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Archive for October 2006

White

2006-10-31

As the room turned darker the slick and designed Apple keyboard felt less and less comfortable. It became evident how the white design used by Apple for some years now stems from the white cube.

Sleeping at the bus back home working into the night drinking roibois tea.

Moved into the gallery

2006-10-30

I’ve moved into the gallery today preparing for the installation opening coming Friday. Actually I was transporting equipment yesterday. I have excellent help this time and today we were five persons working. I had set a very ambitious schedule for what to do today and to my pleasant surprise we actually managed to do it all.

The last weeks have been extremely busy with little or no time for blogging.

One of the advantages of doing sound installations is that there are always speakers and amplifiers available for playing music while doing all of the practical work. Today has been a day of African music: Ali Farke Toure Salif Keita and one of the excellend “Desert Blues” compilations.

BTW: An interview (in Norwegian) has been posted at the web pages of Bergen National Academy of the Arts.

fixed or fluid

2006-10-22

A friend of mine recently stated that he considered 9 Beet Stretch by Leif Inge the best piece of sound art to come out of Norway so far.

The topic immediately stroke me as exceptionally uninteresting and counter-productive. There’s no doubt that 9 Beet Stretch is excellent but I can’t see why there is any need for rating it up against other works that I also appreciate and consider important. Furthermore I can’t understand how anyone is able to define criteria that can be used for determined what works are “sound art” or not. Take Arne Nordheims pioneering work in electronic sound in the 1960s and his tape loop based installation Polypoly for the Scandinavian Pavilion at 1970’s World Exposition in Osaka. Is this contemporary music electro-acoustic music or sound art? The Sound showers at Gardemoen airport by Anna Karin Rynander should they be considered public art sound art installation design or minimalist sculpture? What about Lydmur (Sound Barrier) by Maia Urstad is it sound art sculpture or musical composition? “Concert for Greenland” and Fortellerorkesteret by Verdensteatret are these works installations performance stage works installations musical compositions new media art or sculptures?

Nr
Recently I got a copy of the catalogue for Lars Staffan Evjens exhibition at Bommullsfabrikken last summer. The series of charcoal drawings “Interiør i stillhet” (The silent interior) that he has been working on for more than 10 years strikes a very strong resonance with me. To me it is natural to consider this body of work in the above context. I am reading his work not only as drawings they are also conceptual sound art or virtual minimalist sculptures.

It is exactly this blurring of the boundaries working in a fluid non-fixed field that attracts me. Earlier this year there were a lengthy discussion at the SoundAsArt list attempting to define sound art. I lost interest along the way and I don’t know if it ever came to any clear conclusion but since then the list has been remarkably silent. The day sound art is firmly defined with a canon of essential works I hope to be working on something else.

Ambisonics defined

2006-10-18

How exactly is ambisonics defined? This question came up the other day at the sursound list. Richard Lee provided the following answer and I’m quoting/storing for future reference:

Gerzon defines Ambisonic in the Vienna paper and we have repeated &amp explained it in ours.

Ambisonic Decoders for HDTV – M Gerzon &amp Geoffrey Barton preprint 3345 AES Vienna mar92

“Localization in Horizontal-Only Ambisonic Systems” – Benjamin Lee &amp Heller AES oct06 San Francisco

http://www.ai.sri.com/ajh/ambisonics

A decoder or reproduction system for 360° surround
sound is defined to be Ambisonic if for
a central listening position it is designed such
that:
i) velocity and energy vector directions are
the same at least up to around 4 kHz such
that the reproduced azimuth qV = qE is
substantially unchanged with frequency
ii) at low frequencies say below around 400
Hz the magnitude of the velocity vector
is near unity for all reproduced azimuths
iii) at mid/high frequencies say between
around 700 Hz and 4 kHz the energy
vector magnitude rE is substantially
maximised across as large a part of the
360° sound stage as possible.

Further elaboration on these concepts is in "General Metatheory .. ". So its defined by what is achieved rather than how this is achieved.

A while back Eric Benjamin provided a more verbatim explanation of the principles of ambisonics blogged here.

