research

HPSCHD poster, images and their placement designated by I-Ching tables, calculated by Lejaren Hiller's HPSCHD subroutines programmed using the University of Illinois' ILLIAC II supercomputer.
HPSCHD event poster, images and their placement designated by I-Ching tables calculated by Lejaren Hiller’s HPSCHD subroutines programmed using the University of Illinois’ ILLIAC II supercomputer.

Dissertation research: “Zen and the Art of Software Performance: John Cage and Lejaren A. Hiller Jr.’s HPSCHD (1967-1969)” examines John Cage and Lejaren A. Hiller Jr.’s computer-assisted music event HPSCHD, constituting a crucial moment in the history of software in artistic practice. Engaging both Cage’s interest in indeterminacy as well as Hiller’s creative application of information theory in composition, the two collaborators programmed an event juxtaposing the mechanical simplicity of the harpsichord with the complex capabilities of a supercomputer to investigate procedural and ontological notions of chance operations. This ambitious multi-media performance was composed of seven solo pieces for harpsichord derived from processed works by Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Schumann, Gottschalk, Busoni, Schoenberg, Cage, and Hiller, 52 microtonal, computer-generated magnetic tapes, and over 8,000 slides and 40 films.


Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts Annual Conference, Tempe, AZ; title of paper: “Panic! at the University of Illinois: Lejaren Hiller’s Illiac Suite (1956) and its Legacy in Time, Labor, and Art”


Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts Annual Conference, Tempe, AZ; title of performance: “Lecture on a Show about Nothing”


Upcoming: ChiDM Presents, Chicago Design Museum; “Video Game Levels as works of Art, Architecture, and Design: Tiffany Funk and Chris Totten in Conversation”