Stony Brook University, in association with New York University, and the Electronic Music Foundation of New York City, will host the International Computer Music Conference (ICMC) in New York City and Stony Brook, NY, USA from June 1-5 2010. As part of this event, the UnConference will take place over two afternoons during a portion of the paper sessions.
The UnConference is an informal gathering of artists, thinkers, dreamers, and other trouble makers all focused on digital technologies, electronic arts, and computer music. Participants will have the opportunity to share their work with peers in an informal setting. Composers and artists are especially encouraged to bring both finished work and work in progress for critique. Participants are invited to suggest a workshop or present their ideas! The UnConference will also serve as a place for unscheduled discussion of emerging topics at ICMC.
To present in the UnConference, please submit a 1 page abstract of your topic that can be printed in the proceedings of the International Computer Music Conference. If you require any technical assistance other than the use of a projector and speaker system, please also include a detailed technical description of your needs.
All submissions must be sent electronically to email@example.com by or before the extended deadline of April 15th 2010.
Participants at the UnConference will be required to register for the International Computer Music Conference and will have access to all the ICMC papers and events. For more info please see http://www.icmc2010.org
[Peter Saville / Blue Monday EP sleeve design / 1983]
If the sale prices of records offered on the discogs.com an online marketplace are your only source for determining who rules the musical roost, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s a very strange world we live in. Just navigate yourself to the website’s ‘most expensive records’ list for the 10th of February, 20101, where a disproportionate amount of chart-toppers come from the bleakest peripheries of the Industrial music subculture. Through this list we can marvel at the $1,051 price tag accompanying a Les Joyaux De La Princesse box set, $831 commanded by a Genocide Organ 7" single, and $754 for another LP by the same group. Not to be outdone, the comparatively benign hip-hop artist Mistafide fetches over $4,000 for a 12" single of "Equidity Funk," and Keefy Keef’s own eponymous 12" takes in nearly $1,200. Various house and disco obscurities also drift ashore on this list, with all the combined musical styles perhaps saying more about discogs.com’s pronounced electronica bias than about music fandom as a whole. Despite the very wide chasms in aesthetics and ideology separating the items on this list, their voracious collectors (at least those I’ve met personally) have at least one thing in common, in that they see their collecting activities as fulfilling a valuable socio-historical role. Namely, they feel that they are ferrying these objects across the river Styx into a new era where these artifacts’ distinct attitudes and messages will be better appreciated. Thus, the high costs paid for niche-market curios can be justified as being somewhat small in comparison to the glory reaped in the end- glory gained for helping the standard-bearers of one’s own lifestyle to survive a perceived dark age of ignorance.
Upon closer inspection of the items on this list, though, one thing becomes readily apparent: the records swapping hands for 3 and 4-figure dollar sums are often much more than just ‘records’, per se- they can occasionally be painstakingly constructed, lavishly packaged display pieces not merely meant to be heard, but to enhance the music’s metaphorical content by allowing the owner to participate in a bit of immersive role-playing. Take, for example, Les Joyeaux De La Princesse’s boxed set Exposition Internationale - Arts Et Techniques - Paris 1937. If you were to see it outside the context of one’s own record collection, it would seem like a private, bittersweet collection of correspondence and hard-won memorabilia: sepia-tinted photographs, pamphlets sealed with stickers and fastened with gold braids, postcards, rubber-stamped envelopes and a replica photo album from the pivotal event around which the music (burned to comparatively humble CD-recordables) is themed. As for that thematic content, The 1937 Paris Expo saw the pavilions of both the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany erected across from one another, in a dark foreboding of the coming clash of totalitarian powers: artistic invocations of such crucible moments in history, arriving before outbreaks of apocalyptic fury, are a hallmark of the ‘neo-folk’ or ‘martial industrial’ circles that LJDLP inhabit. It’s precisely the reverence for the mythical periods in which these moments are situated, periods in which heroism trumped banal materialism and celebrity, that inform the creation (and deliberately limited availability) of packages like this one.
