Posts for August 2006

P. Lansky; Club vs Academic Electronic Music

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Some thoughts on the amorphous middle ground between between the hissing, honking, and chittering of academic electronic music and the clicks, stabs, and skronks of its club-based variants.

Princeton professor and computer music pioneer Paul Lansky helped lay the groundwork for the economically thriving business of digital sound manipulation--time stretching, spectral analysis, morphing--being plied today at software synthesizer companies like Steinberg or Native Instruments, then further hacked and jacked on thousands of home computer workstations. Lansky's essay The Importance of Being Digital could be a blueprint, or manifesto, for scenesters currently laboring in the trenches. Drawing on his own experience making music with mainframe computers in the '70s, Lansky presents the case for digital production with a theoretical heft usually lacking in chatboard discussions, which are mostly concerned with technical problem-solving: especially compelling is his consideration, based on film theory, of where sound is "located" and the fictions we accept as listeners. Lansky also shines in the studio: hear, for example, his "Night Traffic," 1990 (scroll down for excerpt), which digitally adds pitch and timbre information to the sounds of cars barreling hither and thither on a four lane highway, creating original, listenable music that is both powerful and oddly poignant. Lansky's gravitas and command of the Western tonal pallette puts this closer to the symphonic tradition than any one-off formal experiment.

For a "pop" mirror to Lansky's essay, consider the following review from amazon.com. The topic is the CD Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center 1961-1973. A reviewer obviously steeped in that electronic music that evolved out of the club scene--now a kind of parallel universe to academic camp that is arguably just as vital (see previous posts on the music at Reaktions.com)--yells back across the wormhole to musicians of Lansky's generation who worked ...

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Originally posted on Tom Moody by tom moody


The Walls of MOMA as Giant Projection Surface: Doug Aitken/Creative Time

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<p> A commissioned installed will transform the Museum of Modern Art in New York into a walk-in/walk-by movie theater. Artist <a href="http://www.dougaitkenworkshop.com/">Doug Aitken</a> will be creating his first large-scale installation in the United States. And there's no question it's large-scale: the new MOMA has vast, hulking rectangular spaces on its exterior, a nod to the museum's High Modernist past. It's almost as though this museum were build for projection. Now the question is, just like the <a href="http://mod.blogs.com/art_mobs/">irreverant podcast ';tours' of MOMA</a>, I wonder if anyone is brave enough to <a href="http://createdigitalmotion.com/2006/07/19/pimp-my-photonbomber-projection-van-and-site-specific-production-from-france/">photonbomb </a> the installation with a counter-projection. </p>

Aitken at MOMA

The work will feature footage shot around New York leading up to the installation, and is presented by MOMA in conjunction with Creative Time. Aitken’s past work seems a perfect fit: he uses stark, human-focused urban imagery in installations that somehow manage to make the ubiquitous rectangle of projection art cool. The installation pictured below is an interior from his Kunsthaus Bregenz installation.

Aitken installation

Creative Time, the presenting organization, is known for its New York installation work, including the Tribute in Light that memorialized the World Trade Center as two brilliant beams of light. The new MOMA installation will incorporate drool-worthy digital projectors provided by Christie Digital Systems, Inc., a global provider of industry-class projection (and high on our “green with envy” list here at CDMotion). Check back in January ‘07 when we get to see this in the flesh (or in the photons, anyway).

Project Description [Creative Time]

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Originally posted on artificialeyes.tv reblog by Rhizome


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monochrom info // Dorkbot Vienna is online:The worldwide family of dorkbots is constantly growing and dorkbot has finally arrived in the very heart of (fortress) Europe. We at monochrom will try to organize the events in Vienna.You don't know Dorkbot? Well, Dorkbot is a regular meeting of people doing strange things with electricity.the main goals of dorkbot vienna are: to create an informal,

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Originally posted on monochrom by Rhizome


Who's Rosa von Braun?

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SUFFERROSA

Sufferosa (neo-noir) interactive narrative space, by Dawid Marcinkowski, is an interactive, narrative project combining photography, film, music and web. It is a multidimensional, audiovisual collage referring to Jean Luc Godard's 'Alphaville' (1965). Sufferosa derives from the American film noir, silent cinema and the aesthetics of music videos. Surrealistic, full of cliche, it is a reflection on the cult of beauty and fear of death in our present-day world; a world that is getting dramatically older (by the year 2025, one in four people in developed countries will be over the age of 60).

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Originally posted on networked_performance by jo


Book: Techno Textiles 2

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0techotex.jpgTechno Textiles: Revolutionary Fabrics for Fashion and Design No. 2, by Sarah E. Braddock Clarke and Marie O'Mahony (USA and UK)

Editors' blurb: Techno Textiles 2 explores an exciting area of art, design and technology that defines our 21st-century way of life. Here are new textiles for fabrics that shrink or expand to fit; textiles developed from carbon, steel, glass and ceramics; materials that protect the wearer from every environmental extreme, anywhere on earth or in space.

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Click-through for lots of images & links related to projects mentioned in the book. ~mo

Originally posted on we make money not art by Rhizome


How unstable coordinates can be

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You Are Here: Museu (MACBA, Barcelona; 1995) by Laura Kurgan is a very relevant (and early) project about locative media that I ran across recently; via Alex Terzich’s contribution to the book “Else/Where: Mapping -- New Cartographies of Networks and Territories“, (Univ Minnesota Design Institute).

