Shelly Knotts (Hangar)

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Shelly Knotts is an improviser who performs with computers and other humans. Interests in code, data and networks have lead her down strange and diverse musical paths from electroacustic composition, through jazz and noise music, to Algorave. She experiments with generative and AI techniques and opinionated algorithms to make music. She has performed at numerous Algoraves and other live coding events worldwide, solo and with collaborative projects including ALGOBABEZ.


“What glitch feminism proposes here is this: perhaps we want the break, we want to fail... through our presence as glitch we want to stand before, within and outside of brokenness. The break an error, the error a passageway... Can the break be a form of building something new?” (Legacy Russell, Glitch Feminism)  “We All Begin in Abstraction...” is an AV networked live coding (LC) performance for LC musician (Knotts), live video (Sojung Bahng) and movement (Kirby Casilli) which takes inspiration from Russell’s writing to explore threads of female embodiment, error and algorithmically mediated life.

In previous work on LC, error and failure, Shelly explored failure as a structural and social component of LC, arguing that embracing error is an essential characteristic of the practice. From a feminist perspective, rejecting techno-heroic narratives of coding as requiring “perfection”, “genius”, or at worst “magic” and “wizardry”, opens LC up to more diverse practitioners and audiences. The engagement with error both facilitates and necessitates open forms and formlessness that allow us to build and explore new worlds at the intersection of art and technology with LC. In LC, error constitutes an embodied form of computing, drawing attention from the screen and towards the body which is creating a rupture, a break in the flow system. As a non-normative body in computer programming, I’m interested in this tension between error and embodiment, inhabiting, and performing, an alien body in this context.


External links - official webpage