However, acts like LJDLP hardly have a monopoly on the ‘album-as-artifact’ approach. If we take a train away from the smog-choked Industrial music district and its abattoir shrieks, alighting at the glittery and pulsating nightclub district, we find that the latter can certainly keep pace with the former where inventive album housings are concerned. The special edition of the Pet Shop Boys’ recent album Yes, loosely inspired by Gerhard Richter’s mid-‘60s color block paintings (192 Farben, etc.), is advertised like something you’d expect to find in an Ikea showroom. The design notes for the deluxe 11-vinyl set beckon to us with "smoked Perspex box with magnetic outer fastening," "Pantone colour printed outer sleeves, with full colour inner sleeves," and "Giclée print and insert featuring colour key and credits." Sexy! Elsewhere, a not totally dissimilar group of U.K. electro-pop heroes are already traveling the contemporary art museum circuit with a prime example of ‘album as artifact’: Peter Saville’s notorious ‘floppy disk’ design for New Order’s 12" single of Blue Monday, complete with its original conceptual blueprints, has a starring role in the museum catalog for Sympathy For The Devil: Art And Rock And Roll Since 1967, the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art’s 2007 survey of parallel developments in visual and audio art. Its alleged status as the ‘highest-selling 12" single of all time’ lends credence to the theory that novel packaging pays off when it engages sonic, visual, and haptic senses all in equal measure. Bernard Sumner’s lobotomized vocal on the original song, and its cold "one-two, one-two" synth-bass chassis implied a world where digitalization would soon take command, a world where the song’s flamboyant and festive disco influences were remorselessly translated into binary signals. The specialized, die-cut floppy disk record jacket (which featured the band’s name and song title coded as colors rather than printed alpha-numerically) perfectly mirrored the strange allure of the song’s impersonality and flat affect. Unsurprisingly, the record has now had its shelf life extended even further by being a prototype of 21st century "retro-futurism."
Specialized objet d’art packaging also strikes a deep chord with groups who see themselves as the misunderstood vanguard of modern aesthetic life. One of its effects is to reverse recorded music’s nearly unchecked trend towards greater portability, making music once again something to be presented in one’s own inner sanctum, where it is contemplated and revered only in the company of close confidants. Especially when genres like ‘neo-folk’ are concerned (a genre with which the discogs.com list alumni Joyaux de la Princesse, Der Blutharsch and Death in June are allied), these objects should serve as crystallizations of a romantic, idyll / ideal based on pre-industrial handicraft, or on notions of Heideggerian authenticity and its attendant hostility towards art pour l’art. They become the totems of a culture that, in this case, is like an early 21st century echo of the early 20th century’s romanticist Wandervogel youth groups. Those groups’ reclamation of individual sovereignty via the Waldgang, or hike to the forest, has merely been replaced with an internal journey or ‘psychic quest’ more akin to the kind outlined in Herman Hesse’s novels. Still, one highly limited release by Der Blutharsch, Fire Danger Season, plays upon neo-folk fans’ inclination toward both of these exploratory tendencies: the otherwise inessential music of the release comes in an embossed leather army satchel, accompanied by a leather CD wallet also embossed with oak leaves and iron cross- suitable for playing at field marches and Waldgänge alike.
