Collapsing distinctions: interacting within fields of intelligence on interstellar scales and parallel musical models

2003

[PDF AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD] An extensive monograph exploring what experimental music can teach us about recognizing and communicating with forms of intelligence other than our own, including examples from several decades of the author's work and with implications for the future of interactive processes and media.

Inspired by thought experiments involving relationships among practices in experimental music and recognizing and communicating with forms of intelligence other than our own, this monograph surveys and draws from a wide range of relevant examples from the authors musical work. Examples from chapter topics and titles include: paradigmatic parallels and complementarities among experiences in experimental musical composition and some of the primary problems in interstellar communication, the nature of co-creative communication, principles for interactive processes, the role of notation, a view of EMTS-(energy-matter-time-space), the propositional music model, complex adaptive processes in music, extension—over the axes of experience with a wide range of scales, delay—distance, prolongation, and directionality in musical performance and history, the point of view of waves and auditory knowledge, the problem of concrete forms in communication, the requirement of concurrent imagination for the recognition of signs and labels, principles for constructing interactive processes—music of many nows, avoiding thinking in terms of linear time and concurrent imagination, the problem of the perception of objects dissolving the objects of perception, ascendancy of empathy, altruism, and self-consciousness, and recognizing and re-cognizing species and intelligence differentiation. The opening paragraph reads, "Deeply and thoroughly contemplating the import of communicating with forms of intelligence other than that we believe we know, and about which all our presumptions could be arbitrary, sends us immediately to the roots of fundamental questions about our own, differentiated existence. If we consider the meanings we attach to the words in the preceding sentence, nearly any of them could lead us to fully reexamine the presumptions we carry with us in order to function in the world. Much of this article is about questioning our metaphors for understanding intelligence, time, space, information, communication, and messages, while drawing on the striking parallel explorations that occur naturally in the vast terrain of musical composition, especially when undertaken with an experimental attitude."

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The photo at right shows an extraordinary gathering of eminent scientists, artists, philosophers, and others held at the home of then Leonardo/ISAST executive director, Roger Malina (standing lower right), in Paris in 2003, which Rosenboom attended (looking up lower left), to explore new thoughts about encountering alien forms of intelligence that cannot be known in advance. That gathering inspired the writing of this monograph.