International Conference
„Improvisation, Ecology and Digital Technology“

23.06 – 25.06.2022
NRW-Forum Düsseldorf, Germany

The conference “Improvisation, Ecology and Digital Technology” invites renowned artists and researchers to reflect together on the topic artistically and scientifically. The conference therefore includes both artistic and scientific contributions. The artistic contributions will include music, dance, sculpture, video art and sound art. The conference will focus on the artistic practice of improvisation, which can be considered a collective, emergent organizational process. The ecological, economic and technological crisis we are currently confronted with raises the urgent question of an alternative model of action. The conference will explore the question of whether improvisation can enable a new paradigm in dealing with technology, society and nature in the age of digitalization and AI. Can improvisation offer a practical and theoretical model that meets the challenges of the digital age and reinterprets human-machine interaction through the practice of improvisation? Can an ecological paradigm be derived from improvisation that can replace the classical concept of control and the dualism of mind and matter, technology and nature, subject and object, etc., with a new relationship? Is it possible to derive a new paradigm from improvisation that does not start from separation, exclusion and control, but from relation, inclusion and solidarity? New theoretical impulses from the fields of actor-network theory, new materialism, posthumanism, cybernetics, organization theory, human computer interaction, etc. will be used to take a new look at improvisation research. Among other things, the focus will be on these topics:


Thursday 23.06.2022(Online only)

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  • 14:00 Marcel Cobussen // Leiden: »Improvisations as (Non-)Models«
  • 14:50 Daniel Martin Feige // Stuttgart: »Musical Improvisation as Counter-action. On the Relation of Aesthetic Reason and Practical Reason«
  • 15:40 Break
  • 16:00 Eric Lewis // Montreal: »The Machine in the Ghost: Human-Machine Improvisations and the Emergent Mind«
  • 16:50 Suzanne Thorpe // New York: »Eco-logical Musicking: Co-constitution in Sound«
  • 17:40 Break
  • 18:00 Chris Chafe, Fernando Lopez-Lezcano, Constantin Basica // Stanford: California Timezone Unit »JackTrip Overview«
  • 19:00 Sara Ramshaw // Victoria: »An Experiment in Listening in/for Time: Temporality, Improvisation, and Digital Technology in Music and Law«

Friday 24.06.2022(NRW Forum Düsseldorf + Online)

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  • 14:00 Welcome and Opening: Hyun Kang Kim und Nicola L. Hein
  • 14:10 Andrew Pickering // Exeter: »Art and Agency«
  • 15:10 Claudia Robles-Angel // Cologne: »EIN-FÜHLUNG«
  • 16:10 Coffee
  • 16:30 Hyun Kang Kim // Düsseldorf: »Improvisation, Communication and Ecology«
  • 17:30 Claudia Schmitz, UnStumm // Köln: »Transmedial Conversation - Improvisation, sustainability and digital agency« / »UnStumm | Augmented Movements«
  • 18:30 Dinner
  • 19:30 Simon Rose, Ingo Reulecke, Federico Visi, Nicola L. Hein // Berlin/Düsseldorf: »Virtual Agents and Moving Bodies«

Saturday 25.06.2022(NRW Forum Düsseldorf + Online)

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  • 11:30 Markus Rautzenberg // Essen: »Practicing Uncertainty«
  • 12:30 Christian Jendreiko // Düsseldorf: »Unfinished Thoughts, Unfinished Music«
  • 13:30 Lunch
  • 14:30 Andrea Parkins // Berlin: »Improvising Dis-location: The Body and Material in Sound Performance and Installation.«
  • 15:30 Tomomi Adachi // Berlin: »Voices from AI in Experimental Improvisation«
  • 16:10 Coffee
  • 16:30 Paul Stapleton // Belfast: »Improvising Bodies: The Virtual is Material«
  • 17:30 Miya Masaoka // New York: »The Energetics of Improvisation«
  • 18:30 Break
  • 19:00 Max Eastley // London: »Live Improvisation in Dusseldorf with Aeolian Harps in London - The unpredictability of Nature«

    » Live Stream
  • 20:00 Closing: Hyun Kang Kim und Nicola L. Hein


Hyun Kang Kim (Düsseldorf)

Improvisation, Communication and Ecology

In my presentation I will attempt to understand improvisation as a phenomenon of communication. Improvisation, however, is different from common communication. For it is a communication that is not about the signs but about the sense. On the one hand, improvisation is a metacommunication, i.e. a communication of communication. On the other hand, however, it is a communication without communication, a communication that resists explicit communication. It is not a communication through meaning (Bedeutung), but a communication through sense (Sinn). It is a communication in which sense happens. It is characterized by the paradox that it is simultaneously a communication and a lack of communication. I will try to explain the connection between improvisation, communication and ecology using the theories of Luhmann, Simondon, Bateson and Benjamin.