[a selection of unorthodox cassette casings curated by Ken Montgomery, founder of New York's Generator gallery and sound arts label]
The ‘reactionary modernism’ of neo-folk music hardly marches in lockstep with the more personalized philosophical imperatives of the sound arts scene, although here is another area where unique housing for recordings contributes to their total sensory impact. Here we occasionally find the packages acting as a challenge to the listener rather than as a seductive come-on (although the possibility of seduction by challenge is never out of the question, either.) This recalls pianist Cecil Taylor’s famous admonition to listeners to make preparations before listening to his music –a fact that has raised the ire of peers like Branford Marsalis, who acidly remarks that he doesn’t try his hand at fielding baseballs before watching a ball game. A selection of handmade releases from the fringes of ‘cassette culture,’ sound art, and psycho-ambient music have taken Taylor’s prescription for listening one step further. That is to say, certain releases have required their owners to perform ritualized, preparatory actions before any kind of listening process can take place. The chaos-embracing sound / performance artist GX Jupitter-Larsen, who has his own history of producing such packages, also claims that "…there's an impractical side [to hand-made releases]." He mentions just a few such instances of the impracticality aesthetic:
'A 1993 cassette release, entitled Yasha by MSBR (Molten Salt Breeder Reactor) aka Koji Tano, was packaged in a snapcase coated with layers of foam. Not easy to open at all. The artist and label that epitomizes the difficult fetish in tape the most would have to be AMK, and his label Banned Production. AMK loves packaging. Since the 80s, he has never wanted any two BP releases packaged alike. His White Hand Prologue/Epilogue cassette came in a tarpaper matchbox. His John Hudak tape Slumbrous Breathing was packaged in leaves. His Tac Try My Hand cassette, one of his favorites, was attached to a block of concrete. His Daniel Menche release, Dark Velocity, is a cassette in between metal sheets riveted to wood. It takes power tools to get it out. In fact, with many Banned Production releases, one has to practically destroy the package in order to access the contents. Even then, with almost all BP tapes, the cassette label is inconveniently glued over the holes. Meaning one has to cut or rip the label off the tape in order to actually play it.'2
A little supplemental research shows that Jupitter-Larsen’s inventory is just a small sampling of what this underground network is capable of- my friend Jessika, once an employee of the Anomalous Records store in Seattle (r.i.p.), even claims to have encountered one grisly ‘art edition’ cassette packaged inside the dead husk of a roadkill animal. In all seriousness, though- what these examples of ‘difficult’ packaging suggest is that elaborately hand crafted (or artfully damaged) packaging of recordings can function as critiques of the instant gratification common to the information age. A symbolic bit of risk or work is required, whether aided by means of power tools or a strong stomach, in order to secure the eventual reward of music. Considering that some of modern sound art’s influence comes from the enlightenment-through-endurance methodology of 1970s body art and performance art, this attempt to kinetically involve listeners makes more sense. While this usage of custom packaging seems far removed from the introspective contemplation accorded to the striking objet d’art packages of neo-folk and martial industrial music, they do have just a little bit of kinship: both cultures are, in their own way, dead set against a world in which art is no more than a ‘mirror’ commenting upon the present set of circumstances. Right down to the materials selected for a sound work’s packaging, art should provide an opportunity for an exit from the house of mirrors.
However, it may be a little premature to assume that any artist favoring art editions over conventional packaging is providing us an altruistic service. In the estimation of marketing psychologist Robert Cialdini, anyone can be a ‘compliance practicioner’ wielding artificial exclusivity and scarcity as powerful ‘weapons of influence’: this is especially true in romantic subcultures like neo-folk, where scarcity is often equated with uncontestable ideological purity and occult wisdom. Meanwhile, for the more heavily populated electronic dance music cultures, in which only micro-variations on the season’s musical theme are permitted, producers still need a way of distinguishing their product from dozens of others, and so custom packaging is often no more than a gamble on securing a larger piece of the market share. Producers of hopelessly limited art editions, whatever their intentions, are not naïve: they know that they are working in a field that relies, moreso than most professions, on converting emotional response into financial benefit. They know that emotional responses to claims of scarcity and exclusivity will regularly take precedence over more complex cognitive processes, forcing panicked consumers to commit quickly. The more cynical music producers out there are surely also aware of the music speculator market, and speculators’ propensity to invest in the kinds of items mentioned in this piece: just note the number of artfully-designed, limited vinyl albums that now come with bonus CD-recordables or ‘download cards’ featuring the same material as the record, so that collectors won’t have to downgrade their resale value by actually placing them on a turntable!
