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Tom Richards @ Code of Contingency, curated by Sarah Jury and Lisa Baldini

“If relational aesthetics and open source [software] were always commercial, can the musical score provide a way of thinking through different relationships between creativity and code?” This is the question framed in the introduction of Simon Yuill’s All Problems of Notation Will Be Solved by the Masses, in which Yuill shows how collaboration through improvisation might bring us to a new type of knowledge production. The live actions of coders and musicians create outcomes that cannot necessarily be anticipated, and error and failure become key educational tools in the entire ontology of code, notational devices, language, social contracts, and transduction. Code born from contingency.

Code of Contingency explores whether sound -- as a learning device – has the potential to open up new pedagogical frameworks. Taking its cue from the improvisational ethics of Cornelius Cardew, the dissipative systems theory of Isabelle Stengers, and the critical thinking pedagogy developed by Paul Freire, the show investigates process-oriented, anti-anticipatory learning through (and when) people engage with sound. Here, collaboration between object and viewer, teacher and student, performer and attendees are key for developing a pedagogical dialogue. As such, code does not play the role of a set of rules or parameters to guide the viewer’s interpretation, rather, it is a notational device used to make sense of knowledge production out of the show. Bearing this in mind, each artist has derived a workshop to enable this new form of knowledge production concerning: power relations, localized environmental impact, community and performance, public and private space, and sound verses signal.

Lucky Dragons’ (US) Make a Baby project aims to build community simultaneously through human computer interaction and human to human interaction -- all enabled through energy exchanged through one object. Here, performance, community and coding inform the process of Luke Fischbeck’s workshop.

Call & Response (UK) are a sonic-arts collective who’s generative, 4-channel audio installation at Agency Gallery will use the SELCHP electricity plant as a data source.

Tom Richards (UK) sculptures are antithetical to age of the convergent devices and programming updates. Richards work will reinterpret and sonify the spaces of the Agency Gallery and the other works presented.

Tomutonttu (FI), better known as Jan Anderzen of Kemialliset Ystavat, is notorious for orchestrating complex collaborative musical projects making cohesion out of chaos. Seeing himself as primarily a musician, Anderzen will discuss the differences between approaching sound musically verses some other aim, creating a new sound performance based upon the other projects.


Lisa Baldini, 2011