Editorial: Ecologically Grounded Creative Practices and Ubiquitous Music: Interaction and Environment

B Bridges, Victor Lazzarini, Damian Keller

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Abstract

This issue of 'Organised Sound' includes articles on ubiquitous music and related concepts and practices. Ubiquitous music (ubimus) Footnote1 is an approach to music-making which operates at the intersection between diverse technologies (often networked or otherwise modular) and social, interactive and enactive musical and/or sonic practices. Although ubimus may apply a variety of theories and methods, one well-established approach which we foregrounded in this issue’s call involves ecological, embodied, embedded and distributed models of cognition and creativity, sometimes termed 4E cognition (Malinin Reference Malinin2019). In ubimus, this conceptual grounding is complemented by various enactive and socially engaged methods, including participatory, accessible, inclusive and community-oriented approaches to technological design.

Rather than a genre, a style or a particular artistic aesthetic, ubimus may be understood as a collection of frameworks that aim to expand musical thinking through creatively oriented practices. A first wave of ubimus proposals (2007–2014) was driven by several motivations: the expansion of musical deployments with a particular emphasis on the development of internet-based resources, the incorporation of everyday settings (such as various transitional spaces, network-based artistic venues and domestic contexts), and the inclusion of a wide range of participant profiles, highlighting the specific demands of support for casual interaction featuring subjects with heterogeneous characteristics (Keller et al. Reference Keller, Flores, Pimenta, Capasso and Tinajero2011; Lima, Keller, Pimenta, Lazzarini and Miletto Reference Lima, Keller, Pimenta, Lazzarini and Miletto2012; Miletto, Pimenta, Bouchet, Sansonnet and Keller Reference Miletto, Pimenta, Bouchet, Sansonnet and Keller2011).

The articles featured in this thematic issue exemplify the expanded subject matter and methods of second-wave ubimus. As noted earlier, whilst a diverse body of artistic practices such as that found in ubimus has the potential to challenge any single theoretical framework, we can discern a common ground across themes of participatory and distributed models of creativity (Aliel et al, this issue; Koszolko and Studley, this issue), the foregrounding of networked communications (McConville, this issue), and strategies for, and situations of, co-creation (Koszolko and Studley, this issue; Brown, this issue). Seeking to unify these ideas, we argue that they can be broadly considered to be ‘ecological’ groupings, not simply in terms of the use of environmental materials (though this does occur in some cases), but also in terms of conceptualising musical and sonic activities, Footnote2 their social context and the technologies which connect them, as exhibiting shared features and inter-dependencies (Keller and Lazzarini Reference Keller and Lazzarini2017a).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321 - 327
Number of pages6
JournalOrganised Sound
Volume28
Issue number3
Early online date25 Jan 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 23 Feb 2024

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