Artists have started to mark cancelled events into their CVs. Covid removed the affect from social interaction and turned coexistence into a performance. Our senses are crippled by quantifiable data and we cling to different statics on the disease for feedback. The value of social life, our capability for empathy and rationality is publicly scrutinized by statistics on the spread. We all look like sinners. The pandemic and the capitalism which statistics feed to are turning us into cyborgs. We are in relation through data.
Bought a beat-down Volca Beats for 40€. A lot of issues and missing components due to a misfortune snare mod/other stuff (pads torn, dabs of solder everywhere and tips of potentiometers burned by careless iron handling). Has a good punk vibe thou! Spotted the system79 Korg Volca Beats Snare Analysis site with an accurate (but not full) schematic and after a full day of studying the board managed to restore pitch&decay control by placing a 100nF to C91. Made the 100nF c78 modification too and might go for “Snappy” noise mod next. I’ll have to source SMD components to replace the trough hole parts I used for testing values. Sourced a 1k SMD resistor from an Alesis Micron board I horded from a dumpster in NYC.
Build a Norns shield and got it working on a Raspi3 using an old SD card. Bought the PCB from Pursherman (12,26€, mail inc.) and the components from Digikey (70,74 € / +39,08€ import duties). All together 122,08€ for an entry to the Monome world. With import fees the cost for an official kit might have risen to ~280€ (+55€ for a Raspi). The build went smoothly. Previous SMD builds paved the way and I got all the components soldered within five hours. Made a case from scrap plywood by adapting these drawings. There is still some sanding to do and I have to source caps for the d-shaft potentiometers and the buttons. I’m occasional some trouble running Orca and a few other scripts. I believe that a faster SD card will fix the issues but I might eventually opt to get a Raspi3+ (the Raspi3 I’m using is from the Mazizone build which I’d like to keep running anyway). By enlarge everything seems to work well (including updates, running 201113).
For the simple synths (using a keystep for midi) and effects alone a good investment. I’m hoping to learn scripting and if everything feels good might work myself towards a crow. Norns feels feature packed and of course this being something I assembled, it will take time to develop a feel on what is a feature and what is a bug/build issue. Feels stable and powerful so far.
Listened to James Bridle New Ways Of Seeing (2019) which “reimagines John Berger’s Ways of Seeing”. Felt like an throwback to the past glory days of media-art. Some interesting new stuff too, like terra0 the cybernetic forest (by Paul Seidler, Paul Kolling & Max Hampshire). Their modular, open-source framework is available on Github. The project is affiliated with Moneylab, which is fun as I just helped to stream an event related to it at Oodi. Bridle’s presentation is stuck on gaze. He repeats numerously (and in numerous ways) that seeing is knowing: That by gaining a view to the inner-working of a system, we could overcome its effect on us. I don’t share this optimism. Knowing is not power: Power is power, and the power to employ is the Power.
I’ve visited the Kurängen spring (60.288403,25.214754) area twice after the first visit. We found a wooden-frame which has been build to protect the spring opening (mentioned here). I cleaned the foundation of the spring by removing plant life from the bottom and leaves from the top. Found gray clay in the bottom soil. Could it be used for pottery? While cleaning, the clay tainted the spring-pond, which revealed the exact location where water is gushing out. An incredible site. It’s mentioned on the Helsinki city database of natural resources.
Preparing the Encountering Taste performance with Tea Andreoletti. Preparations are fun and have progressed steadily. Interviewed Sirpa Vuori a Kuopio resident who was witnessed the decay of city springs from 1988 onwards. Spotted her from an interview on Savon Sanomat (Kuopion kaupunki mylläsi lähteensä, 03.03.2014). During our interview I got a detailed witness account of the destruction of the Linnanpelto spring and a thorough mapping of past spring usage by city residents. A small detail: Her neighbor had a sealed document granting her the right to use the Linnanpelto spring as a supply. The neighbor had received this document when resettling to Kuopio from the north (as a refugee). Suvi from Anti festival got her hands on a great document Lähteet Kuopiossa (2011) Teppo Tossavainen which offer a technical view to the springs. She visited many of the sites mentioned in the survey and it appears that the Poukama Spring is the only one left.
Digging Filament 1 (2007) Sachiko M and planning to modify my Arturia Keystep following Toms Jensens Janko Project 00 guide (also on Thingiverse). Sourced parts for a diy Norns build (the PCB is from Pusherman) but I don’t have time to commit to the build.
Got a temporary teaching gig at Aalto and bought Cobra Biker Hook Jac-Dingo boots from a Finnish manufacture Boot Factory run by Pekka Lahti.
