[ISEA2011] Panel: Al­berto de Campo – World­mak­ing, par­tic­i­pa­tion, and learn­ing: ex­per­i­ments in col­lab­o­ra­tive cre­ation

Panel Statement

Panel: The Volatility and Stability of WorldMaking as Techné

This paper will dis­cuss a re­cent pro­ject re­alised with a mixed group of par­tic­i­pants, and its evolv­ing fol­lowup. Varia Zoosys­tem­at­ica Pro­fun­do­rum began as the idea of mod­el­ing (hy­po­thet­i­cal) com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween crea­tures to be in­vented. Apart from ac­quir­ing prac­tice in elec­tron­ics, pro­gram­ming, and me­chan­i­cal build­ing, the guid­ing prin­ci­ple was hav­ing the team de­velop much of the con­cept jointly. Thus, many as­pects of the pro­ject evolved from team dis­cus­sions in­clud­ing just-in-time cod­ing ex­per­i­ments oc­cur­ring across sev­eral in­ter­re­lated courses. Once the con­text (the Deep Sea) was de­cided on, the par­tic­i­pants began to in­vent a va­ri­ety of highly in­di­vid­ual crea­tures, which share com­mon brain func­tion­ing; com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween them is by telepa­thy, and ex­pressed by sound, light and move­ment. In essence, we loosely com­bined no­tions from works like Gor­don Pask’s Col­lo­quy of Mo­biles with a work­ing method­ol­ogy in­spired by David Tudor’s ap­proach in evolv­ing Rain­for­est. Given the pos­i­tive re­sponses from all par­tic­i­pants, the ap­proach is ex­tended fur­ther in a fol­lowup pro­ject: Here, we start by look­ing at his­toric in­stances of cy­ber­netic think­ing and fu­tur­ol­ogy, and will cre­ate a loose per­for­ma­tive con­text for in­di­vid­ual works in­volv­ing sys­tems such as playable chaotic syn­the­sis­ers for audio and vi­su­als – again, de­tails will emerge from the flow of the pro­ject, and group im­pro­vi­sa­tion (which we con­sider a cy­ber­netic ac­tiv­ity) will hap­pen at dif­fer­ent time scales, from plan­ning to build­ing to even­tual per­for­mances.

  • Prof. Al­berto de Campo is a com­poser and per­former, and teaches Gen­er­a­tive Art/Com­pu­ta­tional Art. After study­ing clas­si­cal com­po­si­tion, jazz gui­tar and elec­tronic/com­puter music in Aus­tria and the U.S., he has worked as Re­search Di­rec­tor at CRE­ATE, UC Santa Bar­bara, and taught com­puter music and sound art at Music Uni­ver­sity Graz and Media Arts Acad­emy Cologne. He was the Edgard Varese guest pro­fes­sor for Elec­tronic Music at Tech­ni­cal Uni­ver­sity Berlin in 2005, and was lead re­searcher in the So­nEn­vir pro­ject (2005-2007), an in­ter­dis­ci­pli­nary re­search ven­ture on soni­fy­ing sci­en­tific data from dif­fer­ent do­mains. In 2007, he be­came Pro­fes­sor for Music In­for­mat­ics at Music Uni­ver­sity Dues­sel­dorf, and since 2009, he is Pro­fes­sor for Gen­er­a­tive Art/Com­pu­ta­tional Art at the Uni­ver­sity for the Arts Berlin. He ex­plores a wide range of top­ics in col­lab­o­ra­tions with other artists and stu­dents: Code-based net­work music per­for­mance, bi­o­log­i­cally in­formed/in­spired art such as the pro­ject Varia Zoosys­tem­at­ica, hy­brid au­dio­vi­sual per­for­mance in­stru­ments and in­ter­ac­tive sys­tems, and im­pro­vi­sa­tion strate­gies in dif­fer­ent con­texts.