mandalas para la vida moderna (2006) - Ivan Puig

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mandala I

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mandala II

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Fold Loud (2007) - JooYoun Paek

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Fold Loud is a (de)constructing musical play interface that uses origami paper-folding techniques and ritualistic Taoist principles to give users a sense of slow, soothing relaxation.

Fold Loud interconnects ancient traditions and modern technology by combining origami, vocal sound and interactive techniques. Unlike mainstream technology intended for fast-paced life, Fold Loud is healing, recovering and balancing.

Playing Fold Loud involves folding origami shapes to create soothing harmonic vocal sounds. Each fold is assigned to a different human vocal sound so that combinations of folds create harmonies. Users can fold multiple Fold Loud sheets together to produce a chorus of voices. Opened circuits made out of conductive fabric are visibly stitched onto the sheets of paper which creates a meta-technological aesthetic. When the sheets are folded along crease lines, a circuit is closed like a switch. Thus, the interface guides participants to use repetitive delicate hand gestures such as flipping, pushing and creasing. Fold Loud invites users to slow down and reflect on different physical senses by crafting paper into both geometric origami objects and harmonic music.

-- FROM THE ARTIST'S STATEMENT

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Fine Collection of Curious Sound Objects (2010) - Georg Reil and Kathy Scheuring

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The arrangement includes six exceptional exhibits from the world of sounds and acoustics. At first sight looking trivial, each object incorporates a very unique ability.

The magical character of each object is accompanied with a little story, almost completely concealing the existence of technical components such as speakers or sensors. Only small connection ports as well as the uniform black finishing point to thier unusual abilities.

In form and functionalty all these exhibits pursue John Maeda’s "Simplicity". They are enjoying to use, they are surprising and one wants to explore and investigate them.

-- DESCRIPTION FROM THE PROJECT STATEMENT

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Homebrew Electronics

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noteNdo Live at Blip Festival 2008

Homebrew Electronics is a new series on the Rhizome blog. For these posts, I will be conducting studio visits with artists and inventors who create unique electronic instruments.

Last week, I met up with Jeff Donaldson, aka noteNdo, on a particularly sweltering summer day in his studio in Bushwick. For close to a decade, Jeff has been modifying video game consoles to produce glitchy audio and visual material. These machines form the backbone of his practice, which began primarily in a live performance context, and has expanded from there. In the past few years, Jeff has begun to apply the patterns created from his consoles into material form by making scarves and prints, and more recently, he’s moved into fully immersive, interactive installations. For this studio visit, he walked me through a number of his consoles.

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Jeff Donaldson's modified Nintendo NES Leo

Meet Leo. Named after Leon Theremin, this Nintendo NES from 1985 was one of Jeff’s first projects and has become a staple in his work. He got the idea to make animation after a vivid dream - and set out on his Nintendo NES, the only tool he had at the time.

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This is the patch bay for Leo. Patching the jacks offsets a short circuit that creates a visual effect, which Jeff discovered through trial and error. The patches allow him to revisit these effects - which are essentially bad reads by the system. Leo allows you to swap in and out different games - exposing the cartridges to the visual effects produced by Jeff’s modifications. Jeff described Leo as essentially an “auto-collage system” allowing a reworking of the original material through the settings he has determined.

Early, basic NES glitch from noteNdo recorded straight to VHS tape in 2001 ...

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Learning is So Tangible (2009) - Colin Self

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Transitioning between heirloom mentalities is hard. Calista knows and isn't afraid to speak her mind about it! Every girl needs something colorful in her life and that's why impressions always stick best while wet. So the next time you're ready to uproot your sandcastle watercolors, just remember: nobodys gotcha back like dollys on the beast team. In fact, no East Coast Sisterhood (ECS) ever felt so good! So relax! Sit back and track the date.... cause this calender is about to get B.E.A.T. U.P.!!!!!!!!!!!

-- VIDEO DESCRIPTION

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Mind Reader (2010) - Kingdom ft. Shyvonne

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FANTASY VISION MEDITATION (IN COLOR) (2008) - Ivan Lozano

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[Balloon, mirrors, glitter, chain, television, Dimensions Variable ]

Fantasy Vision Meditation (In Color), a room-sized sculptural video installation, is the first "episode" in a series investigating the parallel historical narratives of disco, gay liberation movements and AIDS. Lozano creates a phantasmagoric elegy for the fallen soldiers in the hidden cultural wars of the 70s and 80s by transforming two sources generally dismissed as vapid and disposable. "I Need Somebody To Love Tonight" by disco singer Sylvester James (a victim of AIDS) and producer Patrick Cowley (who succumbed to AIDS less than three months after the disease was codified) and A Night At Halsted's by queer porn auteur Fred Halsted (who overdosed on sleeping pills after the death of his lover from AIDS) helped in defining the culture of the era. Lozano imbues his materials with pathos by a careful and labor-intensive digital exegesis of the unconscious spiritual elements hidden in the originals.

-- DESCRIPTION FROM THE ARTIST'S SITE

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YouTube Rave (2010) - David Kraftsow

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Synchromy/Synchromie (1971) - Norman McLaren

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Here are pyrotechnics of the keyboard, but with only a camera to "play the tune." To make this film, Norman McLaren employed novel optical techniques to compose the piano rhythms of the sound track. These he then moved, in multicolor, onto the picture area of the screen so that, in effect, you see what you hear. It is synchronization of image and sound in the truest sense of the word.

-- DESCRIPTION FROM UBUWEB

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Homebrew Electronics

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Leon and Brian Dewan Playing the Dual Primate Console

Homebrew Electronics is a new series on the Rhizome blog. For these posts, I will be conducting studio visits with artists and inventors who create unique electronic instruments.

Last week, I met with cousins Brian and Leon Dewan of Dewanatron at Leon’s apartment/workshop in New Rochelle, NY. I first encountered their whimsical, one-of-a-kind instruments at a solo exhibition at Pierogi Gallery in Brooklyn a few years ago. Not only do they produce and exhibit their own instruments, they use them in performances and in recordings as well. They split the labor evenly - Leon builds the circuits for each instrument, and Brian crafts the consoles that contain them at his home in Catskill, NY. Despite their jetlag from a recent trip to Los Angeles (Brian had screened his film strips at the Museum of Jurassic Technology’s theater), the Dewans gave me a thorough walkthrough of their work, patiently explaining how each of their creations functioned.



Dual Primate Console

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The Dewans use the Dual Primate Console quite a bit in their performances; it also made a starring appearance on their album Semi-Automatic. Built for two operators (or “primates”), each side provides four rhythmically independent voices, which can be programmed using a rotary telephone dial.

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Rotary Dial on the Dual Primate Console

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They got the idea to use a rotary telephone dial in this fashion from antique Language Lab Machines, which also integrate telephone dials into their interface. The rows of switches control the voices, and Nixie bulbs lining the top of the instrument indicate the different voices selected by the telephone dial. These bulbs were produced from the 1950s through the 1970s and were a precursor to LED displays.

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Close-up of Nixie bulbs on the Dual Primate Console

The bottom ...

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