Posts for July 2006

Urban Sound Walks


"In 2003," Cabinet Magazine tells us, "Berlin-based sound artist Christina Kubisch began an ongoing project called 'Electrical Walks.'"
For this project, Kubisch has employed "specially built headphones that receive electromagnetic signals from the environment," transforming those signals "into sound." In the process, "Kubisch maps a given territory, noting 'hot spots' (ATM machines, security systems, electronic cash registers, subway systems, etc.) where the signals are particularly strong or interesting." In other words, she performs a kind of audial psychogeography, zones of the city turned into MP3s, "very beautiful, very dense sounds... like a movie, an audio movie."
The images, below, represent the sound files those sounds produced, digital noise-maps of urban space.

Whether you're listening to the mellow, down-tempo techno of this light advertisement from Japan, or the sci-fi drone of a Taiwanese subway (which Cabinet covertly, and somewhat fascistically, editorializes as a region of China) -- or even the minimal, repetitive heartbeat of this security gate in Oxford, England, the mournful buzz of a Bratislava tram, which Kubisch describes as "almost like a choir," or the empty Ballardian hum of a control tower at Heathrow airport-- these are the electromagnetic sounds of modern urbanism.
"What I would really like to do," Kubisch says, "is to make a map of several cities and continents. In a large city, for example, where are the electromagnetic fields? Where are the security gates? You could just mark them with little dots. They even have the same sound systems all over the world. It's the globalization of sound. This is something that I think would be very interesting: to see a network of little dots showing where things are and where they are spreading. Every time I do an 'Electrical Walk,' it adds to this general map of sound that I'm collecting. It ...


Originally posted on BLDGBLOG by Rhizome

MC THIS - Wearable audio / video DJing


LA based MC THIS has a pretty intense set up for mobile audio and video DJing... From the MC THIS's page - "MC This is the only artist in the world who has brought visual projection from the interior to the streets, rooftops, forests and deserts in one step. MC This can project live images from 4 or more video sources, mix them, add effects to them and project them anywhere he goes on a number of unique screen surfaces." [via] - photos & site.

[Read this article] [Comment on this article]


Originally posted on MAKE Magazine by Rhizome

YMCK: Japanese 8-bit Virtuosos, Music Videos


It would be unfair to mention the free Magical 8-bit Plug-in without acknowledging who created it: the insanely talented Japanese chiptune band, YMCK:

YMCK Official Site [English]
YMCK Events [Japanese]
YMCK @ Myspace

And, most importantly:

YMCK Music Videos @ YouTube

Their style is a unique mash-up of the tightly-quantized, hyperactively cheery iconic Nintendo music with even more densely-packed jazzy harmonies than Mario could muster. It isn’t about gimmick: this sounds like someone who was practicing 8-bit at age four the way some people practice violin. Or, as they put it:

While the sound is cheap, the song compositions are influenced by jazz from the 1950’s and 1960’s, with a clear and feather-light 4-beat rhythm underlying sophisticated harmony progressions. The experimental combination of these two features has resulted in the unique YMCK sound, which is neither techno music nor jazz. YMCK uses limited 8-bit sound to take you out for dreamland.

Yeah, pretty much that last sentence. The trio includes a talented 8-bit animator, so prepare to spend the next hour in dreamland on YouTube. Just a couple of quick examples:

Muchas gracias to “Pants” in comments for bringing this to our attention, and, best of all, noting that you can get their albums outside Japan, along with plenty of other gems, at:

Records of the Damned

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Originally posted on by Peter Kirn

recent documentary about electronic music pioneer, bruce haack, in its entirety



// via wfmu


Originally posted on sharpeworld - america's no. 1 website by Rhizome

893, youtubemeantubecompetitortube



Originally posted on blog art by Rhizome

The Steam Powered Internet Machine


The Steam Powered Internet Machine, by Turner-prizewinning artist Jeremy Deller and his collaborator Alan Kane, links a steam engine to a computer, allowing visitors to surf the net, powered by one of the driving forces of the Industrial Age.


"We were thinking about something that connects the industrial revolution and the digital revolution," said Deller.

Although impractical, the machine does work. "We like inverting economics," added Kane. "This is a very uneconomic way of having a portable computer."

The artists explained that the current era - when it is possible to have travelled by steam train as a child and be surfing the internet now - calls to mind JMW Turner's The Fighting Temeraire, which marks the moment when the sailing ships gave way to steam. "We're at a certain point in British history, at the end of something," said Deller.

The Steam Powered Internet Machine can be seen at the Kent County Show, Detling, July 14-16 and the Queen Elizabeth Queen Mother Hospital Summer Fete, Margate, August 5.

Via The Guardian.


