20211107

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).

20200531

Muzak: On Functional Music and Power (1992) Simon C. Jones & Thomas G. Schumacher. A straight to the bones text on the ideology of functional music. The text offers a good overview on how Muzak is designed and how it effects people who are subjected to it. There are even some statistics on how it effects worker efficiency.

For Adorno, one of the functions of popular music was to distract workers from the monotony of increasingly rationalized and mechanized work. It treated the symptoms of alienation and subordination, alleviating boredom and fatigue but without removing their causes. Popular music was, in the end, little more than “social cement,” reinforcing existing social relations and power structures – entertainment as containment […] The stylistic regularity and harmonic simplicity of Muzak suggests a secure, private, domestic world that signifies the comfort and security of home in terms of a particular, bourgeois conception of domestic well-being. Its aim is precisely to make one “feel at home” whether in an office, factory or airplane.

I remember reading that Muzak is used in shopping-centers to make the violent experience of moving with an elevator from a level of where fur-hats are sold to the floor where butchered meat is sold more coherent. Muzak removes the post- from modern. A contemporary application of the text would be a critique of ambient-music and earphone-culture as processes were individual wellbeing is build by enforcing technologically segregated private spaces. With the emphasis on audio quality as a class signifier: Headphones which boost bass tones are deemed working class. Interestingly personalized ambient spaces are disseminated into public trough shared curated playlists.

A trajectory from Muzak, 90ties World Music, Vaporwave (which I recognize Skweee as) to Ambient would be interesting to explore. I think each genre responds to political detachement and cynicism. New march-music for the welfare state can be sought from: How to Kill a Zombie: Strategizing the End of Neoliberalism (2013) Mark Fisher.

Neoliberalism consolidated the discrediting of state socialism, establishing a vision of history in which it laid claim to the future and consigned the left to obsolescence. It captured the discontent with centralized bureacratic leftism, successfully absorbing and metabolizing the desires for freedom and autonomy that had emerged in the wake of the 60s. But – and this is a crucial point – this isn’t to say that those desires inevitably and necessarily led to the rise of neoliberalism. Rather, we can see the success of neoliberalism as a symptom of the leftist failure to adequately respond to these new desires.

Made a Manhattan style PCB for a FM transmitter. I used a LM7809 to stabilize the power input and even without an antenna the unit can cover our flat! The sound is really good and quirky. Bass tones etc. get broadcasted well and when I wave my hand over a receiver other FM broadcasts seep to the same channel. This emphasizes the pocket-like-folds the mini-FM makes to the radio space (which Kogawa’s texts underline). Interestingly when I broadcast simple waves in close proximity of a FM receiver and boost the volume of the transmission the sound feels like a wavefolder. Couldn’t get the Charles Kitchin FM receiver to work yet. It might be that the J113 is not a perfect replacement for the MPF102 or my coils are missaligned. Found a detailed tutorial on how to build the unit Radio Shack Special (2008) by braincambre500 and I’ll retry the build. Also sourced parts for The Simplest FM Receiver by Miomir Filipovic which uses two transistors and only one coil. Fitting the transmitter and received on the same PCB will be challenging as the Kogawa transmitter is so powerful. I might have to add a switch to the eurorack design to toggle the unit to work either as a transmitter or a receiver… I also think that the tuning capacitors should be lifted from the ground somehow. Cleared my workbench and I’ll try to build a working unit this summer.

ARRADIO by n³ is a CV controllable FM radio module, which works like I would like. I might be able to figure out the radio module (its build around a TDA7088). The CV input option is something I want to implement too.

gnsk has build a Radio Sender radio transmitter in Eurorack format assemblage. Nice and simple. The builder is using it for feedback loops.

RF Nomad by Evaton Technologies tunes to frequencies from approximately 9.6 to 10 MHz and decodes the audio as single sideband they also offer a AModulator SDIY companion module which can encode audio inputs into a amplitude modulated RF signal (implementing the send&receive dynamic I’m working towards).

ADDAC102 VC FM Radio (~300€) affords channel seek using CV and it can find channels automatically. I really like the stereo implementation! My FM received module could have stereo output too (and a summed output). I imagine this can great nice phaser-like sounds.

RADIO by ST modular is an analog FM RADIO with an automatic channel-search functionality. It is based on a BK1068 FM radio IC.

FM Radio vox is a clever add-on for the Polarix Extensible Modular Yabber which offers a good interface for radio (not sure how fast it’s for tuning channels thou).

BEATS FM is a FM radio built into an instrument by xaudiosystems. It has a filter and a delay effect for audio mangling and the receiver frequency is CV tunable.

While not a module (yet) a 74xx-defined radio (2021) a c i d b o u r b o n offers notes AMD schematics for the development of an oscillator controlled radio receiver.