George Lewis: Living with Creative Machines


Living With Creative Machines
Read this keynote in e-misférica 4.2


The computer is now an irreversible part of how improvisation has become a site for interdisciplinary exploration, exchanges of personal and cultural narratives, and the blurring of boundaries between art forms. For George Lewis, living, working, and performing with creative machines of his own design is closely intertwined with the study of how improvisation produces knowledge and meaning. Part memoir, part history and criticism, the talk intersects with critical histories of new media and American experimentalism, as well as ethnographic and historical work on improvisation.


George E. Lewis serves as the Edwin H. Case Professor of American Music at Columbia University, and the Director of the Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia. The recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship in 2002, an Alpert Award in the Arts in 1999, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Lewis studied composition with Muhal Richard Abrams at the AACM School of Music, and trombone with Dean Hey. A member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) since 1971, Lewis's work as composer, improviser, performer and interpreter explores electronic and computer music, computer-based multimedia installations, text-sound works, and notated and improvisative forms, and is documented on more than 120 recordings. His published articles on music, experimental video, visual art, and cultural studies have appeared in numerous scholarly journals and edited volumes, and his book, "Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music," is forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press in Fall 2007.

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