For the 2021 online edition of the Counterflows festival, Glasgow-based Kay Logan (aka Helena Celle) created the hour-long electronic Music for Counterflows, accompanied by an interview with Stewart Smith. For the False Walls CD and digital release in July 2022, the music has been mastered by Stephan Mathieu, and the interview along with visual artwork by Kay are included in a 20 page booklet.
Here are some extracts from Kay’s interview with Stewart Smith in the CD booklet:
[Psychoanalysis] allowed me to develop the language to think about what I was actually trying to do, which has always been a very intuitive thing. I think ultimately for me, that is what art should be and it’s certainly what improvisation is. It’s an ongoing participatory relationship with the subconscious, with the imaginal. And I think there’s a long historical lineage of this being the case.
It’s hard to articulate, but it’s really interesting to me to observe the interaction between an indeterminate artificially intelligent system, and the imaginative capacities of the person who’s in control of it. It’s almost like a symbiotic relationship, you know? It’s been suggested that as artificial intelligence progresses, what will be of value to artificially intelligent non-human intelligences will be our capacity for imagination. Because that’s something they don’t have.
I’m not tech utopian in the slightest. Ideally, I think I’m pretty archaic. But I do make use of whatever technology is at hand to do what I’m interested in. And that’s been a really interesting thing for me to observe, like when you’re programming the system, the emergence of that ecosystem from your own imagination, and your intuitive response to its output. So it’s being shaped in this kind of feedback loop, which includes your subconscious. That to me is the kernel of what I’m doing at the moment.
I feel like the terms ‘improvisation’ or ‘composition’ or ‘performance’ or ‘listening’, I think it all kind of becomes the one thing. It just becomes a matter of listening and responding. And whether that’s through physical interaction or changing programmatically values in the system or its behaviours, that’s really what I’m interested in at the moment.