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Pages 1126-1131
First published 2 September 2013

The perception of potential: interference, dimensionality and knowledge

Jonathan Impett, Leonardo Impett


This paper presents a system that investigates the sonification of wave interaction in a performance space and its interaction with a live performer—the illumination of sonic activity within a real space, in contrast to conventional ALife algorithmic, event—or material-based approaches. The model maintains three parallel representations of the entire live/virtual system: wavespace, symbol space and performance space. The cross-modal analysis and representation of behavior is important to the evolution of the system, which displays emergence on multiple levels of structure. Micro-evolution takes place within the population of wave-emitting and -listening agents. A higher level of structure emerges from their aggregate in interaction with the live performer, and a formal level as symbol space learns from the performer. Cross-modal representation is seen as a significant factor in the evolution of Western art music, in the development of multi-leveled structure and of work that affords many dimensions of engagement. We discuss the nature of knowledge produced through working with such systems and the role of the subject in ALife-generated knowledge. New models of simulation-derived knowledge are seen as important to cultural understanding.