from digital ECHOS to virtual ETHOS
Music technology meets philosophy

Special Sessions

Technologies and Sound: Questions and Philosophical Views
     In recent times the domain of technology has become as pervasive and ubiquitous to represent less and less a source of tools, devices and effective designs coping with specific problems and activities, and even more an environment to the human being - encompassing everything from one's everyday dwelling in the world and the society, to the experience of one's own body and indeed of one's Self. To some extent, that process consists in an increasingly deeper integration of digital technologies within and across infrastructures made of a variety of technological layers. Current developments in music and the sound arts, regardless of specific aesthetic orientations, seem to well reflect such changes: indeed, they can be understood as ways to sonically - or better, audibly - make sense of the profound reconfiguration of human perception and cognition that is under way. It could hardly be different: they signify changes taking place in auditory and musical cognitive skills, slight but crucial rearrangements in our bodily perception of the vibratory mechanics of the environment.

Iannis Xenakis: Technology and Philosophy

(Chair: Makis Solomos)

   Xenakis’ pioneering role in new music technologies is well known. He contributed to their development through his electroacoustic works (DiamorphosesConcret PH, Légende d’Eer…), his theories (stochastics, granular paradigm…), his machines (UPIC), his multimedia realizations (polytopes). His first studies as (civil) engineer sharpened his efficiency. But his practical mind was coupled with a speculative mind, oriented towards philosophical interrogations. In his writings, he offers thoughts on questions concerning the relation between music (art) and technology. For instance, he is critical about the domination of Technique or the blind use of computer (“The computer can only give results, he can calculate according to your intuition. And if your instructions are based on no intuition, you follow haphazardly a combination of formulae, of systems […] But if you have a direction, an intuition, an ‘idea’ […] and your are trying, you could have surprises […]. Xenakis, interview by J.M. Leclerc, “L'ordinateur, instrument du XXème siècle”, Pédagogiques vol.2 n°2, 1977). More generally, his thoughts on the relationship between the creative mind and technology are still relevant today.


Dematerializing - Rematerializing:  Tangibility in Computer Music
(chair: Claude Cadoz)

Tangibility and sense presence through physical interaction present ongoing challenges in digitally mediated technologies. These are particularly pertinent in time based Arts such as Computer Music and Sound Art because of the level of intimacy and directness that are required.

The democratization of Computer Arts and Computer Music have, because of the dematerialization afforded by digital technologies, considerably pushed the boundaries of creativity. However, this creates the problem of reconciling this openness with modes of experience characterized by notions such as embodiment, presence, enaction and tangibility, that can be said to be inherent in and fundamental for any creative process, and of course of finding the good alliance between them and the immaterial.

The European Art-Science-Technology Network (EASTN), proposes a dedicated session to the joint ICMC/SMC 2014 conference and invites contributors to submit  hilosophical as well as Technical Papers discussing the notion of tangibility in the above sense.

Topics can be, but not exclusively : Embodiment / Tangibility / Enaction / Computer Arts / Interaction in Music / Interaction in Arts / Interfaces / Sensors / Actuators / Physical Modeling / Modeling / 3D Printing, etc.