Computer Musicking as Onto-Epistemic Playground

Abstract

Theories across sciences and humanities posit a central role for musicking in the evolution of the social, biological and technical pat- terns that underpin modern humanity. In this talk I suggest that contemporary computer musicking can play a similarly critical role in supporting us through contemporary existential, ecological, technological and social crises, by providing a space for reworking our relationships with each other and the world, including the technologies that we make. Framed by Gregory Bateson’s analysis of the fundamental epistemological error which leads to interrelated existential, social and ecological crises, I will draw upon a range of personal projects to illustrate the value of computer music practices in learning to think better: from cybernetic generative art, through ecosystemic evolutionary art and feedback musicianship to the need for interactive approaches to algorithm interpretation in ma- chine listening to biodiversity. I will illustrate how computer musicking can help in three ways: firstly by developing complexity literacy, helping us to better understand the complex systems of the anthropocene; secondly by providing a space to explore other modes of relation through learning to let others be; and thirdly to clarify the importance of aligning technologies with and not against, the biosphere. As pre-historic musicking made us human, so contemporary computer musicking can help us learn to think through the challenges we face today and be better humans tomorrow.

Keywords

Complexity, enactivism, artificial life, feedback musicianship, ecoacoustics, ethics, ecosystemic generative art

How to Cite

Eldridge, A. C., (2022) “Computer Musicking as Onto-Epistemic Playground”, Journal of Creative Music Systems 1(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.5920/jcms.1038

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Authors

Alice Cecelia Eldridge (University of Sussex)

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0

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This article has been peer reviewed.

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