DIY Circuits of the Bent Festival Kick Off in LA, Then NYC, Minneapolis

Shining, happy people bending toys. Photo by Beatrix*Jar — see our interview. Despite the name, the Bent Festival this year promises to be about not only circuit bending, but DIY sound in general. (Circuit shaping? Circuit straightening? General circuitration?) Our friend and CDM regular Mike Una has put together fantastic art installations for Minneapolis. Workshops in NYC and LA dig into the mysteries of sensors and tubes, the potential of video bending, and giant, battery-powered noise to drown out the rest of the world. And there are gobs and gobs of performers. Like the North American air currents, Bent begins …

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Yuri’s Night Space Celebration: Music Lineup Announced, Will Wright, CDM Coverage

  Photo: Lydia White. How nerdster-chic is this: a global convergence of the exploration of space exploration, ecological savvy, technological innovation, and musical-motional performance, in honor of Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin launching the first-ever human flight into space? Described as “Cinco de Mayo” for space, Yuri’s Night is a 35-nation cosmorave. It was big last year. It’s going to be much bigger this year. What’s all this space stuff got to do with music and motion? Everything: music and visual performance are a big part of this party, as Sun Ra-loving, space-inspired, Space Age technologist artists push creative tech. (Amon …

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Sounds Sculpture with Pods and Milk, from Mike Una

CDM contributor, mic flag fabricator, beat bicyclist, and sound artist extraordinaire Michael Una has been up to more sonic magic-making in Chicago. He showed two recent creations at MGFest 2008 — that’s MG as in “Motion Graphics”, not, sadly, the car, though I think sound art would also go deliciously with MG automobiles. On display in Chi-town: giant pods to fill rooms with sound, and a man in a sound-induced, hypnotic blizzard of milk. (Yes, they have winter in northern Illinois.) Snowy Day at MGFest 2008 from Michael Una on Vimeo. Octophonopod at MGFest 2008 from Michael Una on Vimeo. …

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Sound in Motion: Sound Design in Chicago, Jan 15-21

Any CDM readers who live in Chicago should check this out- it’s a weeklong festival exploring/celebrating sound design, motion graphics, and the overlapping regions occupied by both. In addition to the week’s worth of discussions and skillsharing classes, there will be two “showcase” nights, Saturday Jan. 19th and Sunday Jan. 20th. For those interested, I will be exhibiting two audiosculptural pieces, Octophonopod and Snowy Day during the event on Saturday. There’s a riduculous amount of talent on both nights, amounting to some of the most fresh and innovative people working in sound and motion graphics today. [- Michael Una]

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Avant-Garde Sound Poet Henri Chopin Has Died, But Give Him a Listen

Musician, composer, and musique concrete artist Henri Chopin has died, writes Seth: he has been and remains a figure whose sound work is very important to me, so i thought i’d share it with you all. he was a sound poet who used reel-to-reel tape as his paper, performance instrument, and collaborator. Chopin is lesser-known than some artists even in the concrete world, so if you don’t know his work, there’s no time like the present to discover it — quite a lot is available online. Videos and comments at WFMU Beware of the Blog Lots and Lots of Sound …

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Make Chats with Bender Maestro Gijs Gieskes

Circuit Bent Casio SK 1 from Gijs on Vimeo. Note: we are temporarily having problems with Vimeo’s embedded video. (So is MAKE, evidently, so it’s not our fault!) Click through to see the video, or enjoy the lovely garbled characters if they’re there. Regular followers of the music tech blogs know the wild and wonderful work of bender/inventor Gijs Gieskes (here or all over here), in which Casio keyboards get massive mechanical add-ons and Sega games become fuzzy, distorted video art. Phillip Torrone writes us to let us know MAKE has taken a closer look at the artist: In the …

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The Da Vinci Coda

Cezanne never gets attention like this. Yes, a musician and “computer engineer” (take note: even in 2007, using computers can make stuff way more science-y) has somehow made Leonardo da Vinci’s “Last Supper” into a musical score. You have to see loaves of bread and arbitrary points on the Apostle’s bodies as notes. And you have to draw your own staff over top of it to make it work. Oh, and read the whole thing backwards. (Something this far removed from the painting HAS to be a conspiracy. News flash: master painter Leonardo had a painstaking sense of mathematical proportion. …

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Turntable Art: Turntables as Interactive Servers, Fashion

The ways in which people can reimagine the beloved turntable seems boundless. We’ve seen bass guitar turntables, computer scratching visualizations, turntable-controlled vibrating chaise longues, and turntables embedded in tree trunks as art installations. Still, there’s more: TurntablistPC is an ongoing art project coupling a vintage turntable with a vintage PC, creating a hybrid, record-playing server that can be controlled remotely by remote websites around the world. It’s the creation of artist Mogen Jacobsen, and it’s currently being exhibited as part of a show called Webscape at the Art Museum of West Sealand, Denmark. What? You’re not planning to pass through …

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Robotic Guitars, Lyrics as Art Installation

A beautiful art installation; pray they’re not programmed to play Stairway to Heaven. Saadane Afif’s Power Chords, view of the installation at the Lyon Biennial 2005. Image by Galerie Michel Rein. Maybe it’s something about music making in the digital age, the alienation of music technology. Or maybe there’s just something fun about mechanical objects making sound on their own. Whatever it is, artists lately have been fascinated by mechanical instruments. Here’s yet another one: French artist Saadane Afif makes sometimes-chilly installations out of musical objects, like a minimalist collection of guitars and amps, strummed by mechanical apparatus, in his …

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