In the fall of 1995, the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona became both the subject of, and the surface on which to register, the flows and displays of the GPS digital mapping network. “You Are Here: Museu” installed a real-time feed of GPS satellite positioning data, from an antenna located on the roof of the gallery and displayed in it, together with the record of mapping data collected in September, in light boxes and inscribed onto the walls of the gallery.

What is great is that the artist represented the scatter of points caused by the uncertainty/discrepancies of the system (either caused by interferences and military scramblings (which is certainly of interest for Fabien’s project):

Where we are, these days, seems less a matter of fixed locations and stable reference points, and more a matter of networks, which is to say of displacements and transfers, of nodes defined only by their relative positions in a shifting field. Even standing still, we operate at once in a number of overlapping and incommensurable networks, and so in a number of places — at once.
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The possibilities of disorientation, not in the street or on the roof but precisely in the database that promises orientation, are of an entirely different order, and GPS offers the chance to begin mapping some of these other highways as well: drift in the space of information.

In terms of “blogjects”-related concept I like this too:

The network is a machine for leaving traces, and so we can draw ...

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Originally posted on pasta and vinegar by Rhizome


Radical Software

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blam........best website ever.

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From David Ross's intro to the online archive of this 1970s video art publication: "The online availability of Radical Software is an extraordinary event. As we continue to explore the distinctive qualities and capacities of today's technology and the radical hardware it spawns, we recognize that the consideration of Radical Software is more important than ever." ~mo

Originally posted on del.icio.us/cory_arcangel by cory_arcangel


Not-So-Simple Symposium

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Every September, members of the international new media community make an annual pilgrimage to Linz, Austria, for the Ars Electronica Festival. While the Ars Centre organizes programming all year, the festival is its major contribution to the field, offering exhibits, a handful of large prizes, and a thematic symposium. This year's festival is scheduled for 31 August-5 September and its symposium bears a deceptive theme: Simplicity. The conference is 'curated' by John Maeda, the designer and theorist who runs the MIT Media Lab and who has long kept a blog also called Simplicity that focuses on the relationship between technological objects, needs, and cravings. His curatorial statement argues that our world has become so littered with dysfunctional high tech gadgets that,'at the end of the day... all of us hunger for simplicity to some degree. Yet ironically when given the choice of more or less, we are programmed at the genetic level to want more.' This battle between demand and desire forms the tempestuous platform for Simplicity, and given this binary's historic relationship to technological development, it seems to be a perfect theme for hearty discussion. Make a simple reservation today - Elizabeth Johnston

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Not-So-Simple Symposium

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Every September, members of the international new media community make an annual pilgrimage to Linz, Austria, for the Ars Electronica Festival. While the Ars Centre organizes programming all year, the festival is its major contribution to the field, offering exhibits, a handful of large prizes, and a thematic symposium. This year's festival is scheduled for 31 August-5 September and its symposium bears a deceptive theme: Simplicity. The conference is 'curated' by John Maeda, the designer and theorist who runs the MIT Media Lab and who has long kept a blog also called Simplicity that focuses on the relationship between technological objects, needs, and cravings. His curatorial statement argues that our world has become so littered with dysfunctional high tech gadgets that,'at the end of the day... all of us hunger for simplicity to some degree. Yet ironically when given the choice of more or less, we are programmed at the genetic level to want more.' This battle between demand and desire forms the tempestuous platform for Simplicity, and given this binary's historic relationship to technological development, it seems to be a perfect theme for hearty discussion. Make a simple reservation today - Elizabeth Johnston

http://www.aec.at/en/festival2006/

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Originally posted on Rhizome News by Rhizome


Human Trials

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An Absurd Quest

Human Trials -- by Josephine Anstey, Dave Pape, and Sarah Bay-Chengis -- is simultaneously a public / private and embodied / disembodied performance. One user enters an immersive VR and is led on an absurd quest. The challenges appears to be about control and the choices one makes with power; but the games are rigged, the characters are duplicitous, the quest is a decoy, and the underlying test is how to cope with disempowerment. Meanwhile the experience is screened for a voyeuristic audience primed by reality TV. The audience members simultaneously watch multiple viewpoints of the virtual world, while live performers, networked into the VE, attempt to entangle the protagonist in their improvisational machinations.

The performers play two characters, Patofil and Filopat, who engage the participant in a set of overt challenges involving computer-controlled characters and dynamic virtual sets. Beyond these obvious tasks, the participant must also interpret and negotiate a subtext about world views, relationships and alliances. The participant's reactions are logged, interpreted psychologically, and affect the characters' behavior, the presentation of further challenges, and the ending. Although we expect the story to follow a basic arc based on a storyboard, our script/improvisation notes for the actors are evolving during performances.

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Human Trials is designed for CAVE or CAVE-like, tracked, immersive VR systems. 3-D stereo displays with one large screen or multiple screens and/or HMDs. Ideally the participant and two human actors each enter the virtual environment from their own VR system. In effect the actors are manipulating life-size puppets since their tracking systems animate the avatars of Filopat and Patofil that the participant sees. A fall-back position is to have the actors operate their puppets from monitors without tracking systems, in this case they can still navigate their puppet wherever they need in the virtual environment ...

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Originally posted on networked_performance by jo