Botborg presents "PSNKY Test Subject #1 : Connection to the Photosonicneurokineasthograph"
"Botborg is a practical demonstration of the theories of Dr Arkady Botborger (1923-81), founder of the 'occult' science of Photosonicneurokineasthography - translated as "writing the movement of nerves through use of sound and light". Raw electronic signals are fused and rewired to create intensely visceral experiences of sound-colour synaesthesia."
Note there's 3mins of silence about 2/3 of the way through you'll need to skip.
Zarias Photography Critique [video podcast] Well worth the time to watch these. Even if you aren't aiming to sell your pictures, which is an assumption here, there is still some great advice. [thanks Iain]
I'm on holiday, what do you expect. I've got a house to paint.
"The latest instalment of Skip to the End is now available at www.thejuxtaposition.co.uk/skiptotheend.html I'm afraid it's a bit **** so be careful about when and where you listen to it. Pete" [55MB MP3 & tracklist on webpage]
"Jazari is essentially an automated, electromechanical percussion ensemble, controlled using two Nintendo Wii controllers. It consists of a MacBook, a bunch of Arduino boards and a room full of drums fitted with solenoids and motors, and software written in MAX and Java which parses input from the Wii controls and plays the drums. The software is also capable of improvising with the human operator, by imitating, riffing off and mutating what he plays.
"Jazari was developed by a guy named Patrick Flanagan, who had been playing around with algorithmic composition, only to discover that people don't want to hear about algorithms, but do want to see a good live show. Anyway, here there are two videos: one of a Jazari performance (think robot samba float, conducted by a guy waving Wiimotes around; the music has a distinctly Afro-Brazilian feel to it), and one of Flanagan explaining how it works." [Text via Null Device]
The Wrongamin is an excellent, easy to build sound maker that can create a range of sounds. From crackles not unlike the sound of a dusty old record to a deep hungry animal growl heard through several out of control AM radios.
Miike Teknoist says: "The vast majority of dubstep i think sucks but Septic Insurgent makes 'music' from a genre that doesnt see alot (quite cheap coming from a gabber/breakcore enthusiast innit ;) anyway, keep your eyes peeled for tracks from him on my new techno label out soon.. also, get your peepers round the awesome guest artwork from Harry Shotton. ninjacolumboZoMbFREE8-SEPTICINSURGENT-Analemma [38MB zip]
Alexander McQueen's suicide last week came as a shock to me. I was a massive fan of his designs and will miss the left-field thinking, way-out designs, theatrical displays and humour he brought to the fashion world. Once you hear about the death of his mother the week before, remember Isabella Bow's suicide last year, and read any of the many other opinion pieces in any given paper the surprise will diminish, but the loss is no smaller.
Ignorant neigh sayers and fashion haters may have used the occasion to shout abuse about him having deserved it simply for having worked in fashion, and all sorts of conspiracy theories have started crawling out of the woodwork. For example, in the Beeb's Six ways Alexander McQueen changed fashion you'll see someone has commented, "Why no mention of the enormous amount of satanic symbolism in his designs?" as if it were one of the most significant things he had done.
Intrigued enough to see what evidence there was of this a quick google led my inevitably to the Lada Ga Ga forum, catalyst of some of the most whacked out celebrity conspiracies theories on the net. There we find out that by using a pentagram on the runway and his use of chess pieces in his chess themed show (how else?) shows "satanic Illuminati symbolism everywhere. I'm not saying he was mind controlled or programmed but he was definitely into the occult."
It sounds like bollocks to me but I know I loved his work. The two videos above are great examples of his work although I'd also urge you to (re)watch his robotic work and engineering, this retrospective, and his Bjork video. I'm sure we will still be feeling his influence for years to come.
Project Mapping has a great range of local and national rail maps with clean and innovative ideas about presentation of information. Check it out.
"A rail network map isn't just about how to get from A to B. A rail network map is about the identity of the business or organisation running services on those lines. It's what makes one operator distinct from another, it's what gives different systems their individual identity.
