20200105

Got a Raspi4 with 4 gigs of ram as a gift! Enabled a powerdown and powerup button by adding dtoverlay=gpio-shutdown,gpio_pin=3 to /boot/config.txt. Got fm_transmitter maintained by markondej working. The project seems to be less complicated then PiFmRds which I was using previously. Learning to add buttons, switches and sensors to the Raspi. Dreaming of adding a WH1602C-YYH-JTK# – LCD display too (I salvaged a unit in New York). Added a button using thagrol’s python script Switch button on GPIO, short press / long press. A short press starts fm_transmitter and long press terminates it. This is done using scripts lauched from python subprocess.Popen(['/home/pi/fm_transmitter/broadcast.sh'],shell=True). I haven’t found a good way to terminate a broadcast, attempts to use pkill cause the a segment of a broadcasted file to loop.

Ilkka send me an interesting link Käsittämättömät koodirivit musiikkina [Incomprehensible lines of code as music] (2014) Viznut (aka Ville-Matias Heikkilä) which introduced me to bytebeat. The text also gives a thorough introduction to Demoscene development culture. Bytebeat is a music programming method which produces rhythms and melodies in complex ways users don’t seem to completely understand. It can be used online (here are some samples for experimentation). There is a tutorial of sorts available Discovering novel computer music techniques by exploring the space of short computer programs (2011) Viznut. Also read Reaching for the blocks of the living world (2018) by the author which feels like an attempt to bridge coding (optimization) and permaculture (degrowth?). The text explores two modes for studying: analytical mode vs. intuition. Viznut argues that “The trial-and-error mode is not problematic per se, it just needs a lot of cycles”.

As a child, I used to believe in endless linear progress. There were ever higher buildings in the world, ever more TV channels, ever-faster computers and spacecraft. […] In my teens, I started to notice the dark sides. […] As a response, I started to embrace an opposite kind of esthetic and technological ideology: small is beautiful, bits are beautiful, hacks are beautiful. True progress is about deepness and compression instead of maximization and accumulation.

Viznut has also made the PC-lamerit online series (2015-2019) which I’ve been browsing last night.

20200102

We dismantled the Bifi Studio exhibition last week. There were just shy of 30 visitors on the last day. I spend a lot of time listening to the rotating wood-disks being scraped with different materials. The experience informed me of rotation as a medium. Vinyl records only make sound when the disk rotates, which means that the rotation (or movement) is a part or a medium of the sound. Writing this observation as a sentence feels weird but when thinking about it at the gallery made complete sense.

I took the idea to my studio and aligned a laser to a gramophone record, so that the record grooves cast a reflection. I used my Lite2Sound PX unit to convert the reflection into sound! Here is a short proof of concept video: Laser Gramophone. My plan is to build a miniature rail track around a tree and attach the laser & Lite2Sound PX to a motorized cart which drives around the hull of the tree. This device will make a tree surface topography audible. I plan to use a wireless audio transmitter so that I can use the sound in my eurorack signal chain.

A review of the exhibition in Swedish: Konstkollen – Växternas hemliga liv, skeppsbrott och annat väsen (2020) Pontus Kyander. The text commemorates the didactic tone of the exhibition and celebrates the approach as “simple and brilliant”.

Duon bakom BIFI närmar sig musik- och ljudskapandet med fiffighet och en generöst inbjudande hållning till besökaren. De hjälper till och berättar utan att man ens behöver fråga. Det är enkelt och alldeles lysande.

20191225

Visited a children’s holliday singing event. The stage lights were bright and the kids danced while singing, which means none of the kids actually saw their parents in the audiences. I think stages work this way, their design (architecture, lighting / scene building conventions) convert the actual audience into a generic mesh of anonymous bodies. An audience converted to mesh trough design, distances the performers and the audience. Both parties are shielded from individual gazes, which allows them to assume positions their class does not permit. This does not emancipate them because their freedom is a projection, the vividness of which reflects their distance from stage apparatuses (such as backstage, moshpit, surrounding camps etc.).

This is how a performance becomes a ritual. When you don’t see the specific audience, it becomes a projection which manifests the spirit of the event. It can only be supportive, as the stage design only affords meshness and genericness trough its design. A performance can fail, but the failure only celebrates the functionality of the stage! If you accept the stage, you accept modernism. When you don’t know whom you are performing for it is possible to perform for the dead. Which, I think the kids were doing. Performing zombie trad. folk songs for past generations which weren’t present. It was a very modern, very hallucinatory event.

Is France Having A Revolutionary Moment? ft. Richard Wolff (TMBS 120) (2019) The Michael Brooks Show. A good overview on how the yellow vest movement in France evolved into general strikes which attempt to kick Emmanuel Macron out of office. I wish a similar broad overview would be made of the recent Finnish strike & prime minister exchange maneuver.

20191220

Miksi netissä on niin hirveää? [Why online sucks] (2019) Iida Sofia Hirvonen. A solid text and eye witnesses account of contemporary social media culture. The text identifies a particular mode of toxic-discussion culture: Toxic pit fight promotion, indicating process where some people stir disputes between different marginalized communities.