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date: 30 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the relationship between computer-based interactivity and improvisation with respect to traditions in the arts and to discourses in biology and computer science. In relation to traditional practices in the fine arts, both improvisation and computer-based interactive art are identified as model systems that, in contradistinction to traditional practices, exhibit temporally ongoing novel behavior in response to an environmental context. Modeling, designing, or enacting behavior with respect to environment is discussed in biological and ecological terms. Concepts from ethology, cybernetics, systems theory, autopoietic biology, artificial intelligence, and artificial life are introduced to further explore qualities of emergence, generativity, agency, and performativity in improvisation and interaction. Several exemplary improvisatory, interactive, and artificial life artworks are discussed in these terms.

Keywords: Umwelt, interactivity, performativity, representationalism, artificial life, embodied cognition, artificial intelligence, generativity, emergence, agency

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