Steve Goodman's "Sonic Warfare: Sound, Affect and the Ecology of Fear"

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In Krystof Wodiczko's striking installation Out of Here: The Veterans Project, currently on view at the ICA in Boston, choppers roar overhead. People scream in the distance. Glass breaks and shatters on the floor. The viewer can see almost nothing; the large room is dark, except for a few windows high above, created by a row of video projections. The view from these windows is obscured; the piece is as much about what you can't see than what you do see. But even more importantly, the piece is about what you hear--and what you can't hear. The chants of an imam become the sounds of women wailing. Gunshots begin to fire sporadically. Military officers yell harsh commands. The rumble of bass—a swarm of Humvees in the distance, drawing closer—gets louder and more threatening. The longer you stay in the room, immersed in the increasing racket, the more palpable the sense of dread becomes. The harrowing sounds of war are not simply about the sounds themselves, but the spaces in between.

In the intriguing new book Sonic Warfare: Sound, Affect, and the Ecology of Fear [MIT Press], Steve Goodman explores the power of sound as a tactic of irritation, intimidation, or even permanent harm. Goodman analyzes "environments, or ecologies, in which sound contributes to an immersive atmosphere or ambience of fear and dread--where sound helps produce a bad vibe."

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Zhang Wei earned a MA Creative Curating course at Goldsmiths, London. She is Founding Member and Director of Vitamin Creative Space in Guangzhou, and the shop in Beijing. She has realized a number of long-term projects and exhibitions in close collaborations with artists, as part of the research of Vitamin Creative Space. Her daily practice focuses on the shaping of different spaces - Vitamin Creative Space, the shop, Vitamin Blog, and the communities that form around Vitamin and the shop. Curating each of these different spaces, which each require different approaches and can generate different energies, challenges and opens new possibilities of making space in contemporary art and culture. Through the negotiations of independence in the Chinese context in particular, Zhang Wei's practice involves a continuous re-examination of the meaning of public space.


 

The links below are from our blog. I found them interesting in that they survey practices involving the daily living environment. I found that these individuals open up the complexity of our reality, while also providing some clue as to how to encounter that reality.

► http://www.map-office.com/

► http://www.oneeyeman.blogspot.com/

► http://blog.sina.com.cn/mianmian

► http://blog.tianya.cn/blogger/view_blog.asp?BlogName=sggsgg

► http://www.aaa.org.hk/

► http://www.a-i-t.net

► http://www.rmbcity.com

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Top 5 - 10

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Régine Debatty is the founder and editor of the art, design and technology blog we make money not art. She also writes for several European design and art magazines, curates, and speaks about art and technology at various conferences and festivals.

For this list, Régine pulled together her favorite PDF-based resources from the past year.



► Manipulating Reality
To be honest i won't see this one until early January but Strozzina always organizes great shows that integrate tech and non tech-based artworks. Plus, they upload all the essays of their catalogs online.

► Awake Are Only the Spirits
Reason 1: HMKV in ugly Dortmund has the most exciting program of exhibitions and events in Europe. Reason 2 can be summed up in 3 words: Supernatural and technology. Reason 3: The PDF of the exhibition guide is online.

► LABoral Art and Industrial Creation Centre's press dossiers
Laboral is located in a tiny city in Northern Spain, the closest airport offers about one to two international flights. But the press dossiers of its exhibitions make up for Laboral's deficiency in plane connections. They are available as PDF and are so informative, I sometimes confuse them with the real catalogues.

► Fashion-able. Hacktivism and engaged fashion design
Otto von Busch (the only man I've ever met who is more elegant than Audrey Hepburn)'s brilliant thesis is from 2008, but he kindly put it online a few months ago.

► Brody Condon - Known Planes of Existence
I fell in love with Brody Condon's video game take on religious Medieval paintings at the LOOP video art fair in Barcelona. Brody Condon - Known Planes of Existence, a small catalog about his work is waiting for your click over here: http://www.tmpspace.com/images3/JudgmentCatalog_web.pdf

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Right Here, Right Now - HC Gilje's Networks of Specificity

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This essay was originally commissioned by Hordaland Kunstsenter (Hordaland Art Centre) in Bergen, Norway, to coincide with HC Gilje's solo exhibition blink. Thank you to Mitchell Whitelaw, HC Gilje and Hordaland Kunstsenter for allowing us to republish it to Rhizome News.

HC Gilje's work arises from a moment when the anything-at-all of digital video was just opening up, thanks to a combination of new real-time tools, cheap computing power, and some key interdisciplinary influences. Drawing on experimental sound and music, improvisation and performance became important solutions; working live in a specific situation, artists would gather, process, generate, and recombine material. In work from the late 1990s and early 2000s, from Gilje and his collaborators in 242.pilots, as well as video ensembles such as Granular Synthesis and Skot, the result is abstract and intense, a flow of layered digital texture. In performance it saturates the body and senses; big screens, big speakers. Instead of the narrative transport of cinema, which takes us somewhere else, this work creates - and is created in - an intensified sense of presence, what Gilje calls an "extended now". This methodology is vital; it focuses the open-ended generality of digital media in to a point: on this, rather than anything-at-all.

