Posts for December 2009

Cloud Chamber Bowls (1950-1951) - Harry Partch

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The cloud chamber bowls themselves are sections of 12-gallon Pyrex carboys, suspended from a redwood frame on ropes. These difficult-to-find and impossible-to-tune glass gongs are played very carefully by a percussionist who risks the anguish of splintered disaster. The original bowls were found at the Radiation Laboratory of the University of California, Berkeley, and had been used as cloud-chambers to trace the paths of sub-atomic particles.

-- DESCRIPTION FROM THE HARRY PARTCH INSTRUMENT COLLECTION

Composer Harry Partch demonstrates his Cloud Chamber Bowls in the 1958 documentary Music Studio below:


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Light Bulb Music (2009) - Michael Vorfeld

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Michael Vorfeld is a very original German percussionist and sound installation artist. His Light Bulb Music was developed during live performances using a collection of colored amplified light bulbs and electrical apparatus. The electricity is used to make the glass bulbs resonate, however briefly, and the music arises from the multiple clicks and pops of bulbs and electrical switches. Vorfeld plays on the bulb’s fragility on one side, and the danger emanating from his less than secure electric installation on the other.

-- DESCRIPTION FROM "RADICAL GLASS MUSIC #3 ON CONTINUO'S WEBLOG

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Documentation from (RE)MAKE Tutorial # 1 (2009) - Paul Destieu

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(RE)MAKE Tutorial is a multimedia piece entirely based on popular, free and available web found elements: a software for image retouching, an online music listening platform, and a picture found on internet.

Photography or video? This work appears as a “work in progress”, an accidental proposition, similar to a tutorial through its assembling process. (RE)MAKE Tutorial is a low tech adaptation which revisits one of the most traumatizing Hollywood’s cinema production: JAWS. The motionless sea is brought back to life thanks to the simple Photoshop selection tool.

-- FROM THE VIMEO DESCRIPTION

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Required Reading

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In this paper, we describe and respond to six common misconceptions about platform studies, an approach to the study of computational creativity.

“Platform studies” is a new focus for the study of digital media, a set of approaches which investigate the underlying computer systems that support creative work. In 2009, the first platform-focused book about creative digital media was published: our Racing the Beam: The Atari Video Computer System. This was the first in the new MIT Press Platform Studies series, for which we serve as series editors.

Although platform studies has only recently been introduced as a concept (at the 2007 Digital Arts and Cultures Conference) it has already become popular enough to be misconstrued in a variety of ways in the new media studies community. Detailed citations of these misconceptions are more likely to be offensive than helpful. In the interest of advancing platform studies and allowing us to learn from work that is done along these lines, this paper reviews six recurring misunderstandings about this new concept. We contrast the great potential of focusing on the platform level with these misconceptions.

In so doing, we hope to invite more scholars to do platform studies work and to make this approach even more appealing to even more sorts of readers and authors. We also hope it will advance the discussion of the platform studies concept and will invite substantial, productive, and well-directed criticism of platform studies approaches, aiding in the development of work in this area.

-- INTRODUCTORY DESCRIPTION FROM IAN BOGOST'S BLOG

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Computer Art History

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"Fire Organ was a program I discovered in the early '80s working at my father's computer store in Andover, MA (OnLine Computers, 2 Elm Sq. right across the the street from the library). At the time, I didn't realize that Fire Organ was actually a demo disk for a language called CEEMAC developed by Brooke Boering. I just enjoyed the seemingly endless permutations of the scores as they'd cycle through on the old Franklin Ace's or the Apple IIc's we had on display. I also thought it was cool that some of the music I had just started to get into (e.g. Pink Floyd) was mentioned in the liner notes as motivations for some of the scores. These were the forefathers of the visualizations made so popular by Winamp and other current audio players."

-- FROM DESCRIPTION OF CEEMAC AND FIRE ORGAN BY DAMIEN CYMBAL



Other CEEMAC Resources
Damien Cymbal's Fire Organ and CEEMAC Resource
A structured graphics language: Ceemac. - Ed Jackson. (Creative Computing, 1983)
Javascript Fire Organ Emulator by Moonmilk

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Call for Proposals

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Delhi's Sarai Media Lab posted a call for their City As Studio fellowship program. Brief description below, full details and information regarding applications available here. The fellowship will take place February 1, 2010 - October 31, 2010, with a bursary of Rs 65,000 spread over a period of nine months. Applications are due by December 26, 2009.

The Sarai Programme at the Center for Study of Developing Societies, Delhi is an interdisciplinary platform for the investigation and interpretation of contemporary urban experience. Sarai produces events and processes, publishes offline and online content and generates contexts for research and creative practice concerning contemporary urban conditions.

The Sarai Media Lab invites expressions of interest and intent from artists and practitioners in diverse media - textual, visual, aural, spatial and temporal - who could be - visual artists (photographers, sculptors, installation artists, graphic artists), writers and independent scholars, filmmakers, architects, experimental musicians and composers, sound recordists, performers and people whose practices straddle or transcend different areas of practice - for participation in the 'City as Studio' Project.

The City as Studio initiative will create contexts for high intensity inter-disciplinary processes at different locations in Delhi and at the Sarai space at CSDS. Sometimes these process(es) may be rendered as an exhibition, at other times as a gathering, as a library, as a temporary archive or as an occasion for performances, conversations and debates. At still other times it may take the form of a workshop, a temporary atelier, a media studio, a publication or an online platform. The City as Studio is neither a one off event, nor a workshop or a residency, nor a festival or a simple cluster of public programmes - though it has elements of all of the above. It is primarily a method of generating a new public profile for creative ...

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Topographies (2009) - Micah Schippa

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Interview with Christiane Paul

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The Third Quadrilateral Biennial opened last week at the MMSU in Rijeka, Croatia, and it will remain on view until January 13, 2010. The Biennial emerged out of a cultural partnership between four participating countries - Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary and Italy. Artists from these countries are selected for exhibition in the Biennial. The focus for this year is new media art, and the organizers fittingly selected acclaimed new media art scholar and curator Christiane Paul as the Artistic Director for the Biennial. Paul took a moment to answer a few questions about the exhibition over email.

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OK TO GO (2008) - Claire L. Evans and Mike Merrill

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Chain of Hyper Space scenes from films (a collaboration with Mike Merrill).

Part of the thing which is so appealing about Hyper Space scenes in films is the idea that something fantastic and unknown lies at the end of them. In fact, here are the primary uses of Warp Speed/ Hyper Space as plot device:
A) Tunnel to unknown.
B) Escape from danger via total oblivion.

Both represent a kind of inversion, or temporary lifting, of the accepted order.

-- FROM THE VIMEO DESCRIPTION

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Starship (1981) - Ron Hays

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