My name is Joseph Wilk and I’m something in-between a programmer, artist and musician.
While I have an academic background in computer science and artificial intelligence I taught myself music through programming code. I’ve been programming now for about 25 years. During that time I’ve had to learn to live with a disability.
Programming became my equivalent of being free and empowered. So it’s always been important to my identity. However while I loved programming something was missing, it was not connected with my own self expression. I started exploring machine creativity and AI generated music (to send my new born daughter to sleep) and this somehow led to me writing programming code live to an audience. Controlling music, hardware and 3D generated visuals in clubs, conferences and festivals.
Since discovering code as a means of self expression and performance its felt like I’ve found the core of what programming is to me.
Most of my work now focuses on using programming as a lens to explore social issues often through interactive audio and visual exhibitions. Building open-source tools for live coding, teaching programming as a creative art and collaborating with musicians and composers creating digital instruments. Touching on programming based synthesis, digital signal processing, procedural generation, 3D graphics, AI, machine learning and big data techniques.
In my performance work as “Repl Electric” I create narrative driven visual and musical live experiences. In live coding the programming code is often projected along with any visuals so the audience can see the source code as it’s written. Audiences without any programming experience can see and read how I affect the world and encode my thoughts through writing bits of text in a file and executing it.
Embracing the open-source culture, sharing my musical source code for everyone to see, mutate and learn from. I play with concepts and tools of programming using them in novel and unintended ways. Exploring what code means as a musical instrument and learning for myself how I can express myself while sharing with people what’s possible with code. That programming is not just a path to creating a Silicon Valley startup but a language and an empowerment everyone should have access to.
I’ll be a part of the #MTFLabs and look forward to learning, sharing and being inspired by all the lovely people attending MTF Stockholm.