Improvisational Environments


The main scientific goal of this Residency is to gain insight into (1) temporal texture via relational (not ego-centered) productions of correlated patterns of dynamics and change, and (2) transitions in continuous, multivalent states and embodied agency.

Art production is a means but not the end of this Synthesis residency.  By art we mean the poetic — and poetically precise — conditioning of experience.

Scientific goals:

  1. Write up each day, each week, and at the end of the residency,  insights into, or refinements of the Core Motivating Questions (below) in your own terms.
  2. By the end of the residency, design experiments that Synthesis Center might co-host in Fall 2014 or Spring 2015 in ASU or elsewhere.

The practical goals:

  1. Bring together some ensembles* that have advanced techniques to share with other experts
  2.  Carry out an experiment in improvisation using your apparatus while resident in the AME iStage blackbox which is being renovated.

The strategic goal and value for the Synthesis Center and the School of Arts, Media + Engineering is to host the building of an apparatus, which means not only equipment and software, but also people — students + faculty + technical staff — knowing how to keep using it in creation research beyond the workshop.   (Participants from the Topological Media Lab will bear the main  responsibility for leaving behind a working apparatus as a sibling to the Ozone responsive environments apparatus at Concordia, in order to facilitate subsequent research collaborations.)Experts in the art and science of responsive environments will teach each other how to use some of the essential parts of our systems.

Residency Summary

Core Motivating Questions

• How can people moving in concert get a sense of each other’s presence and dynamics using rhythm alone?
• How can a conventionally unidimensional rhythm be extended to a temporal texture.
• How can people moving in concert anticipate each other’s dynamics without superficial representations via sound­ or light­ image?
• How can correlation be an indicator (not certificate) of collective intention?

**For more information, visit the residency website.

**For broadsheet, click here.


Sha Xin Wei: Convener | Director of Synthesis & AME

Chris Ziegler: Dance, Media & Architecture | Assist. Professor, AME

Katie Jung: Workshop Coordinator


Adrian Freed: Gesture, Ensemble, Innovation & Cultural Dynamics | Berkeley & TML Concordia

John MacCallum:  Composition, Electroacoustic Music & Percussion | Berkeley

Navid Navab: Electroacoustic Performance & Sound Art | TML Concordia

Michael Montanaro: Choreography, Movement Art & Installation | TML Concordia

Local AME Faculty

Grisha Coleman: Somatics, Movement Art & Dance | Assist. Professor, AME

Todd Ingalls: Sound Art & Installation | Synthesis & Assist. Professor, AME

Loren Olson: Real-time Video, Software Systems | Assist. Professor, AME

Garth Paine: Sound Art, Electroacoustic Music, Composition, Flute & Acoustic Ecology | Assist. Professor, AME

Pavan Turaga: Mathematics, Feature Analysis & Electrical Engineering | Assist. Professor, AME

Topological Media Lab (TML)

Julian Stein: System Integration, Response Kits (Sound, Light and Rhythm) | Synthesis, Former TML

Evan Montpellier: Real-time Video Kit & Video Instruments | TML

Research Student Participants

Byron Lahey | PhD, AME

Chinmay Dharmadhikari | MA, EE & AME

Matthew Ragan

Michael Krzyzaniak | PhD, AME

Nicole Williams

Qiao Wang | PhD, EE & AME

Alex Abreu

Cooper Sanghyun Yoo | PhD, AME, Center for Science and Imagination

Connor Rawls | BA, AME


Doug van Nort | PhD, TML, Concordia

Nikolaos Chandolias | MA, TML, Concordia

Omar Faleh | MA, TML, Concordia

Liza Solomonova | PhD TML + UdMonreal

Mayra Morales | PhD Humanities, Concordia

Bruno Zamborlin | PhD, Arts and Computer Science

Harry Smoak | TML, Concordia