Dynamical Systems in Interaction Design for Improvisation

Mudd, Tom; Dalton, Nick; Holland, Simon and Mulholland, Paul (2014). Dynamical Systems in Interaction Design for Improvisation. In: Workshop on Human Computer Improvisation at 2014 ACM conference on Designing Interactive Systems, 21-25 Jun 2014, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

URL: https://openlab.ncl.ac.uk/hcimprovisation/position...

Abstract

This paper proposes the use of, and investigation of the value of, nonlinear dynamical elements in mappings between human input and system output in interactive systems. Motivation for this, and a case study, are drawn from the practices of free, aural improvisers in digital and acoustic music. Nonlinear dynamical systems in existing sound creation mechanisms help create the rich affordances of many acoustic instruments, notably reed instruments. Dynamical systems also play a key role in electronic instruments, with many performers placing the exploration of feedback processes at the centre of their practice. We propose that the use of nonlinear dynamical elements can be usefully moved up from output mechanisms and incorporated explicitly at a higher level in the mappings between human input and system output in digital music systems. However, digital music is not the only area of human activity where divergent, open-ended, exploratory thinking is valued. We thus propose the incorporation of, and investigation of the value of, nonlinear dynamical elements in mappings between input and output in interactive systems more generally, in particular when designing for domains where divergent problem solving and problem seeking play an important role.

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