UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Quantum improvisation : sonic consciousness and Pauline Oliveros Chung, Sae-Hoo Stan


Oliveros’s quantum improvisation is the result of listening deeply to the ethical co-emergence of improvising humans and intelligent machines. Pauline Oliveros’s Triple Point (with Doug van Nort and Jonas Braasch) consists of three human musicians performing live with a listening and improvising computer agent. Van Nort’s FILTER (Freely Improvising, Learning, and Transforming Evolutionary Recombination system) selectively listens and simultaneously plays with the musicians. This dissertation explores improvisation and contributes a cross-field definition of of this highly contested term: improvisation is the performance agency. The first of three movements provides a cross-field review of improvisation; the second movement employs autoethnography to study the sonic and social improvisations of Triple Point; the third movement explores quantum improvisation by employing writing as a performative tool to discover Oliveros’s ethical machine and human improvisation. The three interconnected types of improvisation are theorized as constraining and provoking improvisation: personal combinatory, social evolutionary, and ethical transcendent. This dissertation concludes with the claim that Oliveros’s quantum improvisation contributes to a theory of creativity that reverberates with socio-ethical connection and discovery.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada