unravel

FOUND Installation Plays Narration, Robotic Music with Vinyl, Unravels Truth

One perhaps unexpected impact of technology has been to change the way we think about ourselves and our experience. Recording equipment – from photography to phonograph – has given us a new sense that memory itself might be fixed, unchanging, an accurate record of an unmoving truth. Except, of course, neither the recorded object nor the thing it is recording ever quite seems to work out that way. (Ask your local theoretical physicist, or for a more localized, humanized, sociological view, any loved one.) UNRAVEL is an installation that uses just those sorts of technologies to construct a narrative, and …

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Voice Messages Become 3D Paper Waveform Sculptures: Paper Note

Instead of writing on paper, a sound executed in paper in three dimensions. All images courtesy the artists. Speaking of making the ephemeral tangible, as artist Andrew Spitz tells us, “it’s a fun process to map something that is so fleeting as a sound to a physical object.” That’s what he does in a new collaboration with Andrew Nip of the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design in Denmark. It’s a simple process – and that’s a good thing, as it means anyone with access to a laser cutter can get in on the fun. Using software written in the open …

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Good Listening, Good Taste: Selection of Ghostly Sonic Output, Inspiration for Getting Things Made

More than just a label, Ghostly is establishing itself as a hub of design, as in the new poster series by Swiss artist Sonnenzimmer, available from their online store. With artists likewise drawing heavily from visual inspiration, the connection between sight, sound, and taste is an evocative one. Photo courtesy Ghostly International. You can expect to see ongoing appearances by Ghostly International, the 12-year-old label with roots in Detroit that has since established firm outposts in California and New York, in these pages. (Pixels?) The reason is simple: Ghostly is a grand experiment in how to retain relevance as a …

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Insane: A Full-Sized Panzer Tank, Made a Modern Mobile Music Station and Art with Treads

“Panzer” is beyond any mobile studio you’ve ever seen. It’s basically a tank with speakers and a cockpit containing beat-making gear. (Mackie mixer, Roland sampler, Akai MPC, Korg KAOSS, as near as I can see, plus … the machinery to drive the tank.) From the description: Minidumper, Holz, Stahl, Kunstharz, Glasfaser, Audioequipment, Sound 2011 And to make sure it’ll fit in your garage: H 250 cm x L 350 cm x B 140 cm Nik Nowak, born in Mainz and based here in Berlin, has a whole portfolio of re-imagined speakers and motorcycles and flames and I’m glad I’m not …

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Exquisite Sonic Sculptures, Made with Motors and Cardboard

Granular synthesis, as described by Iannis Xenakis, imagined sound as constructed from elementary elements. In the work of Zimoun, elementary sonic grains are physical. An undulating wall of cardboard rubs surfaces against one another to form a chorus of sound. Cotton balls roll against boxes in throaty clouds of sound. Wires wriggle like some sort of insect antennae. Below, the newest video of his work, in which cardboard petals form an animated wall of rustling noise. The results, powered by simple DC motors in kinetic musical action, recall some kind of natural, organic colony. Assembled in structures sculptural and architectural, …

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Amon Tobin Releases Live Tour Trailer, Dates; Can Computers Break a Sweat?

Okay, I’m not sure the computers can break a sweat (at least not without some serious consequences). But all the people projection-mapping generatively sequencing live audiovisualism electronic thingamabops sure are working hard in the above teaser video for Amon Tobin’s live ‘ISAM’ show. Not a lot of cities get to see the results, but those that do are promised a fully-immersive experience of this sound design extravaganza, complete with new sensory happenings for your eyeballs. It’s live. It’s audiovisual. It’s not, says Ninja Tune, “DJ-centric.” Amen, brother. The dates: 1st June – MUTEK, Montreal 9th June – Astra, Berlin 10th …

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Words and Music: New Brian Eno Coming on Warp, with Rick Holland Poetry; Listen Now to ‘Glitch’

Artwork by Brian Eno. Courtesy Warp. Used by permission. (Click for full-sized version. I like to get my eyeballs up against this one.) Packed tightly with interlaced rhythms, set against crisp cool intoned lyrics, the first cut of Brian Eno’s forthcoming “Drums Between the Bells” from Warp can give us all reason to look forward to the summer. Mr. Eno has been on something of a roll lately. We’ve certainly gone through periods when he wasn’s necessarily in command of electronic headlines in music, even as he contributed in other ways – the 90s brought pioneering work in generative music …

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Game Meets Album: Behind the Music and Design of the iPad Indie Blockbuster Swords & Sworcery

Jim Guthrie was a rockstar long before the iPad was. Paired with pixel-intense artist Craig D. Adams (aka Superbrothers) and the co-design and coding effort of a crack team of video game “wizards” at the indie studio capy, he’s made a soundtrack that’s destined to be a gaming classic. But if you don’t want to play it, you can still listen to it. And if you’re playing it, you may find that it feels as though you’re listening to it, and gazing into its artwork. From the moment you tap to launch it, Swords & Sworcery plunges you into a …

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Music, Like Clockwork: Modular Music Boxes with Rotating Wheels, Inspired by monome

Working with music in software means thinking a bit like a music box maker, using sequences to create note and rhythm machines. Nick Rothwell sends a project in which he literally engages the mechanical music box, with rotating electro-magnetic discs and a set of digital devices that recall their 19th-century predecessors. The designs are modular, interconnecting with one another into a little music box ensemble. And in another sign of the influence of the design of the monome, they explicitly nod to that hardware and its community as an aesthetic cue. (I have to admit, though, I’m more envious of …

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On Toys, Music and Visuals, and Code: Thicket’s Creators Talk iOS Artmaking

What could audiovisual art made for tablets look like? Some dismiss the results as “toys.” The creators of Thicket embrace that very role. Thicket, the product of electronic A/V artists Morgan Packard and Joshue Ott, is intended as a kind of immersive distraction, filling the screen of an Apple handheld or iPad with clouds of abstract color and ambient sound. Free of controls or widgets, playing with Thicket is a bit like sticking your hand into a mist, more gently responsive than overtly interactive. It’s also lovely, and – for the moment – free. As an experiment, Josh and Morgan …

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