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.