[Vittore Baroni (of the TRAX cassette label + networking project) displays the packaging for a re-release of the various artists' compilaton Notte Rossa]
It’s impossible to guess at the intentions of musicians who favor the more unorthodox packaging schemes, and to say whether their actions are done as a gift to their fans or as a boon to commodity fetishists. If the latter is the case, though, specially packaged releases are a considerably more expensive investment in the first place: speculators buying them for the purpose of resale stand to make a minimal profit, if any, because of this. If we look at the single most expensive record to sell outside of the discogs.com microverse (the autographed copy of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Double Fantasy, presented to Mark David Chapman shortly before his slaying of Lennon) the factors of random / chance occurrence and historical circumstance affect market value more than any type of extravagant packaging on its own. To be sure, many of the same artists who employ objet d’art packaging to deflect attention away from their mediocre music have taken this into account, too, and some play up the sinister or revolutionary nature of their own personae as a calculated P.R. strategy (when not outright fabricating these personae.) After all, the obsession with the musical ‘other side’ of inflammatory public icons, from Charles Manson to Louis Farrakhan, has elevated their cachet among record collectors. Therefore, emulation of criminal or anti-establishment archetypes seems like another good way to ensnare some extra listeners and speculation-minded buyers. The fusion of specialized packaging with the development of personality cults has, over time, proven an irresistible approach for the world of industrial ‘noise’ music- the result has been a glut of absolutely worthless, fatigue-inducing recordings, more offensive for their condescending marketing than for the re-heated "taboo" content. Our friends Genocide Organ are right there in the thick of the "they might be real insurgents!" trend, teasing us with a paucity of available background information and with records wrapped in Confederate flags (yes, this is the one that went for $831.)
In those cases where artistic focus is diverted towards crafting more potently glamorous and rare fetish items to house audio recordings, it doesn’t seem too far-fetched to believe the quality of recorded sound will suffer. Cialdini remarks that, where such objects are concerned, "the joy is not in experiencing a scarce commodity but in possessing it […] it is important that we do not confuse the two."3 While he doesn’t explicitly condemn people who favor the latter option, he does suggest that making scarcity the sine qua non of emotional or spiritual gratification is a mistake. I’d think music will always be able to provide these types of gratification, whether housed in a diamond-encrusted case or in nothing at all. And, yes, that’s hardly a rare sentiment in and of itself, but it’s one that I feel is worth holding onto.
(1) See http://blog.discogs.com/2010/02/top-100-music-w-highest-selling-price.html
"The battle for the mind of North America will be fought in the video arena, the Videodrome" - Brian Oblivion, Videodrome (1983)
VIDEODROME is a one-night audio/visual overdose. An evening of live audio/video performances and playback by 20 local and international producers of A/V media works with a strong audio-visual link, visual music. Simultaneously video and music made from video edits, where picture matches sound, cut for cut, beat for beat, for a serendipitous sensory unity, a synesthesia with an emphasis on intensity, a semi-gemastaltkunst for the YouTube generation.
The Video Battle is a competition of audio/visual media work, the A/V battle, the VIDEODROME. Developed from the idea of the hip hop DJ battle, artists will throw down fast and hard attempting to out flash each other with selections, cuts and mixes extreme, humorous and dangerous. Underlining the importance of competition as a driving force in the building of a relevant and volatile cultural community, artists compete for prizes and for glory and for the exaltation of the crowd. Winners are determined by a panel of experts and by the cheers and jeers of the audience/dance floor.
VIDEODROME is a collision of video art, mash-up, VJ culture, and experimental electronic music and contemporary club culture, bridging the gaps between the sofa, the club and the art gallery. An audio/visual assault striving for sensory overload in the interest of breaking down boundaries between audience and artist, sight and sound, observation and hallucination, perception and creation.
