[-empyre-] -empyre- bios | listserv as historical

Kenneth Fields kfields at ucalgary.ca
Sat Jun 29 18:11:05 EST 2013

Dear Empyreans,

I have two more days left as a Canada Research Chair 
in Telemedia Arts at the University of Calgary. My five year 
research project there involved live artistic performance over
high-speed networks. We operated the studio under the name
of Syneme and have reported/summarized our activities over
the last few years in a special issue of Organised Sound, 
Networked Electroacoustic Music, Vol. 17.1.

I return full-time to Beijing at the Central Conservatory of Music 
where we have started a similar studio - Syneme-Asia. A Ph.D. in 
Network Music has been approved and will officially be on the 
books this Fall 2013. I originally started at the Central Conservatory 
soon after a Ph.D. in Media Arts from the University of California, 
Santa Barbara in 2000. Being involved in the early electronic arts
scene in China, I also remember becoming acquainted with 
my new Austral-Asian colleagues at the Unesco-Sarai 
meeting in New Delhi in 2003.

Ironically, after five years of honing the most sophisticated 
infrastructure and practices in network arts performance, the 
administration of networked professing was ill prepared to go along 
with the program and consider the future of the networked academic 
institution - or teaching at a distance. As I proposed, it is essential to 
teach network arts techniques in-situ, on the network and not in the 
simulated networked environment of a computer lab classroom, 
where when the students get in a bind, they can just yell for 
help, rather than negotiate the solution through the network.

The result of this research project has had a profound effect 
on my practice. Real-time music collaboration across a significant 
span of the space-time continuum, accentuates the physical delay 
in communication that we have had the luxury of ignoring due to its 
infinitesimal influence in localized practices. What now of the new
auditory forms that take a zig-zag path around the planet at the 
speed of light and return imprinted with experience, 
transformation and the scars of packet loss. 

Beijing is again my home, where the infinite emergent varieties 
of traffic formations caused by the one simple/elegant rule (me first!), 
inspires my poetics. And the light!… filtered though the dense 
2.5 nano particle network that continually inundates the city.

Ken Fields
Central Conservatory of Music
Beijing, China. http://syneme-asia.ccom.edu.cn

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