Hugo Scurto, Axel Chemla–Romeu-Santos, 2019—2022
performance, generative AI, motion capture, sound, video
“Then the answers, instead of coming from my likes and dislikes, come from chance operations, and that has the effect of opening me to possibilities that I hadn’t considered. Chance-determined answers will open my mind to the world around.” — John Cage, 1982.
ægo is a performance that stages a person and a machine that learn to improvise in music. The machine uncertainly explores a spectral latent space, while the person communicates positive or negative reinforcement, turning their hands front or back, in an attempt to teach the machine how to explore this space. Gradually, the person gives up communicating consistent reinforcement to the machine, leaving the machine’s learning undetermined. Freed from the obligation to record their preferences into the machine, the person engages in deep listening through sound, and learns to improvise in music.