Behind The Screens: Illestpreacha
An interview with Kofi Oduro, also known as Illestpreacha.
Illestpreacha, aka Kofi Oduro, is an Experiential Storyteller, Creative Coder, and Performative Programmer. In this interview, we’d like to talk about his practices and tools, as well as work in the community and his upcoming activities.
What is live coding, what does it mean to you and how has it influenced your practice of making and thinking about art?
Livecoding is an exploration , a translation
of thoughts I either conceived
or from others that I have seen
allowing myself to have implementation
that merges both analog and digital
some might consider it to be ritual
It allows me to think in different ways
take snippet of code and play
where I let my expressions freely roam
as code is poetry and poetry is code
Could you tell us what your first encounter with live coding was and what are your sources of inspiration (these may also come from outside the live coding practice)?
My first encounter of livecoding was with Sonic Pi and making experiences through that. My inspirations come from many factors of my life such as hiphop/freestyle rap improvisational movements from sports, fitness, and wellness taking concepts from psychology, sociology and biology with added playfulness just like on how on these questions there is a rhyme in the formations.
Do you have any preferred platforms and/or languages, how did you come to use them and do you have a specific reason for it?
At this point, I just like using an array of languages. I think of what language will allow me to explore and give the audience and myself something to experience and enjoy in depth I think of the array of languages as packages
that are blank pages waiting for me type in some code as the next steps.
I used any of the following but not limited to or in order: SonicPi, P5.js, Hydra, Livecodelab, Seis8s, Barbaradesigns, Tidal Cycles, livecoding Youtube, etc. And in the wider scope of creative coding have been implementing even more languages to the mix. Such as Python, Twilio, and Obs.
Are there any platforms, tools, libraries or other extensions you
have developed yourself and if so can you elaborate on why and for
Rite in Rolls and Keyboarding Collage for performative poetry.
Rite in Rolls can be played as a party/tabletop type of game or as a simple tool to get ideas to write poetry. I like using it for performances to have improvisations out of my head and engage with the crowds.
Keyboarding Collage was made to have a system that with a bit of button mashing mentality, I would be able to have pieces and movement that can be both visually distinctive as well as performed easily. Both of which were done with P5js.
Are you part of a (local) community? How do you organize and do you share works or collaborate often?
And collaborating on anything that has energy that I can attach myself to and be beneficial for all parties. This can be leading workshops, doing performances and adding some algorithmic flair.
In what forms are algorithms and randomness applied in your practice or performance? Do you try to pursue serendipity and how or why not?
Randomness is a factor I engage with constantly. In so many different ways to maintain that every experience for myself is different and try to even go as far as seeing different prompts, tempos and creations that each participant/audience member can walk around with a different idea.
Lately I’ve been implementing this by asking out of the norm questions while performing. Or Implementing a tool like Twilio, so the audience can engage at their own pace.
Do you have any recommendations for people who have not gotten into live/creative coding but are curious to give it a try?
What I like about creative/live coding is that any discipline of art can be mixed within it. It isn’t only a genre of coding but it can be an extension of it.
There are ways to mix your creativity and your style with the various tools out there.
There is no wrong way to live/creative code.
Could you share a sneak-peek into an upcoming project or something you are currently working on and very excited about?
The world building of the colorscape project, especially adding more to the Dip In Code World as seen below.
Dip in Code takes the concept of Hearing Colour, Seeing Sound while allowing the audience the pleasure of tasting colors and seeing taste while hearing it at the same time. Dip in Code: Kitchen of Hues, takes colors that happen to be named after food. To give an audiovisual experience that crosses over to an immersive culinary setting/Dining Experience as well. Every track isn’t a single color like its predecessor but will be named after meals that are also names of Colours. The soundtrack of each meal is Coded and visualized to make sure the meal is represented well. Enjoy that colorful byte.
Dip In Code takes Narrative Design, Mathematical Fiction, Data Analyzation, Data Visualization, Livecoding, Data Sonification, Creative Coding and merges them within themselves and other mediums to produce an experience that stems from the premise of everything being linked. It Is an interesting component of the Colorscape Universe with its own building and evolution grounded in the numbers it holds.
Is there anything we did not ask about but you would really like to
share with the readers?
Check out the other Behind The Screens videos, they have been amazing.
For a variety of creative coding, checking things such as Genuary, NapoGenMo or just searching things such as toplap.org, an awesome list of creative coding can bring about a great journey. And Always Remember to PLAY (when possible)
In terms of books, one book that was given to me by a friend called “The Secret lives of Colors” has been a great book to randomly turn the pages and read tales of some of the colors we have grown accustomed to.
If some of the stuff, you read has interested you, you can check out some links on social media platforms under @illestpreacha and on my site: https://portfolio.illestpreacha.com/links
This article is part of the Behind The Screens series of Creative Coding Utrecht — a series of events where digital artists and live coders create a piece in ten minutes.
The Behind The Screens series is suppported by Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industries and Gemeente Utrecht.