4 May 2023 @ 12:00 pm

Creating Art with Media Multiplicities

In this talk, Ollie Bown will discuss his work on the ARC Linkage project “Artistically rethinking creative coding for digital media”, which was established to research how creative practitioners manage the complexity of working with networked ecosystems of multiple devices. It envisions an emerging technology landscape where artists can flexibly and effortlessly coordinate “media multipicities”. The project both explores design principles and patterns for working with these multiplicities, and the creative practice workflows, strategies and roles that emerge and are successful. We present a series of detailed creative practice studies, utilising design and practice-based/practice-led research, and show the designs we have come up with for working with multiplicities, and our observations about different creative practice users and their relation to technology.
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Oliver Bown is an academic interested in understanding artistic and musical creativity using digital technology, and its relation to society.
He has worked in the field of Computational Creativity — the study of the automation of creative tasks — since 2007, seeing massive transformations in technological capability leading up to the current explosion in AI art and music. During this time he has worked as a creative coding practitioner, making his own music improvising systems which have been featured at the London Science Museum, the North Sea Jazz Festival, BBC Radio 3, the Computer Music Journal, the New Interfaces for Musical Expression Conference, and the International Symposium on Electronic Art, amongst other venues. As a practitioner he has also worked with other emerging media arts technologies, most notably low-cost networked computing for distributed audio and visual experience design. His collaborations with media arts collective Squidsoup have involved the development of massively multiplicitous distributed audio arrays, exhibited worldwide at venues including Kew Gardens in London, The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Burning Man, and Salisbury Cathedral UK. He developed this work to enable rich audio synthesis over distributed networks with his HappyBrackets framework for distributed creative coding, which has been used in the commission of further multiplicitous media artworks. Parallel to this creative practice, his research uses diverse methodological approaches to understanding technology, art and creativity, centred on a strongly social perspective on creative art and music practice. His 2021 book Beyond the Creative Species (MIT Press) summarises this body of work, applying literature on the psychology and social dynamics of creativity to questions of how we understand the creative autonomy of machines, how we design for interactions with creative AI, and how creative AI will impact cultures of creative practice.