“Aesthetic and Compositional Issues in Interactive Systems” presented by Povall


Presentation Title:

  • Aesthetic and Compositional Issues in Interactive Systems



  • Round Table Statement

    This roundtable would ideally be presented as a discussion forum AND a kiosk. The kiosk would make experimental artists’ CD-ROMs of relevance to the discussion available to individual viewers. The roundtable is intended for practicing artists with experience of, or with an interest in, interactive media, especially interactive performance media. Artists, authors, and experimenters are invited to bring work examples to illuminate the discussion (by prior arrangement with the roundtable conveyor). The terms “realtime systems” or “interactive systems” beg a host of compositional questions. Just what do we mean by interactive? What can interactive compositions possibly be? How does interactive performance affect our sense of the composed or designed time domain, our perceptions of how time is organized and how it passes? What are the aesthetics of interactive work — do they differ from aesthetic value judgements in more conventional frameworks? There are, of course, many realtime interactive systems, ranging from a simple MIDI keyboard with preset sounds, to the most complex multi-CPU systems. For the purposes of this debate, a certain level of complexity is assumed. Crucially, the systems implied here involve a certain degree of automation or machine knowledge a light operator in a stage booth could be said to be operating a “realtime interactive system”, and possibly with some validity but it is not what we mean for the purposes of this forum. All too often the role of the artist is rarely questioned within these interactive systems. Certainly, within score-driven interactive music systems, the composer is still at the top of the creative hierarchy, creating a interactive sonic environment controlled by a performer’s playing only in the sense that it responds to the interpretative gestures of the musical performer. A score, nevertheless, is regurgitated with a high degree of repeatability. In looser environments, an artist will often cede certain sections of a piece to a performer in the guise of improvisation. Working with environment-driven interactive systems takes this one step further: the composer creates not just improvisational sections, but environments in which the performer plays/moves/gestures/speaks. In turn, these approaches call for new ways of making work new creative and compositional methodologies that are likely to be a centre of discussion at this roundtable.

    Present at the Round Table:

    Peter Coppin, Carnegia Mellon University, USA
    Todor Todoroff, Faculty Polytechnique de Mons. Belgium
    Martine Corompt, artist, Melbourne,Australia
    Joran Rudi. Norwegian Network for Technology ACOUSTICS and Music, Oslo, Norway
    Keith Brown, Manchester Metropolitan University. UK
    MartIn Spanjaard, artist, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    Niranjan RaJah, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Malaysia
    Unknown1, student from Utrecht, NL
    Unknown2, artist from Denmark

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