Moving at tremendous speed

2006-10-18

For the last year Fast Forward (the server seems to be down at the moment) has been a guest teatcher at the academy and I belive we have all enjoyed having him here. A few days ago he dropped by my office with a copy of the Folkways record of Indeterminacy by John Cage. This story is a favourite or maybe it is just that it seems particularly relevant at the moment.

Jeremy is throwing a party for Fast on Friday.

Infected research

2006-10-17

In 1991 while pursusing a master thesis in oceonography I got a summer job joining a scientific expedition on a Russian research vessel. For one month we were sailing the northern part of the Barents Sea at the edge to the ice cap. This was the chaotic days of glasnost and many anecdotes could be told about this expedition. I was bringing with me equipment for measuring temperature salinity and pressure from the ocean surface to approx. 400 m depth. When you do these measurements at regular distances along a line you are able to estimate the ocean currents across that line at various depth. I was also bringing along a laptop. It turned out that this was infected with the Yankee Doodle virus the one that was supposed to display the Star Spangled Banner Flag play Yankee Doodle and then erase all text files. I never saw the flag nor heard the computer whistle the tune but the text files definitively had been hampered with. I came back home with sensational data indicating that water in the Barents Sea got less dens the further down you got literary turning the world upside down. Of course all of the data from the expedition were utterly useless.

Getting equipment back from the recent exhibition at Høstutstillingen/Kunstnernes Hus I routinely ran a virus check on the PC used for video. It turned out to be infected by Worm.vb. Running in Safe Mode and disabling System Restore ClamWin Antivirus were able to remove it with no apparent damage to the system.

Fortunately this was not one of those worms that delete media files. The only problem the virus seemed to cause was a minor memory leak requiring a restart of the computer and Max patch twice during the three weeks the exhibition lasted. Apart from that it appears to have been mostly harmless.

Scetches for video

2006-10-17

Cubic_green_1

 

Cubic_green_2

 

Cubic_green_3

 

Cubic_green_4

 

Cubic_green_5

 

OpenGL videoplane in Jamoma

2006-10-14

Jmod
The videoprocessing I’m working on for the upcoming installation at Hordaland kunstsenter turned out to be to computational expensive resulting in poor framerate. It seems that the main bottleneck is upsampling images from low resolution (e.g. 80×60 pixels) to higher resolution with interpolation using Jitter jit.matrix. In addition I had problems finding good ways of doing transitions from one video texture to another using using the approach initially planned.

Testing various alternative approaches it turned out te be a lot better to do this by mapping matrixes onto OpenGL video planes. Even on my close to four years old 1 Ghz TiBook with a fairly poor graphics card it seems to take advantage of hardware acceleration making it a lot faster and it is also a lot easier to crossfade between images of different resolution in a convincing way. Much of today have been spent developing a Jamoma module for mapping incoming video as texture onto a OpenGL videoplane using jit.gl.videoplane.

Many of the Jitter OpenGL objects share the same attributes and messages so I have started implemented all of the shared ones as an inspector so that they can be easily available to all OpenGL objects.

I end up with the same kind of tweeking of material and technical solutions as for the Staged Bodies installation in order to be able to get a image quality as close to what I can as possible. Life on the bleeeding edge…

National budget for 2007

2006-10-10

I myself
feel more committed the
more diverse and multiplied my
interests and actions become.

John Cage

National budget for 2007

2006-10-06

The governmental proposal for national budget for 2007 has just been released. I have had a very quick check at some issues of particular interest from the budget of the Ministry of Culture and Church Affairs. Before digging into details it is obvious that the proposal in general is very positive. Personally I am particularly excited about the increase in funding for Bergen kunsthall BRAK and Vestfossen kunstlaboratorium.

Electronic arts do not seem to get any major additional funding in 2007.000 BEK Atelier Nord NoTAM and the Production network (PNEK) all seem to get support on equal level as 2006.000 There might be a small increase for TEKS wit a suggested funding of NOK 803.000 I believe they got 500.000 in 2006.000 In particular in the case of PNEK this is disappointing. The current level of funding is far from sufficient to maintain and further developed networked collaboration on a national level the way we were able to a few years ago when PNEK was funded by Norwegian Art Council.

