Echo 6

Date and location

April 17, 2024

Call for submissions: ECHO #6 - Interface After AI

News CallApril 17, 2024

Editors: Roberto Alonso Trillo and Marek Poliks

The sixth issue of ECHO (https://echo.orpheusinstituut.be/), a journal of music, thought, and technology, is scheduled for October 2024. Following the themes of "Archive(s)", "Networks", "Feedback", and "New Mimesis", this issue, titled "Rethinking AI Interfaces", will be edited by Roberto Alonso Trillo and Marek Poliks. The call for submissions is now open.

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ECHO 6 – Rethinking AI Interfaces Themes and Topics Submission Guidelines

ECHO 6 – Rethinking AI Interfaces

This special issue aims to address the limitations imposed by existing approaches to interface design on the current epoch of deep learning technology and to explore how insights from musical and artistic instrumentality may help unblock further development.

When surveying the highest-adoption commercial and creative deep learning tools in 2024 (e.g. ChatGPT, MidJourney, Gemini, Runway), it is possible to identify a strong sense of convergence or sameness: an user ideates, expresses their idea in linguistic or other symbolic form, and a program leverages a small number of possible toolchains (PyTorch/Tensorflow, HuggingFace, CUDA, etc…) to iterate upon and execute a response. One might call this workflow a transcriptive interface: a downstream motion from user (idea) to computer (executor) through various stages of symbolic translation. This type of interface tends to yield a specific user experience: a chatbot or chat platform, a language prompt, a visual display with a blinking cursor.

Rethinking the transcriptive approach to interface design is a crucial step to accelerate the diversification of AI toolchains, processes, and  relationships. One can look to the arts for many alternative interface design paradigms. For example, the field of musical instrumentality and instrumental performance has enumerated a massive typology of nonlinear, cocreative relationships between humans, materials, and sounds that stand in stark relief to a “blinking cursor” on a chat window. We argue that, by applying insights from these alternative interfacial regimes, we can unlock new possibilities for AI to become a creative partner, rather than merely a tool for human ideators.

Destabilizing the 'blinking cursor' requires deeper work than a translation of its unilateral input-output flow into other forms and formats. To paraphrase Caroline Busta and Lil Internet -- in an era in which content production is essentially limitless and practically free, the scope of art-making and artistic thinking must move to the level of the protocol, the systems design, the "urban planning" of the plumbing networks of generative mechanics. Our objective is to open the floodgates to speculative redesigns, to theoretical design paradigms, and to infrastructural modes that completely upheave the input-output relationship (what Luciana Parisi might call the servo-mechanical relationship) altogether. While practical implementations will be considered, we will prioritize big, projective, crazy, conceptual work within the broader field of HAIID [Human-AI-Interaction-Design].

We invite researchers, musicologists, artists, and technologists to submit their work on reimagining interfaces that foster expanded interactions between humans and AI.

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Themes and Topics

Contributions to this special issue may include, but are not limited to, the following areas of inquiry:

Nonlinear Deep Learning Interfaces: Proposals for interfaces that depart from traditional visual, semantic, and linear paradigms, enabling new forms of creative expression, exploration, and collaboration with AI.

Interfacial Regimes in Music and the Arts: Examination of interfacial frameworks within music and artistic practices that provide alternative models for engaging with deep learning technologies.

Post-Transcriptive AI: Exploration of new models, toolchains, and possibilities for deep learning outside of strictly transcriptive functions and relationships.

New Musical Paradigms: Visions of music after the development of deep learning tools unbound from transcriptive modalities.

Submission Guidelines

Submissions can be in-depth articles indicatively of 5000-7000 words or brief artist statements in any format. Authors are encouraged to use digitally-native storytelling, incorporating media-rich materials, nonlinear navigation, and interactive data representation tools. Contributions should be experimental and push the boundaries of traditional academic formats. Potential contributors are invited to contact the issue editors (robertoalonso@mac.com / mpoliks@gmail.com). ECHO welcomes contributions in languages other than English.

Deadline and Submission

Submission deadline: July 15, 2024.
Please upload your submission here: https://airtable.com/appJQ9K5W...

Contributors should upload materials sufficient for peer review (text files, images, media, code in standard formats), together with a brief description of how they envisage using the platform by July 2024.

Accepted authors will be invited to experiment and build their article on the ECHO platform. See previous issues for examples: echo.orpheusinstituut.be

References

Andersen, C. U., & Pold, S. (2011). Interface Criticism: Aesthetics Beyond Buttons. Aarhus University Press.

Andersen, C. U., & Pold, S. (2018). The MetaInterface. MIT Press.

Antikythera [Daniel Barcay, William Morgan &Sarah Olimpia Scott] (2023, December). HAIID 2023 Studio Project Trailer. Vimeo. https://vimeo.com/898591793

Bolter, J. D., & Grusin, R. (1999). Remediation: Understanding New Media. MIT Press.

Bratton, B. H. (2016). The stack: On software and sovereignty. MIT press.

Busta, C. & Internet, L. (2022). The Future of Critique. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCYqtuUPOQ0

Chun, W. H. K. (2011). Programmed Visions: Software and Memory. MIT Press.

Fuller, M. (Ed.). (2008). Software Studies: A Lexicon. MIT Press.

Galloway, A. R. (2012). The Interface Effect. Polity.

Hookway, B. (2014). Interface: A genealogy of Mediation and Control. MIT Press.

Jensenius, A. R. (2022). Sound actions: conceptualizing musical instruments. MIT Press.

Magnusson, T. (2019). Sonic writing: technologies of material, symbolic, and signal inscriptions. Bloomsbury Publishing USA

Manovich, L. (2001). The Language of New Media. MIT Press.

Sá, C. (2017). “Toward and Ontology of the Interface.” Leonardo 52/5, 479–482.

Vear, C., Benford, S., Avila, J. M., & Moroz, S. (2023). “Human-AI Musicking: A Framework for Designing AI for Music Co-creativity.” In AIMC2023.

ECHO

ECHO is a new online, open access, peer-reviewed journal that exists to share creative work and understanding in the common space at the intersection of music, thought and technology. An initiative of the MTT (Music, Thought and Technology) research group at the Orpheus Institute, Ghent, ECHO welcomes artist-researchers to submit contributions for development on its custom platform.

→ echo.orpheusinstituut.be