Hyun Kang Kim is professor for design philosophy and aesthetics at the University of Applied Sciences Düsseldorf. She studied German literature and philosophy at the Yonsei University in Seoul, the University of Düsseldorf, and the University of Bonn. In 2004 she finished her Ph.D. in German literature at the University of Bonn, in 2014 her habilitation in philosophy also in Bonn. Her work focuses on aesthetics, design philosophy, philosophy of technology, and modern philosophy.

Her latest publications include: Die Politik des Realen. Bild, Gewalt und Subjekt in der Philosophie Walter Benjamins, Paderborn: Fink (coming soon); “The Parasite is the Truth of the System”, in: Thorsten Botz-Bornstein / Giannis Stamatellos (eds.), Parasite: A Philosophical Exploration, Leiden: Brill 2022; Slavoj Žižek. Die Philosophie des Realen, Paderborn: Fink 2020; Slavoj Žižek. Philosophie für Einsteiger, Paderborn: Fink 2020.

Chris Chafe (Stanford) / Fernando Lopez-Lezcano (Stanford) / Constantin Basica (Stanford)

California Timezone Unit / JackTrip Overview

The trio of Chris Chafe, Fernando Lopez-Lezcano and Constantin Basica concertizes weekly in the ongoing Quarantine Sessions series. Chris plays low strings, and Nando and Constantin are on keyboards and synths. The full Quarantine Session ensemble includes the European Timezone Unit of three musicians in Belgium and Germany. All six of us are connected online from our home studios using JackTrip with a server located at Stanford University. Music is a mix of improvisation and compositions depending on the show and audio is live-streamed in binaural sound. Guests frequently sit in and we welcome very openly suggestions for participation in future events. Our second anniversary Quarantine Session will be available on a forthcoming album, "The Quarantine at the Core of Our Hearts."

Chris Chafe is a composer, improvisor, and cellist, developing much of his music alongside computer-based research. He is Director of Stanford University's Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). In 2019, he was International Visiting Research Scholar at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies The University of British Columbia, Visiting Professor at the Politecnico di Torino, and Edgard-Varèse Guest Professor at the Technical University of Berlin. At IRCAM (Paris) and The Banff Centre (Alberta), he has pursued methods for digital synthesis, music performance and real-time internet collaboration. CCRMA's JackTrip project involves live concertizing with musicians the world over.

Fernando Lopez-Lezcano was given a choice of instruments when he was a kid and liked the piano best. His dad was an engineer and philosopher, his mother loved biology, music and the arts. He studied both music and engineering, and tries to keep them balanced. He has been working at CCRMA since 1993. He throws computers, software algorithms, engineering and sound into a blender and serves the result with ice in tall glasses, and over many speakers. He can hack Linux for a living, and sometimes he likes to pretend he can still play the piano. He built El Dinosaurio (an analog modular synth) from scratch 40 years ago, and it still sings its modular songs. He also loves to distill music from pure software. His modular herd, which he is still trying to tame, grew recently, and includes El Dinosaurio, a Noise Toaster, an ARP 2600 clone and the big Applesauce Mark V eurorack (and a fake piano!). He was the Edgard-Varèse Guest Professor at TU Berlin in 2008.

Constantin Basica is a Romanian composer living in the San Francisco Bay Area, whose current work focuses on symbiotic interrelations between music, video, and performers. His portfolio includes pieces for solo instruments, chamber ensembles, orchestra, electronics, and video. His works have been performed in Europe, North America, and Asia by artists and ensembles such as Ensemble Dal Niente, Ensemble Liminar, ELISION Ensemble, Distractfold, Mocrep, JACK Quartet, Spektral Quartet, kallisti, RAGE Thormbones, line upon line, Retro Disco, Fresh Squeezed Opera, Séverine Ballon, and Tony Arnold. Among the festivals and conferences that have featured his works are the MATA Festival (NY), Currents New Media Festival (NM), the International Week of New Music (RO), the International Festival for Video Art and Visual Music (MX), Aveiro Síntese Biennale for Electroacoustic Music (PT), the International Computer Music Conference (CN and KR) and the Sound and Music Computing Conference (DE). He received the ICMA Award for Best Submission from Europe at the 42nd ICMC in Shanghai (CN). Constantin earned a DMA in Composition at Stanford University under the guidance of Jaroslaw Kapuscinski, Brian Ferneyhough, Mark Applebaum, and Erik Ulman. He also holds an MA degree from the Hamburg University of Music and Theatre (DE), as well as two BA degrees in Composition and Conducting from the National University of Music Bucharest (RO). Currently, Constantin is a postdoctoral scholar, lecturer, and the concert coordinator at Stanford’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA).

Marcel Cobussen (Leiden)

Improvisations as (Non-)Models

Can ecological discourses benefit from theories and practices dealing with improvisation in which forces of control and dualism are deconstructed? And can we – in and through improvisation – overcome concepts and practices such as separation, exclusion, and control, in favor of relation, inclusion, and solidarity? These huge and perhaps even pretentious questions are formulated in the CfP as a kind of framework or starting point for the participants of this conference.

