integer on Sun, 28 May 2000 21:30:05 +0200 (CEST)


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 Michael Century <mcentury@music.mcgill.ca>

> On 27 May 2000, Benjamin Geer wrote:
>
>>
>>Perhaps someday someone will make the perfect computer system for artists,
>>which lets them do everything they want with a minimum of technical
>>knowledge.  Until then, artists will have to live with the fact that
>>computers are general-purpose tools, like airplanes, and that one must
>>learn to use them as such.
>
>I'd like to look inside this claim, which is hard to understand
>without some understanding what a "perfect" system could possibly mean.
>
>Much discussion on this thread has made clear how rewarding the
>steep learning curve for so-called general purpose tools can be.
>That is, enabling the development of personal expressive control,
>generation of new variations, extending the existing scope of
>the 'language' or 'grammar' from which one starts.  Fine.
>
>The next interesting question, though, is where and how to define
>the performance boundaries of a tool set, the particular sub-devices,
>strategems, routines, etc., which are 'punctualized' and made
>reproducible using a reduced set of instructions (I take the term
>in quotes from the way actor-network theoriests (eg. Callon) talk
>about innovation).
>
>I think tha tinstrumental virtuosity in music performance can be a helpful
>way to think about this.  This is a very old, and perhaps tired analogy,
>but nonetheless, consider:  A violinist playing an Amati violin is unaware
>of the 'magic' in Amati's craft, or at least, need not have much awareness
>of this
>craft in order to perform on the instrument with skill.  Application
>software can in principle (but rarely does) start from this  level
>of refinement.  Why not?
>
>Michael Century


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