Jonathan Zalben
Since 2005
Works in New York, New York United States of America

Compound Pilot (Jonathan Zalben and Marshall Jones) began in May 2004 as a series of net art collaborations which have been incorporated in performance and installation. There is often a documentary aspect to the pieces, such as Civil War, which uses photos and recordings of Gettysburg. There is also humor incorporated as in Candy Cane, which contains a frenetic carnival track. They make use of strings, percussion, recorded and spoken voice, as well as sensor input and live video mixing. Past work has been shown in Chicago, NY, LA, Korea, Australia, England, and Armenia. won the 2006 Classic Web Award at South by Southwest Interactive.


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New Class In Electronics and Physical Computing, Oct. 21 and 22@LEMURplex

Sat Oct 21, 2006 00:00 - Wed Oct 11, 2006

**By popular demand, we are adding a new weekend intensive class at LEMURplex on Basic Electronics and Physical Computing. The class will run on Saturday and Sunday, October 21st and 22nd, from noon to 6 pm each day. The cost for the class is $495 including lab fee. The lab fee includes a MidiTron plus electronics, sensors and other parts.

**Physical Computing Intensive using MidiTron:
Intro to Electronics and Interfacing Sensors, Lights and Robotics

**Saturday and Sunday, October 21st and 22nd, 12:00PM-6:00PM
LEMURplex, 461 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn, NY (

**Have you ever wondered how to play music by moving your hands or trigger video clips with the blink of an eye? In one weekend, you will learn how to do this through tutorials in basic electronics, MAX/MSP/Jitter programming, sensor building, lights, robotics, and interactive design using the Miditron (a sensor and robotic interface device). You will learn these techniques hands-on by building mini-projects and ideas of your own design. This is of interest to Artists, Musicians, Dancers, Actors, Engineers, Programmers, Lighting, Sound and Graphic Designers, and others.

You will have the opportunity to design sensor-based projects using MidiTron ( You will learn basic electronics, MIDI, and programming in order to implement your projects. You will learn how to incorporate basic circuits into your projects and art. Subjects covered will include electronic components, symbols and schematics, electricity flow, making connections, testing, and troubleshooting. Programming using MAX/MSP/Jitter will also be taught so that you can control sound and visuals through the computer. Through guided tutorials and critiques, we will explore technical and aesthetic issues regarding their projects. In addition, prior art will be discussed for inspiration and analysis. No previous knowledge of electronics, sensors, or programming is assumed.

Instructor: Jonathan Zalben (

The cost for Intro to Physical Computing Intensive is $495, and includes materials.


WTC Installation and Performance

Wed Jul 12, 2006 00:00 - Wed Jun 28, 2006


Created by Jonathan Zalben
Supported by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's Swing Space Program at 15 Nassau

Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays
From 12-2 P.M. and 6-9 P.M.
July 11 to 27, 2006

Wednesdays at 8:30 P.M. with reception to follow
July 12, 19, and 26, 2006

Additional presentation on August 13 from 3-6:30 P.M. with a performance at 6 P.M. during HERE Art Center's American Living Room Festival at 3 Legged Dog, 80 Greenwich St.


Additional Info:

Performers: Jonathan Zalben (violin), Chris Tignor of Slow Six, Bessie Mcdonough-Thayer (dance), Lisa Bost-Sandberg (flute), Ezra Seltzer (cello), Taylor Krauss (camera), Marshall Jones (laptop)

Lower Manhattan Cultural Council at 15 Nassau Street is located at the corner of Pine Street
Subway: 2/3/4/5 (Wall St.), J/M/Z (Broad St.), 2/3/4/5/A/C/J/M/Z (Fulton St.), N/R (Rector St.)

WTC is a multimedia work in response to the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 on New York City. The piece is in two movements, one devoted to each tower that fell. Each movement is based on a piece from Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier. Recordings and transcripts of radio transmissions released by the FDNY on August 12, 2005 are layered into the original music score, consisting of strings and electronics.

As visitors walk through the space, their movements trigger excerpts of the radio transmissions, while transcripts are read over walkie-talkies by live performers. The walkie-talkies not only evoke the original sound of the radio transmissions, but they can pick up stray conversations on open frequencies in a two-mile range.

Video footage using images of the World Trade Center, is also projected in the space and responds to the audio through custom computer software. The colors vary with changes in the sound score, and a person's movement can also trigger changes in the video, such as cueing new images.

In the center of the space are two columns of light which recall the memorial each year at the World Trade Center site. When a person enters the light, their image becomes an outline for an American flag revealed in the video projection. The movement captured in the light also serves as the focal point for triggering audio and video clips to be filtered through the computer.

In addition to the installation, live performances incorporating dance, recitations, and an ensemble of flute and strings will take place every Wednesday at 8:30 P.M. The ensemble will perform from WTC, as well as two other works, Lusitania and Pearl Harbor from The Great Wars. Each piece is the length of the date on which the event happened (WTC is nine minutes and eleven seconds in length, Lusitania is five minutes and seven seconds and Pearl Harbor is twelve minutes and seven seconds). For these works, instruments are processed live over a tape component, and archival recordings from the events are also projected. In the background is Woodrow Wilson's Armistice Day Speech, the oldest surviving recording of a radio broadcast. Excerpts also include a WWII war bond film and Roosevelt's War Address on December 7, 1941.

WTC is made possible by Swing Space, a program of Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, generously supported by the September 11th Fund. Space is donated by Silverstein Properties.


Organized Color Intoxication, Installation

Wed Aug 17, 2005 00:00 - Tue Aug 16, 2005

A Multimedia Installation by Jonathan Zalben

With artwork by James De La Vega at the exhibition in East Harlem

Wednesday, 8/17/05 through Saturday, 8/20/05 from 7:30 to 9:30 P.M. at 178 East 104th Street between Lexington and 3rd Avenue

Tuesday, 8/23/05 from 7:30 to 9:30 P.M. at Le Petit Versailles Garden, 346 East Houston at Ave. C

Thursday, 8/25/05 from 7:30 to 9:30 P.M. at DeColores Garden, 311 8th Street between Ave B and C

Friday, 8/26/05 from 7:30 to 9:30 P.M. at La Plaza Cultural, 9th Street and Avenue C

Phone: 917-674-8812
The event is free and open to the public.
For more information, please visit

Organized Color Intoxication is a multimedia installation featuring
video projections, original music, and audience participation. It is a
poetic exploration of the internet and interactivity. Digital videos
of the Lower East Side are processed through the computer to create an
antiquing effect. Stringed instruments are altered by the audience,
while the video monitors and adjusts to the acoustics of the music.
One focus is to create a sense of analog media through digital

This project is sponsored in part by the New York City Department of
Cultural Affairs / Manhattan Community Arts Fund administered by the
Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and by an Experimental Television
Center Finishing Funds Grant, through the New York State Council on
the Arts and mediaThe foundation.


RE: Boxer's trouncing of Boston Cyberarts festival

i am participating in the boston cyberarts festival with my installation particle playground (video at, and i was upset about the reaction in the nytimes article. i cannot speak directly to those pieces mentioned, but i think you can see from the video of my piece (which contains touch sensitive monkey bars) that young children really enjoyed the interaction. there was learning and coordination involved as well. i noticed that older participants regardless of whether they liked the piece, were more interested in content and function than interaction with media, which is ultimately an essential part of what this art is about. i think it is difficult to separate out content and interaction and arrive at a meaningful experience. i am not sure what the age divide is and whether it is dependent on technological awareness, but i thought it would be interesting to point out how age in this particular case is a significant factor in enjoyment of art.