A surprising video started floating around the internal Cycling ’74 Slack channels - a screen, some electronic gear and a bunch of wires, all nestled in some snow-like cotton. Oh, and a crazy sound – along with an invocation that says “Chat to change the sound!” It only took a few moments to see what was going on here: this YouTube video was a live stream featuring a hybrid Max + modular system burbling through a delay, tweaked and driven by the messages typed into the chat stream. It was an cool site, and we had to learn more.
While I've known and enjoyed Tom Hall's music for several years, I've never been in the right place or time to see him perform in the flesh. Over that time, though, I've heard plenty of mentions of his interest in and work on the visual aspect of his performances. Tom was kind enough to take some time out from his Cycling '74 roles to talk about his life as an audiovisual performer.
I first learned of the Algorithmic Art Assembly via colleague Joshua Kit Clayton. I knew nothing about it other than that it would be a curated weekend of talks and performances themed around art and algorithms at the Gray Area Foundation in San Francisco. I knew I had to attend, and I’d like to invite you along (after the fact).