World Premiere of User Agreement: A prepared music field performance

June 19, 2018

The College of Arts + Architecture at UNC Charlotte is proud to announce the world premiere of User Agreement on Monday, August 20, and Tuesday, August 21, at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. User Agreement, by California-based composer Ian Dicke, is scored for soprano, chamber ensemble, and dynamically spatialized audio delivered through a system of Bluetooth beacons, streaming prerecorded music, and custom smart phone apps. The project was conceived and developed by faculty and students in the Digital Arts Center, an interdisciplinary research center in the College of Arts + Architecture, and is presented in partnership with the Bechtler Museum.

User Agreement explores how the propagation of search engines and social media has drastically altered our collective perception of anonymity and privacy in the digital age. 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 will be positioned in a widely spread arrangement throughout the Bechtler Museum. As listeners move around, their physical position is tracked by a series of mounted beacons, which in turn deliver a unique combination of audio streams through the mobile application. As a result, no two listeners experience the work in the same fashion.

User Agreement will be performed by an ensemble of professional musicians that includes UNC Charlotte music faculty Mira Frisch, cello, and Jessica Lindsey, clarinet. The August 20th performance at the Bechtler Museum is for the UNC Charlotte community; the performance on August 21 is open to the public and will take place at 6:30 pm. There is no admission fee, but reservations are required. Please visit http://bechtler.org to register.

User Agreement: A prepared music field performance

Composer: Ian Dicke, University of California, Riverside

Research: Alireza Karduni, Noushin Radnia, Trevor Hess, Evan Danchenka, and Professor Eric Sauda at the Digital Arts Center, UNC Charlotte College of Arts + Architecture

Information Technology Development: Iosif Yeremuk and the team Levvel IT Consulting

Musicians: Lindsay Kesselman, soprano; Jenny Topilow, violin; Mira Frisch, cello; Jessica Lindsey, clarinet; Scott Christian, percussion​

For more information about User Agreement, prepared music fields, and the work of the Digital Arts Center, please visit http://ejsauda.wixsite.com/prepared-music-field.

About the Digital Arts Center
The mission of the Digital Arts Center (d-Arts) of the College of Arts + Architecture is to create transformative uses of digital technology in the arts. D-Arts projects fall into four primary categories: digital fabrication, urban visualization, responsive environments, and performance, with a focus on fostering collaboration between disciplines.  D-Arts was was founded by Professor of Architecture Eric Sauda; today D-Arts is co-directed by Associate Professor of Architecture Chris Beokrem and Professor of Art (Digital Media) Heather D. Freeman.