Posts for 2007

Metal Machine Music

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New Orleans-based musician and inventor Quintron, best known for the performances and recordings he creates with his wife, as the duo Quintron and Ms. Pussycat, recently visited New York City to deliver a specially commissioned Quintronics Drum Buddy analog rhythm instrument to the studio of multimedia artist Laurie Anderson. Considering her 25-year career trajectory innovating upon digital performance tools, the acquisition signals something of a shift- or at least a nod- to hacker/DIY undercurrents. The Drum Buddy is a unique assemblage of quirkily-tuned oscillators which respond via photoresistors to hand motions upon a rotating, perforated coffee can, much like the way a DJ scratches a record. Quintron regularly implements the instrument in his DJ sets and live shows to show off the versatility of the instrument. The production of each Drum Buddy exacts enormous labor costs, thus, they are released in extremely limited editions. The invention's striking design and intuitive interface yields itself to performance, and it's no wonder that Anderson would want to add one to her collection. - Nick Hallett

http://www.drumbuddy.com/

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Calling Planet Earth

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For those of us in the global community attentive to the disastrous effects of climate change, the overwhelming concern of the last few years has been merely getting the world's super powers, most notably the anti-Kyoto Protocol Bush administration, to acknowledge that the problem exists. While recent developments have been promising on that front, the specifics of climate change often get lost in the fight. Hence why Dream Addictive Laboratory's recent virtual environment project, Atmospheric Pollution is so stimulating. The Tijuana, Mexico based artists Carmen Gonzalez and Leslie Garcia have created an interactive data visualization of the earth and the "anthropogenic contaminants issued to our atmosphere." The project breaks down the various layers of atmosphere and visitors can click on pollutants such as Carbon Monoxide and Sulfur Dioxide to see their interaction with the ozone. While the God's eye view design may seem too simplistic for such a complex economic and political issue, this attribute is the project's primary strength. Looking at the issue from such a data-centric and all encompassing angle, it depicts the notion of nations exchanging emission and carbon credits and other such industry based solutions as absurd. While the US bears the brunt of responsibility, Atmospheric Pollution is an informative reminder that it is a global crisis. As environmental coalition spokesman Tony Juniper noted at a recent UN climate conference in Bali "The United States is behaving like passengers in first class in a jumbo jet, thinking a catastrophe in economy class won't affect them. If we go down, we go down together." - David Michael Perez

http://dreamaddictive.com/ap/

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5 Walks in the Electro-Ambient Forest

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Highly influential German sound artist Christina Kubisch's latest release, Five Electrical Walks on Important Records is the culmination of her interactive explorations with electromagnetic induction that she began in 2003. In various installations, the artist asks participants to put on custom-made headphones which receive and amplify the electromagnetic signals radiating from the technological paraphernalia of the advanced metropolis, i.e. computer screens, ATMs, sensors, scanners, fluorescent lights etc. In a Situationist/Derive-esque walk, listeners are sonically emerged in an ever-changing sea of ambient frequencies and noise, navigating the city in a disoriented state of synaestheisa. Anyone familiar with the sound computer speakers make before your cell phone rings can imagine how deliciously alarming the soundtrack must be; a fitting merger of form and content. The compositions on this release are taken from numerous electromagnetic adventurous from 2003 to the present, from cities as varied as Birmingham, Berlin, Bremen, Chicago, London, Paris, Taipei, Toyko, amongst many others. The track "Atoch", which was recorded in the same Madrid train station that was attacked in the 2004 terrorist bombing, is a haunting meditation of the socio-cultural traces left on such public spaces. Though not without a fitting aura of menace, the compositions are far more intricate and listenable than one might first imagine, and Kubisch has achieved a mix of avant-garde experimentation and quizzical pleasure. The agency and power given to the spectator may be the work's ultimate achievement. If only we could hear all the other unseen forces at play in our beguiling world. - David Michael Perez

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Ola Pehrson - Desktop

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Some interesting work by Ola Pehrson is Desktop (image above), an installation consisting of a 10:1 scale model of the Windows 95 interface. The setup is as follows:

The two parts of the installation face each other ten metres apart. Plastic sculptures are suspended on fishing line in front of a Windows green monochrome painting.

