Improvising Synesthesia: Comprovisation Of Generative Graphics And Music


  • Joshua B. Mailman


Recent artistic practices and technologies are reshaping the definitions and categories of musical and visual artistic creativity. New categories arise, such as comprovisation. In my own creative practice, I pursue new connections between embodiment, spontaneity, and technology. Recent technologies provide opportunities to combine hierarchical process aspects of composition with the embodied spontaneity that characterizes improvisation.

For me this has led to the development of the Fluxations and FluxNoisations interactive systems, each of which enables the performer to spontaneously create – through a fully embodied immersive process – audiovisual trajectories that are expressive. [1] Such trajectories are intended to have aesthetic value emanating from prior aesthetic experience of musical and visual art works. In this case the development of such systems has arisen through careful and systematic analysis of prior works, analysis that is computational but inspired by phenomenology of listening. For instance, new ways of systematically analyzing the flux of texture in music have inspired generative technologies: new ways to synthesize texture as controlled through bodily dance movement. The analytical and creative processes constitute a cybernetic techné, which similarly fuels the computer graphics that are generated spontaneously through these systems.

  1. Fluxations is an algorithm I originally implemented in an interactive iPhone app. I developed the full body interactive version of Fluxations together with Sofia Paraskeva, who brought to the project her own prior knowledge of computer vision, Max/MSP programming, and wearable interface design.