Time To Act? Sobering Stats and Call for Change on International Women’s Day [Report, Editorial]

Announcing their findings in a wide variety of languages, femalepressure, a 56-country network representing hundreds of women in music from bookings to DJing, have put the electronic music scene into numbers. In a report formally released today, they quantify the sinking suspicion that labels, festivals, and media outlets are badly lacking in female representation. Just how few women are there in top festivals, label releases, and the media? Few enough that when the numbers break 10%, the results “can be considered above average.” Press Release (English) [femalepressure] Full March 2013 Report [PDF; worth reading in its entirety to see where …

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Data Visualization, in Chinese; Where in the World is Your Knowledge?

It’s extraordinary to watch the flow of information and knowledge worldwide. You could trace the evolution of media arts over the past years as not so much the introduction of entirely new ideas as the maturation of the field, as those ideas become vastly more accessible and localized. Since knowledge has to be applied, that’s potentially more powerful than “innovation” in the sense of novelty alone. Instead of relying of a handful of people to come up with all of the work, it means we could see surprising new thinking as the basic building blocks and tools of what we …

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In Rome, 500 International Performers Have Descended for One Visual Weekend [LPM Teaser Video]

If you think live visual performance doesn’t attract the kind of passion that indie music production does, you might need to think again. I’m writing from Rome and the latest installment of the Live Performers Meeting (LPM), a massively-epic international gathering of artists now in its eleventh year. Over 500 individual artists are here just to play – not to watch or passive attend, but play. They’re largely self-funded, with LPM providing only accommodation and a venue in which they can show their work. Plug in your DVI and go – that’s it. It’s clearly taken some significant sacrifices for …

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Interaction in Thin Air: New Research from Microsoft, MIT Uses Magnets, Sound, Space

With multi-touch fully exploited and the basics of camera vision largely understood, interaction moves to the realm of free space, “augmenting” your world with gestures that find some physical connection. They surprise by working in some way that seems intuitive and natural, somewhere away from what seems to be the realm of the computer. And early in the month of May, we see a flurry of new research in just this area. Not one but two projects from Microsoft hold potential, and one from MIT Media Lab is just … absurdly cool. A summary: “Levitated Interaction Element,” out of the …

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woods

On Record Store Day, Music in Physical Places – In a Forest, Even?

If you’re heading out into the wilderness to find a record store, why not actually head out into the wilderness – the one with trees – and find music there? Today, a you’ve no doubt heard, is Record Store Day. The official site is a useful resource, today and around the year. Today brings a number of special physical releases, favoring vinyl but also including CDs. A mobile app download will help you locate record stores in your city, both in the US and other countries around the world. All of this does raise some deeper issues. Record stores can …

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Through Friday, Making One-Button Objects, Chip-Infused Hackday Saturday

“Press play” … “button-mashing” … the very criticism of digital music is often directed at the button or switch, even as the cult hit monome spreads arrays of buttons like a virus. Well, we’re still interested in what you can do with a button, so to fully focus you, we’re only giving you one button with which to play. The challenge of limiting interaction to one button has already spawned an explosion of entries from game designers, who have fought their way through intense competition for the legendary Gamma indie/experimental game competition. We’ll see the winners at the Game Developer …

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HAITI 2010 Monome Community Compilation + Other Efforts to Help in Haiti

Album artwork by Pau Cabruja (www.pauk.org) . Artists and creators around the world have been moved by the suffering of Haitians in the wake of last week’s earthquake. There are ways we can help, like giving to relief organizations to give them the capacity to respond wherever needed. The next crisis could be halfway across the world or in our own neighborhood. The monome community is about more than just the button-grid, open-source controller with which they work. They’re an example of the kind of collective spirit that musicians, digital or otherwise, can share internationally (see the map of these …

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“Visual Attacks,” Guerrilla Projection, Safety, and the Law

GVJ08 from XPLOITEC on Vimeo. With all the coverage of guerrilla projection and projection mapping outdoors, last week I asked the CDM community what safety and legal considerations came into play with this work. It’s well worth reading through the full comment thread: Can Mobile Projection Get You in Trouble? How Do You Plan? Some of the highlights: Generally, while projection is only light, the use of the building face is considered the use of private property – this seems to be true around the world. Some countries even have specific legal restrictions on commercial use or projection in general. …

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“Visual Attacks,” Guerrilla Projection, Safety, and the Law

GVJ08 from XPLOITEC on Vimeo. With all the coverage of guerrilla projection and projection mapping outdoors, last week I asked the CDM community what safety and legal considerations came into play with this work. It’s well worth reading through the full comment thread: Can Mobile Projection Get You in Trouble? How Do You Plan? Some of the highlights: Generally, while projection is only light, the use of the building face is considered the use of private property – this seems to be true around the world. Some countries even have specific legal restrictions on commercial use or projection in general. …

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South Asian Electronica Lovers: Indian Electronic Festival Returns

Enough of all this nonsense about how the Western Empire is crumbling. In our new “world” in which Mumbai is as powerful a cultural compass as Berlin or New York, one thing is guaranteed: it’s going to be a great party. One stalwart Western-based advocate of a more pluralist electronica scene are the folks at Indian Electronica. Pumping out regular live events, podcasts, radio streams, and festivals, the crew is keeping music south Asian-flavored and eclectic. They’re truly inclusive: previous festivals spotlighted the likes of DJ Spooky, artists who are not connected to India by birth but love the music. …

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