Martin Howse gives a thorough introduction (2022) to their line of eurorack modules. I like how simple the functions are: Noise is made from a laser passing smoke, picked up by a light sensitive sensor and amplified. Simplicity makes it easier to digest the conceptual frameworks the modules spring from. And the conceptual frameworks are made accessible using simple narrative hooks. But Howse’s narrative devices are whimsical. They offer anecdotal snippets to research, which spark curiosity – But simultaneously establish an authoritative tone. Loose references to research build up the appearance of an gray-intellectual-figure, a sense that there is deep and firm knowledge underlining the whims. I don’t like this tone because it feels authoritative and non-negotiable, like a ghost.
There was an interesting audience question (1:02:37) whether Howse’s modules make up a system, narrative or an ecosystem. The question is impossible to answer and nice to ponder. Touching and effecting code and electronics with naked birth-flesh sounds complicated and inspiring but thinking about it… It is what we are all doing all the time with our devices. They have also attempted to transcribe fiction into functional code, which feels like a great approach to teach coding! Orca could easily be made into a world building exercise or possibly even a simulation.
I came acquainted to the gray-intellectual-ghost trough the placement of an introduction text of the Skills of Economy exhibition at SIC in 2014. Jussi wanted to attach a curatorial statement text on a huge sheet of metal, left leaning casually against the gallery door. I don’t think anyone read the text because it was placed like a leftover – But the text was critical for establishing a sense of certainty and intent to the array of artistic nicnacs we as Ore.e Ref. supplied.
An easy to read summer horror story and the earth drank deep (2022) Ntsika Kota. I like the tone of the text. Easily written stuff enables imaginative reading.
I should built a Mixor Image by modular-maculata.
Reconnected (2021) Paris Marx is an expose of core values at the heart of the internet. The text offers a useful listing of past alternatives too. This source led me to techwontsave.us podcast series by the author. Some episodes are light leftist rants (stating the obvious) but other episodes like How Race Was Central to Prop 22 w/ Veena Dubal are great for learning specifics on how workers in California have organized against the gig economy giants and what the historical framework of the gig economy is. #☭
Feeling restless and frustrated. Assembled a Pulses expander 1u for the Turing Machine (a no-brainer to have and relatively easy to assemble). Took it on as a meditative exercise. Repeating the resistor alignment 11 times, routing the same jumper-wires 11 times, powering the IC and reading the schematics like a holy book (tracing the signal paths over and over). Worked without a plan for the build but it turned out better then my previous expanders/1u thingamajiggies. Inspired by gnsk style approaches. This style for electronics is an acquired taste and I’m growing into it. I like the potential of errors and fear when plugging it in to the system. The mess which is not a mess.
Sent three Fairchild transistors to grm to be used in a RYO Paths build and was gifted two forestcaver / Benjolin PCBs and a voucher to their bandcamp in exchange. A nice realisation of the electronics as a social network approach and a sonic expansion for the initiative. Got in touch with the Benjolin PCB layout designer who consulted me on the VCA chip and acquired two Forrest Baer faceplates. Looking forwards to building a Rob Hordijk design and in preparation digging their text from 2009 The Blippoo Box: A Chaotic Electronic Music Instrument (The more I study the Benjolin, the closer it feels to SoftPop).
The digital heritage aspect of the Fairchild initiative led me to the inspiring compudanzas project: “explorations of computing at a human scale / explorando computación a escala humana”. I’m hoping to learn more about how computer logic could be performed as dance. This approach would work well for internalizing the transistor functions. Korsnäs wool coat patterns also look beautiful. Particularly live the weaving pattern which is performed in groups of three. Perhaps there is a base, collector, emitter logic at play there?
Preparing for a six week long gig at Kankaanpää Art School, I’ll be teaching first semester art-students “The Basics of Performance & Live Art”. Instead of infusing participants with texts, I’m trying to build their awareness of performance art praxis by using mostly other artworks as references. We’ll be analysing documented performances from the T.E.H.D.A.S ry D-Ark archive and the movement based exercises I’ve planned are linked artworks I’ve seen recently. The references and history of the art are introduced trough movement! The travel from Helsinki to Kankaanpää takes six hours. This is going to be an exhausting gig (leaving on Sundays, returning for Thursday nights and repeating the cycle for six weeks).
The UNIX Operating System (1982) Bell Labs. A clear explanation on now unix computers are structured and organized. Really interesting to see how particular languages and hierarchies are enforced by their design.