In this abstract I can only improvise a bit with and around these questions, that is, improvising within and with frames, within and with constraints, within and without dualisms, without having a pre-established idea where it will bring me/us. A few things, however, are already clear from the start: it is impossible not to talk about relations; improvisations work on and with dualisms; and regarding improvisation (in music? As a singular term? As an ethico-political practice?) as a model might be going against some of the more radical principles of improvisational practices. And on the other hand: improvisations should not be idealized; they take place – they take place wherever there are relations, interactions, movement, change.

Marcel Cobussen studied jazz piano and Art and Cultural Studies, and is currently Full Professor of Auditory Culture and Music Philosophy at Leiden University, the Netherlands. Cobussen is author of several books, among them Everyday Sounds and Sonic Materialism (forthcoming in 2022), The Field of Musical Improvisation (LUP 2017), and Thresholds. Rethinking Spirituality Through Music (Ashgate 2008). He is editor of The Bloomsbury Handbook of Sonic Methodologies (Bloomsbury 2020, co-editor Michael Bull), The Routledge Companion to Sounding Art (Routledge 2016, co-editors Barry Truax and Vincent Meelberg). He is editor-in-chief of the open access online Journal of Sonic Studies (

Sara Ramshaw (Victoria)

An Experiment in Listening in/for Time: Temporality, Improvisation, and Digital Technology in Music and Law

This paper attempts to bring together three concurrent (possibly incongruent?) projects on which I am currently working. All three are united in their interest in improvisation, attentive listening (including machine listening in one project) and creativity in law and the improvised arts, particularly music and sound. In this talk, I will attempt to push these concepts further, transposing a framework I am tentatively calling “attunement as imperfect listening in duration” (via Henri Bergson), which explores the temporality of listening in law and improvisation, to the field of digital technology, particularly machine listening. I have no idea if this transposition will be successful or not. But what is a conference on improvisation without risk?!

Sara Ramshaw is a Professor of Law and Director of Cultural, Social and Political Thought (CSPT) at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada. Her research interests fall broadly in the area of arts-based approaches to law, with a specific focus on the improvisatory arts, especially music, dance and theatre. She has published widely in numerous international journals and given invited talks throughout the Commonwealth and beyond. Sara has also been a Visiting Fellow at the Westminster Law and Theory Lab (London, England), the International Institute of Critical Studies in Improvisation (Guelph, Canada), the Sonic Arts Research Centre (Belfast, NI), the Institute for International Law and the Humanities (Melbourne, Australia) and the Center for Globalization and Cultural Studies (Manitoba, Canada).

Daniel Martin Feige (State Academy of Art and Design Stuttgart)

Musical Improvisation as counter-action. On the relation of aesthetic reason and practical reason.

Among the most interesting contributions in current debates in the philosophy of action are neo-aristotelian positions following Anscombes Legacy. Those positions claim, that actions have to be understood in terms of practical knowledge, i.e. doings that aim at the realization of a formally unerstood „good“ and that are composed of different phases that the acting person understands in doing as the realization of the „good“ in question. Among the main advantages of those accounts ist he idea the it gets rid of the picture of an agent that tries to realize a mentally formed aim against the resistance of the world: When I am walking across the street to go shopping this walking over the street is not a fallible and thus ultimately empirical mean to accomplish my goal, but it is a selfconsciously realization of the good in question.

The aim of my talk is to somewhat challenge this sophisticated and with regard to everyday actions quite fitting picture of improvisation with regard to the doings of musical improvisers: it isnt fitting the the case of musical improvisation while we cant say what is happening here are not (collective) actions: The „good“ that musical improvisations realize is not a predetermined good but rather is developed in and through the course of the improvisation itself thus the (aesthetic) unity of a musical improvisation is formally different from the (practical) unity of ordinary actions. In exhibiting a different from in contrast to the form of everyday actions it exemplifies aesthetic reason in contrast to practical reason.

Daniel Martin Feige is a professor of philosophy and aesthetics at the Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design. He studied Jazz piano, Philosophy, German Literature and Psychology, obtained his PhD from the University of Frankfurt am Main and his Habilitation from the Free University Berlin. His research and publications focus on topics in philosophical aesthetics and philosophical anthropology with their interrelations to classical themes of practical philosophy and theoretical philosophy. He wrote books on Art, Jazz, Games, Design and Music; his most recent book is „human nature. A dialectical anthropology“ (published 2022 with Suhrkamp/Berlin).

Miya Masaoka (New York)

The Energetics of Improvisation

Miya Masaoka is a 2021 John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and 2022-23 Rome Prize fellow. A composer, sound artist and performer, her work explores bodily perception of vibration, movement and time while foregrounding complex timbre relationships. She has created a body of work that encompasses interdisciplinary sound art, hybrid acoustic/electronic performance, improvisation, music composition, research, sound installations, listening, and interactive media. She creates instruments, three-dimensional scores, wearable computing, and sonifies the behavior of plants. She uses sound, gesture, temporality and diverse materials such as clay, ink, paint to create scores and installations.

