A Brief History of Electric Guitar Distortion (2018) Polyphonic. A good overview on how poor sound quality became perceived as rich.
Ore.e Refineries is featured on brutalistwebsites.com (here is a short interview and screen grab on flickr.com). Exchanged notes on “facebook-fuelled-complicatedness of fka. brutalist website designs” (mentioned earlier) with the site maintainer Pascal Deville.
I accidentally broke the Civil Defence Crusher. Debugged the problem (it took two days) and now it works even better! The lm386 amplifier circuit is louder then before. I think I suffered hearing damage… During the fix I send a burst of raw interference noise through the circuit to my tightly sealed headphones. I feel a constant pressure on my right ear.
Race and Capitalism – Welcoming Michael Dawson to the New School (2018) Mayra Cotta. See The Race and Capitalism project. There are podcasts too (or listen to Wu-Tang Clan – C.R.E.A.M.).
In recent decades, the study of race and capitalism — which reaches back to the masterful works of Du Bois, Eric Williams, Stuart Hall, James Boggs, Angela Davis, Cedric Robinson, Cornell West, Kimberlee Crenshaw, Adolph Reed, just to name a few — has been marginalized in favor of post-structuralist or liberal approaches to race.
The contemporary landscape, Dawson contends, is neither a post-racial society nor a “new Jim Crow.” He proposes a shift in the framework used to analyze the racial order: from one focused on political and legal institutions to one focused on political economy. For Dawson, the key to understanding the persistence of racism and racial domination emerges from examining the relationship between white supremacy and capitalist economic structures.
Race, then, constitutes a form of political subjectification based on an artificial fabrication of statuses that forge a hierarchy suited to capitalism’s distinct modes of accumulation. In our present moment of financialized capitalism, we witness the generalization of a new political subjectivation, the expropriable-and-exploitable citizen-worker.
For awhile I thought that sassy artists & web designers working for sassy festivals and galleries were into brutalist, hard to use web pages because they want to challenge their audiences (See: brutalistwebsites.com ). It seemed there was a design movement which opposed the production of passive audiences. But I’ve now understood that these styles are not rebellious, they are compliant: Artists and organizations have messy web pages only because they rely on social medias. They can afford complicated, even artistic sites – Because they reach their audiences primarily through facebook events.
I’ve been thinking about style and ecology during the past weeks. I’m shocked by the amount of usable stuff I can find from the streets (clothing, electronics, tools and furniture etc.) and the amount of plastic they use in shops (orange juice is sold in solid plastic cans, which are as sturdy as flower watering pots I use in Finland ). In Finland I can imagine having an ecological impact by recycling and wearing second hand clothes. In NYC I understand that my environmentally conscious decisions do not have any impact.
In this city, ecologically steered design and arts, are reduced into mere fashion statements. Ecological orientation serves as a class signifier.
How to formulate this critical observation into a style and a movement? I currently think the most equalitarian and ecological style is to have NO-STYLE. Pickup, wear and use anything you find from the streets. When you see a person who is wearing ecobrands: Inform them that they are misguided (possibly by vomiting, like one of my favorite artists Kristofer Paetau during the artforum incident in 2005). The only sustainable way forward is to have NO-STYLE. To go forward we need to consume toxic stuff, learn plastic crafts and listen to algorithmically generated playlists on youtube. Pietari suggested the hashtag #deathhack for these efforts. More reading on class, looks and hiding your class with looks: So You Think You’ve Got Class? (2017) Charlotte Shane (Also related: Sebago docksides rant).
I’ve made a functional and novel sound pedal. The circuit is based on the Dwarfcraft Great Destroyer but I made some mistakes in the assembly, which cause the circuit to behave oddly. It doesn’t work like a bitcrusher, which the DGD is supposed to be. It self-oscillates and creates tunes which are affected by the level of the volume input and potentiometers, it also plays the radio and works like a distortion. A very interesting device (powered with a 9v battery / pedal power supply). As I understand the CD4049 (Buffered) is not grounded and I think the weird behaviour is caused by the signal & voltage working their way to the ground, through the potentiometers. It works great with drums, and creates changing melodic synth and bass lines which follow the rhythm. I added a LM386 amplifier (as an integrated circuit) to the effect to make it louder (The LM386 can also be powered independently so that it acts as a “clean” boost).
The circuit is housed in a Civil Defense V 750 (Model No. 5B) Dosimeter Model No. 5 Charger (C2-2). Serial No. 0005296. Which has been manufactured by the Industrial Electronic Hardware Corp. in New York City (Brooklyn!). The device was intended to reset radiation dosimeter values. If I understand it correctly these kinds of devices were available in fallout shelters during the cold war era in the city. This particular device was manufactured ca. 1962. I repurposed the potentiometer (10k) of the V 750 and used it controls the LM386 output. I’m currently waiting for potentiometer knobs and I’ll make a video of the device after I receive them. I call it the Civil Defence Crusher. It goes well with the Berlin Wall Distortion. Together they form the Sound of Cold War Infra custom guitar pedal series (Ore.e Ref.).
Schematics and a guide on muffwiggler.com and doepfer.de for nifty 5v gate -> S-trigger converter,
which might work on the Boss RC-30 tap tempo (and any other Boss pedal with a tap-tempo). I’m tempted to try this even tough I’m not using my RC-30 as much. Here is a better plan Slacker’s midi clock metronome PLUS tap trigger (S-trigger is not for switch toggle action!). After a furious night of internet search I learned of the Thomas Henry Trigger-to-Switch Project, which uses a 5 VDC dpdt dip relay relay to convert a +5v (5ms) into a switch toggle action. Also considering making a Panasonic/Lumix camera remote using these schematics. Bought a new cheep multimeter.
Successfully build a Boss FS-6 Clone.
Started working on Workers Stretching -series in preparation of Neighborizome activities.