Traded my Kastl 1.5 to a A-137-1. My first Doepfer module!
Buchla – Electronic Music as Performance Art (2019) Under the Big Tree. A near hour long lecture on the history of the Buchla (Bemi) design company. The talk isn’t analytical, it does not excavate what it meant for Buchla to interface with a synthesizer or what motivated Buchlas dissentient and anti-government attitudes. But it offers some interesting historical details and explains the heterogeneity of his layouts (Save a click: Users don’t need to see a module to recognize it, they can identify it by feeling the knobs!).
Designing the Make Noise Erbe-Verb (2019) Tom Erbe/Soundhack (a video by mylar melodies). A very detailed history of reverbs and a thorough look on Erbes design process. He shares his insights openly and offers concrete tools for reverb design.
Heading to Buchla and Serge territory myself. Swapped my Monotribe for a Variable Slope VCF by Random*Source. I’ll have to build an inverter to help it resonate. Also got a Sense module from Bastl, to develop my mineral water audio analysis toolkit.
Visited Mental Alaska back2baSICs PARTY in Kannelmäki yesterday. Heard Viktor Toikkanen, who played a live programming gig using Tidal. This was the first time I’ve seen live programming (other then our Masku Movement sessions in ~2008) and it was great. I could identify some terms in the score (it was projected on the wall) and anticipate changes, which made the performance feel analytical. Bought a cassette from him too. Actually… There weren’t that many live coding moments. Toikkanen mainly triggered events he had programmed for the record. Some triggers pushed his computer to the limits and we could hear soundcard buffer overload crashes and glitches. I think this digi-materiality was an important part of the presentation. Glitches felt like real grains pushing trough the code. It echoed hardcore rock moments when artists push their amps to max.
The Internet’s Mid-Life Crisis (2019) The Agenda. Cory Doctorow argues that the internet is not broken, everything bad we see happening to it, such as facebook etc., corporate control of the infra and espionage of citizen, is a result or symptom of capitalism. After some weighing all guests seem to agree that some kind of legislation of the internet is needed to move forward (I think this would make the internet a part of the democratic domain).
Our exhibition opening at Oksasenkatu 11 was nice. A lot more people then I expected and mainly new faces. I’ll be on site to meet visitors for some glögi, sound lounging and fun. Dates: 18.-20.12 (12-18:00), 27.12 (12-18:00). Crossroads launch & seminar at SOLU went well too. Had the pleasure to meet Leena Valkeapää, she felt like a wild thinker. There were around 20 people at the event, which was just enough the make the space to feel crowded (at times). I got a lot of nice compliments on my talk on Earth Art Conservation.
Visited Monstera by Essi Kausalainen at Mad House. I liked the performance and particularly enjoyed a minimalistic stepping dance the performers executed towards the end of the show. It felt like a simplified version of cicapo or some other court dance. Perhaps something enjoyed by Carl Linnaeus in the ballrooms of his era. Linnaeus’ work in starting the modern system of naming organisms had inspired the performance and he was heavily present in a séance-like segment before the dance. In a talk before the show Kausalainen pondered if the act of naming a thing could be read as an attempt to show affection towards it. The step-dance also reminded me of compulsory or involuntary movements people perform when idling (while waiting for a bus etc). The dance informed me of a vegetative movement or motion, which is possibly intrinsic to all living things. The practice of the performers felt like an amplification of this auto-movement and when performed collectively by the group, it felt like a method of building solidarity trough the lowest common nominator (which for me is idling).
Etched and build a Bastl Skis Expander 1u and assembled a Lite2Sound PX unit by Rare Waves. I want to send audio across space using leds and laser beams. Tested it yesterday sending audio form my Disting Mk4 using a bipolar led thing I build and it works well. I’m looking for a red laser which I can use to draw on material surfaces, so that the Lite2Sound converts the shapes of the surface to sound (much like a vinyl needle). I want to hear textures. I used a fee from a wedding gig (manufactured mineral waters, read poetry and served as a bartender) to acquire a spring tank (Accutronics 9EB2C1B) and
I’m making made a 1u expanded for the Spring Reverb mkII.
What does sending audio in a laser beam trough parkling water, spatialized by a spring reverb (which feedback agitates the water) sound like? What will the surface of a slab of wood sound like when played like a vinyl? Do grooves of bark sound what they feel like?