From the Mixed-Up Files of Mr. Danny Snelson

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Google's mission "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful" centers around faith in the power of the keyword to unlock its bottomless treasure chest and put the right answer in one window. Years have passed since the company's ranking algorithm outpaced the approach of human navigators filing information into channels -- an approach that Yahoo has been trying to keep alive by farming the digital labor to users themselves. But even as search algorithms make dinosaurs of the Dewey decimal and other brain-powered systems, it might be worth considering the benefits of staying open to a plurality of variously scaled methods.

These issues converge in Danny Snelson's work as a writer, editor, and archivist. His titles increasingly overlap in the internet's library without walls--an environment that often embodies the Foucauldian idea that "one never archives without editorial frames and 'writerly' narratives (or designs)," as Snelson put it in an email. As an archivist, he has made substantial efforts to preserve endangered cultural artifacts -- making them universally accessible and useful, you might say -- on behalf of PennSound, an audio archive specializing in recorded poetry, and UbuWeb, where, at the suggestion of founder Kenneth Goldsmith, he scanned out-of-print titles and reformatted them as PDFs for free distribution via the site's /ubu channel. The PennSounds and UbuWebs of the internet undertake preservation projects that small presses and recording labels can't touch due to financial reasons, thus ensuring that experimental work will continue to reach audiences in years to come. Distribution networks like these matter in an environment where the internet (for those without access to academic libraries, at least) is often the first and last stop for research -- a realization that impelled Goldsmith to formulate a radical ontology in the title of his 2005 essay, "If it doesn't exist on the internet, it doesn't exist."

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Chromedrones (2009) - Aaron Meyers

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Chromedrones is a sound toy in your web browser. You can create sound-resonating attractor pop-up windows by pressing the 'a' key. The particles from the main window will feed the attractors energy that allow them to produce sound.

-- FROM CHROMEDRONES ENTRY ON CHROME EXPERIMENTS

Note: It is advised to use headphones.

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ASCIImeo (2010) - Peter Nitsch

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Yoshi Sodeoka's Psychedelic Death Vomit (2008) run through ASCIImeo

Developed by Peter Nitsch, ASCIImeo renders Vimeo videos into ASCII text.

Originally via Today and Tomorrow

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SNOWSTORM (2010) - Mark Beasley

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"Something Wrong is Nothing Wrong: Jodi.org" on Motherboard.tv

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In this clip, Motherboard.tv speak with Joan Heemskerk and Dirk Paesmans of the legendary Jodi about several of their works, focusing on their playfully chaotic approach toward technology.

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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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Shake (2009) - Andrey Yazev

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Note: Works best in Safari

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Cory Arcangel on Motherboard TV

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Artist Cory Arcangel was recently interviewed by Motherboard TV. The short clip walks through many of his most well known projects, like Super Mario Clouds (2002) and Drei Klavierstücke op. 11 (2009), with additional commentary by Arcangel.

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Required Reading

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Mark Wilson, csq3422, 2008 (archival ink jet on rag paper, 61 x 61 cm, 24 x 24 in)

Julie Karabenick: Early in your career you made paintings and drawings. Now for almost 30 years you've used computers in making your art.

Mark Wilson: When I started using computers in 1980, very few artists were using them. To me, these machines were totally cool and exciting. Back then, there was little software of interest to an artist like myself. To make art with computers, you had to invent new working procedures. I bought a personal computer and learned to write my own software. I was trying to find a unique way of using the computer and software to create geometric images.

After developing some programming skills, the methodology of writing software to create images became utterly natural.

-- EXCERPT FROM "AN INTERVIEW WITH ARTIST MARK WILSON" BY JULIE KARABENICK ON GEOFORM

(Via Plog)

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Pandoras Box (2008) - Michael Flückiger

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