The most disturbing matter however is the following statement concerning an evaluation of the Art Council:

Departementet legger til grunn at institusjoner
og virksomheter som mottar fast årlig statstilskudd
selv tar ansvar for å skape rom innenfor sine bud-
sjetter for tiltak som kan fremme forsøk og utvik-
ling i egen virksomhet. Som hovedregel skal slike
virksomheter derfor ikke kunne søke Norsk kulturråd om tilskudd.

Rough translation: The Ministry intend that institutions and activities receiving regular yearly governmental support have to take responsibility for funding of activity and development within their existing budgets. As a general guideline such activities will not be able to apply to support from the Norwegian Arts Council.

All of the organizations within new media art are totally dependent on additional support for projects in order to maintain artistic activity. As of today non of these organizations have sufficient funding to be able to found large-scale projects from their own budget. Project funding from the Arts Council has been a major source for additional project-related funding for all of these organizations. I doubt that this is a special case I believe this is the case more or less for all small cultural institutions and thus most of the organized activity going on within all fields of contemporary arts practice. If this practice is to change it has to take place over several years and the organizations need some sort of compensation to avoid a radical reduction of activity. I am convinced that that is not the intention of the Ministry but further discussions are required between the Ministry The Art Council and the organizations before any changes can take place.

Anyway I am not convinced that this is a good idea to start with. If it is mainly aimed at the large institutions (museums etc.) it might make sense but for the alternative contemporary art scene the result might easily be a more fixed and rigid set of organizations.

ICMC paper on Jamoma

2006-10-05

Tim Place and myself has written a paper on Jamoma for the upcoming International Computer Music Conference in New Orleans. The paper can be downloaded from the Jamoma web site.

Art based research and development

2006-10-05

Earlier this week the rector and director of Bergen National Academy of the Arts" wrote an essay in the local paper on art based research and development discussing the nature of art based R&amp D as opposed to scientific research the commitment and strategy of the institution towards R&amp D the annual conference Sensuous knowledge hosted by KHIB since 2004 the fellowship program that the institution is administrating including the project by yours truly that now is nearing its final stage.

Day against DRM: Defective by Design

2006-10-03

“If consumers even know there’s a DRM what it is and how it works we’ve already failed” – Disney Executive.

Today is the Day against
DRM
Digital Rights Management. Quoting:

Amazon’s new movie download service is called Unbox and it outlines what DRM implies. The user agreement requires that you allow Unbox DRM software to monitor your hard drive and to report activity to Amazon. These reports would thus include a list of: all the software installed all the music and video you have all your computer’s interaction with other devices. You will surrender your freedom to such an extent that you will only be able to regain control by removing the software. But if you do remove the software you will also remove all your movies along with it. You are restricted even geographically and you lose your movies if you ever move out of the USA. You of course have to agree that they can change these terms at any time. Microsoft’s newly upgraded Windows Media Player 11 (WMP11) user agreement has a similar set of terms.

Each time Big Media force you to upgrade your software they downgrade your rights. Every new DRM system will enforce a harsher control regime.

FW: NIME 2007 Call for Participation

2006-10-02

On behalf of the NIME07 Committee we would like to invite you to be part of the 7th International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME) organized by Harvestworks and New York University’s (NYU) Music Technology Program in partnership with the NYU Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP).

We encourage contributions of the following kinds:
* Papers (full-length short-length posters)
* Demos
* Live Performances
* Installations

Complete submission guidelines are now available at http://www.nime.org/2007. The on-line submission interface will be available for use by October 16.

