This year’s Sound and Music Computing conference (SMC) will be held in Hamburg from August 31 to September 3. The conference is organized by the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg and the Leuphana University in Lüneburg. I had the opportunity to serve as a metareviewer on the program board, and will present a paper on the digital waveform representation becoming a new interface in its own right.
Current recommender systems leave a lot to be desired in terms of making suggestions that are out of the ordinary, inspiring and breaking new ground. This workshop, to be held in conjunction with the UMAP conference in Halifax on July 13-17, explores new approaches to designing recommender systems that can create suggestions which are unexpected and inspiring for the user. I have the privilege to be part of the Program Committee for this workshop.
At this last HyperKult, Andreas Otto and I had the opportunity to exhibit our noisecabin installation from 2006 again. Originally commissioned for the “5 Days Off” festival at the Melkweg club in Amsterdam, the installation is designed to add artificial sound reflections to spaces in which bustling activity is contrasted with times of almost silence. This is true for both club events and conferences, of course, and so the installation was placed in the back of the lecture room and the hall outside. Parts of the lectures were sampled, mashed up, and then replayed in the hall later when the sonic activity level started to decrease.
This year’s HyperKult at Leuphana University in Lüneburg was the last instance in a string of 25 extraordinary conferences. They were extraordinary because they provided room for discussions around the computability of cultural practice away from the bustling struggle for impact and ratings that we experience in the CHI community, for example. With the historic town of Lüneburg as the backdrop, discussions were usually able to slow down and get more thorough as they could be continued over beers by the river. However, this is over now, at least in the form of HyperKult. Aptly named “Shutdown”, this year’s conference was focused on the notion of closure, of endings, in the context of technology that is designed for always-on operation. At the same time, it also provided an opportunity to look back and reflect on the topics that had been in the focus over the years. I was invited to participate in a panel discussion moderated by Rolf Grossmann, and we were joined by Michael Harenberg from HKB Bern. My part concentrated on aspects of interfaces in audio production and performance as they changed over the course of the years, and how this was reflected in scientific and artistic contributions at the HyperKult conferences. The videos of the talks and the panel will be available soon in the HyperKult archive.
The conference was held May 28-29 in Berlin’s Bode Museum. The museum’s Gobelin Hall provided an extravagant setting for a conference dealing with technology. My paper was titled “The Music of Machines: Investigating Culture and Technology in Musical Creativity”. It expands on the notion that musicians already collaborate with machines in various ways, but that machines will have an even greater impact in the future as they get more aware of the situations in which they are being used. In the paper, I propose four dimensions of situation-awareness that might play a role in this process.
Conference Proceedings at vwh
Full paper (Pdf)
On April 18, I will have the honor to be part of organizing a workshop at the CHI2015 conference in Seoul, Korea, the biggest interface design conference in the world. All the details can be found at the workshop blog.
The European Research Network Sociology of the Arts held its 8th midterm conference at Cluj / Romania from September 4-6, 2014. I had the honor to present a paper on the current state and the outlook of research conducted within the GiantSteps research project, focusing on prospects and problems of so-called “musical expert agents” in creative processes. The paper discusses a situation where the availability of large amounts of data on artistic work facilitates new approaches in composition and sound creation. What are the expectations towards these new possibilities? Are artists looking forward to algorithmic “agents”, or will they disable them immediately?
ESA-Arts 2014 Conference Website