An exercise in agency
"Despite their obvious differences, what connects and equals humans and objects is the simple fact that they both influence others; they have agency. Agency is the capacity of an actant to change the environment. Through agency, humans and objects are able to interact." - Latour
With limited prior knowledge improvise with two instances of the max for live device Feedback Network. Play the feedback patch as instrument inside a network of actants. - The idea was to create a head on, literal model of a musical improvisation seen as an actor-network.
The device: Feedback Network consists of five Feedback Units, each of which has an independent bandpass filter and delay line. The output from each Feedback Unit can be routed to any of the other five, at an independent volume - Cycling74
Actants in the network
H1 - Human Julius
H2 - Human Joakim
C1 - Midi-controller 1 (modwheel, pitchbend and slider on a M-audio keyboard)
C2 - Midi-controller 2 (three encoders on a Ableton Push1)
F1 - Feedback network 1
F2 - Feedback network 2
EF1 - Envelope follower 1 + amp
EF2 - Envelope follower 2 + amp
HP1 - Headphones 1
HP2 - Headphones 2
"Anything that does modify a state of affairs by making a difference is an actant...
each actant is at the same time also a network." - Latour
Feedback network - The human designer of the device, the digital nature, the auto-randomization, the interface etc.
Human Julius (?)
Submilieus adapted to improvisation
The external milieu
Comprises the musicians’ surroundings, the venue or
studio, the acoustics of the room, the equipment, etc. Furthermore, it includes their
socio-cultural and concrete musical backgrounds.
The interior milieu
Refers to whatactually characterizes these musicians: musical experiences, playing techniques, personal idioms, and, more generally, their ways of being.
The intermediate milieu
regulates the transformations and exchanges between the inside and the outside world.Through new information, aural and visual stimulation, and the sensations these induce, musicians relate, to a greater or lesser degree, to their external environment.
The annexed milieu
a segment of the external milieu, the interior one establishes connections and energy exchange. Much of the operating power in improvisations is based on a more or less direct connection with external milieus, on an energy exchange between musicians, but also between musician and instrument, musician and acoustics, musician and cultural background,
- (Cobussen via Deleuze and Guattari in Costa)