Featuring: Alana Didur, Ankixa Risk, Augart, Bad Credit, Emad Dabiri, Dave Diaz, David Matton, Istvan Kantor, Jubal Brown, Kyle Duffield, Museum, Nohista, Nwodtlem, Ouananiche, Pete OHearn, Rko, Skeeter, Smearballs, TV Sheriff & Tzii
More info: http://dropframevideo.com
[Albrecht Durer / Man drawing a Lute / 1525]
The hallways of many university research facilities are lined with printed posters and powerpoint slides from conference presentations, displayed to promote research to colleagues and potential funders. It was in this context that I first learned of the standard test subjects of digital imaging research, as an artist/tourist wandering through a well-funded lab. And it was the three-dimensional models that first caught my eye.
Research into three-dimensional imaging is the more obviously synthetic branch of computer graphics. Early work on two-dimensional imagery experimented briefly with the composition of original images, before jumping ahead to start from the acquired image and work backwards to invent our common imaging algorithms.
Dimensional graphics, on the other hand, advanced much farther along the synthetic arc, wrestling with the simulation of light and color as portrayed from multiple perspectives across highly abstracted and ideal forms. Only later did dimensional scanning produce reliable subjects for testing fidelity and accuracy. Both the synthetic and more referential test subjects bear examination, and of course the distinction gets interestingly blurred at times.
The question to ask of these and other models in our series is - what makes them good models, and what sort of vision are they good for?
Initial experiments in ray-tracing relied on extremely simple objects - the sphere, the torus, the box. The frequent use of checkerboards puts these experiments in league with much older experiments from Renaissance perspective. Compared to those earlier pictures, however, these tests display less interest in the dramatic revelation of depth than in the potential of surface as mirror. The best ray tracing demos turned light's particles into a traveling swarm that smartly reassembled itself on any surface - only to reveal other surfaces. Here we see something of a return to the theories of medieval optics, in which pieces of light and color travel about and lodge themselves onto the surfaces of the world. Where light is reducible to math, it seems to follow that all the world should be a screen. And of course a curved screen would demonstrate the plasticity of the data better than a planar one.
To digress a moment, I can't not mention one of the weirdest (if predictable) demos of this path of "reflection mapping research" - that of the pioneering 1985 CGI video called "Interface," in which a woman kisses a CGI silver robot to demonstrate good reflective algorithms. The above still is borrowed from this site, but follow the link to watch the short video as well.
[Sutherland's bug, in process and product]
The eventual need for for a more verifiable and recognizable virtuality led to the first 3D test subjects based on extant objects. Here we see something more akin to linear perspective's trope of the lute, a complex object chosen for how slight changes in orientation reveal the plasticity of space, rather than the plasticity of light. Ivan Sutherland had his students measure out and translate his old VW bug, but the most famous and persistent test subject of this stage was the "Utah Teapot."
[The original teapot in the Computer History Museum, and a typical 3D image]
The history of this ubiquitous virtual object is told elsewhere. Of interest to me in the story is how the teapot's origins provide one of science's occasional glimpses into the role of women as "domestic support" to male researchers. It was reportedly Sandra Newell's suggestion over tea that led Martin Newell to head off and measure the German Melitta urn into a set of 306 XYZ data points. The labs of modern science, especially those in the history books, are of course overwhelmingly male, and one of the few ways women enter the picture is through their role as quasi-muses, hosting dinners and providing spaces of meditation for inspirational breakthroughs. Sandra may well be a professional in her own right, but accounts of her role in the teapot's story place her in the familiar domestic role. Others are thankfully telling the story of these gendered spaces - such accounts should not miss these not infrequent accounts of spousal influence on the lab.
According to researchers, the teapot's advantages as a test subject are that it is recognizable, contains both convex and concave surfaces, and even "self-shadows," all without growing too complicated as a dataset. Early algorithms developed around this object and the VW demonstrated the interpolation of curves based on angular datasets. Later, researchers tried out their various image-mapping techniques on the thing, or rendered it in dubious materials.
