[ISEA2011] Paper: Fabio Paolizzo & Ruth Cain – VIVO (Video Interactive VST Orchestra) and the aesthetics of interactivity in the age of care-less capitalism


Is it possible to use interactive arts, and specifically interactive music, as tool to enhance consciousness? How interactive arts and consciousness intersect with Derrida’s concept of a given?

Under capitalism, we increase the requirement for care by focusing on the subject as an independent economic entity, but at the same time we increase the requirement for care, precisely because of the focus on the individual economic attainment. Because of this economic undervaluation, collectivity, sacrificiality, emotional giving and other components of the ¨given¨ become simultaneously intensely problematic and sought after.

The research spans the fields of musicology, socio-legal studies, software development and composition. Working hypothesis of the study is that users, who individually and collectively create and self-reflect in an emergent grammar, as defined by Hopper, may approach a new type of relational consciousness. Relational consciousness is denied and demanded by late capitalism. The development of an apparently relational consciousness online, problematizes issues of (dis)embodiment and global distance, posing the question of how new virtual form of relationship might mitigate the harshness, isolation and anxiety of care-less capitalism.

The present study recognizes that specific structures of interrelation may allow the formation of a such a new consciousness, which might operate independently, escaping the overwhelming control of capital. In music, these structures may support the relation between the consciousness of human agents’ self and the musical instrument and musical facts that these users are shaping.

VIVO (Video Interactive VST Orchestra) is an interactive software musical instrument, which implements these structures, and openinmedia.?net is the social network that hosts it. Users can collaborate, create, publish and share, both open and copyrighted contents and resources, online.

  • Fabio Paolizzo Composer, Musicologist, Software Developer. In the last eight years he has focused on interactivity in the arts with special attention to music, interactive computer systems and cognition. He previously studied and taught at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy; he is currently PhD at the University of Kent, UK. He retains 15 years of music-making and concert experience across Europe and 10 years of sound designing and art curatorial practice. He has experience in 14 programming languages. fabiopaolizzo.com
  • Ruth Cain  [ISEA2011 provided no biographical information]

Full text (PDF) p. 1854-1859 [different title!]