Her work has been presented at the Venice Biennale, MoMA PS1, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Toronto Biennial, Darmstadt Ferienkurse, the ICA, PA and commissioned by the BBC Scottish Symphony, EMPAC and the Library of Congress. The Jack Quartet, Bang on a Can, Del Sol, Dal Niente, Ostrava Days, S.E.M. Orchestra, Glasgow Choir, Either/Or Ensemble, Momenta, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) have performed her work. She was a Studio Artist for the Park Avenue Armory, and has received a Doris Duke Artist Award, a Fulbright and an Alpert Award.

Performance and improvisation form an equally important part of her practice, and she has performed and recorded with artists Pharoah Sanders, Pauline Oliveros, Reggie Workman, Andrew Cyrille, Anthony Braxton, Steve Coleman, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Fred Frith, Myra Melford, Joelle Leandre, Zeena Parkins. She is an Associate Professor at Columbia University and directs the Sound Art Program in Visual Arts.

Her criticial writing has been published by TDR (The Theater Review) and she has a forthcoming essay in an anthology edited by Douglas Kahn and Pia van Gelder.

Markus Rautzenberg (Essen)

Practicing Uncertainty (Einübung ins Ungewisse)

The starting point of this talk is already encapsulated as an inherent paradox within its title. Because the one thing one cannot do is “to practice” or “rehearse” coping with contingency and therefore uncertainty at an existential level. One cannot prepare for something that one cannot see coming, but on a performative level we are doing it in many ways every day and everywhere via ludo-morphic emergence (spielförmige Emergenzprozesse). Global challenges like climate change, energy transition, and the current COVID-19 crisis and wars are stressors that increase pressures on every individual, not only because of the general risk potential of human existence, but because of the inherent contingency of these highly complex phenomena – contingency in the form of insecurity, indeterminacy or uncertainty; in short: epistemic and existential vagueness.

The way individuals deal with these forms of contingency can range from escapes into simple explanatory models, to conspiracy theories, all the way to ever more pervasive skepticism in rationality. The anti-democratic, anti-intellectual and anti-science potential borne by such approaches is alarming. Therefore, what is needed are strategies for solving the global challenges as well as tools that allow each individual to cope with contingency. In recent decades, research has developed comprehensive methods of forecasting, simulation, modeling and scenario analysis as scientific tools for coping with contingency, through which society has been increasingly transformed into a “predictive society”. The direction I would like to investigate, addresses the dynamics of experiencing and cognition through games and play. It is my thesis that playing games – in the broadest sense – is to be conceived of as understanding through action, of opening access to heterogeneous, epistemic areas, of bringing these together as an experience of emergence and thus enabling insights into complex phenomena and relationships even or especially if they have not assumed a specific form yet. The epistemological potential of game and play lies in their ability to provide a medium where engagement with something that has not yet taken form is possible.

These games are spaces for practicing how to deal with contingency, which range from scenarios of dealing with samples in strategic management simulations like “Civilisation”, to metaphorical thinking, improvisation all the way to complex experimental systems in the sciences. The emphasis here is not on individual manifestations of games, but on the interdisciplinary investigation of emergence in the form of playing as a way for coping with contingency. Playing or ludo-morphic emergence (spielförmige Emergenzprozesse) is a tertium comparationis, which promises to be able to relate even incommensurable fields of knowledge and practice to each other against the backdrop of whatever coping with contingency is required.

Prof. Dr. Markus Rautzenberg is Professor of Philosophy at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen. Doctorate at the Free University of Berlin on the philosophy and media theory of disruption. Research projects (third-party funding) on "non-visual powers of images" and the relationship between AI and play. Main research interests: Media theory, image theory, aesthetics, epistemology, philosophy of computer games. Current publications: Bild und Spiel. Medien der Ungewissheit, Paderborn 2020; Framing Uncertainty. Computer Game Epistemologies, Basingstoke 2020; together with Daniel Martin Feige and Florian Arnold (eds.), Philosophie des Designs, Bielefeld 2020.

Suzanne Thorpe (New York)

Eco-logical Musicking: Co-constitution in Sound

For my talk I will discuss what I frame as Eco-logical Musicking (ELM), a critical methodology I’ve developed to create environmentally situated sound art that privileges emergent, relational dynamics and generative process. I will introduce eco-philosophies and cosmologies that inform a rubric of principles that comprise this methodology, and detail how I interweave them with critical tactics found in improvisation, Deep Listening and contemporary technologies. I will audition my adaptation of ELM through my own sound installations as well as work by electronic music composer Scott Smallwood. Along the way, I'll tease out how ELM prompts us to consider circulations of power, uphold subjective and intersubjective experience, and amplify material agency and co-constitution.

