Download PDF by Thomas Brett: Minds and machines: Creativity, technology, and the

By Thomas Brett

This dissertation is a learn of creativity, know-how, and the posthuman in modern digital music-making. The posthuman is known because the assembly element of people and machines that reconfigures humanistic conceptions of the self sustaining, artistic self. From a posthuman standpoint, the discourses of technoculture (comprising the strategies of regulate, transcendence, virtuality, mutation, and disbursed cognition) recommend a way of analyzing a variety of digital musical practices, aesthetics and applied sciences. The dissertation proposes the posthuman either as a concept of musical technoculture and a framework by which to appreciate the activities and concepts of musicians who paintings inside of it. Over various old, musico-analytical, theoretical and ethnographic case stories, I loosely draw at the discourses of technoculture to interpret the musical and social meanings of the mind-machine nexus in digital musical practices during the last half-century. My findings recommend that the ever present instruments of the digital musicians---notably, the electronic applied sciences of pcs and software program, but additionally together with older applied sciences reminiscent of tape recorders and the chinese language I-Ching ---impact how musicians take into consideration and actualize creativity and the assumption of what's human. In sum, the mind-machine nexus foregrounded in digital musical idioms is a efficient web site for realizing the contours of an rising techno-musical cultural imaginary the place the human turns into posthuman via its reconfiguration in computing device phrases.

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The music of the Black Atlantic, says Eshun, “is in the machines” (31). Machines also provide the impetus for Alexander G. Weheliye’s “’Feenin’: Posthuman Voices in Contemporary Black Popular Music”(2002), an investigation of posthuman elements in contemporary black musical idioms. Weheliye examines the 23 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission. use o f the cell phone and the vocoder as tropes of technology that allow for situating and creating posthuman subjectivities through sound.

The computational approach is derived from the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in which computer modeling of human cognition has suggested theories of how human thinking operates. “Computational” refers to that which can be “described and/or produced by one and the same set of generative rules” (Boden:38). In her study of creativity The Creative Mind: Myths and Mechanisms (1991), Margaret Boden articulates the computational theory of mind and offers terminology and concepts that are useful for understanding how human creativity works, practically 28 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner.

Com/. 18 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission. widespread use of sampling - the sampler as a tool for the regeneration of sound. The musical application of these concepts and others will be explored in this dissertation. Thus, the posthuman is manifest not only in the critical interpretation of literature and film. It has also made its presence heard in the cultural production of music. As the first comprehensive study of the posthuman in music, surveying a variety of music-making, instruments, and aesthetics through the lens of technoculture theory, this dissertation builds specifically on the pioneering studies of the scholars whose works I outlined in the preceding section as well as works by an array of thinkers working in the realm o f music studies.

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