Date display area
Papers
These are a selection of papers and stand-alone book chapters. Follow links for texts, copyright information and links to pdfs etc.
Multimedia and Live Performance (2007)
Developing an Infrastructure to Support Creativity
This paper was delivered at the Digital Resources for the Humanities and Arts conference in September 2007 (DRHA07) and reports on my research to that date. It outlines my research goal, to support and develop the creative use of multimedia in live performance, and the initial impetus and background to the project which was started due to perceived difficulties in the way artists currently work. I suggest that perhaps the largest problem arises from the specialised and bespoke nature of most of the software resources used and talk about how this thought led to the question of whether a generic system might be feasible and, if so, what its features might be. I discuss some of the initial results and outcomes; an initial phase involving structured interviews with a range of practitioners is beginning to suggest that a generalised system might be possible and some required broad approaches have been identified. Specifying the system has involved developing a generalised language to describe performance based on set theory which has then led to a formal computational model. After briefly describing the implementation of an initial prototype and performance scripting language, I gave a live demonstration of the prototype system to conclude my presentation.
Composing without Composers? (2006)
Creation, control and individuality in computer-based algorithmic composition.
The combination of a longstanding fascination with artificial life and developments in digital technology provide opportunities for constructing computer-based intelligences that exhibit some of the characteristics of individual personalities with significant musical competencies. Digital technologies, in many different areas of musical application, are participating in this development and the relationships between humans and computers are changing as a consequence. Composers, who have often sought to remove themselves from the act of creation, are becoming able to approach composition in new ways. However, the novel potential for creating algorithmic composing agents and the development of a networked society, will also force composers to confront and accommodate anxieties about the loss of individual creative identity in a digital age.
Published in Electronics in New Music, edited by Mahnkopf, Cox and Schurig. Published by Wolke Verlag (ISBN 103936000158).
Pinning Down the Artists? (2006)
Developing a methodology for examining and developing creative practice.
Delivered at the 2006 DMU Humanities post graduate conference, this paper deals with the initial stages of my study into the practice of artists working in the field of Multimedia and Live Performance, focusing on their use of interactive digital technology. Individual artists tend to try and create work that is highly characterised and as different as possible to that of other practitioners. This quest for a distinctive style means that comparing one artistís use of technology with anotherís (in an attempt to draw conclusions about activity in the field as a whole) is necessarily problematic. For valid comparisons to be made, common features and categories of usage and activity need to be identified in a data set that is, by its nature, highly heterogeneous.
In the paper, I propose an approach using a layered conceptual model of practice which distinguishes between the intentionality of an artistís use of technology and the means with which that functionality is realised. This model allows a flexible approach to developing a methodology for a survey (to be conducted through interviews) and subsequent analysis. Importantly, separating what technology is used for in a performance (functionality) from the means used (technology) allows the development of a rigorous epistemology. This can establish an initial set of significant knowledge-elements, whilst retaining the opportunity to introduce additional items for consideration and comparison as the work proceeds, based on artistsí reflections on their own individual uses of technology in their work. Even if artists are producing work that operates in entirely different ways, underlying technologies are exposed to comparison and evaluation through the decoupling of means and ends.
The paper concludes with speculations on the possible mappings between functionality and technology layers in this model and the significances these may have for artistic practice. Thus, artists may realise similar functionality using different technological means or may use a single technology to serve a number of different purposes or artistic requirements. To be published in the ĎIOCT Research Papersí series (DMU)
Hyper-Polyphony (2002)
Published in Polyphony and Complexity, (ISBN 3936000107) edited by Mahnkopf, Cox and Schurig. Published by Wolke Verlag. Looking at the implications of digital technology for performance.

This page was last updated on 24th March 2008