My work explores the intersection of computational creativity, musical performance, and theatrical performance. I explore the intersection of these fields in the interdisciplinary multimedia form of games. My fascination with game centres around the self-contradictory performance that differentiates games from other forms of media. Each member of the audience in a game has a unique and personal experience, but they also have a shared experience with other audience members. This duality of the personal/collective experience is further heightened with the introduction of procedural content generation (PCG), and computational creativity.
When players talk about their experience with games, they often tell stories. These stories describe what the player/audience did, how the game reacted to the player’s actions, and how the game reacted to itself. Each player/audience member has played the same game, and they have communally played the same framework, but the most important part of the game for them is the unique story that is theirs alone.
This effect can also be seen in the rise of “actual play” podcasts – a form of performance where a table-top RPG provides the framework for a communal storytelling. While players on these podcasts are playing a game themselves, the “true” performance isn’t the gameplay, but the story that gets told, as mediated by the gameplay.
My personal journey to games as an artistic practice is a somewhat recent one, and one that I’m still exploring. My background is in music, where part of my heart will always reside. I bring this background into my current work, creating games primarily where the player constructs their own musical experience, mediated by the framework and rules of the game. Because of the complexity of generating music in real-time, this facet of my work has led me to explore computational creativity, a subfield of artificial intelligence.
The field of computational creativity is often considered primarily a scientific and technological one. Most researchers in the field have backgrounds in computing. There is a growing realization in the field though, that while the techniques and technology of computational creativity are always expanding and can always have improvements, the largest avenue for future research is in finding new and interesting ways to use the technologies. To put it more succinctly, what computational creativity needs most is artists.
My research explores these component facets of gaming, technology, music, and performance. My work is interdisciplinary, exploring the emerging new media, while utilizing the extant lenses of established media practices. I aim to interrogate the possibilities and potential of the intersections of technologies and arts.