robotcowboy: A Wearable One-Man-Band Cyborg Performance Project

Dan Wilcox

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robotcowboy is an ongoing human-computer wearable performance project using custom hardware and software to meld rock music and realtime algorithmic composition.

Conceived as an idiosyncratic manifesto on the embodiment of computational sound, the original robotcowboy system was built in 2006-2007 using an belt-mounted industrial wearable computer running GNU/Linux and Pure Data, external stereo USB audio/MIDI interfaces, HID gamepads, and guitar. A second incarnation explores a one-way journey of the first human on Mars with the computing system adapted into a self-contained spacesuit backpack. Now 10 years on, a new "robotcowboy 2.0" powers a third iteration with only an iPhone and PdParty, the author’s open-source iOS application which runs Pure Data patches and provides full duplex stereo audio, MIDI, HID game controller support, and Open Sound Control communication. The future is bright, do you have room to wiggle? &