Feedback Speed Kills, 2009 from yoshi sodeoka on Vimeo.
Silver (2006) - Takeshi Murata
(Murata used this same pixel bleeding effect in his 2005 piece Monster Movie)
umbrella zombie datamosh mistake (2007) - Paper Rad & Paul B. Davis
These Murata and Paper Rad/Davis videos are two early examples of manipulating digital compression to produce pixel bleeding for artistic effect. In the last week, two mainstream music videos have been released by Chairlift and Kanye West that use this effect, and it has come to be known as "datamoshing." Heralded as a brand new innovation by some, the near simultaneous release of these two music videos have fans of each musical act crying foul. But, as the two videos above indicate, these techniques have been in circulation for a number of years now. It seems an argument concerning the origin of "datamoshing" is unnecessary, given that almost everything is built upon something else.
In 2003, Golan Levin and Zach Lieberman developed a project called Messa di Voce, which translates to "placing the voice." Oddly enough, it took almost six years for the Ars Electronica-awarded project to find a place in North America. Tonight at NYU's Frederick Loewe Theater, master vocalists Joan La Barbara and Jaap Blonk will be on hand to help demonstrate Levin and Lieberman's classic computer vision work. The project responds visually to vocal input, so that sound becomes an instrument for drawing and animation. The vocalist's guttural and glottal improvisations will generate a tension between speech acts and speechless performance that's not to be missed. It's the first of three live concerts presented this week by the Electronic Music Foundation, in a series called "The Human Voice in a New World." Each event highlights the richness and diverse uses to which this earliest of instruments can be put. On the 27th, British vocalist Trevor Wishart will appear at Judson Church with the NY premieres of Vocalise and Globalalia. The seminal works explore, respectively, the potential of the voice "when in a tight corner," and the universality of the human tongue. Globalalia processes the syllables of 26 different languages sampled from international radio and TV broadcasts to formulate a sort of vocal dance. And on the 28th, Berlin-based virtuoso David Moss will premiere the English version of his Voice Box Spectra. The Sydney Morning Herald has described the piece as "somewhere between scatting and scary. Think Jim Carey doing an impression of Ella Fitzgerald while being eaten by the creature from Alien 2." Exploring FTL ("faster than logic") communication, the work combines sound, text, and personal electronics in a grouping of new songs. All in all ...
The central work of Hans van Koolwijk, the Bambuso Sonoro, originates from the idea of a single performer operating a number of flutes simultaneously. The Bambuso is an unpolished sound sculpture that is used as a musical instrument, whereby the visual is closely related to the aural. Sounds can be seen, as it were. One wants to be physically present, preferably between the flutes, to see the performer sweat, to experience the effort needed to produce the sounds.
Texas group ArcAttack make music by manipulating electrical arcs generated by Tesla coils. In these two videos, they perform "Creepy Circus Song." The first video is live from a show at the Maker Fair last year.
Scene designer and robot artist Roland Olbeter developed and crafted the unique ensemble "The Sound Machines," an automated, electrical string quartet with a drum. The four string instruments sound and function like electric guitars, the difference being that each sound machine only has one string.
21 micro-cylinders from Festo are used in each sound machine. The micro-cylinders imitate the mechanical movements of a musician's left hand on the string instruments, determining the pitch of the tone by changing the length of the strings. Various drumsticks and a jazz brush are moved on the drum by micro-cylinders.
"Fast Blue Air," the music composed especially for the Hanover Fair by Australian composer Elena Kats-Chernin, explores the range of sounds generated by the sound machines including the noises produced by the pneumatics.
"[Jeff] Krulik may be public access's only true success story. He perceived the weird essence of the medium, then moved beyond it. Emerging from that 1980s no-zone, he has been able to create his own brand of television art: documentaries in the service of a unique screwball populism. Before community TV became outstripped by newer technologies, it gave us the obsessed world of Jeff Krulik, a guy who finds something remarkable in the unremarkable and sees everyday people as stars."
Reproduction, appropriation, and automation are three major ongoing concerns within contemporary music and art. It’s strange then that relatively few people know about two mid-20th Century musical instruments that embodied all of these methods: the Chamberlin keyboard and its offshoot, the Mellotron, the first instruments built on taped samples of the sounds of others.
In Mellodrama: The Mellotron Documentary, filmmaker Dianna Dilworth takes measure of the many players in the story behind these unruly sound machines, whose very existence ultimately shaped much of popular music. The film is a study in the unpredictability of innovation, and how each extension of the same technology can conflict with the intentions of those that came before it.
The film profiles the creators as well as the instruments themselves, spotlighting their influence on later musical tools and approaches, as well as their overwhelming influence on a wave of pop stars, from the Beatles to 70s progressive rock bands. Mellodrama premiers February 16 at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in Missoula, Montana.
The question of the relationship between performance and its documentation is an interesting, if longstanding one. These relations have continued to shift with the emergence of newer and newer media, so that the telephonic or radio broadcast, camera, and internet transmission become implicated in the content they capture and deliver, often begging a chicken vs. egg-style question of whether the performance or the recording is paramount. The "Stage II" exhibition at New York's The Project gallery returns attention to the site of performance, even as it displays the residual ephemera of artists' actions. The work of artist Dave Allen stimulates a visceral connection with audiences in tapping into sound art's classic obsession with silence to deliver Silence Recordings, Hansa Studios, Berlin (2001), which fills the gallery space with the seemingly-silent recordings of vacant artist studios and empty concert halls. Lucky Dragons is a band and art collective whose work encompasses music, drawing, public collaboration, and more. For "Stage II," they present Showing (2009), a sculptural installation that proves the artists need not be physically present to make noise. An arrangement of their homebrew instruments featuring rocks, wood, and analog electronics sits in waiting for viewers to move them, generating a shift in their electrical field and a resultant shift in the shape of the sounds they are set to make. While these two projects provide perfect bookends for the exhibition, the show also includes work by Larry Krone, Rashaad Newsome, and Superamas, each of whom is engaged in the practice of splicing together object relationships, filmic clips, or cultural reenactments to establish a new interdependence between artist, viewer, stage, and document. - Marisa Olson