Re: [-empyre-] question for Barbara

At 12:23 AM 3/15/2005, you wrote:
I have a question for you, Barbara, if you like.

> "We believe in a future where music will no longer be considered a
> linear composition, but a dynamic structure, and musical composition
> will extend to interaction. We also believe that the divisions of
> composer, performer, and audience will be blurred, by the introduction
> of such media."


I think that there have been many years of experimentation in that direction already. People are adapting technological processes based on prior cultural experiments and necessities, and are thus building on those cultural experiments/traditions. The "introduction of such media" happened as an effect, not a cause, of such experimentation.

Do you agree?

(As a kind of proof, take the inventions of the phonograph and the telephone and their relative impacts on the development of sound art across the span of the 20th century...Why did the telephone have so much less significance for sound experiments until late in the century? What caused the "discovery" of the phone as a medium for art as well as communication in the 1980s work of Mr.Apology, for example, as well as sonic artists since?).

Nonetheless, the extended use of media over time does feed back into the way that one experiences one's world, producing certain patterns of perception, expectation and engagement, etc. I just think that, at this point in time, we can look for changes beyond those of compositional restructuring. For example, the DIY aesthetic grew out of punk and this has fed just as much into the blurring of divisions between artist and audience as what has been enabled by technological interfaces.

What is your feeling about this sort of possible future concerning video,
particularly as experienced in front of a computer at which one 'works' (we
'work', right?).

My software participates in DIY culture. When it comes to video and film, I identify as part of the audience. Therefore, my effort is in creating active ways of viewing screen images. The act of seeing becomes a performance, which means that the division between maker and viewer becomes blurred as an effect of the performativity of the audience (myself or others using software).

Eventually DIY culture changes the construct called "audience" entirely. Groupings coalesce with entirely different expectations and ways of engaging the screen.

I may be over-emphasizing the DIY aspect. It isn't just about different ways of positioning oneself as a viewer. It is also about escaping what is over-determined and predictable, probing/constructing labyrinths to get lost in, etc. The computer is so chimerical... a mimic of other machines... But, at this point in time, if we happen to still "work in front of the computer", I do not know how productive a challenge it is to speculate on how that might change someday. Obviously it will change.

What do you think, Jim? I guess that you raise the question because you have some insights of your own.



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