Originally posted on we make money not art by Rhizome

Cartographic Perspectives: Maps and Art


What is map art? While I’ve posted a few entries on the subject of maps and art, it's not something I'e really stopped to think about. An artist's work or installation incorporates maps. Good enough for me: post it. But what else is included? Do we include, for example, the Tube Map, or a nicely done topo map series, for their elegance of design? Does a consideration of every map's aesthetic side make all maps art to some extent?

Cartographic Perspectives cover (thumbnail) One of the things academics do is think carefully about the things that we normally take for granted. In this context, the special art issue of Cartographic Perspectives --the winter 2006 issue--; forced me to stop and think about the use of maps in contemporary art. The issue contains four essays on the topic of art and mapping, and each one is different, revealing just how broad a topic this really is. For Denis Wood and Dalia Varanka, mapping is ubiquitous; but where Wood sees map art as a challenge to institutionalized mapmaking, Varanka rejects a strictly political view of map art and focuses on mapping as "a cognitive and cultural universal." Meanwhile, kanarika, of the psychogeographical Institute for Infinitely Small Things, and John Krygier, who is well known to us, look at the performance side of things--kanarika from the perspective of psychogeography and guerrilla performances, Krygier by looking at the performance implications of the interactive City of Memory web site.

Design vs. aesthetics, performance vs. installation. It's a bigger, more problematized field than I thought.



Originally posted on The Map Room by Jonathan Crowe

7.25. Live media performances, ROOMIKS CUBE & r.b.w.


muX presents:Live media performances, ROOMIKS CUBE & r.b.w. 7.25. Tues, 8:30pm @ Monkey Town (58 N 3rd St, Wburg, 781.384.1369) Reservations are recommended. After the perfromances, there will be a brief Q&A with audiences.


Featuring C-TRL LABS(live visuals) CAURAL(live sound) c.h.i.a.k.i. (live visuals) Zach Layton(live sound)

ROOMIKS CUBE is a multichannel panoramic A/V performance. Part of the ongoing MUX A/V series, this rare event is a collaborative effort between live video performance artists C-TRL Labs and NY based electronic composer Caural. Specially tailored to Monkeytown's minimalist cubic interior, C-TRL will utilize motion graphics, 3D and realtime software (Modul8 and Max/MSP Jitter) to create an environmental extension to the existing architectural space. Caural sets the tone w/ flowing abstract compositions in a rich sonic space. The audience will be immersed in a whirl of architectural landscapes and organic forms and tones in both performers playful experimental styles.

r.b.w. is an ongoing live audiovisual set associated with colors, shapes and forms. The set consists of 3 abstract live visuals that associate three primary color states; red, blue and white. Based on chromotherapy studies, specific colors bring balance to our physical and emotional systems. Each selected set of three colors(as samples) brings different stimulations and effects. The intention is to investigate how color in motion can alter mood or emotional states similar to music; what certain music [...]


Originally posted on Raw by Rhizome

C5 Landscape Database API version 2.0


C5 Landscape Database API 2.0 An Open Source GIS API for Digital Elevation Model processing and performance

C5, in association with Futuresonic 2006, is proud to release the C5 Landscape Database 2.0 API to the public, in celebration of ten years of Futuresonic!

New Release C5 Landscape Database API 2.0

New Features in version 2.0:

* Virtual Hikers * Support for GPS data such as track logs and waypoints * Ability to image GPS data onto dem data * Java3d support * Ability to read land use data (CTG files) * New analytic capabilities for landscape searching

Version 1.0.3 features:

* DEM input packages * RDBMS packages for DEM data * Support for processing DEM data dynamically * Analytic table support for landscape searching * Simple GUI (demtool) for viewing DEMs * Support for data export and management

(c) C5 corporation 2002-2006, under the GNU Lesser Public License (pre-2.0 libraries) and C5/UCSD AESTHETIC USE LICENCE (2.0 libraries: see source code for details)


Originally posted on Raw by Brett Stalbaum

Bob Gluck


Thanks to the latest issue of NEURAL (see ) i just discovered some great (e-)music at by musician-educator Bob Gluck.

One of his max/msp-expanded instruments is an eShofar:

"The traditional shofar is an ancient instrument whose purpose is not strictly musical. The shofar blast - in our day, mostly limited to the Jewish High Holy Days - provides a call to reflection, an alarm, a wake-up call ... Digital processing of the sounds allows one to listen 'inside' the sound of the shofar. " eShofar1 <> (2001 - 2005) is held by the right hand, enclosed within an I-Cube sensor glove. Finger movements upon the body of the shofar thus control the filtering and other sound processing, that is achieved by means of a custom designed Max / MSP software interface.

eShofar2 <> (2005) uses complex algorithms to create a chaotic improvisational system based on the live performed sounds of the shofar.

"The performer can toggle on an algorithm that tracks repeated notes and perfect fifths, both common traditional shofar sound gestures, which may influence the system." There's a great but tiny video of one of his performances in Vienna, i think.



Originally posted on Raw by Dirk Vekemans