It's interesting to think of this teapot's origins as a form on a potter's wheel, where centrifugal force does the work of smoothing out the work of the hands. Off the wheel, science's first smoothing techniques replace force with repetition. Set a curve, turn and repeat it enough times to assume a smooth line in the eyes of the viewer. How many points to measure to get a good dataset? How many facets to leave to create a convincingly smooth plane? Repetition leads to fluid realism. Very futurist.
[Umberto Boccioni / Development of a Bottle in Space / 1912]
And repetition is exactly what researchers delivered. To look at the endless iterations on this form is to see in the research an anticipation of the manufacturing and design process. SIGGRAPH even issued a "Call for Teapots" for its annual conference in 1989. The comparison to image macros is again tempting, as there is a semblance of an emergent, cybernetic intelligence in the sheer mass of variation. But a mere eBay search for white ceramic teapot shows just how limited this iteration can be. If some recent design software is looking to fix that, we still have to deal with how the system is trained. This I'll cover next time, when I turn to cows, bunnies, buddhas, and the 3d object database.
Some jokingly referred to the teapot as a teapotahedron, allying it with platonic solids, but we never actually see this primal material accumulate into anything. Unlike other basic geometrical forms, the teapot only gets varied in itself, more like a contemporary vinyl toy than a primal substance.
The teapot's lasting legacy on our 3d-imaging technologies is probably in lending an ideal scale to the virtual encounter. If more of these renderings had been created from the perspective of an ant on the table, we'd experience a much less satisfactory resolution of planes into curves. Where linear perspective's early experiments looked to create a magical space that might envelop the whole body, practice with the teapot appealed primarily to the hand. A virtual object would be only as real as it would appear from arm's length.
Footnote: Among the best compilations of information on the subject of this series is the website of Professor Wayne Carlson at OSU. I also recently came across a resonant blog entry by artist Kevin Zucker.
We just received an update from our friends at CONT3XT.NET informing us that one of the essays from their stellar issue on Curediting was recently published in A Brief History of Working with New Media Art - Conversations with Artists (pictured above). The essay in question is "Curator as Editor, Translator or God? Edited CRUMB Discussion List Theme" by Beryl Graham and Verina Gfader. A Brief History of Working with New Media Art... is a compendium of interviews marking the ten year anniversary of the CRUMB curatorial project.
The publisher outlining the editorial team and participants involved in this text: "A Brief History of Working with New Media Art - Conversations with Artists was edited by Sarah Cook, Beryl Graham, Verina Gfader and Axel Lapp. It contains interviews with and presentations by: Natalie Bookchin / Brendan Jackson; Jon Thomson & Alison Craighead, Wendy Kirkup, Nina Pope and Vuc Cosic; Michelle Kasprzak / Skawennati Tricia ; Simon Pope; Heath Bunting; Gregory Sholette / Nato Thompson; Marc Garrett / Ruth Catlow; Régine Debatty; Christiane Erharter; Nina Czegledy & Woon Tien Wien; Michael Mandiberg; Amanda McDonald Crowley & Patrick Lichty; Miki Fukuda; Simon Faithfull."
We are extremely excited to announce that we're teaming up with The Music Gallery and Wavelength to co-present a performance by the NYC-based composer William Basinski in Toronto on June 12th. The concert will take at dusk in the beautiful outdoor Courtyard of St. George the Martyr. Sharing the spotlight with Basinski is our very own Neil Wiernik. Please visit The Music Gallery's event page for updates and to buy tickets.
