Re: Fixing matters ... Is it time to move on? Re:Don't worry ...


Subject: Re: Fixing matters ... Is it time to move on? Re:Don't worry ...
From: Kevin Austin (kevin.austin@videotron.ca)
Date: Sat Jan 22 2005 - 23:04:35 EST


Thank you. I am now clearer that you wish to see the ICMA change, so
I think we have been talking about two different issues. I have tried
to address the issue in a general electroacoustic sense, which is why
I have continued to talk about the 'parameters' of the associations.

At 12:54 -0500 2005/01/22, William Osborne wrote:
>These are very interesting thoughts, Kevin, though I don't have time at the
>moment to really elaborate on these issues.
>
>> >For a long time I have thought that the ICMA is a "computer
>>music" association, and as such will continue to focus on issues of
>>technical developments. It may be time for the development of a
>>really inclusive international electroacoustics organization that
>>would encompass all aspects of ea -- technical, cultural and
>>aesthetic.<
>
>It is true that the ICMA is technically oriented, but should that be
>to the exclusion of cultural studies in electro-accoustic music?
>Why push it to the side to create another organization when cultural
>studies would really benefit the ICMA? And why burden participants
>with yet another expensive conference to visit?

Having chosen not to be a member of the ICMA, it is of little
'concern' to me whether or not they work to include cultural studies
in what they do. As I see it the are neither the largest, the most
important nor the only game in town.

Having worked on the creation and maintenance of a national
organization for some 20 years, my advice to people who want to
change things is to "get involved from the inside". As I see it, if I
am really concerned that the ICMA (or some other association) is not
doing something, I would either join the Board and work to influence
the association, or work on the creation of an association that does
respond to my concerns.

 From my experience with SEAMUS, SAN, the CEC and ACMA (among others),
there is more flexibility and concern for the topics you return to.

To get a feel of what is meant by this, Google "women in
electroacoustics". This may help you find out the regions of
electroacoustics (music technology) where these matters carry weight.

(You may wish to read the Charter of the CEC written in 1985
regarding the 'special place' of women in the electroacoustic
community.)

http://cec.concordia.ca/bylaws/bylaws2.html

The objectives of the Corporation are:

a) To actively encourage, support and develop communications and
communications systems, including information and information
retrieval systems, for the electroacoustic community in Canada in all
of its multiple artistic and artistically related manifestations:
print, electronic, electromagnetic, computer information and other
media, with continuing special concern for the younger generation of
individuals and women in this community;

The Charter was written in 1984, but the 'history' books will tell
you it was 1986. ]
http://alcor.concordia.ca/~kaustin/cecdiscuss/2000/1695.html

>Among other things, cultural studies would help musicians and
>engineers learn more about the nature of computer music, about the
>special kinds of sophistication composers and engineers should and
>can develop, how they can better work together. It could help
>clarify the directions and focus their work should take, and how
>they can better obtain funding and publics. Unfortunately, this kind
>of pragmatic social and cultural study is missing. Instead, there is
>a constant technical focus on developing more and more new gizmos
>without taking sufficient time and study to also establish an
>overview of where we are going and what it all means. This is a
>formula that could lead to misdirected work.

 From my point of view, there are (secondary) issues of the concept of
"great music" which remain undefined (except by great dead white
german males ...), and I now see that your point is less about the
field of electroacoustics / music technology and gender than about
issues surrounding ICMA.

When (some) American composers had difficulties with the
transformation from the ACMA to ICMA, they decided to create an
American e-a music association, and SEAMUS cam into being. (There
were other concerns as well....)

>A notebook computer now has more power than the old
>Columbia-Princeton and WDR studios put together, so one might
>provocatively ask, where's the really great music? Why do works
>like Gesang der Junge or Silver Apples of the Moon stand out in the
>history of the field? It is not the facility of sound creation that
>is at issue, but the cultural sophistication of the statement. That
>is why we need electro-accoustic music studies as an integral and
>systematically organized part of the ICMA conferences.

>The lack has a lot to do with the epistemology of the field. In the
>calls for papers, technical issues are carefully broken down into a
>very complete and detailed list of categories, but issues in
>cultural studies are generally mentioned only under the wide rubric
>of history and aesthetics.

In my experience, I have proposed to people who have "a better way",
to offer to host the conference.

Speaking from experience, when similar issues came up in the Canadian
context, many people put their shoulders to the grindstone and
produced successful wide-ranging and widely based conferences.

Subsequent to this, it was determined, as you have found, that the
way to address these issues in the 21st century is not through the
'academic conference' process, but through hammering them out in
front of a thousand people on email lists.

It is true that my Chair and Dean do not recognize my writing to
email lists as being (equivalent) to research or "peer-reviewed"
publication, I will not forsake this (a)venue for communication
within the community, even though it is 'detrimental' to my (research
profile) position in the Department, Faculty and University.

>A lot of the problem would be solved by better planned calls for papers
>that breakdown cultural issues into a detailed set of groups,
>addressing the calls to groups like the AMS list, and the creation
>of specific panels to deal with specific cultural issues. This is
>something new, and participation would have to develop over time,
>but it would surely grow.

>These events would be very popular with the composers and engineers.
>They really need and want more detailed cultural analysis of their
>work.
>
>This whole line of thought needs much more elaboration and
>explanation, but I hope some will consider it.

The CEC, SEAMUS, ACMA, and the CEC have been doing this, actively for
over a decade. There already exists a broad community, possibly not
in the American "computer music community" sense, but having a finite
amount of time on this planet, I will continue to put my energy where
I see the most benefit accruing, as you do with yours.

I wish you the best of luck with your concerns about the ICMA, and
would propose that people who are concerned about "doing something",
consider joining and supporting their national ea associations that
are "doing something".

Best

Kevin



This archive was generated by hypermail 2b27 : Sat Dec 22 2007 - 01:46:05 EST