The arrangement is filmed and presented in real-time on a computer screen on the other side of the room and gives the impression of a Windows desktop size 1:1.

Obviously what’s particularly interesting here is the layout of the installation which allows the gallery goer / installation user to pass in front of the windows ’set’ and become both observer and observed.

[LINK]

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Originally posted on Network Research by Rhizome


bodies and code / detroit digital

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Albert Kahn / The Packard Plant / Detroit

[albert kahn / the packard plant - 2005 / photo: patrick austin]

Over the past few days, I've been spending some time with Detroit Digital: On Tourists in the Apocalypse, an essay by Marcel O'Gorman that was published on Ctheory last week. The writing project adds another link in the chain of texts which delineate the history of the Motor City as a discourse of automation, urban void and locked grooves. The essay discusses some strategies for reconsidering Detroit through techno, translation into code and as a destination for urban exploration.

[LINK]

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Originally posted on serial consign - design / research by smith


Opening the Static Eye

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Lost in the Static
Sean Barrett
Silver Spaceship Software
2007

Lost in the Static is a wonderful little Windows game, one that was quickly developed around an innovative concept. The gameplay is conventional: it is a typical platformer and combines standard jumping challenges with movement through new and interesting spaces. But the means of creating an image on the screen is not at all conventional, as this screenshot should make clear.

(more…)

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Originally posted on Grand Text Auto by nick


Nowadays: A Conversation and Screening with Ryan Trecartin

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Riotous and multi-layered, Ryan Trecartin's ambitious videos update moving-image practice for the Internet age. His fast-growing body of work explores the impulses and attitudes of a generation whose self-perceptions and relationships are deeply tied to media. Often structured like iChat dialogues, Trecartin's narratives ricochet between characters and actions, gleaning information and enacting existential dramas at hyper-speed. His characters, all constructed collaboratively with his actors, include independent avatars, people composites, culture collectors, and cyber queers- all twisted and true emblems of what the artist calls "a potential part-cyber today." This conversation between Trecartin and Lauren Cornell, Director of Rhizome, will feature short videos and excerpts from A Family Finds Entertainment(2004) and I-Be AREA (2007). The event is part of Rhizome's ongoing New Silent Series at the New Museum. The series will include screenings and performances, as well as a critical conversational strand that will bring together leading scholars, artists, critics, and public figures to illuminate the complex interactions between technology, culture, and creative practice. The series will present artists working at the furthest reaches of technological experimentation as well as those responding to the broader aesthetic and political implications of new tools and media.

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Adieu

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This past week brought news of tragic losses in the world of music. December 4th saw the still unexplained death of southern hip-hip pioneer and rapper Pimp C of UGK while December 5th marked the death of pioneering electronic musician and composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, due to heart failure. The latter's influence on all forms of electronic music and sound art is immeasurable. By pushing the limits of harmonic forms, duration, timbre, and athematic compisition, he transformed the sonic landscape well beyond composition. The German composer was born in 1928 near Cologne and by his late twenties he had already begun his trajectory from experimental composition to musique concrete and electronic tape music. His creativity and sonic innovation were championed in post-war Germany and his students included Cornelius Cardew, Holger Czukay, and La Monte Young, to name but a few. His influence continues to resonate, and artists as diverse as Kraftwerk, CAN, and Miles Davis cite him as touchstones. While his passing is tragic, like the late John Cage, he opened up a world of sonic possibility. - David Michael Perez

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Irony 2.0 by Pil and Galia Kollectiv

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Ironic distance is ambiguous. It grounds both critique and detached resignation to the status quo. What becomes of it in the viral world of web 2.0?, ask Pil and Galia Kollectiv

[LINK]

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Interview: Jussi Parikka

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parikka_jussi.jpg

Jussi Parikka
is author of the book Digital Contagions, a media archaeology of computer viruses, published by Peter Lang earlier this year. The book is a speculative meditation on the nature of viruses and their part in contemporary technocultures. This interview was carried out (by Matthew Fuller) by email in November and December 2007.

[LINK]

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Originally posted on networked_performance by jo