Chapter 0. Introduction: ChucK programming for artists


This chapter covers

  • Why do artists need to program?
  • What is ChucK?
  • Why program in ChucK?
  • Why do we and others use ChucK?
  • Some of our own computer-mediated artworks

For many years, the words musician and artist have been changing meaning, rapidly, almost daily, largely due to the introduction of computer technology. Artists perform live with computer technology all the time. The ones who interact directly with computers as part of their performances might call themselves DJs, laptop artists, controllerists, live coders, and a host of other names. Many of these musicians don’t program or write software, but an increasing number want more direct control over their process and the results. Learning to program is one way to get that extra level of control.

Other artists want to make new instruments or controllers or to configure existing controllers such as drum pads, DJ control decks, and the like to use in new ways for their live performances. Still others want to produce songs and albums (.wav and/or .mp3 files) as the final result but would like more control in the process than off-the-shelf music software provides. Some others like (or want) to program as the basis of their creative process and workflow.

0.1. Why do musicians and artists need to program?

0.2. What is ChucK? How is it different?

0.3. Why program in ChucK?

0.4. ChucK-powered and pre-ChucK computer-mediated art

0.5. Summary