Kosmas Giannoutakis: Self-Sustaining Play

„Self-Sustaining Play“ is an audiovisual game-performance for instrumentalist and computer system. It is a music game between a performer with her past, a metaphor for the vain struggle of keeping our memories alive.

The audiovisual feedback delay network allows audiovisual fractal textures to emerge from the improvisatory actions of the performer. The network is established by 8 audiovisual delay lines that are integrated and feed each other. The audio delay-lines are played by 8 spatialized loudspeakers while the visual delay-lines appear as 8 sub-windows on the projection screen. Each delay-line oscillates between past and present, suggesting a poetic allegory for our accumulated experiences in our brains.

The delay-lines have an inherent mechanism that drives them towards the past. The performer, following a performative protocol which involves listening walks, tries to keep them as long as possible near the present. The end comes when the delay-lines inevitably disappear in the past. The essence of the piece lies in this futile paradox, a game that is meant to be lost, as it is the case with all of our subjective and inter-subjective memories. In each performance, a truly unique course of music events will unfold due to the unpredictability of the performers‘ actions, the complexity of the emerging audiovisual textures and their intricate coupling.

The audience is witnessing a dynamic autopoetic process which refers to their present experience of time and space. The piece, which is informed by open form experiments, algorithmic composition, live-electronic and ecosystemic practices, achieves also a meta-level status. Its performative and computerized mechanisms enable a performance to come about, which let music arise as emergent phenomenon. The improvisation material, as well as the musical instrument and playing techniques are variable and subject to the creative responsibility of the performer. Compositional elements can be prepared in advance or/and left to impulsive improvisatory actions. Very diverse performances can be composed, while all of them can be identified by the same performative and audiovisually transformative process.


Music emerging from self-organizing systems is the focus of the artistic practice of Kosmas Giannoutakis. He situates compositional, performative and algorithmic agencies as non-hierarchical, decentralized networks, which exchange information in multiple time-scales through the medium of sound. His artistic output includes experimental music forms that identify and catalyze unpredictable and unrepeatable music qualities.

Kosmas’s works have been presented in various international festivals and conferences, such as inSonic and next_generation in ZKM Karlsruhe, ALIFE 2018 conference in Tokyo, Junge SIGNALE concert series in Graz, Soundislands Festival/2nd International Symposium on Sound and Interactivity in Singapore, Toronto International Electroacoustic Symposium 2016, New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, FKL meeting in Vigevano, Gaudeamus Muziekweek 2015 and ICMC 2016 in Utrecht, REAL/UNREAL BEAST FEaST 2016 in Birmingham, klingt gut! 2016 Symposium on Sound in Hamburg, 13th Athens Digital Arts Festival, Sonic Realities 2018 in Aberdeen, Workshop-in-Exposition – Thresholds of the Algorithmic in Bergen, Linux Audio Conference 2017 in Saint-Étienne, xCoAx 2017 in Lisbon, “The Digital Body” International Exhibition in Bucharest.

Born in Thessaloníki Greece, he has studied piano, percussion, composition and computer music at the University of Macedonia, University of Music FRANZ LISZT Weimar, University of Music Freiburg and the Institute of Electronic Music and Acoustics – IEM of the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz.

Interpreten und Ort:

Violin Performance – Barbara Lüneburg
CUBE, Institute of Electronic Music and Acoustics – IEM, University of Music and Performing Arts Graz KUG.

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