Oh.. What a weird and wonderful night. I was exited about assembling the walky-talky modules and went on imagining of scenarios I could use them in. An idea gloomed.. What if the module would work in FM domain? I’ve been making radio experiments with my raspi (see Hammeradio) and the itch to send wireless signals is an old one. The question led me on a frantic internet search stream and eventually I run into a website I visited years ago: Polimorphous Space by Tetsuo Kogawa. I learned about the site from Diego Cruz Martinez an activist/engineer who worked for/with Radio Oaxaca. I interviewed him when I was working for M2Hz and the interview in available Finnish: Ääni intiaanikylille (2009).
Kogawas site is fascinating. There are texts and interviews dealing with the work of Félix Guattari (whom Kogawa met in 1981), manifestos and poetry, bundled with technical notes and schematics. The radio art guides he offers are thorough and the radio transmitter builds seem very robust. Here is a quote from his Micro Radio Manifesto (2006).
Today, our microscopic space is under technologically control and surveillance. Our potentially diverse, multiple nad polymorphous space is almost homogenizee into a mass. Therefore we need permanent effort to deconstruct this situation. In order to do this, to use a very low-power transmitter is worth trying. Small transmitter can be easily made by your own hands. [SIC]
This is a direct call for action and aligned with the texts he offers, this sets a clear trajectory for critical radiophonic work! The looks of his builds are wonderful. He uses an adaptation of “Manhattan style” method in his circuit construction (some notes on the style on Parasit Studio blog). The name Manhattan style reflects the street grid and urban planning of Manhattan, New York and I guess it links to the era of the Manhattan project too.
I’m now dreaming of building an eurorack unit of “the standard model” transmitter in Manhattan style. Some components are rare (2SC2001 transistor) but he also offers plans with alternative components (BC337 transistor). I imagine that in a rack the transmission would cause a lot of noise and interference but the build is conceptually firm. I think that as a module it reflects and is a call for the “responsibility of speech”. I’ve come to believe we have a responsibility to make sound, to voice opinions so that we do not collide to each other. This idea is well drafted in a boating story I heard from Topi Äikäs. In short: “If everybody is silently looking for the truth, nobody is safe!”. I could etch this story on the PCB.
After an exiting couple of hours in the world of Kogawa, I realized that the module should also include a receiver: Whats would be the point in making noise if no-one can listen to it. After some search I found this Simple FM Radio build (credited to Charles Kitchin) which is simple and runs on the same voltage as the transmitter (the unit in the photo is also build in Manhattan style). This means both builds could be powered from the same supply! I’ll have to experiment if this will cause too much interference but the idea is clear. The module could have one input for transmitting and one for receiving. With two modules, two (or more) racks can be made to work in unison.
An additional bonus in the transmitter build is that I could use DIY mineral water capacitors (which I experimented with on the Simple EQ build) for setting the transmission frequency (it needs a variable capacitor between the values of 10 to 20pf). This is perfect because when working on the walky-talkies I felt horrible remorse for not continuing to develop/build modules I’m planning to use in upcoming mineral water performances. Suddenly a side quest to radio transmission domain proofs meaningful and everything makes sense for a while.
Better than Zoom: Try these free software tools for staying in touch (2020) Greg Farough. List of open source tools for communication, file sharing etc. I’m tempted to experiment with Raspi as a home server. It might be worthy as a model for free culture distribution! Although I think publishing art for the sake of art is of bad taste right now. Might be cool for easy fun chatter thou.
A spicy application I drafted for the Together Alone open call was a bust. Only 5 out of 130 were funded. They’ll keep my proposal in their register for the next rounds of applications but it’s a stretchs. I hope they got a laugh or inspiration out of it — I bet they did. I’ve been sending an application a day and speedrun my tax-report in four hours (not much to report I guess).
Our In Various Stages of Ruins: Denial exhibition at Alkovi is now accessible at Helsinginkatu 19 and online. Feels good to do stuff.
The Mazizone local network archive I’ve been setting up for my Raspi3+ is stable and working well. I have occasional problems connecting to it and I need to “forget” the network to reset certificates. But this only happens when I’m login in and out intensively for tweaks & edits. The device reboots daily to prevent these kinds of clogs. I haven’t gotten Gammu (to produce daily status updates via sms) working but with the reboot cycle enabled I’m confident that the device will run well enough.
