Algorithms meet the arts at Sheffield’s annual AlgoMech Festival

A unique festival which artistically fuses algorithms and mechanics, starts in Sheffield tomorrow.

AlgoMech Festival will be running, concerts, talks and workshops that creatively link algorithms and mechanics until the 12th November at venues across the city centre.

The headliners for its second year are experimental electronic rock band 65daysofstatic, who are debuting their new work ‘Decomposition Theory or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Demand the Future’.

The group’s three sets at the Millennium Gallery will see them experiment with procedural audio processes, coding and algorithms to produce live music, with support from music group Blood Sport and algoraver Heavy Lifting.

Festivalgoers can also take on the role of DJ at ‘algorave academy’, where they will have the chance to make their own algorithmic dance music and visuals, and on 12 November a workshop will be held for visitors to make music-producing fabric.

Algorave is a relatively new force which sees musicians generate dance music through algorithms.

Alex McLean, curator of the festival and co-founder of the algorave movement, said “AlgoMech brings together incredibly diverse interests including computer art, electronic dance music, traditional dance, and textiles.

“By opening up the algorithmic and mechanical aspects of this work in a very accessible way, I hope people will be able to see and enjoy how the innards of both machines and software work together to make our modern world, and maybe think about how we can keep control of these technologies.”

AlgoMech Festival 2017 concludes with a concert at the Millennium Gallery, where artists will be making their own machines to produce music.

Photo credit: the Open Data Institute

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