Cybernetic principles and sonic ecosystems

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The theoretical basis for the installation Oscilloscope is discussed in this paper along with a description of the applications of these ideas in the practical implementation of the work. It is argued that, despite the different idioms these practitioners work in, there are conceptual commonalities in the generative music of Brian Eno and the musical ecosystems of Agostino Di Scipio. Both these artists' work is influenced by principles of cybernetics, in particular the notion of emergence where the composer's role is not on designing outcomes but on designing systems whose component interactions produce desirable outcomes. A synthesis of these ideas are also applied in the design of Oscilloscope, demonstrating how a system that is relatively simple technologically and with fairly trivial sonic and visual material can be tuned to produce interactions that generate complex results that provide a rich, engaging experience for the viewer. In addition, this discussion critiques the notion of interactivity in electronic music.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the International Computer Music Conference 2016
PublisherInternational Computer Music Association
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event42nd International Computer Music Conference - Utrecht, Netherlands
Duration: 12 Sept 201616 Sept 2016

Publication series

ISSN (Print)2223-3881


Conference42nd International Computer Music Conference
Abbreviated titleICMC 2016

Bibliographical note

This is an open-access article
dis- tributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License
3.0 Unported, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and
reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source
are credited


  • Cathode ray oscilloscopes
  • Computer music
  • Ecology
  • Component interaction
  • Designing systems
  • Electronic music
  • Generative musics
  • Interactivity


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