Improvising Tomorrow's Bodies: The Politics of Transduction
The computer has become an indispensable part of the cultural and social histories of the arts, in which improvisation has long served as a site for interdisciplinary exploration, exchanges of personal and cultural narratives, and the blurring of boundaries between art forms. The ever-expanding roles played by interactive digital systems in globalized cultural, social, and economic environments are now being complemented by a similarly wide-ranging re-conceptualization of how improvisation produces knowledge and meaning. Because both improvisation and computing serve as important sites for interdisciplinary exploration in the arts, humanities, and sciences, a twinned theorizing of improvisation and interactivity will help to illuminate the inevitable differences that fragment and rupture even the most fluid and flexible notions of sociality, agency, history, and power. Part memoir, part history and criticism, this essay explores, among other topics, the contention that political debates about the nature and function of music and bodies inevitably become embedded in the structure of software.