Wearable Music & Transacoustic Violins : New paradigms of participatory & relational wearable computing

NISTH Think Out: Debate Series

May 20 2022 • 1 hr 3 mins

The experiential poetics of “wearable music” offers a body-centric motivation of playfulness and wonder that contrasts with traditional discourses of control and mastery. Wearable music invigorates the possibilities for creating less spatially bounded and less individualistic, collaborative, room-scale musical instruments, fostering participatory technocultures in which participants adapt wearable technologies through joyful and embodied processual design. This playfulness can also be reflected back onto traditional musical practices, such as playing the violin, via novel tangible interfaces that transform and depolarize them, opening up new domains of collaborative sensemaking.

In this talk, I discuss how to bridge the experience of the blurring of corporeal boundaries in live performance with the domain of wearable computing. I consider workshopping collectively playable instruments, telematic wearable music, a wearable music project for students with disabilities, and a new community project for violinists using novel transacoustic technology.

About the Speaker
Dr. Seth D. Thorn is an American violinist whose research encompasses interaction design and philosophical approaches to computational media. His work interrogates normativity and cognitivism in HCI through a variety of computational tools and theoretical perspectives informed by sound and music techniques. Dr. Thorn brings the familiar experience of the blurring of certain corporeal boundaries in embodied performance, augmented with adapted real-time computational media, into dialogue with philosophical studies on materialism, assemblage theory, affect, relation, individuation, and neurodiversity, and bridges these studies into concrete social impact to increase diversity, participation, and inclusion in computing. He teaches in the School of Arts, Media and Engineering (AME) at Arizona State University.