Renegotiating Responsibilities in Human-Computer Ensembles
This paper proposes discussions for the (re)negotiation of responsibilities in performances that involve a collaboration between human and computer agents. Most of current research is human-hierarchical, leaving the machine the role of a mere tool at performer’s service. In this paper a more balanced distribution of responsibilities between the two agent is proposed. Chimney, a software developed by one of the authors, is proposed as a design probe to reflect on this topic. Chimney allows the composer to control only the musical material of a piece, leaving its evolution to an algorithmic agent whose decisions are unpredictable. This redistribution of responsibilities results in a compositional shift that causes the roles of the composer / performer to overlap. The implications for the experience of the performer operating Chimney are also discussed.