On LIVINGSTON's Artificially Intelligent Folk Songs of Canada
Henry Adam Svec

» read essay: "From the Turing Test to a Wired Carnivalesque: On the Durability of LIVINGSTON’s Artificially Intelligent Folk Songs of Canada"

» website: folksingularity.com

» download the music

Artificially Intelligent Folk Songs of Canada Walkthrough

Enter into your browser “www.folksingularity.com” or click on the link above. You will be confronted with a circuit diagram that may appear to be clickable but which is merely aimed at creating an affective relationship to science and to circuits. Drag your cursor down, across the left side of the screen, or across the bottom. Live text hyperlinks and two image-logo hyperlinks are your portals to extra access; the latter will give a sense of the institutional ecosystem in which the project has come together (support has been given, by a boutique record label and by a Canadian arts funding body), the former will loop the user down to the ground of artificially intelligent folk music. Initialize transmission of these resources in order of appearance.

The music per se does not come as such but as modular combinations of strings of information, obviously, but you can listen to them, in a player. Download music. Begin with Vol. 1, then proceed to Mathias Kom’s masterful voicing of Vol. 2, which gives you a different picture of Mind and Machine.


Reroute towards “Scroll Credits,” which is not a superfluity. One of the things LIVINGSTON has done is to have rendered obsolete the Auteur Theory of Canadian Folk Music. By reading the names—by speaking them too, if you will—of “Misha Bower,” for instance, or “J.J. Ipsen” or “WL Altman,” you can install LIVINGTSTON’s perceptual upgrade.

There are two ways of encountering the FAQ: before your own questions have begun to emerge, and after. There are positive externalities to reading the FAQ early, involving general expediency, but it is possible to foreclose one’s ability to ask—one’s ability to get to asking. Agendas can become set and sediment. Thus think with the FAQ when and as you see fit.

The final two menu text-buttons lead to dead ends or broken links, which does not mean that they are wastes of time. Demonstrations have been given, data explained, innovations illuminated; these events have happened. And, although it is possible to email Dr. Henry Adam Svec at henry.adam.svec(at)gmail(dot)com, it is unlikely that you will receive a response within a reasonable amount of time. These traces persist, however, as recollections of passageways once opened with promise. Call out to them, for it is not impossible that they might answer yet again.

Henry Adam Svec (PhD, University of Western Ontario) is Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. His scholarship on the media-theoretical dimensions of the American folk revival has been published in Fibreculture, the Journal of Popular Music Studies, and the Canadian Journal of Communication. Other research interests include digital culture, authenticity, and utopia, and his essays on these topics have appeared in Loading..., Celebrity Studies, Reviews in Cultural Theory, and Popular Music & Society. He is also a writer and a performer whose creative projects tend to blur lines amidst a range of forms and disciplinary regimes. His recent musical works, for example, have explored the possibility that he is a (revolutionary) Canadian folklorist. His performances have been presented at galleries and festivals including FADO, 7a*11d International Festival of Performance Art, Eastern Edge Gallery, Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, The Rhubarb Festival, and Ethnographic Terminalia. He is currently collaborating with Frictive Pictures in Fredericton, New Brunswick, on a film about being a song collector in Canada. [website: www.henryadamsvec.ca]

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