'Pop Live Coding Encounters' Paper at ICLC 2024

DJ_Dave, Lil Data & Kane West take on pop!
Fri May 31 2024
Pop Live Coding at ICLC 2024

Pop Live Coding at ICLC 2024

Pop Live Coding Encounters: Reflections on Practice

Sarah Davis / DJ_Dave, Lil Data / Jack Armitage & Kane West / Gus Lobban are presenting their paper on 1 June at the International Conference on Live Coding (ICLC) 2024 being held in NYU Shanghai in China. It’s the hyperpop-academia crossover you didn’t know you needed! Visit this page for more on our ICLC Satellite Events.


Live coding started as a grassroots computer music rebellion, and has predominantly grown around academic institutional interest and support. As a radical field, it has so far largely circumvented the trappings of the music and academic industries. However, its ever-increasing popularity leads inevitably to the question; what happens when live coding encounters pop music, and vice versa? We provide personal reflections as pop live coding practitioners, from our experiences mainly taking place across the United States and Europe. In doing so, this paper seeks to open up a discourse on pop live coding - live coding of popular music, for a general audience, onstage, in the studio, and online. We discuss the motivations for bringing these worlds together, and how our practices have developed over the years to work with the needs and expectations of non-academic, non-live coding audiences. We also reflect on the tensions and challenges that arise when communicating live coding aesthetics, idioms and values on a larger scale, particularly in social media. We hope that by sharing our experiences, others will be encouraged to push pop live coding further, engage with broader audiences around the world, and contribute to the much-needed discourse around this timely topic.