Bernard Gray says he discovered the Livecoding/Algorave scene by accident sometime in late 2017. However, it took a global pandemic to give him the time and opportunity to really dig in.
“It’s such a crossover of disciplines, visual and audio art, traditional and experimental, maths, programming, etc - you don’t need to be versed in any of them, yet it manages to drive that desire to know more about all of them”
An in-person Livecoded performance is known as an ”Algorave”, where artists are encouraged to experiment, bend and break ideas/tools/code and critically, expose their method. The code is projected as a visual while artists write and modify it in real time.
“Livecoding brings your computer about as close to an analog instrument as is currently possible, this is engaging as an artist, and especially so for the audience - the whole method can be exposed, you can see what’s going on behind the curtain so to speak…”
Bernard has run several audio and visual livecoding workshops in 2022 under the “DECODED” moniker, including an intensive 4 week adult course at the Griffith Regional Art Gallery, and a condensed 2 hour introduction for kids during Youth Week at the Griffith Library. These courses culminated in a student performance as part of the Audio Visions Community Art exhibition at the Griffith Regional Art Gallery, followed closely by a pair of solo sets at the Banna Lane Festival event.
He tends to stream online under the nickname “cleary” and can be found on a variety of online video and streaming platforms. Every Sunday morning for the last 18 months (at an eye-watering 6am!) he has hosts a collaborative livecoding event known as WeekendJam with livecoders from all over the globe - it is unplanned, improvised, highly experimental and surprisingly coherent given it’s possible for every player to play all the instruments all at once(!).
In March this year Algorave turned 10, and ran an online streaming marathon event in celebration. Bernard had the (somewhat dubious) honour of being the only Australian performer amongst 140 other livecoders - he’s hoping to change that for the next Algorave celebration. Check out the video of his performance -