Dr. Suzanne Thorpe is an artist-scholar whose creative research in audible culture intersects electronic music, feminist and ecological theory. Weaving together traditional and creative research methods she studies and creates critical frameworks that animate social and political concerns, with a focus on paradigms that resist hierarchical social organization, normative identity articulation and material separation. Thorpe has presented her work and scholarship internationally in a variety of forms, including performance venues, exhibitions and journals. In addition she has been granted several residencies and awards for her research, such as the Frog Peak Collective Award for innovative research in technology, as well as grants from Harvestworks Digital Media Foundation, New Music USA, the MAP Fund and the Recording Industry Association of America. Thorpe holds an MFA in Electronic Music & Media from Mills College, a PhD in Integrative Studies from the University of California, San Diego, and is currently a Mellon Teaching Fellow at Columbia University. Thorpe is also a co-founder of TECHNE, a nonprofit arts-education organization dedicated to dismantling social and cultural barriers in technical learning environments.

Christian Jendreiko

Unfinished thoughts, unfinished music.

In his lecture Prof. Christian Jendreiko will introduce some of his unfinished thoughts on the relation between improvisation, verbal notation and programming. Based on empiricism, these thoughts are pieces of a highly speculative puzzle that Jendreiko tries to put together for years in his performances and in his artistic research.

Prof. Christian Jendreiko is artist and professor for digital strategies and design at the Peter Behrens School of Art at HSD, University of applied sciences, Duesseldorf. He is also board member of the ZDD (Centre for Digitalisation and Digitality) at the HSD. His main research-area are the transdisciplinary foundations of generative systems.

Paul Stapleton (Belfast)

Improvising Bodies: The Virtual is Material

In this performative talk I will deploy a diffractive approach to explore differences across my artistic and discursive practices, with a particular focus on the materiality of improvising with the virtual. In this process I will revisit a number of questions, including: How can we move past the design motivation of interface transparency towards a recognition and celebration of resistance, instability and co-tuning? What might it feel like to be within a co-constituting assemblage of music-making humans and machines, and what is the role of feeling, or touch, in the creation of distributed musical agency? How might the practice of feedback musicianship challenge our desires for mastery and stability, where feedback breeds complexity in and across different domains (e.g. acoustic and electric, signal and control data)? After all, as experienced improvisers know, stability (or equilibrium) actually means death, where uncertainty, movement and contingent connections are the realm of the living.

I am currently Professor of Music at SARC, Queen's University Belfast, working primarily in the areas of musical instrument design, music performance, sound design, and critical improvisation studies. I perform in collaboration with my custom-made instruments and diverse musicians in locations ranging from Echtzeitmusik venues in Berlin to the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME). My research primarily focuses on the design, adaptation and exploration of musical instruments, often in improvisational contexts. In particular, I am interested in how bodies (broadly conceived) are constituted and entangled in wider musical ecologies. Much of my research involves interdisciplinary collaboration. I co-directed the Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK) funded network Humanising Algorithmic Listening, and have co-led previous funded interdisciplinary research projects on topics ranging from the relationship between music improvisation and law, to the study of ecological dynamics between musicians and virtual-acoustic instruments. I am also currently the director of Sonorities Festival Belfast, a biennial festival of sound and music. For selected documentation of my artistic research visit:

Max Eastley (London)

Live Improvisation in Dusseldorf with Aeolian Harps in London - The unpredictability of Nature

My artistic practice with installations has been spent intervening into mechanical systems to introduce unpredictability. The process of building the installations is improvisatory: I bring materials together and see how they react together. This also applies to music improvisation because there are usually no preparations in terms of rehearsals or discussion and no-one is in overriding control. One of the most unpredictable forces is the wind so is it the ideal improvisational partner even though it’s not listening to me?

Simon Rose / Ingo Reulecke / Federico Visi / Nicola L. Hein (Berlin)

Virtual Agents and Moving Bodies

This performance and talk by Nicola L. Hein / Federico Visi / Simon Rose / Ingo Reulecke is concerned with the interaction of virtual and human musical and dancing agents. Hein / Visi / Rose / Reulecke will perform together with several machine learning based virtual agents which are trained on recordings of Nicola L. Hein and Simon Rose. Federico Visi and Nicola L. Hein choose two different methods of engaging the virtual agents, one based on gestural interaction, deploying Myographic measurement of movement and muscular contraction, the other based on Mel-frequency cepstral coefficient measurements, which establish a sonic interaction between human and virtual agents. “Virtual Agents and Moving Bodies” will focus on the exploration of the resulting space and moments of change between human and virtual agents.

Nicola L. Hein is a sound artist, guitarist, creative technologist, composer and researcher in music and aesthetics. His work is driven by the interaction of sound and space, light, movement, thought and the becoming of embodied and intermedia dynamics in aesthetic systems, community and technology. In his artistic work he uses physical and electronic extension of the electric guitar, sound installations, cybernetic human-machine interaction with A.I. interactive music systems, Augmented Reality, telematic real-time art, ambisonic sound projection, instrument building, conceptual compositions. Inter-media works with video art, dance, literature and other art forms constitute another focus of his practice. With the support of the Goethe Institute and many other institutions, his artworks have been realised in more than 30 countries worldwide. He worked with many of the world's most established artists in the field of sound art and improvised music. Currently he is a visiting professor of sound art at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich. Starting in October 2022 he will be professor of “Digital Creation” at the University of Lübeck, Germany.

