Transcultural Technologies for Creative Expression
Keynote, Curated Paper Session
27 August 2021
14:00 - 17:00 hrs (GMT+7)
Keynotes & Hosts
Lamtharn Hanoi Hantrakul
Bob L. T. Sturm
Transcultural Technologies empower cultural pluralism at every phase of engineering and design. We often think of technology as a neutral tool, but technology is always created and optimized within the cultural scope of its inventors. This cultural mismatch is most apparent when tools are used across a range of contrasting traditions. Music and Art from different cultures, and the people that create and breathe these mediums, are an uncompromising sandbox to both interrogate these limitations and develop breakthroughs that empower a plurality of cultures.
This workshop brings together researchers, artists and practitioners at the forefront of Music and Technology that transcend geographical boundaries. We will learn about innovations from musical traditions including the Middle East, South America, Irish and Scandinavian Folk tunes and beyond. What will music of the future sound like? What will art of the future look like? What will creative tools of the future feel like?
Come and find out!
What does it mean for a technology to be transcultural? They empower cultural pluralism at every phase of engineering and design. While this principle is far from the norm in today’s world of research and development, a growing number of projects and products embodying transculturality have been transforming technical, artistic and social dimensions of music creation. In this talk, I will set the stage for our workshop through tangible examples from 3D printing and wood working to music synthesis and Artificial Intelligence.
Apotome is the catch-all title for a transcultural music project by Khyam Allami and Counterpoint launched at CTM Festival Berlin 2021 and awarded the inaugural Isao Tomita Special Prize at Ars Electronica 2021. It is based on two browser-based applications: Apotome, a generative music system focused on transcultural tunings and their subsets (scales/modes) and Leimma, a tool for the exploration and creation of such tunings. These non-commercial environments are an effort to highlight the cultural asymmetries, biases and non-neutrality inherent in modern music-making tools, alongside their interconnected web of musical, educational, cultural, social and political ramifications.
In this talk, Khyam Allami will present the project and the two applications whilst discussing their extra-musical context and sharing examples of their creative usage.
Moisés will talk about my work at the intersection of generative neural networks for sound and visual media, the role of cultural representation of prehispanic mythologies and cultures when working with Machine Learning and strategies that hope to decolonize and widen the exposure of non-Western cultures in AI art.
The talk will be mostly music and visual centered but also talk about the importance of building new musical/visual tools which use Deep Learning, from scratch.
Isabella will share about her experience using ancient datasets translated and trained by Western models, about her process creating digital A/V experiences with neurosensors to intentionally to provoke user's sonic memories based on their cultural background ; and the need of multicultural researchers and creators to expand the accessibility to technology and reclaim our own ancestors' legacy with our gaze into the future.
Bob will talk about music; folk music in particular ... Ai-generated folk tunes, to be more precise – and the Ai systems that have generated said “machine folk”. To be completely candid, he will perform some of his favorite tunes born of cold and lifeless statistics extracted from impoverished crowd-sourced transcriptions of century-old but living traditional music practices. There’s lots of problems here but not many answers, if he may be so blunt. Nonetheless, should be fun!