Workshop with Kim Cascone

I attented to the workshop of Kim Cascone about emergent content creation using simple genetic algorithms between 4-7 May. We had a lot of fun with my friends from the music department. Also we performed at Santralistanbul Museum of Energy.  Tolga Tüzün spatialized the sounds that we performed with his MAX/MSP patch. The audience could walk around and listen during the performance.

Details of what we did:

“The concept for this workshop was inspired by John Maeda’s “Human Powered Computer Experiment” . In this experiment Maeda recreated the internal operations of a simple computer using people to physically transport handwritten instructions and data to and from the CPU, RAM, FPU, etc.

Participating in this type of experiment enables one to transfer abstract concepts from their body to their brain.
In a similar spirit, this workshop develops a group workflow using the model of a simple genetic algorithm (SGA) with the result being an emergent work of music/sound art. Participants need only bring a laptop (Ethernet and/or Wi-Fi card is needed), their favorite audio software tools, a web browser and a spirit of experimentation and exploration.

The idea of using a SGA as a conceptual framework evolved out of my research in information flow used as a catalyst to construct emergent content. Also, while doing research for a project that utilized genetic algorithms I saw that many of the ideas embodied in the SGA could also be used to construct a framework for my open source content creation

The SGA workflow for the group is constructed in the following fashion:

• A random pool of open source sound files is established on a server and will serve as the ‘gene pool’
• a fitness function is applied to sound files (implementation of the fitness function is still being developed)
• the resulting ‘parent’ files are then moved into a ‘mating pool’
• two parent files are randomly chosen by workshop participants to ‘mate’
• mating is accomplished by applying various crossover operations to the parent sound files resulting in the creation of two offspring
• random mutation is also applied to the offspring
• all of the offspring sound files are moved into the ‘gene pool’ and the parents are ‘killed’ in both the mating and gene pools
• the process is iterated until a work starts to take shape”