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User Agreement (2017)

for soprano, chamber ensemble, and electronics, 26′

Recording Coming Soon!

  • commissioned by the Digital Arts Center of the College of Arts
    and Architecture at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte

    User Agreement, scored for soprano, chamber ensemble, dynamically spatialized audio, and video projections explores how the propagation of search engines and social media have drastically altered our collective perception of anonymity and privacy in the digital age. As we willingly share information about ourselves online, we leave an enormous trail of opinions and feelings that are readily searchable by anyone with an internet connection. While many positive qualities emerge from this unfettered form of communication, we tend to dismiss the potential risks that arise when multinational corporations continually track our online activities, one search query and comment at a time.

    Divided into five continuous movements, User Agreement sets fragments of Twitter’s 2017 Terms of Service, which is a document that all potential users must acknowledge and accept before creating a profile. The text is at once mundane and ominous, with ambiguous descriptions of how personal data is shared with third parties contrasted with playful, yet unnerving warnings about the limitless scope of a post’s digital reach and the inferred values that are extracted.

    To compliment this programmatic narrative, audience members are invited to download a free mobile application that augments the live performance with additional musical content. To encourage audience members to physically explore the concert space, the musicians are positioned in a widely spread arrangement throughout the venue. As listeners move around, their physical position is unknowingly tracked by a series of mounted beacons, which in turn delivers a unique combination of audio streams through the mobile application. As a result, no two listeners experience the work in the same fashion and the traditionally assumed anonymity of the performer/audience relationship is subverted. In addition, tweets from within a half-mile radius of the performance space are video-projected onto the walls, allowing audience members to knowingly (or inadvertently) post about their experiences in real time for all to view.

    I. Connection I
    II. Information
    III. Share
    IV. Location
    V. Connection II

  • 08/21/18 | Ian Dicke in Charlotte, North Carolina | Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
    Lindsay Kesselman, soprano
    Jessica Lindsey, clarinet
    Jenny Topilow, violin
    Mira Frisch, cello
    Scott Christian, percussion