Info on our feature artists:
William Basinski is a classically trained musician and composer who has been working in experimental media for over 25 years in NYC. His haunting and melancholy soundscapes explore the temporal nature of life, resounding with the reverberations of memory and the mystery of time. His epic four-disc masterwork, The Disintegration Loops, received international critical acclaim and was chosen as one of the top 50 albums of 2004 by Pitchfork Media. Art Forum selected The River, his transcendental two-disc shortwave music experiment on Raster-Noton, Germany as one of the top ten albums of 2003. His concerts and installations and films made in collaboration with artist-filmmaker James Elaine have been presented internationally, most recently at The Venice Biennale of Music, Happy New Ears Festival (Belgium), FOCUS ONE Festival (Poland), Filosophia Festival (Carpi, Italy), and Cite de la Musique (Paris), among others. Basinski's latest albums, 92982 and Vivian & Ondine were released in 2009 on 2062/USA and distributed internationally. The Wire magazine selected 92982 as one of the top 50 releases of 2009.
Neil Wiernik is a Montreal-born audio contortionist, musician and sound designer presently living and working in Toronto. Neil has composed and performed his works since the late 1980s. His projects and mediums of expression have varied and include works for installation, dance, performance, stage, radio, multi-channel speaker systems, Internet diffusion, interactive technologies and various types of recorded media. He has presented projects at the Finland Contemporary Museum, ISEA, Subtle Technologies Conference, The Medusa Complex, Mutek Festival and the Music Gallery, to name a few. Neil is concerned with various types of storytelling, using abstract environments and spaces to do so. Often the development of these narratives involves the creation of custom tools or subversion of existing ones. When Neil is not preoccupied with his own solo or collaborative projects (naw, whisper room) he is the co-managing editor of Vague Terrain and sits on the board of directors for MusicWorks magazine.
[Marco Donnarumma / Golden Shield Music, development sketches / 2010]
According to Wikipedia the Golden Shield, sometimes referred to as the "Great Firewall of China" is a censorship and surveillance project operated by the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) division of the Communist government of China. The project started in 1998 and began operations in November of 2003. It involves the massive use of web technologies such as IP (Internet Protocol address, a computer's network address) blocking, DNS filtering and redirection, URL filtering, Packet filtering, Connection reset to censor specific contents—mostly, but not only, political or historical subjects—through web search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Msn (Google has of course recently bypassed the Golden Shield – users landing on google.cn are automatically redirected to uncensored Google Hong Kong google.com.hk). Since such serious censorship is ignored by many, a clever and immediate way to improve the visibility of this issue is to explore it through art.
Golden Shield Music collects the IP address of the twelve sites that are most screened by the Golden Shield to create an automated MIDI polyphonic synthesizer. Following a few basic rules, IP addresses are translated in notes formed by several voices. Resulting notes are ordered by the amount of pages the Golden Shield obscured for each IP address. This process yields the so-called "Golden Shield music", a generative composition for eight audio channels that sits somewhere between net.art and sound art. Data organizes the musical notation, establishing an abstract relationship between Internet information and musical algorithms which sounds harmonious and "handcrafted".
Detailed information about the piece (and an audio excerpt) are available here. This software will be released soon under a GPL license for public use and modification.
If you happen to be in ReykjavÌk on May 20-22, you are welcome to join us at Pikslaverk Festival 2010. The piece will be played through a multi-channel setup and I will present a talk about the project – provided the volcano is merciful. [editor's note: related schedule here]
[Zimoun / 216 prepared dc-motors / 2010]
ELEKTRA 11 - International digital art festival
For the 11th edition, Elektra Montreal, a high-calibre Montreal-based cultural initiative, presents artists and works of art that align the latest electronic music and visual creations derived from new technologies (animation, installation and robotics). Elektra unites creative media like music, video, cinema, design, gaming and audio or interactive installation with the latest digital technologies. Artists from all disciplines—composition, performance, dance, visual arts, etc.—all with a common interest in artistic applications of new technologies, uniting visual and sound. Elektra not only welcomes artists from all over the world, the festival also features local talents, helping make Montreal the North American meeting place for digital arts.
For more info please see elektramontreal.ca/2010