My gig at the Malmi cemetery has ended. I got an opportunity to leave the job thanks to a Art Promotion Center covid grant. The grant enables me to complete a writing job on Performance Pedagogy, start developing the Horse & Performance course for TEAK and prepare mineral water performances for the fall (which is going to be hella busy). I got the grant for making an interesting critique of the response creative culture in Finland had on the pandemic.
I miss the work a bit, it felt honest and the crew was fun. It was exhausting to work outdoors in +30C° weather / rain and doing artsy stuff as a sidejob took its toll on family life. The pay was pretty low too, so the grant feels like winning the lottery. I’ve slept and wept for two days. Artists in Finland often complain that government artists grants are too low. Sure, they are but considering the hours and physical exhaustion of the gardening job I’d take the grant life for life.
I completed two electronics kits over the last weekends. I assembled a Dannysound Cali (California) oscillator, which is a replica of the Buchla Model 258. Wavefolding is inspiring: Instead of removing content to develop a sound, an aspect of it gets exaggerated. The unit allows wavefolding to be used to cut the volume, which works for neat lowpass filter type effects. Last weekend I assembled a Befaco Rampage, which is an “approach to an old invention: the Serge/Buchla ramp generator”. It processes sound, triggers and gates to spurt out an array of control voltages. It feels like an intelligence of sorts. I can use it as an envelope follower (Planning to process sparkling water. Edit: My preamps are not strong enough!). My current Waterlab eurorack system runs on a USB power bank.
Designing Winterbloom’s Big Honking Button (2020) theavalkyrie. A solid rundown on how to design eurorack modules. The text is informative and teaches how to read schematics, how microcontrollers work and what goes into designing a module. The honking button seems fun but a little gimmicky. Build a simplified USB +/-12v&5v power-supply based on this discussion. Opted for the Meanwell DKM10E-12 and the palm size board I assembled offers ~ +/-420mA! I’m now sourcing parts to make my own USB A-B cable (all of the cables I had caused power drop issues). Planning piezo-amp units and dreaming of a complex ramp generator or LFO/SLEW/ENV 1.1 by Kymatica.
Some links on the site don’t work but the protocol seems usefull for haptic devices: “Buttplug is an open-source standards and software project for controlling intimate hardware, including sex toys, fucking machines, electrostim hardware, and more.”
Sourced parts for radio transmitters & receivers and learning of the strange world of radio. Wide-band WebSDR is an interesting online radio project, the purpose of which I don’t understand (for testing transmissions?). Spectres of Shortwave a 2016 film by Amanda Dawn Christie seems interesting. Also listening and reading more Tetsuo Kogawa stuff. Found two great performances of his which use radio as a medium (radioart). In Looking for the Silent Interference (2018) the artist stacks transmitters which are broadcasting on the same frequency to produce audible ripples in radio waves (I think this is what he means by “folds” in radio space, referencing Adorno). In A Simple Way of Radioart (2019) he uses a pair of transmitters and receivers to produce a feedback loop which tone is depended on how he plays the transmitter antennas. In some of his texts he talks about hands as instruments and both examples are very good examples of this: The shape of his palm sets the sound. I cannot reach him using the email on his site, I’ll have to reach out to his colleges. Here is a quote from A Radioart Manifesto (2008)
When does radio become into radioart beyond being a medium? For newspaper, for instance, paper is a medium. […] How and when paper becomes an art? It is when the material of “paper” changes itself into a different material. Whatever you write and draw on a sheet of paper, it remains a medium. Therefore such attempts create not paperart but art on the paper. And when you crumple up it, it becomes a garbage. Adorno argued that “all post-Auschwitz culture, including its urgent critiques, is garbage”.
This “garbage” (Muell) is, however, not a worthless thing but a new material of art in Adorno’s critical perspective. In my interpretation, post-modern arts (arts after the modernism) starts with Adorno’s “garbage . His argument advocated “trash art”. But considering his critiques against the electronic mass medium such as radio and television we can argue that the most post-modern material as “garbage” would be airwaves.
Thinking about how airwaves as garbage become an art, the aforesaid example of paper might help us. When a sheet of paper is crumpled, it becomes garbage and at the same time it has many folds. They damage the material as a writing/drawing paper but change this material into another. Giles Deleuze provides an interesting understanding on fold although it is in relation to Leibniz’ monadology. A labyrinth is said, etymologically, to be multiple because it contains many folds. the multiple is not only what has many parts but also what is folded in many ways. [sic]