io 0.0.1 beta: ironic tale? sci-fi parody? nostalgic relic? (a report from TWO Thousand + NINE)

Some thoughts and observations from my presentation on io 0.0.1 beta at the TWO Thousand + NINE symposium, the Sonic Arts Research Center, Belfast, N. Ireland. [Abstract…]

At the end of the presentation, a couple of remarks stood out. One was Franziska Schroeder’s comment that the presentation posed more questions than provided answers, and the other was Simon Waters’ pithy observation that the difficulties I (and io) had with the terms discussed was because they were nouns (not, say, verbs).

One of the problems with my presentation was due, in retrospect, to the introduction (enactment) of the imaginary conversations within a scholarly/theoretical contexts. The quirks and hiccups of the presentation pushes me to ask (again) why I engage in these imaginary conversations in the first place. I doubt they are much use in illustrating any hard ‘facts’ or ‘truths’; they are certainly far too oblique to say much beyond simplistic sc-fi notions of human or machine agency.

My reply to Waters’ comment was that he was right, that the nouns are the problem, and, borrowing a term from a Calvin and Hobbs cartoon strip [transcript…], that ‘verbing’ [see: 1 and 2] might be a solution… but the verbing, to me, actually occurred during the presentation; or, better yet, the Han-earl Park-io 0.0.1 beta dialog was supposed be a (mock) enactment of the process. (I leave it up to those who witnessed the presentation, however, as to whether the conversation was successful as such.)

The presentation was, in a sense, my (possibly naive, perhaps clumsy) attempt at verbing in motion. The conversation were, for me, a way of demonstrating, via an analogous dialog, what happens on-stage. In other words, the conversations were there to depict (in cartoonish, sci-fi caricature) a real-time (re)negotiation and (re)engineering of, possibly (un)stable, variably durable, processes and identities. The content is very much secondary to the play, and thus, the presentation could offer, at best, very few answers.

This was also my first experience of being ‘on-stage’ at a scholarly/academic symposium/conference. It was also the first time I attempted (an admittedly pantomime) staging of a conversation between io and myself (my previous presentations on io have followed an analytic, pseudo-archeological, reverse engineering format). My inexperience showed not only in the form and content of my presentation, but also, I think, in my (lack of) ability to handle of the comments, questions and criticisms at the end.

I’m intrigued that those forces that shape real-time, interactive music, those forces that I value and gravitate towards in groups improvisation—shifting landscape of goals, desires and agencies, and the multiplicity of view points—are the ones that I found problematic within a scholarly/academic space and practice.
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Thanks to the Arts Council of Ireland for supporting my trip to Belfast for the symposium, and to Franziska Schroeder for inviting me.

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