About John Supko

I write music for humans and computers, often together.

Sometimes I make software tools that help me slip the limits of my musical imagination.

The serendipity of collaboration has long interested me. I think of collaboration as a conversation in which I have to say things differently…[and] say different things.”

I’m curious about the future, but a part of me will always live in the 20th century. I think there’s still more to learn from Surrealism:  dreams, ambiguity, and the subconscious I find inexhaustibly alluring.

Teaching computers to make art and use language with some degree of autonomy has opened up new avenues of investigation, but these pathways can lead back just as easily to André Breton et al.  

Computation is a form of automatic writing–or it can be.  Some of my work exploits this possibility through generative processes. The computer’s memory is filled with huge amounts of raw material, which it fragments and recombines unpredictably according to layers of algorithms I design.

I teach at Duke University, where I am an associate professor in the Department of Music with a secondary appointment in Theater Studies.

I also teach in the Computational Media, Arts & Cultures program. I co-direct CMAC’s Emergence Lab with Bill Seaman.

I hold a BM from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and an MFA and a PhD from Princeton University.