Microsounds: Compressed Sound Art to Amuse, Shock, and Confuse

Digital technology has the power to transmit information more efficiently, to make the invisible visible, and to express new things. It can also be pushed so far to the limits of actually transmitting information to be meaningless. It can push well beyond what we can even perceive in a useful way. What’s bizarre and wonderful about Johannes Kreidler’s work is that he’s not afraid of pushing toward that boundary. The results may have only a shred of remaining meaning, or be intentionally, comically meaningless. But he’s nothing if not inventive. Compression Sound Art (2009) [“Comments on Music – Musical Zip-Files …

READ MORE →

Congress Restores Arts Funding, Drops Arts Stimulus Ban, After Public Outcry

Photo CC Brian Talbot. Here in the US, Congressional Democrats have reversed not one but both bad decisions on the role of the arts in the economic stimulus package. Provisions that would have blocked any stimulus funds from reaching arts centers, museums, and theaters have been dropped. (Golf courses and casinos are still in the ban. Maybe this time, someone read the actual legislation.) And the US$50 million (out of some $800 billion) that would go to the National Endowment for the Arts, dropped from a Senate version, has been restored to the bill. It appears both of those changes …

READ MORE →

Democrats, Republicans Join to Ban Arts Stimulus, Declare Arts Worker Jobs Not “Real”

Fore? Photo: Dan Perry. Folks, we have a lot of work ahead of us. To wrap up the thread I started, the plot in US politics, in the space of a few short weeks, has gone something like this: 1. A new Administration could bring new vision to making the arts part of the economy. 2. Arts spending is wasteful. 3. Any spending on anything should be specifically prohibited from reaching the arts, as that would be wasteful and evil, and the arts are the best symbol of Waste itself. I live on Wall Street (technically, on the corner of …

READ MORE →

Artists’ Jobs Aren’t Jobs? Will the Real Conservatives Please Stand Up?

Well, someone has pork on the brain, anyway. Photo: Jason Brackins. While I’m discussing the potential to take new directions in the arts and technology worldwide, and about ways in which creative technology can help repair the global economy, I’d be remiss if I didn’t make one sobering concession: To many policy makers, the “arts” don’t count as the economy. If you’re employed as an artist, (and by extension in creative fields), you’re not a worker. Um… thanks? Never mind that in the US alone, nearly 6 million people are employed in the arts – or that that figure itself …

READ MORE →

Your Own Times of Change: Greetings, “Makers of Things”

If we want real change, we may have to push some of our own buttons. Whatever part of the political spectrum, whatever part of the world community, as you come to the CDM community I do believe that we as creators are touched by larger issues. I think it doesn’t make sense to talk politics directly on this site when it’s not relevant, and I’m sure we’d all disagree about those issues. But as the world waits to find out what kind of leader the US President Obama will be, now is as good a time as any to talk …

READ MORE →

STEIM is Saved; New JunXion; Huge Jamboree Next Week in Amsterdam

STEIM in its idyllic surroundings – sixth building from the right. Photo courtesy Florian Grote. Earlier this week, I got some welcome news: the STEIM performance research and development center in Amsterdam is safe for now. STEIM has been a real hub for people doing work in sound around the world, not just in Amsterdam, as many readers here described. That means this should be good news for all of us – and it also demonstrates that, while the state funding upon which Europe has traditionally relied is endangered, making the right argument could protect institutions there. The question of …

READ MORE →

Round-Up: Samples, Stealing, Fakery, the Law, and Lots of Sample Shenanigans

Deadmau5, acting mousey. Photo (CC) iamdonte. Who’s sampling what? When is sampling stealing? Who’s stolen sampled samples, and was the sampling stolen stealing? Is anyone actually playing live? Does anyone know what the law is? Does anyone care? Yes, it’s been a lively November so far for massive, complicated legal battles, PR battles, who-said-who-sampled-what battles, and general sampling messiness. Here’s a quick round-up for those of you who haven’t been able to keep up (understandably). And we’re going to play a game. I’m going to start talking, and you can see at what point your head starts to spin and …

READ MORE →

Update: Google AdSense Responds to Political Concerns, Sort of

AdSense pays publishers, period. And that means that what happens with AdSense impacts free content on the Web – particularly musician-made content, which increasingly turns to ads for revenue. As for improvements? Google says the check is in the mail. Photo (CC) Yusuke Kawasaki. Google has responded to widespread concerns about political ads, particularly those promoting California’s Proposition 8 same-sex marriage ban prior to last week’s US election. On one hand, I think their answers on policy and placement are incomplete. On the other, it looks like the upshot of this will be better tools for publishers to make their …

READ MORE →

Google AdSense Fails on Relevancy, Control, Policy, and Google Says Nothing

It’s not just gay marriage that’s at issue. A Google flap should have people thinking about the future of advertising. Photo: Eric Bartholomew aka Uber Tuber; also on MySpace. It’s a nearly unanimously-held belief: the future of digital content will depend, at least in part, on revenue from ads. This site is supported by ads. Musicians and digital producers will be looking to ads to support what they’re doing – sometimes in the form of direct ad revenue, sometimes in support for sites and communities they use (Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, and so on). Ads are very often what makes the …

READ MORE →