The loosely constituted field of interactive music has drawn upon AI and practices of free improvisation in creating a new kind of music-making that includes machine subjectivities as central actors. These "creative machines" have been designed to stake out musical territory, assess and respond to conditions, and assert identities and positions--all aspects of improvisative interaction, both within and beyond the domain of music. Meanwhile, theorizing relations among people and interactive systems as microcosms of the social promotes system design and real-time interaction aimed at achieving nonhierarchical, collaborative, and conversational musical spaces. The resulting hybrid, cyborg sociality has forever altered both everyday sonic life and notions of subjectivity in high technological cultures, and this talk opens up a set of question-spaces regarding the nature and impact of these transformations.
George Lewis is Professor of American Music at Columbia University, and Area Chair in Composition. A Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy, Lewis’s other honors include a MacArthur Fellowship (2002) and a Guggenheim Fellowship (2015).