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A.I., Algorithms, Art, and Allegro – The Story of Interactive Media

The Future Is Now.

Music, Art, and Technology are intrinsically linked.

When you think of the relationship between the arts and technology what do you imagine? Do you think of a keyboardist playing a musical synthesizer, an artist drawing on a digital tablets with a stylus, a playwright typing out his latest scenes on a laptop in a café, or a singer recording their voice with their smartphone? All of these are ways that tech meets the arts. But, the relationship between them is even closer than that. The artistic expression and technological accomplishment go hand-in-hand; they are both ways that people allow their imaginations to interact with the world around them.

In previous articles, such as What Is MIDI?, MIDI 2.0, the Sample This series, the What Is Music Production? series, the Harry Partch Instruments, The Art of the VJ, and Electronics Has Changed Everything?, we explored some of the ways the music and technology develop together. In fact, without technological developments we wouldn't have the arts. Without the invention of papyrus, we wouldn't have modern sketchbooks, notepads, or even laptops. Without the invention of amphitheaters in ancient Greece, we wouldn't have modern amplification. Without the first bone flutes from about 40,000 years before present, we wouldn't have musical instruments. The list goes on and on. Without people applying their imaginations, we don't have art nor the tools we use to create it.

Throughout the 20th century until now in the 21st century, innovation with electronic technological and later digital technology has revolutionized how people create, consume, interact with, enjoy, and discuss the arts. Right now, you are reading about the arts on a digital computer or smartphone, you can also use these tools to create your own art and share it with the world. You can also interact with other people's creative works via these tools. This includes through consuming what's called "New Media."

New Media refers to any media from websites, newspapers, magazines, blogs, music, video, and podcasts that is accessed via interactive electronic/digital means (generally the internet). It also includes interactive media that is accessed electronically, such as social media, video games, computer animations, human-computer interfaces, interactive computer installations, and virtual worlds. This media is in contrast to Old Media, which includes media that is not interactive, such as print newspapers, print magazine, traditional film, broadcast radio, and broadcast TV. This potential of New Media is expanding exponentially right before our eyes. We may not know what yet unimagined horizons lay ahead, but if we can trace through its development we (as creators) may be able to predict—and create—our future interactive world. In this post, we are going to learn how advances in animation, computer graphics, and computer music, have lead to interactive new media, in this case, computer games.

The Story of New Media Begins with the CRT – 1890s

Photo: Senad Palic, Unsplash,
CRT monitor with