A call-up to fight covid19

As with many folks at the moment (both in Canberra and around the world) I’ve been called up into a covid19 taskforce (an initiative of the ANU’s Software Innovation Institute, in partnership with the RSCS & other parts of the ANU). I’m the technical lead on the part of the project which is trying to wrap up epidemiological simulation models into usable & robust tools for seeing & understanding what the results of said models mean for the Canberra health system. How can we predict what will happen, and how can we manage our finite resources to deliver the best care possible—these are the questions we need to answer as the world settles in for (perhaps) a long period of on-and-off distancing & isolation. I’ll be able to share more details in the future, so if you’re interested in that sort of thing then come back to check for updates on this blog (I’ll use the covid19 tag).

That means that some aspects of my creative coding work are temporarily on the back burner (although I’m still teaching the Laptop Ensemble). I can’t complain too much—covid19 has put lots of stuff on the back burner all over the world. In fact, I’m thankful to (a) have a job and (b) have a sense of agency about all this stuff; the feeling of impotence as an individual in a big world beset by this pandemic can be hard to take sometimes.

The toolkit of computation as explored through the domain of making art & music is no less relevant when we’re all stuck at home in isolation. The arts can be a balm in difficult times, especially while many are staring down the barrel of unemployment & the need to re-skill. Our computers threaten to eat us and our happiness if we just sit at them passively consuming our social media & news feeds.

The c/c/c studio will still (fingers crossed) kick off formally in 2021 as anticipated, so stay tuned for more updates. And if you’re a schoolteacher in the Canberra region and you’d like to have a guest talk (or even an interactive workshop) on musical livecoding delivered via zoom over the next few months, get in touch.

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