I build the sound archive using wordpress and it looks fresh. Using wordpress in Mazi causes issues with the network url but this is manageable (it redirects visitors to portal.mazizone.eu which is ok for me). I’m now planning to build a funky case for the device and to make an inviting sign which will guide visitors to the network and archive. While making the website I got the idea of using ornamental patterns as illustrations. I also used ornaments in the eurorack case I build for the trip. When I was designing the case I tough the Byzantine style decorations as a reference to early natural sciences (which my work on mineral waters touches). This spawned the idea to add ornamental figures to the thumbnails of the sound files in the archive.
Each sound file (53) has a unique photo assigned to it. The photos set a mood for the content and give a hint of the sound. Photos were shot during our train trip by Iona Roisin, Elina Vainio and Miina Hujala. On top of each photo is a layer of different ornamental shapes. They twirl around the thumbnail corners and interact with things and people in the images. I’ve used Kid3 to add the images to the .wav files. If I’ve understood correctly .wav’s don’t have thumbnails but Kid3 manages to embed the data anyway. The default wordpress media playlist widget can source the images from the files and display them next to the track info.
Now there are ornaments everywhere!
I like over the top ornaments which have an abundance of detail. In Russia I can spot them everywhere. They are used in architecture (Corinthian pedestals and window frames), street lamps, fonts, advertisements, jewelry and clothes. Sometimes the patterns look familiar. Shapes I’ve seen in Russia appear to fuse Byzantine style decorations with folk ornaments I worked with during my carpentry studies. I can recognize a patterns being identical to a traditional woodcarving I’ve seen in Finland. Pirtanauhat and kauluslaudat are good examples.
I guess ornaments appeal to me because they link traditional Finnish crafts with Byzantine history and even contemporary Islamic and Arabic cultures. We visited a folk culture museum in Kazan and many of the Islamic artifacts in the collection looked similar stuff I’ve seen in Finnish folk culture museums (particularly the wooden objects). Some of the clothes looked like something my mother would want to wear. Styles I link to Bedouin folk gowns that are decorated with coins, felt really similar to Russian military uniforms which are decorated with medallions.
The ornaments I’m using for the archive and the thumbnails remind me of weeds. I think they link the archive to “ruins” which Miina is interested in. I think ornaments should be read as celebration of decay. They simulate nonhuman futures by imagening how plant life will take over architecture. They feel like archaic glitch art! Sometimes ornaments in clothes look like roots or blood vessels. I think Scandinavian design aesthetic read ornaments as a vanity but if we approach them as a celebration of decay there is nothing vane in embracing them. I hate Scandinavian design because it makes me feel ashamed of my appetite for details.
Using ornaments to decorate a sound archive, which is difficult to access – Feels right and embedding weed-like ornaments inside metadata makes sense. Here is a low-resolution sample of what the archive looks like when browsed using a mobile phone.
What an exiting day. I got a Mazizone installation running on my Raspi3+! I can now host a local access etherpad service, open a file sharing box or a wordpress installation (among other things). Here is a short explanation why these kinds of “Digital Sovereignty” projects are important. (The project also has a faint link to urban farming, as one partner for the project has been Prinzessinnengarten) Feels great and only took 10 hours of manic computer work to figure out. I’m preparing to share my Trans-Siberian Railway sound collection using a Mazizone which is specifically set up for the Alkovi space at Hämeenkatu. Here is are my notes on getting the system running for this setup.
- Etcher > mazizone-v3.1.1.img (or 2020XXXX_alkovi-mazizone.dmg)
- SD card to RPi3+, boot and wait for ssid: mazizone
- Setup (Set location: lat, lon 60.187174, 24.953562) and change password
- Expand Storage > Reboot
- Browser to local.mazizone.eu:4567/admin > Disable unused apps
- Set USB1 wifi dongle (panda06) for “Internet connection” and set “Internet Network Mode” to “online”
- ssh firstname.lastname@example.org. Change password using raspi-config and sudo apt update > sudo apt full-upgrade and reboot
- Setup DS3231 clock for stability. Sudo apt-get install i2c-tools, set locale using raspi-config and configure module using ssh. Guidelines for battery setup (in short supply it 3,3v).
- Applications > WordPress > Set up WP (don’t mess with the URL settings in WP)
- Change WIFI ssid: Alkovi (no password) and reconnect
- Change Portal Domain “in-various-stages-of-ruins.eu”
- Assign WordPress as “homepage” and set bigger upload file-size via Admin > Settings > Apache max file size: 500M
- Don’t change WordPress url (Test if changing step 8 order would help in clean urls for wp. Edit: no effect, see: Changing domain for wordpress not possible.)
