Algorithmic music composition involves specifying music in such a way that it is non-deterministic on playback, leading to music which has the potential to be different each time it is played. Current systems for algorithmic music composition typically require the user to have considerable programming skill and may require formal knowledge of music. However, much of the potential user population are music producers and musicians (some professional, but many amateur) with little or no programming experience and few formal musical skills. To investigate how this gap between tools and potential users might be better bridged we designed Choosers, a prototype algorithmic programming system centred around a new abstraction (of the same name) designed to allow non-programmers access to algorithmic music composition methods. Choosers provides a graphical notation that allows structural elements of key importance in algorithmic composition (such as sequencing, choice, multi-choice, weighting, looping and nesting) to be foregrounded in the notation in a way that is accessible to non-programmers. In order to test design assumptions a Wizard of Oz study was conducted in which seven pairs of undergraduate Music Technology students used Choosers to carry out a range of rudimentary algorithmic composition tasks. Feedback was gathered using the Programming Walkthrough method. All users were familiar with Digital Audio Workstations, and as a result they came with some relevant understanding, but also with some expectations that were not appropriate for algorithmic music work. Users were able to successfully make use of the mechanisms for choice, multi-choice, looping, and weighting after a brief training period. The ‘stop’ behaviour was not so easily understood and required additional input before users fully grasped it. Some users wanted an easier way to override algorithmic choices. These findings have been used to further refine the design of Choosers.
Garde, Julia Anne; Van Der Voort, Mascha Cécile; Niedderer, Kristina(Design Research Society, 2018-06-25)
In order to include persons with dementia in the MinD project actively, design probes were developed to provide insight into their perspectives. We applied probes due to their exploratory character and participation through self-documentation. The aim of this paper is to reflect on the design of the probes in relation to the outcomes as a source of inspiration for designers. More specifically, we investigate the openness and tangibility of the probes, and their content relating to the past, the current or the future. The five participants completed the probes to a large extent. The openness of assignments influenced their completion and the resulting value for empathizing and inspiration for designers: More defined assignments led to more sharing of personal and sensitive information than very open ones. While crafty, tangible assignments were filled in more extensively than less tangible ones, the classical writing assignments resulted more often in more introspective and reflective information from participants. Furthermore, participants filled in assignments about past memories more extensively than those relating to future goals.
Hackney, Fiona; Rana, Mah(Plymouth College of Art, 2018-11-30)
This paper signals the value of making for well-being as a reflexive research activity. It focuses on a series of short reflective diary entries created by artist and researcher Mah Rana during her daily encounters with people, spaces, places, and things. The entries are personal and incidental, involve memories and snippets of conversation but, crucially, they are all positioned from her perspective as a self-identified ‘well-maker’. Someone, that is, who is alert to the particular values, benefits, qualities, and characteristics of creative making for mental and physical health: who takes note of how these manifest in our everyday lives, often in the quietest of ways.
Harris, Simon J.(Sarah Wiseman Gallery, 2018-03-03)
'Electric Cherry Blossom' was inspired by a recent visit Simon made to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. He is in essence concerned with painting as an act in and of itself, exploring the interplay between the recognisable and abstracted expression. His influences are varied; he cites Van Gogh and Japanese printmaking; Vermeer and Rembrandt; Cinematography. These influences all reference developments in our understanding and preoccupation with pictorial space, and how abstract, apparently empty spaces can carry so much more weight in a painting or an image than we might first realise.
Book: Sensual Religion demonstrates the value of paying attention to the senses and materials in lived religion and also leads the way for improved studies of religion as sensuality. Each of the five senses - vision, hearing, taste, touch and smell - will be covered by two chapters, the first historical and the second contemporary. The historical discussions focus on the sensuality of religion in ancient Greece, Samaria, Rome and Byzantium - including reflections on their value for understanding other historical and contemporary contexts. Chapters with a contemporary focus engage with Chinese, African-Brazilian, Sikh, First Nations and Metis, and Spanish Catholic religious lives and activities. Beyond the rich case studies, each chapter offers perspectives and arguments about better ways of approaching lived, material and performative religion - or sensual religion. Historical and ethnographic critical and methodological expertise is presented in ways that will inspire and enable readers to apply, refine and improve on their practice of the study of religions. In particular, our intention is to foreground the senses and sensuality as a critical issue in understanding religion and to radically improve multi- and inter-disciplinary research and teaching about the lived realities of religious people in this sensual world.
Using Art as Research in Learning and Teaching explores various multidisciplinary visual and performing art forms, including creative writing, as ways to provide a rich contribution and understanding to research, learning, and teaching. Key figures in the field share their art-based research, arts practice, and philosophy, bringing the arts to life within their taught and learned contexts across a variety of art forms and levels of post-compulsory education.
Sting’s musical, The Last Ship premiered on Broadway in 2014. Four years later, following a series of workshops at Northern Stage, the musical embarked on its UK tour featuring a number of revisions to its narrative and structure. What emerges from the revised production is a narrative, which places women at the centre through affording
them agency and allowing them to occupy powerful, liminal spaces. Whilst The Last Ship remains a tale for the working classes, its UK revisions do well to reposition the central role of the women in this community. Through removing principal characters, which previously served to reinforce a patriarchal hierarchy, the fictional women of Wallsend now drive the plot, allowing for The Last Ship to communicate a morality tale, which echoes the ideologies of a feminist, post-Brexit era.
Recently there has been renewed academic interest in co-operatives. In contrast, media accounts of co-operatives are relatively scarce, particularly in the UK, where business reporting usually focuses on capitalist narratives, with alternatives routinely marginalised until a scandal pushes them into the public eye. This paper analyses media coverage of the UK’s Co-operative Bank (2011-15), tracing its transformation from an unremarkable presence on the UK high street to preferred bidder for Lloyds Bank branches, and its subsequent near collapse. The paper charts changes in reporting and media interest in the bank through five discursive frames: member and customer service; standard financial reporting; human interest, personality-driven journalism; the PR machine; and political coverage. Our analysis discusses three points: the politicisation of the story through covert and overt political values; simplification and sensationalism; and media hegemony. We argue that although moments of crisis provide an opening for re-evaluating the dominant reporting model, established frames tend to reassert themselves as a story develops. This produces good copy that reflects the interests of the publishers, but does not extend understanding of co-operative organisations. Thus the paper identifies the role of the media in delegitimising organisations with alternative governance structures, thereby promoting ideological and economic conformity. http://mc.
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