April 28, 2011 AT 12:23 pm

illucia: a modular codebending instrument

illucia is a codebending instrument.

Codebending is the exploration of software with “patch points.” Patch points expose the inner workings of computer programs, and allow for atypical connections between things like games, music making software, office suites, etc.

illucia is a USB device with physical jacks that correspond to software patch points, which can be connected and disconnected using patch cables. Thus, illucia is a console for routing information between computer programs, and opens strange relationships across systems that don’t usually interact – it turns systems themselves into play objects.

I’ve written several codebendable games / programs that open their inner workings via patch points. Fascinating and unexpected things happen when connecting otherwise-unrelated programs:

Video games can play other video games. Music synthesizers can control word processors. Feedback loops turn everyday software tropes into generative art. Simple AI is patchable. Anything controls (and can be controlled by) anything; in codebending, every system becomes an instrument with a unique voice, ready to control, and be controlled.

illucia is a physical instrument to explore these kinds of connections – it is a way to treat systems as playgrounds.

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