What can you do with this? Game designers and artists find out this week at GDC. (Pictured: my own submission, up close.)

Why should Create Digital Music and Create Digital Motion (and, well, their editor) go to a game conference? This year, in particular, the annual gathering of game developers in San Francisco means a real convergence of gaming culture and digital music and motion, of ideas about how interactivity can work (and the challenges of making interaction design creative), of generative and adaptive music and new cultures of digital media. Aside from that, of course, there’s no particular reason.

A quick look at some event highlights with which I’m involved:
Tonight (Wednesday) is the debut gala for Gamma IV, the creative game design challenge by the Kokoromi Collective. You can check out the winning games on the show floor, as well.

The games themselves offer plenty of inspiration for live visualists and people exploring new interfaces for music. But there’s also a music lineup alongside, with Starpause, Phil Fish, Moldover, Baiyon, Class Prez, and Future Boy. A big thanks to my mate Starpause for putting that lineup together; I’ll also be doing a short live set.

Unrelated to GDC (but working out nicely since I’m in town), Thursday night is a meeting of the illustrious Bay Area Computer Music Technology Group (BArCMuT), with a big, all-female lineup of creative artists finding expressive new interfaces for musical performance. I’ll be giving a lightning talk before the full program, so say hi if you’re around.

Friday night is the free evening of One Button Objects, a set of interactive art pieces that explore what can be done with a single button. I’ll be talking more about that later this week; it really wound up being a great exercise, and even if you believe in rich, expressive control for music, forcing yourself to work with a single button is nothing if not enlightening. I co-curated the show with Heather Kelley of Kokoromi.
Event details: One Button Objects: Kokoromi + Gray Area Foundation for the Arts

  • As The Digital Media Idiot Of Our Age™, I am, of course, fascinated by this obsession with the 'one button'.

    Maybe it's a defining moment in digital tech – – I can't tell anymore, like I said, ich bin ein idioten. Maybe it's a nostalgic, a yearning for the unity of 'the garden', the mythic state of all things before the introduction of 'the apple' , i.e., that problematic human 'choice' or 'free will' idea.

    Or maybe, an extraordinary algorhythm is released when the button is pressed, which is still, kinda, an existential decision. Anyway, I applaud the distillation of all things down to one. Besides, 'the man who sees variety where there is unity travels from death to death', as it says in the Upanishads, but you all know that. . .

    Is the 'one button' idea more valuable than 'one voice' (as in Poulenc's great one-act opera 'The Human Voice') or 'one sound source' (as in, say, Bartok's Sonata for Solo Violin) . . . 'one' is a recurring theme, no? And maybe this is the way forward, since less is more ('I long for more!' – – Mark Strand) – – it translates nicely to other digital media, as I struggle to introduce dozens (or hundreds) of filters to my students (doesn't matter if it's Logic or Photoshop, eh?).

    Anyway, fare forward! (I'm probably going to have to curtail my commenting activity, since I don't get, uhm, paid for it). My current 'one' idea is to port the idea of video jamming for kids . . . probably just another misplaced enthusiasm, but at least it's done with 'one keyboard'. (26 buttons that do, essentially, one thing: to load another audio or visual level.) He he! (http://memejr.badmindtime.com) .

    And I can't resist leaving 'one comment' (or at least the first one)!

  • Joe

    Have a great time. I really wanted to go to this!