Marshall faculty member presents at Generative Art Conference in Rome

Dr. Mark Zanter (pictured), interim director of Marshall University’s School of Art and Design, was invited to Rome, Italy, last month to present a paper at the 25th Generative Art Conference. His paper, titled “The Use of Markov Chains in ‘Ex Machina’ (2022),” addresses how probability matrices generate music in several sections of the work.

“Ex Machina” is a multi-disciplinary work combining composed and algorithmically generated music, processed video and modern dance. It’s a concert-length performance, featuring sound, light and movement inspired by themes in novels by Philip K. Dick, William Gibson and others. The ensemble performance is integrated with computer-generated music, video and dance, generating interplay between real and virtual worlds, between grittiness/immediacy of daily life and cyber fantasy, Zanter said. The musical, visual experience embraces technology while celebrating performance.

The Generative Art Conference, hosted annually by Celestino Soddu and Enrica Colabella, of the Generative Art and Design Lab ARGENIA Association, is a multi-disciplinary conference attended by artists, composers, designers, architects, choreographers, filmmakers, and more, he said.

“It is a tremendous venue to meet and network with a wide variety of creatives from all over the globe,” Zanter said. “I’ve presented at Generative Art over the past few years and am honored to be invited to participate this year.”

A premiere of the work is slated for March of 2023.