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Top 5 - 10

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Usman Haque, Primal Source, 2009

Jo-Anne Green is Co-Director of New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc., a small, not-for-profit experimental arts organization whose current projects include Turbulence.org, Networked_Performance, Networked_Music_Review, Networked: a (networked_book) about (networked_art) and Upgrade! Boston. She is also an artist, writer, curator, and Adjunct Faculty at Emerson College.

Helen Thorington is Founder and Co-Director of New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc. She is a sound artist and radio producer whose works have been aired internationally and received numerous prestigious awards. Helen has also created compositions for film and dance, including the Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane Dance Company. She has exhibited, performed, published and lectured world-wide.



► "Natural Fuse" by Haque Design + Research

► "Tantalum Memorial" by Graham Harwood, Richard Wright and Matsuko Yokokoji on Network Research

► "Video Vortex" Institute for Network Cultures

► V_2 Test_Lab: Intimate Interfaces

► fibreculture #14: Web 2.0: Before, during and after the event

► NomadicMilk: Nigeria 2009

► Public Sphere_s by Steve Dietz on Medien Kunst Netz

► "Primal Source" by Usman Haque on Interactive Architecture.org

► "Ergenekon.tc" by Burak Arikan

► Vague Terrain 15: microsound

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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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Required Reading

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Thirty-two academics, critics and curators weigh in on the category of "contemporary art" in the new issue of October. Each respondent was asked to reply to a prompt, penned by Hal Foster, which suggests that contemporary art's distinction lies in its "very heterogeneity" where practice "seems to float free of historical determination, conceptual definition, and critical judgment." Foster argues that the institutionalization of contemporary art, through the creation of university programs, professorships, etc. devoted to the subject, as well as the dwindling relevancy of terms like "the neo-avant-garde" and "postmodernism" play a role in creating this entity known as "contemporary art." Quite a few of the replies really take Foster to task and it's an excellent read. The only voice missing is that of artists themselves, which I feel could have rounded out the discussion in an interesting way. Free pdf available through the link below.

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Required Reading

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Image: Shoveling pirated DVDs in Taiyuan, Shanxi province, China, April 20, 2008

The poor image is a copy in motion. Its quality is bad, its resolution substandard. As it accelerates, it deteriorates. It is a ghost of an image, a preview, a thumbnail, an errant idea, an itinerant image distributed for free, squeezed through slow digital connections, compressed, reproduced, ripped, remixed, as well as copied and pasted into other channels of distribution.

The poor image is a rag or a rip; an AVI or a JPEG, a lumpen proletarian in the class society of appearances, ranked and valued according to its resolution. The poor image has been uploaded, downloaded, shared, reformatted, and reedited. It transforms quality into accessibility, exhibition value into cult value, films into clips, contemplation into distraction. The image is liberated from the vaults of cinemas and archives and thrust into digital uncertainty, at the expense of its own substance. The poor image tends towards abstraction: it is a visual idea in its very becoming.....

......The circulation of poor images creates a circuit, which fulfills the original ambitions of militant and (some) essayistic and experimental cinema—to create an alternative economy of images, an imperfect cinema existing inside as well as beyond and under commercial media streams. In the age of file-sharing, even marginalized content circulates again and reconnects dispersed worldwide audiences.

-- EXCERPTS FROM "IN DEFENSE OF THE POOR IMAGE" BY HITO STEYERL IN E-FLUX JOURNAL #10, NOVEMBER 2009

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Apparitions (1993-Ongoing) - Mathieu Laurette

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"JACQUES RANCIERE IS SO COOL", THE TODAY SHOW, NBC, 30 OCTOBER 2009

"YOUR NAME HERE: MARC ATLAN", THE EARLY SHOW, CBS, OCTOBER 31, 2009

Since his first Apparition on Tournez Manege (1993), Matthieu Laurette has been developing an ongoing series of what he calls 'Apparitions' on TV and in the media. (In French, the word apparition means both 'apparition' and 'appearances'). For Pandora's Sound Box, Laurette will develop a new performative series of Apparitions, airing on various American national TV channels from October 27 through November 1st, and continuously on the Video Box in White Box's exterior window. For the opening on November 2nd, Matthieu Laurette will conceive a site-specific related performative event.

-- FROM THE PRESS RELEASE FOR "WHITE NOISE III: PANDORA'S SOUND BOX" AT WHITE BOX (OPENS TONIGHT).

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Brian Eno, Peter Schmidt, and Cybernetics

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Cybernetics is one of the most widely misunderstood concepts. The word itself seems sinister and futuristic, but the term has ancient roots - the Greek word kybernetes, meaning steersman. Cybernetics was famously defined in more recent times by Norbert Wiener in 1948, as the science of “control and communication, in the animal and the machine.” Words like "control” may seem to have creepy overtones, but at its heart, cybernetics is simply the study of systems. "Cybernetics is the discipline of whole systems thinking...a whole system is a living system is a learning system," as Stewart Brand put it in 1980. Cybernetic systems have been used to model all kinds of phenomena, with varying degrees of success - factories, societies, machines, ecosystems, brains -- and many noted artists and musicians derived inspiration from this powerful conceptual toolkit. Cybernetics may be one of the most interdisciplinary frameworks ever devised; its theories link engineering, math, physics, biology, psychology, and an array of other fields, and ideas from cybernetics inevitably infiltrated the arts. The musician and producer Brian Eno, for example, was a big fan of connecting ideas from cybernetics to the studio environment, and to music composition, in his work in the 1970s.

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