Boats * Cars * Dollars * Girls * Helicopters * Jewellery * Skylines (2010) - Thomas Traum

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A typology of rap videos and an attempt to construct the most generic Rap and R&B video out of many. Musical genres are always heavily codified and rap seems to be one of the most extreme ones, each video has similar if not identical subjects, the same light, the same cars, the same girls, the same dance moves etc. Through their likeness they seem to be almost ‘classic’, just as classic theater or opera.

-- DESCRIPTION FROM THE ARTIST'S STATEMENT

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The Primitives Talk (2010) - Zach Hill

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N.Y. Sorrow (2001) - Seth Price

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Pi House Generator (2008) - Paul Slocum

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This software randomly generates house music using the number pi. Pi is the ratio of a circle's diameter to its circumference, a number with infinite digits in a random non-repeating sequence.

The software progressively calculates the sequence of digits in pi, starting at 3.14 and progressing towards infinity. As the program calculates the digits, it feeds the results into an algorithmic music generator containing my structural criteria for house music. The resulting piece of house music is infinitely long and static and never repeats itself.

The number of processor cycles required to calculate pi increase with the number of digits it is calculated to. After months or years of playing the song, any fixed computer hardware will be unable to calculate the digits fast enough for the song to play continuously.

The rate that the number of processor cycles increase per pi-digit is bound by the formula N*log(N). However based on Moore's Law, processor power per dollar increases at an exponential rate, doubling every two years. By upgrading computers regularly with market trends, the song can be played indefinitely.

-- FROM THE ARTIST'S STATEMENT

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JOGGING COMMEMORATIVE (2010) - JOGGING (Brad Troemel and Lauren Christiansen)

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This project features a full archive of all 743 Jogging posts from 2009-2010. Images of these works are viewable in chronological secession on Youtube videos that feature the Billboard Top 100 tracks for the first week of September 2010. Each image is shown for 10 seconds in the videos. The first 24 Jogging posts are presented with the #1 Billboard song playing. Posts continue to unfold chronologically, moving down the chart and ending at the 31st song on the charts...

The songs in Jogging Commemorative are not intended as musical accompaniments. In this project, Billboard Top 100 tracks are the medium Jogging’s history exists through; the sites at which the Youtube viewer’s consensual desire to listen is paired with an unwitting visual experience. By choosing the most popular songs currently available, the artists intend to make use of this music’s universality as a form of digital public space. Here art is a parasite, assuming the shape of popular culture insidiously while seemingly undergoing minimal alteration in visual content.

Though these songs may be commonly heard due to their advantageous corporate sponsorship, they are not cultural commons. Each video in Jogging Commemorative stands as a display of Youtube users’ contextual helplessness in the face of heavily lobbied copyright law. The array of subsidized advertisements to purchase the songs is a constant reminder of the music industry’s tenuous relationship with freely distributed subject matter. “This is property on loan”, the advertisements figuratively tell viewers, as the RIAA hedges a bet that the more widely distributed the forced advertisements for MP3 purchases on available Youtube videos, the more likely they will recoup the lost profits of music listened to without cost. Jogging’s distributive and aesthetic intentions are nestled within this counterintuitive marketing ploy.

Not all will be able ...

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Questions of the Ages (2010) - Extreme Animals

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Extreme Animals "Questions Of The Ages" from Audio Dregs Recordings on Vimeo.

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Interview with Jaimie Warren of Whoop Dee Doo

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Whoop Dee Doo is a kid's show, run by about 20-30 volunteers in Kansas City. The show is filmed in the style of public access television shows of the 70s, 80s, and 90s, drawing heavy inspiration from the likes of The Carol Burnett Show, The Gong Show, Pee Wee's Playhouse, You Can't Do That on Television, Mr. Wizard, Soul Train, Double Dare, public access horror show hosts like Svengoolie, and the Chicago public access program Chica-go-go. The group has put together shows around the country and internationally, from the Smart Museum in Chicago, to a holiday party at Deitch Projects, and a collaboration with Loyal Gallery in Malmo, Sweden. In each new venue they draw on local communities of performers and artists to collaborate and contribute. Performers range from musical acts and performance artists to Civil War Re-enactors, Celtic Bagpipers, Christian Mimes, drag queens, drill teams and science teachers. Kids help build the sets and make props along with artists and volunteers, and they are a huge part of the show itself. Whoop Dee Doo is intended to showcase the diversity of artistic talent within the community, and to create an opportunity for these groups to work, and party, together. Unlike many kid's shows, Whoop Dee Doo is in no way dumbed down or infantilizing, and it forms an important part of the vibrant and creative Kansas City arts community.

The show is hosted by artists Matt Roche and Jaimie Warren. Matt plays a quiet, awkward werewolf, and Jaimie is generally wearing red spandex and covered in empty food packaging. I spoke with Jaimie about the art scene in Kansas City, about working with kids and technology, and about the philosophy of Whoop Dee Doo.

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Ben Russell + Joe Grimm - MAZES (March 2009 / La Casa Encendida, Madrid)

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Ben Russell + Joe Grimm - Mazes from mediateletipos on Vimeo.

Originally via DINCA

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Tristan Perich's 1-Bit Symphony Release Party Tonight

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Rhizome-commissioned artist Tristan Perich celebrates the release of his 1-Bit Symphony on Cantaloupe tonight at Roulette with a special concert at 7pm. Daniel Wohl's "Glitch," Shawn Greenlee, Michael Gordon's "XY" and Steven Reich's "Violin Phase" are also scheduled. A "circuit album," 1-Bit Symphony performs a composition in five movements which have all been programmed onto a single microchip. Perich talks about the process in the clip above, and provides a sample of the work. I-Bit Symphony is an continuation of Perich's interest in 1-bit electronics, realized in previous projects such as in 1-Bit Video (2006-Ongoing) and his other circuit album 1-Bit Music (2004-2005).

We did a "1-Bit" interview with Perich on the occasion of his exhibition at bitforms gallery last Fall, check that out here.

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Homebrew Electronics

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Kitteh! Steve’s cats Perrey and Kingsley’s homage to CatSynth

Homebrew Electronics is a series on the Rhizome blog. For these posts, I will be conducting studio visits with artists and inventors who create unique electronic instruments.

Last week, I met with Steven Litt of CrudLabs at his Greenpoint apartment. While a graduate student at NYU’s ITP program, Steve developed a machine known as the CrudBox. Central to his installations and performances, the CrudBox allows users to plug electronic or electromechanic devices into a 16 step, 8 channel step sequencer. While normal sequencers draw from a set bank of sounds, the CrudBox allows one to plug in devices such as turntables or solenoids or power tools, opening up the range of sounds one can sequence.

In his living room, Steve had plugged in seven portable turntables into a CrudBox.

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Portable Turntables plugged into a CrudBox

The exterior of this version of the CrudBox was designed by Steve’s friend artist Panayiotis Terzis, who silkscreened all the imagery on the exterior.

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The CrudBox

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Detail of Panayiotis Terzis's silkscreen on the exterior of the CrudBox

The turntables operate off AC voltage, and the CrudBox runs off DC, so Steve had set up a system of high voltage relays so each turntable can be individually activated without any issues. These relay modules allow any wall powered devices to be easily plugged in and sequenced by CrudBox.

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Close-up of one of the relays

In order to control a turntable, the switch at the top left hand side of the CrudBox must be pointed toward the turntable one wants to start.

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Knob on the top left side of the CrudBox

The sequences are controlled by the bottom row of buttons, and the tempo by the knob. The sequences tell the turntables when ...

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