Thesis Info

Thesis Title
Actor-Network Music: A Paradigm for Distributed, Networked Music Composition
Kelly Michael Fox
2nd Author
3rd Author
Masters of Fine Arts
Number of Pages
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Thesis Supervisor
Michael Century
Supervisor e-mail
century AT
Other Supervisor(s)
Shawn Lawson, Robert Nideffer, Daniel Iglesia
Language(s) of Thesis
Department / Discipline
Department of the Arts
Languages Familiar to Author
URL where full thesis can be found
network music, agency, localized music, distributed composition
Abstract: 200-500 words
In Parallel – a musical installation for networked iOS apps – music and ideas about its production on distributed, networked mobile devices are explored in a paradigm described as “Actor-Network Music.” This paradigm bridges ideas of Actor Network Theory from sociology and the Network Music practice. To create a performance context for the presentation of these practices, Kelly Michael Fox and Raven Kwok created an iOS app called ANMPlatform which was used by visitors to the installation. The installation’s computer system allowed the networked communication of these devices so that the influence of all visitors present could be distributed throughout the system. Parallel premiered and was exhibited March 5–7, 2015 in Troy, NY at the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center Studio 2. In this thesis, the author provides a description of Actor-Network Music paradigm and the technology that enabled it. The aesthetic considerations of such a compositional practice are also analyzed through the lens of music theory, agency, and computer interactivity. This text concludes with a discussion of the research trajectory of these ideas, considering different configurations of the system that was constructed for the installation.