John Phillips: "E.G.A.C. ( Experimental Genetic Algorithm Cart)"

Chance Encounters, Museum of American Art at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania



Technical notes: I used a Mac SE running a MAX patch I created (with the generous help of Karlheinz Essl's wonderful MAX RTC library). A PAiA MIDI Brain CV to MIDI box monitored the MUTATE button's activity. A Yamaha TG77 was the synthesizer. Four headphones were available for listening. As the show was a tribute of sorts to John Cage (EGAC is CAGE backwards after all!) I used the following Cage text as the names of the TG77's presets.
    "I played a record of Buddhist chants. A woman screamed,"Take it off!" I took it off. A man in the class then said angrily, "Why did you do that? I was just getting interested."

I doubt anyone saw this aspect of the piece, but it was fun to know it was there. It only crashed a couple of times— mostly because the museum turned all the power off with one huge switch during the weekend when the "art-caretakers" were gone. Ouch.