Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Creative Arts


Not Listed

Committee Chair

Travis D. Stimeling

Committee Member

Evan MacCarthy

Committee Member

David Taddie

Committee Member

Joel Diegert


This document investigates interaction between human performers and various interactive technologies in the performance of interactive electronic and computer music. Specifically, it observes how the identity and agency of the interactive technology is experienced and perceived by the human performer. First, a close examination of George Lewis’ creation of and performance with his own historic interactive electronic and computer works reveals his disposition of interaction as improvisation. This disposition is contextualized within then contemporary social and political issues related to African American experimental musicians as well as an emerging culture of electronic and computer musicians concerned with interactivity. Second, an auto-ethnographic study reveals a contemporary performers perspective via the author’s own direct interactive experience with electronic and computer systems. These experiences were documented and analyzed using Actor Network Theory, Critical Technical Practice, theories of Embodiment and Embodied Cognition, Lewis’s conceptions of improvisation, as well as Tracy McMullen’s theory of the Improvisative. Analyses from both studies revealed that when and how performers chose to “other” interactive technologies significantly influenced their actions. The implications of this are discussed in terms of identity formation both within performances of interactive electronic music and interactive technologies generally.