Foreword of Hugues Vinet

Published on April 23, 2018

Vertigo is an international forum on creation and innovtion in music, art, design, and architecture in connection wiht ditigal technologies with a multidisciplinairy approach; artistic and scientific, epistemological and political. For its second edition, IRCAM is holding an encounter on «Coding and Decoding the World », in parallel with the opening of the exhibits « Coder le monde » and « Ryoji Ikeda.

In computer science, code designates both digital representation of contents and the formalization of their calculation. The issue inthese encounters is firstly to present the current state of contemporary creation and its use of code: algorithmic production of material, new writing and heuristic supports for creativity, dynamism of notations, formalization of interaction, etc. While digital technology neutralizes representations specific for each artistic field, it facilitates their correspondences and the production of hybrid works, and it also questions the convergences and specificities of each field’s approach. This reflection is also particularly topical with the generalization of artificial intelligence technologies, creating new procedures for automatic generations based on massive learning of existing corpuses, meaning focusing on the result to be obtained and not on the code of fabrication. For artistic creation, the use of big data raises the question of authorship, of authority, of its uniqueness, and therefore of its existence.

Beyond these artistic concerns, the constitution of digitalized documentary corpuses and access to new methods for searching data has led to new knowledge engineering—decoding the world. This is specifically the subject of digital humanities that combine computer, human, and social sciences. By manipulating shared tools, disparate disciplines such as history, economy, aesthetics, philology, and musicology can evolve in the traces, the ramifications, and the mass of documents. While these techniques offer the unparalleled opportunity to compare massive data for research or even for artistic creation, they also raise new questions: what do we need to collect and index: objects or their context? Or the traces of their use? What becomes of the idea of a collection? Forming/deforming/reforming a corpus is an academic exercise, but also a creative exercise, where visualization is decisive for the exploration and representation of collections.

An additional day will be held on June 15 to showcase the results of the first 10 artistic residencies orgnaized by the European program STARTS Residencies. STARTS Residencies organizes 45 artsitic residencies over a 3-year period in research projects in the field of information and communication technologies, selected following a call for participation.

By Hugues Vinet head of the Innovation & Research Ressources department