Artists and musicians who appropriate existing forms and structures have diverse motivations and attitudes about the role of the original in their work. Some may use existing structures as a component of a new composite work, as is the case when Nick Didkovsky conceives of generative software that incorporates fractals. Others may explore existing structures as an architecture to be inhabited or exploited towards new purposes, as in the use of
The projects included in this section demonstrate a diversity of techniques and strategies in this regard, exposing different takes on retaining faithfulness to the original and foregrounding the transcriptive process. These works are inspired by structures from mathematics, circuit design, peer-to-peer file-sharing networks, and (in two cases) pre-existing pieces of music. And the transcriptive processes, in turn, rely on computer algorithms, chance operations, digital media destruction, user interaction, and human performance. Some of the works, such as Didkovsky’s MandelMusic and Essl’s FontanaMixer, help us to understand original structures in new ways. The works by Bünger, Freeman, and Perich, though, seem resigned to (or inspired by) the very limitations of the transcriptive process, which serves as a springboard for creativity and a tool for viewing source material from new perspectives.