- Update WordPress and themes, make them pretty (one page for sound, one page for info) and upload Trans-Siberian railway sound collection.
- Setup cron for daily reboot cycle: sudo nano /etc/cron.d/alkovirebootcycle > 15 2 * * * root /sbin/shutdown -r now
- Add > dtoverlay=pi3-act-led,gpio=19 to /boot/config.txt to allow sd-card activity to be shown on an external red-led (protected with 470Ω resistor for good measure).
- Make duplicate of the SD card as backup.
- Test everything, break everything and re-do everything.
Later: External shutdown button (python?), how can I get it to “sms report home” (will old Huawei E1550 I’ve stashed work out of the box or should I configure it somehow?). experiment with PiFmRds(?) and enjoy.
Had the pleasure to meet Kaisa Luukkonen by chance and got a rundown on the Göteborg performance art and independent gallery scene. One of the biggest differences is that in Göteborg artist run gallery boards are formed trough invitations, which makes it difficult for the newly arrived to enter the scene. The arrangement is said to forster commitment but by Kaisas account the board member activity level is the same as in Finland. The more secluded system produces exhibition-venues-as-scenes and their curatorial programs feel repetitive. Joined Kaisa for the Gathering of Fables exhibition opening by Marja Patrikainen at Oksasenkatu 11. After learning about Göteborg I appreciate Oksasenkatu even more. Kaisa had made a interesting observation, many of her dyslexic friends are fascinated by open reel-to-reel tape recorders. This makes sense for some reason.
Learning everything I can, as fast as I can about the Raspberry Pi. Got a nice script running Raspberry Pi – Auto WiFi Hotspot Switch Internet (2017-) which scans if there is a home-wlan available and if it fails to find one, starts the device as a wireless access point. Works well and makes me confident to imagine using the device in field conditions (leaning about sensors in hopes of building a wild water analysis kit). Also tested RaspAP but couldn’t get it to work. Nethood – DIY Networking (links) feels like a good resource for building networking systems on the device.
I need to share files locally and I’m planning to use Piratebox for that. I’ve used it in the past, when sharing documents to students and even translated the Finnish localization of the android app (Reveal: I translated “Sininen” [Blue] into “Uusi musta” [New black] as a hommage of Paula Lehtonen #0000FF is the new #000000 exhibition). An other option for a localized network is MAZI Zone. I’m really digging Networks Of Ones Own too:
Networks Of Ones Own is a para-nodal periodic publication that is itself collectively written in a network. Each of the episodes is thought of as the ‘release’ of a specific software stack, contextualised in its specific practice. The series aims to document a set of tools, experiences, ways of working that are diverse in terms of their temporality, granularity and persistence.
Build an audio amplifier using a pre-assembled pam8403 unit. On start up it draws so much power from the Raspi that I get a
throttled=0x500005 error message.
I’ll attempt to use a regulator circuit to limit the temporary voltage drop. Used a 3Ω resistors as a “inrush current limiter” on the +5v rail which supplies power to the amp. I tested various values starting from 10Ω but 3Ω seemed to work well enough.
Got Conky working using these tips (made my own config for it) and build a PWM Regulated Fan Based on CPU Temperature to keep the device healthy while on for long. Also revived a 2012 tablet battery using these tips (and flashed a new rom to use it for VNC). Patchbox OS by Blokas.io should support Raspi 4 soon and I’m hoping to install it in a dualboot arrangement (using PINN). For now I’m satisfied with fiddling in
Pure Data Sunvox (which feels responsive and fun to use).
Managed to grind Finlandia Hall marble or Chalk stone from Porvoo to a fine powder, to corrode it into tap water it my high pressure carbonator. Tastes chalky. Salvaged the stones from an environmental artwork on the Malminkartano hill called The Winds and The Points of the compass (1998) Hanna Vainio. I was under the impression that all of the white stones on the hill were marble leftovers from the previous Finlandia Hall outer shell conservation effort. But apparently the marbles have been mixed with chalk stone pebbles. I think the darker samples are marble as they should be more sensitive to the elements. I should get some confirmed Finlandia hall marble to run some experiments.
Experimenting with DIY orthopedics. Made arch support shoe insoils using 100% silicone and cornstarch (for fast curing). Not perfect yet, I’ll have to make new casts to confirm my findings. I’m trying to combat anti-bodybuilding effects of precarisation (mentioned earlier) by emerging as a plastic-bodyborg.