Art in the age of digital production

Between 1986 and 1988, the jazz musician and experimental music pioneer George Lewis created the first version of Voyager. After spending some time making work that involved compositional programmes
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Between 1986 and 1988, the jazz musician and experimental music pioneer George Lewis created the first version of Voyager. Through encountering the music of David Behrman, Jim Horton and others in the 1970s, Lewis became fascinated with the possibilities afforded by using computers in creating music. After spending some time making work that involved compositional programmes in Paris, Lewis returned to the US and began work on Voyager. His aspiration was not simply to use computers as a tool or raw material, but to create software that could take an equal improvisational role to the other (human) musicians in the performance. Anyone who listens to Voyager’s improvisational jazz will not have a problem with calling its performances ‘art’. But there remains something unsettling about the ascription. Even today we tend to think of art as a distinctively human creation, arguably one of our highest and defining achievements. But works created by software such as Voyager call that. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

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