"Too much current map design is based slavishly on the London Underground map principles and not enough creative thinking goes into the interpretation of complex modern travel systems.
"This website is being developed as a resource portal for rail maps for education, to stimulate debate, present new ideas, criticise and congratulate.
"It is also a promotional site for new maps by Andrew Smithers. Andrew grew up in London fascinated by the tube map, and the Project Mapping name evolved from his graphic design consultancy."
Petre Inspirescu: "There should be a long discussion on this subject. I think the future is always bright and electronic music will be more diverse and experimental as we evolve. Promoters play a very important role in this because they have the opportunity to enlarge the perspective of audience’s by organizing more artistic events to educate the people."
Jacaszek: "Trends are changing with no mercy. To keep this artistic balance, innovation should not dominate our creative thinking. To do something original now, we should, rather, take from what’s close to us (local tradition, the deepness of our souls) and then express that with contemporary artistic language."
Newworldaquarium: "That’s one of the big questions in life! [Looking back to] punk, it became clear that you didn’t need an education to play music, and with house and techno it seemed you didn’t have to have a band either. With electronic music today, I guess you don’t even need an instrument anymore, and maybe some day writing a piece of music will be as common as writing something for your blog or a Facebook status-update. For me, it somehow has always been like that."
Mike Huckaby: "My motto is this: Always do what your peers cannot, and will not, do. If you adhere to this, you will always [be able to] reinvent yourself."
"The 2011 census is likely to be Britain’s last following concerns that the 209-year-old survey is unable to cope with the nation’s rapidly changing population — and respondents’ lies.
"When a voluntary question on faith was asked for the first time at the 2001 census, 390,127 respondents drew inspiration from Star Wars and stated their religion as “Jedi” or “Jedi Knight” — more than the number of people who said they were Jewish or Buddhist. Some 7,227 people declared themselves as witches, adherents of the pagan religion of Wicca"
I gave my religion as Jedi last time round in the hope of preventing them from asking such a stupid question again. Looks like it was more successful than I imagined. Although the transient population is a larger factor in the flaws with the current survey.
When Gita Sahgal questioned the human rights group’s links to Islamic radicals, it suspended her. Now she fears for her safety.
"Last week Gita Sahgal, a highly respected lifelong human rights activist and head of Amnesty’s gender unit, told The Sunday Times of her concerns about Amnesty’s relationship with Cageprisoners, an organisation headed by Moazzam Begg, a former Guantanamo internee.
"Since his release in 2005, Begg has spoken alongside Amnesty at a number of events and accompanied the organisation to a meeting at Downing Street last month. Sahgal felt the closeness of the relationship between Amnesty and Cageprisoners — which appears to give succour to those who believe in global jihad — was a threat to Amnesty’s integrity. “To be appearing on platforms with Britain’s most famous supporter of the Taliban, whom we treat as a human rights defender, is a gross error of judgment,” she wrote to Amnesty’s leaders following the Downing Street visit."
Interesting. It's getting into the same murky water that free speech campaigners got into when they started delivering the BNP leaflets that the posties refused to. It's also worth noting that the Times seem to have an axe to grind on this issue. I searched their website for articles about Amnesty and the first five hits were attacks on it. (Thats a live search link and will change over time.)
"Sylvester McCoy, the actor who played Doctor Who for two years in the 1980s, has revealed that left-wing scriptwriters hired by the BBC wrote propaganda into the plots in an attempt to undermine Margaret Thatcher’s premiership.
"His revelation will reinforce suspicions about antipathy within the corporation to Thatcher’s government. Norman Tebbit, then the Tory party chairman, claimed at the time that the BBC was in the hands of a “Marxist mafia”."
Hardly a surprise. It's more amazing that the Times seems so scandalised by it. In another 20 years they might suddenly notice the Gay Rights angle Russell T Davies spent his time at the helm shoe-horning into every episode.