Federico Visi (he/they) is a researcher, composer and performer based in Berlin, Germany. He carried out his doctoral research on instrumental music and body movement at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Computer Music Research (ICCMR), University of Plymouth, UK. He currently teaches and carries out research on embodiment in network performance at Universität der Künste Berlin and at Luleå University of Technology, where is part of the “GEMM))) Gesture Embodiment and Machines in Music” research cluster. Under the moniker AQAXA, they released an EP in which they combine conventional electronic music production techniques with the exploration of personal sonic memories by means of body movement and machine learning algorithms.

Simon Rose is a musician, composer, independent researcher and author from London living in Berlin. He performs widely on baritone saxophone and collaborates a wide variety of settings as well as working as a soloist. He also collaborates in transdisciplinary collaborations with dancers, visual artist, and more. His research interest is in creative processes and improvisation. His 2017 book is: ‘The lived experience of improvisation: on music learning and life.’ (Intellect-Chicago). He is currently working on a book about transdisciplinary improvisation (Rutledge 2023).

Ingo Reulecke studied choreography at the college of the art "Ernst Busch" Berlin after completing his training in contemporary dance. 1994 and 97 study grants from the Berlin Senate for New York City. Guest lecturer at the collage the art "Ernst Busch" in Berlin and at the Palucca Hochschule in Dresden since 1995. 1998/99 DAAD scholarship for a year in NYC. 2009 Co-production with L. Matthaei for the site specific work „2109“ 2009 cooperation with the iranian director Ayat Najafi for „Lady Teheran“. 2010 `Sender Weimar`, ( Kunstfest Weimar ) site specific installation in cooperation with Lukas Matthaei & 2012 ́urbanscape ́ a site specific installation in berlin. Since 2005 I. Reulecke has a professorship in choreography and is leading the dance departement in the college of the arts "Ernst Busch" Berlin. From 2006-2012 he started the directorship in the co-operative dance education centre berlin.

Claudia Robles-Angel (Cologne)


Inspired by the German word Einfühlung (empathy), Claudia Robles-Angel explores in this new work the idea of empathic machines with the question: can a computer react empathetically with the user?

The performance explores therefore the combination of biomedical signals, particularly in this occasion, GSR (Galvanic Skin Resistance) and machine learning techniques used in Emotion Artificial Intelligence to create an empathic sound environment.

In this work, the performer’s emotions are constantly monitored by a Facial Expression Recognizer system (FER), capturing pictures of the performer in real-time and evaluating them through a Deep Neural Network. After recognizing the emotion, the system generates random keywords related to the analysed emotion, which is used thereafter as an input to generate a poem with a Markov Chain Model trained with ca. 3 million books. The generated poem is then read aloud by the computer using a text-to-speech algorithm and is thereafter used as sound material by the MAX software, where specially programmed algorithms in MAX produce sound effects, that are transformed in real-time with the values from the humidity of the performer’s skin measured by the GSR interface. Hence, the immersive sound environment is continuously defined by new combinations of sounds and words as an empathic response of the machine to its user/visitor/performer.

The project was possible thanks to the Musikfonds NEUSTART KULTUR scholarship.

Claudia Robles-Angel is composer, sound and new media artist. Born in Bogotá (Colombia), currently living in Cologne (Germany) and active worldwide. Her work and research cover different aspects of visual & sound art, which extend from acousmatic and audiovisual compositions to performances/installations interacting with biomedical signals.

She has been artist-in-residence in several outstanding institutions e.g. ZKM Karlsruhe (DE), ICST Institute for Computer Music & Sound Technologies ZHdK Zurich (CH), CMMAS Mexican Center for Music & Sound arts Morelia (MX).

Her work is constantly featured in media/sound-based festivals/conferences, group/solo exhibitions around the globe e.g. ZKM Karlsruhe; KIBLA Maribor, Int. Symposium Electronic Art ISEA Istanbul, Manizales, Durban, Gwangju & Barcelona, 55th Venice Biennale Salon Suisse, Computer Music Conf. ICMC Copenhagen, Montréal & Utrecht; New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival; SIGGRAPH Asia Yokohama; NIME New Interfaces for Musical Expression; STEIM, MAC Museo Arte Contemporáneo Bogotá, Harvestworks Digital Arts NYC, Heroines of Sound Berlin, Audio Art Festival Cracow, MADATAC Madrid, Digitale Duesseldorf, the Athens Digital Art Festival ADAF, Beast FEaST Birmingham, and more recently at the AI Biennal Essen.

