Symposium Session 1

Tue 9th April 2024

Human Computer Improvisation

Chaired by Franziska Schroeder

Megan Steinberg – Ableism in Artificial Intelligence: By Human Design

George Edmondson – Sonic Narratives: Sound Recording as an Improvisational Medium for Documenting Lived Experience

Dafydd Hall Williams – An International Partnership Around the Creation of a New Operatic Genre in Augmented Reality for Mobile Devices.

Megan Steinberg – Ableism in Artificial Intelligence: By Human Design

How are we designing AI datasets and are they representative of the global population? When put into practice, neural network-based systems contain biases that put a magnifying glass up to our very human prejudices. As we begin to rely more and more on these technologies, are disabled, d/Deaf, neurodivergent people and people with long-term health conditions being discriminated against or even put in harm’s way? Ableism exists in many different types of Artificial Intelligence systems in use today, and despite the potential for AI to support the lives and work of disabled, d/Deaf and neurodivergent people, we must consider different models of disability and whether these technologies seek not to support but ‘fix’ or ‘normalise’ people. And, finally, how can art and music play a part in the development of fair and ethical AI systems?


George Edmondson – Sonic Narratives: Sound Recording as an Improvisational Medium for Documenting Lived Experience

This talk explores HCI’s role in representation politics and engaged arts; investigating how human-technology interaction enhances ethnographic documentation using sound art. I examine the democratisation of HCI through sonic field notes, multimodal interaction, and co-authored making. By blending soundscape preservation and sonic enhancement, the potential of cooperative HCI in facilitating sound-based experiences within creative community groups is explored. I offers insight into the serendipitous possibilities of long-term human-technology relationships.


Dafydd Hall Williams – An International Partnership Around the Creation of a New Operatic Genre in Augmented Reality for Mobile Devices

Dafydd Hall Williams (Ulster Touring Opera) will discuss the international partnership around augmented reality opera. Dafydd will be presenting with Clémentine Brochet, Jesse Plessis and Stefania Skoryna.

Over the past five years, the opera industry has started to explore the possibilities of extended reality (XR) to renew and democratize the genre. In Canada, re:Naissance opera has experimented with motion capture and virtual reality through the creation of their opera OrpheusVR (2020). The Irish National Opera has also developed an opera to be experienced in virtual reality, Out of the Ordinary/As an nGnách (2022). Since 2021, Ulster Touring Opera and the Canada Research Chair in Opera Creation (Université de Montréal) have each separately explored a new approach to opera and extended reality through the creation of operas in augmented reality developed using volumetric capture and accessible on mobile devices. These technological difficulties influence artistic choices, raising questions on the nature of opera. In Summer 2023, the partners began an exchange programme between Montreal and Belfast to share their new understanding of opera in augmented reality.

Clémentine Brochet
Artist and director, Clémentine Brochet’s practice is protean, mixing cinema, sensors, spatialized sound and immersive technologies. She is particularly interested in the notion of mobilization, both that of the artist in his practice, and that of the body, listening and citizenship emanating from experience. She holds a master’s degree in research-creation from the University of Montreal (Québec, Canada).
Jesse Plessis
Pianist and composer Jesse Plessis was born in Sparwood, in the Canadian Province of British Columbia. His teachers include Arne Sahlen, Allen Reiser, Deanna Oye, Megumi Masaki, Paul Stewart, Norma Fisher, Edith Fischer, Arlan N. Schultz, Patrick Carrabre, and Philippe Leroux. He performs regularly across Canada, he has been heard on stages in England, Austria, France, Italy, Switzerland, and Germany, and recent concerto performances include Bela Bartok’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with Orchestre 21, led by Paolo Bellomia. His compositions have been performed by prominent Canadian artists and ensembles such as the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, Brittany Rae, Jonathon Adams and Lucas Harris, Continuum Contemporary Music’s HATCH! ensemble, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and the Land’s End Ensemble. Upcoming projects include a song cycle on poetry by Flora Aurima Devatine, and a concerto for piano left-hand, inspired by his ongoing recovery from focal dystonia.
Stefania Skoryna
Since graduating from l’École de danse contemporaine de Montréal in 2015, Stefania Skoryna has performed for Mélanie Demers, the PÉTRUS/Jérémie Niel company and Parts +Labour_Danse, among others. Her fascination with the relationship between dance and other artistic disciplines has led her to collaborate with a variety of them: comedy, opera, gymnastics, digital arts and more. The products of these collaborations have been presented by Tangente, Dance Matters (Toronto), Centre PHI and MUTEK, among others. Through these collaborations she discovered the vast possibilities of storytelling, characters and the pleasure of transporting audiences into fictional worlds through movement. Her involvement in the performing arts community plays a key role in her practice. She is co-founder/general coordinator of Nous Sommes L’Été, co-coordinator of the Écotone, a performing arts research platform, and has been teaching since 2010. Stefania also mentors artists, helping them with their career development.




Book Tickets for all free events via the link below. Spaces are limited, so book early to avoid disappointment.

Ticket Link