I met with artist Phillip Stearns last weekend, who took me around his studio. Phillip is giving a class through Harvestworks beginning Monday titled DIY Synth Building Intensive, and he began by showing me the kind of projects he intends to teach students to build in the workshop.
Phillip explained that he enjoys the opaque process of working with CMOS logic integrated circuits, which he finds to be more physical, user-friendly and transparent than working with Arduino. CMOS allows him to essentially program without a computer. Sounds in the instrument below can be modified by moving the patch cables around the breadboard. Phillip demonstrates:
There is one single oscillator, and the pins control the octaves. In his workshop, Phillip will instruct students on how to build an oscillator. Once one learns this basic step, they can then take the instrument further by making multiple oscillators or by mixing or dividing signals.
Every day an incomprehensible number of new digital media files are uploaded to hosting sites across the internet. Far too many for any one person to consume. Infinite Glitch is a stream-of-conciousness representation of this overwhelming flood of media, its fractured and degraded sounds and images reflecting how little we as an audience are able to retain from this daily barrage.
Infinite Glitch is an automated system that generates an ever-changing audio/video stream from the constantly increasing mass of media files freely available on the web. Source audio and video files are ripped from a variety of popular media hosting sites, torn apart, and recombined using collage and glitch techniques to create an organic, chaotic flood of sensory input.
-- FROM THE ARTIST'S STATEMENT
Today we'll be turning the blog over to the many people involved with #hi11, a New Year's Eve happening produced by Ryan Trecartin and Lizzie Fitch. For the event, the organizers took over three floors of a house in Los Angeles, transforming it into an interactive, multimedia environment. (The full list of names of everyone behind #hi11 is available here on the 2240hill site.) The house was equipped with video capture throughout, which allowed live video feeds between the rooms and a broadcast online. One of the rooms was covered over entirely in green screen fabric, so video captured therein could be augmented. Inspired by the organizational design of IKEA, the rooms in the house were assigned a letter and a number, for example, B2, C4, etc. The rooms themselves operated much like sets, and in many cases, IKEA furniture was used, mostly beds and couches for lounging. The house was illuminated by black lights, red lights, projections (some of the dump.fm chat room), and videos from the other rooms, giving the space an overwhelming feeling akin to Trecartin's delirious videos. An impressive amount of work went into #hi11. To name a few of my personal favorite details: the chandelier constructed out of Brita water filters, the herbal sexual enhancement pills freely distributed at the bar, the professional Diva wearing a headset connected to the PA on the dance floor, who would break out into song while walking around the party, the one water cooler (out of 4) in DIS Magazine's "refresh_forum" room which contained solely vodka (quite a surprise!), a small room off the dance floor which was intended as a secret Nine Inch Nails sex chamber, where participants could wear headphones (with flashlights attached to the top) blasting the band on repeat while ...
In this short clip, from a segment on artist Krzysztof Wodiczko from the Art21 episode Power, designer Adam Whiton of MIT's Interrogative Design Group talks about developing technologies for Wodiczko's complex interactive installations.
The video 'Pruitt-Igoe Falls' takes its title from Pruitt-Igoe, a large urban housing project built in the 1950s in Saint Louis, United States; quickly facing decay, its demolition by implosion started in 1972, 18 years only after construction, and was the first of this kind on such a scale. Designed by American architect Minoru YAMASKI, also responsible for the World Trade Center twin towers, Pruitt-Igoe has become an emblematic icon often evoked by all sides in public housing policy debate, and its destruction was claimed by Postmodern architectural theorician Charles JENCKS to mark 'the day Modern architecture died'.
Under these auspices, Cyprien GAILLARD's video consists of two static and silent shots, linked through a subtle crossfade plan. The first part captures the demolition, at night, of a building in Sighthill housing estate in Glasgow. A city favoured by the artist, the capital of Scotland has the highest number of high-rise housing projects in the United Kingdom, some built in the middle of ancient cemeteries and many now bound to be demolished as part of a large urban rehabilitation plan. The video starts with the striking and fraught with meaning vision of a concrete monolith rising from tombstones, under a powerful lighting that makes the whole scene look like a cinema set. When the grey block implodes and collapses, a thick cloud of dust rises slowly to the foreground and eventually covers the audience and the lights, plunging the image in the dark, out of which only emerge shadows of tombs and vegetation.
A faint light appears in the center of this nocturnal romantic vision, before intensifying and outshining what remained of the first scene: the second shot is a sight of Niagara Falls when they 'light up' at night, illuminated by spotlights that transform them into a dreamy show ...