Eric Lewis (Montreal)

The Machine in the Ghost: Human—Machine Improvisations and the Emergent Mind

Human-Machine improvisations are a potent site for interrogating a number of theoretical issues concerning both improvisation and AI. Questions of agency, expressiveness, sociality, personhood, among others, are both sharpened and given new valences when asked in the context of human-machine collective improvisations. What, as humans, are we doing when improvising with machines, and what assumptions are we making , whether tacitly or explicitly, about our machine improvising partners, when improvising with them? I have addressed these questions in chapter two of my book Intents and Purposes. Here I will expand upon this work, tying it in with a seemingly distinct set of issues surrounding collective agency and intentionality, and what is now commonly called 4E models of cognition. Drawing upon the expanded mind literature, and work on expressiveness and agency in collective improvisations, I will start to sketch a theory where collective improvisation, at least some of the time, is best viewed as a site where an emergent mind appears. Such an emergent mind, not reducible to the mereological sum of each improvisor’s mind, lacking a precise spatial location, and inhabiting (if that is the right notion) an amorphous if existent at all, body, is in many ways ghost-like. And so when such ensembles include machine improvisers, we have a case of... a machine in the ghost! One possible reading of this result is that the question of the status of machine minds has an unexpected answer---when machines participate in collective improvisations their role in bringing about the emergence of a mind is the same as that of the humans, both functionally and materially.

Eric Lewis is a professor of philosophy at McGill University, whose research focuses on improvisatory arts. Most recently, he is the author of From Fruit to Root: Medea Electronique’s Interactive Archive of New Media Art, (with Angeliki Poulou) and Intents and Purposes: Philosophy and the Aesthetics of Improvisation. He is the founder and President of AIM (Arts in the Margins), the director of LUC (Laboratory of Urban Culture) and the McGill Site Coordinator for IICSI (International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation). As an improvisor on brass and electronics he is a member of ensembles such as The Murray Street Band, The Instant Synthesis Ensemble, The 312 Ensemble and Tone Reves. He is presently working on a manuscript on the experimental vocalist Jeanne Lee.

Claudia Schmitz (Berlin)

Transmedial Conversation - Improvisation, sustainability and digital agency / UnStumm | Augmented Movements

Based on her artist statement and her current artistic research, Claudia Schmitz will present a cross-section of her solo and collaborative projects and explore questions of participation, enhancement and rethinking in the context of in improvisation, sustainability and digital agency in intermedial set-ups. Equal transmedial improvisation - in dialogue with human and posthuman artists, machines and artefacts - characterised by freedom of action, multiple authorship and respect. How does social and respectful improvisation manifest itself? And what conditions are indispensable? How do post-human artists enrich improvisation? Ecological projection spaces - Recycled projection sculptures and their immanent gesture. Intermedial set-ups and their temporality. Readability of Real and Virtual Stages.

Claudia Schmitz will examine these and other thematic complexes on the basis of her own and collective international oeuvre. With "UnStumm | Augmented Movements", Claudia Schmitz and Nicola L. Hein invite artists from Korea and Germany to a telematic real-time performances with dance, video and sound in augmented reality. The international artists encounter each other in audiovisual interactions and project those onto augmented reality sculptures and virtual loudspeakers, as well have augmented reality dancing bodies. The audience participates in the telematic augmented reality performance by means of the UnStumm IOS / Android app via their own smartphone or tablet. The app can be downloaded from the UnStumm website and enables both the participation in three-dimensional live performances and the subsequent streaming of past performances. Using the user’s own smartphone as 3D glasses, UnStumm | Augmented Movements brings the artists’ performances into the presence of the audience’s lifeworld. Download the app to participate live on your smartphone: The performance will also be accessible with a local iPad as an installation during the conference.

"My work starts where the media intersect. I am not interested in the modernity of technology as such but in its capacities for creating new imaginary dimensions. My arrangements constantly assume temporary states, reject and re-invent themselves, exploring the space-time continuum, rendering visible and questioning its borders. They investigate the limitations of media arrangements and modes of participation.“ As an international timebased media artist, Claudia Schmitz explores boundaries: Limits of perception, real and imagined barriers, liquid processes, body discourses. She explores paradigms of media translation - as a solo artist and in collaborative projects. She uses sculpture, multidimensional drawing, (live) moving image, AI and food - in real space, virtual and augmented reality to explore new forms of sound, space and experience. Exploring socio-urban fabrics, challenging hegemonial perception, sustainability, synaesthesia, identity in virtual and real space, re- vs. interactivity, inter- and transmediality, machine learning, artificial intelligence are main topics of her current artistic research. By passing through temporary stages, by discarding and re-inventing themselves, her pieces explore oscillating stages of being and non-being, of existence inside and outside the image. Relying on the spectators to trigger them, many of her pieces discuss the extent and possibilities of participation. Internationally active artist and educator - present in international public and private collections

Andrea Parkins (Berlin)

Improvising Dis-location: The Body and Material in Sound Performance and Installation.

Andrea Parkins is a Berlin-based sound artist, composer, and electroacoustic improviser who engages with interactive electronics as both material and process. Working with an array of sonic materials - amplified drawing tools, objects and surfaces; electronic feedback, and custom-built software and acoustic instruments – her research explores connections and slippages between the body, materiality, sound, site, and space.

Parkins’ projects encompass multi-channel sound and intermedia installations; electroacoustic performances and compositions; and scores for contemporary dance, experimental film and intermedia performance. Her works have been presented at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Experimental Intermedia (NYC), Kunsthalle Basel, Kunsthall Bergen, Borderline Festival (Athens); NEXT (Bratislava), among many others. Recent projects include her site-responsive 14-channel spatial audio and visual installation, “Sonic Spaces for the Stray,” presented in 2021 at ROM for kunst og arkitektur in Oslo; her performance/installation, Two Rooms, Variation 1, for 40 loudspeakers and Solo Performer, premiered in 2016 at Akousma Festival in Montreal; and her amplified performance drawing series, implemented in 2017 at the Rauschenberg Residency in Captiva, Florida.

Parkins’ recordings are released by Important Records, Confront Recordings, Atavistic, Infrequent Seams, and Creative Sources; and her writing has been published by Errant Sound. She has been an invited resident artist at Rauschenberg Residency (US), Elektronmusikstudion-EMS Stockholm, Q-02 Workspace for Experimental Music and Sound Art (Brussels), Harvestworks Digital Media Arts Center (US), Performing Arts Forum (FR), and by Frei und Hanseastadt Hamburg Kulturbehoerde. Parkins’ projects have received support from American Composers Forum, New York State Council on the Arts, French-American Cultural Exchange, Musikfonds, Meet the Composer, Norwegian Academy of Music, the Norwegian Artistic Research Programme, and the Berlin Artistic Research Grant Programme. She holds an MFA in Visual Arts from Rutgers University, and is a PhD candidate in the Artistic Research Programme at Norwegian Academy of Music.

Tomomi Adachi (Berlin)

Voices from AI in Experimental Improvisation

Voices from AI in Experimental Improvisation is a project by Tomomi Adachi, Andreas Dzialocha, Marcello Lussana, had been developed between 2018 and 2019 it is a the attempt to improvise and interact with a computer software which “learns” about the performers voice and musical behaviour. The program behind it, named “tomomibot” is based on Artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms and enables the voice-performer and artist Tomomi Adachi (human) to perform with his AI-self - learning over time from Tomomi’s past concerts.

The project is not only a musical experiment with a non-human performer but also an undertaking to make computer culture “audible”. In giving “tomomibot” full agency in an human-machine interaction, the performance raises the question about the logics and politics of computers in relationship to human culture. What we hear is the result of human software design and computational logics, carving out the limited space of these machines while listening, interacting and learning from them. The project received the Award of Distinction, Prix Ars Electronica 2019. The presentation includes some short improvisations between Tomomi and Tomomibot.

Tomomi Adachi is a performer/composer, sound poet, instrument builder and visual artist. Known for his versatile style, he has performed his own voice and electronics pieces, sound poetry, improvised music and contemporary music, also presented site-specific compositions, compositions for classical ensembles, choir pieces for untrained musicians in all over the world including Tate Modern, Maerzmusik, Hamburger Bahnhof Museum, Centre Pompidou, Poesiefestival Berlin and Walker Art Center. He has been working with a wide range of materials; self-made physical interfaces and instruments, artificial intelligence, brainwave, artificial satellite, twitter texts, fracture and even paranormal phenomenas. He was a guest of the Artists-in-Berlin Program of the DAAD for 2012. He received the Award of Distinction from Ars Electronica 2019. He composed the world's first opera which adopted a libretto written by an artificial intelligence, for which he won the Keizo Saji Prize in 2022.

Andrew Pickering

Art and Agency

Integral to modernity is a familiar dualism: humans are different in kind from nonhumans and are in control. The Anthropocene undermines this picture and brings home instead a nonmodern, nondualist, reciprocal and emergent coupling of humans and nonhumans. I review artworks that stage such couplings, works that we can think of as ontological theatre and ontological pedagogy—that bring out vividly and performatively our entanglement in a lively world and help us grasp it. In conclusion I move from understanding to action, thinking about adaptive architecture as a bridge from the arts to the everyday lifeworld.

Andrew Pickering is professor emeritus of sociology and philosophy at Exeter University. His work in science and technology studies focusses on couplings of the human and the nonhuman. He is the author of Constructing Quarks: A Sociological History of Particle Physics, The Mangle of Practice: Time, Agency, and Science, The Cybernetic Brain: Sketches of Another Future, and Kybernetik und Neue Ontologien (Merve). He is currently completing a book on our relations with nature and the environment.


Organizers: Prof. Nicola L. Hein (University of Music and Performing Arts, Munich // University of Music, Lübeck) and Prof. Dr. Hyun Kang Kim (University of Applied Sciences Dusseldorf, Peter Behrens School of Arts, Faculty of Design)

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