IMPORTANT DATES

Submission deadlines
Installations and Performances
– January 31st 2007: Papers/posters Demos Live Performances Installations

Notification of acceptance
– March 9th 2007: Papers/posters Demos Live Performances Installations

Registration deadlines
– April 16th 2007: Early Registration (reduced fee)

Final text submission deadline
– April 16th 2007: Complete Camera-ready Papers and Abstracts

PAPERS/POSTERS

We invite the submission of papers on topics related to new interfaces for music performance including but not restricted to
* Novel controllers and interfaces for musical expression
* Novel controllers for collaborative performance
* Novel musical instruments
* Augmented/hyper instruments
* Interfaces for dance and physical expression
* Interactive sound and multimedia installations
* Interactive sonification
* Sensor and actuator technologies
* Haptic and force feedback devices
* Interface protocols and data formats
* Gesture and music
* Robotics and music
* Perceptual &amp cognitive issues
* Interactivity design and software tools
* Musical mapping strategies
* Performance analysis and machine learning
* Performance rendering and generative algorithms
* Experiences with novel interfaces in education and entertainment
* Experiences with novel interfaces in live performance and composition
* Surveys of past work and stimulating ideas for future research
* Historical studies in twentieth-century instrument design
* Reports on students projects in the framework of NIME related courses
* Artistic cultural and social impact of NIME technology

Accepted presentation types are:
– Full Paper (6 pages in proceedings longer oral presentation)
– Short Paper (4 pages in proceedings shorter oral presentation)
– Poster (2 or 4 pages in proceedings poster presentation)

DEMOS
Demo Sessions are an opportunity to support and discuss realized or partially realized work with conference attendees in an informal discursive way. Demos of technologies and applications that address the topics listed above will be considered for selection. Demonstrations are designed to give exhibitors an opportunity to show material that benefits from having a physical presence at the conference. It is important that there be a realized demonstrable working component to all submissions to this category. This is not to say that Demos cannot be sketches or further ideas or future plans for the project – but an activity process action or actionable form of the concept must exist as part of the Demo proposed.

Demos must include a 2 page poster to be displayed at the Demo Sessions and included in the printed proceedings. The poster should address the scientific/technical aspects of the project acquired experiences and/or the context of the development.

For those submitting papers we will provide the possibility of scheduling demo presentations within the dedicated Demo Sessions. The submission procedure will allow that a Demo option be chosen for any Paper submission. An accepted paper will not guarantee an accepted demo.

Accepted presentation types are:
– Demo (Demonstration space plus 2 pages in proceedings)

LIVE PERFORMANCES
A series of three evening concerts as well as ‘NIME-at-night’ events at clubs will be organized during the conference to highlight creative use of interactive instrument technology and performance systems. One of the evening concerts will feature commissioned performers playing work from their repertoire as well as pieces submitted through the Live Performances call.

We welcome proposals for performances to be featured in the NIME 7 concerts.

Accepted presentation types are:
– Concert Performance (Performance slot plus program note in proceedings)
– Club Performance (Performance slot plus program note in proceedings)
– New Work for Commissioned Performer (Performance by commissioned performer plus program note in proceedings)

INSTALLATIONS
The NIME Installations category is intended to address submissions that deal with the subjects listed above but are intended for public-space or art gallery contexts. Accepted Installations will be shown for the full 3 days of the conference beginning on the morning on Thursday June 7th and ending in the evening on Saturday June 9th. The Installations venue for NIME 2007 will also be open to the general public. Installation submissions will be judge by artistic merit interactivity relevance to NIME innovation exhibition history experience and practicality criteria. A one-paragraph description of the Installation project must be submitted with other required materials and will be included in the conference proceedings.

Accepted submissions to the Installation category will be exhibited in an environment appropriate to a public-space and gallery context. NIME 2007 is obtaining special facilities in New York City near other conference events for exhibition of accepted Installation projects. Please check the NIME site in November for floor plan details and photos of the space. The number of accepted submission will be partially subject to available space.

Accepted presentation types are:
– Installations (Installation space plus brief description in proceedings)


SPECIAL FOCUS ON ROBOTICS AND MUSIC
NIME07 will include a number of events specially focused on robotics and music. These will include a keynote speaker from the field of robotics and music a special workshop on the subject and a concert series the weekend before NIME07.

Therefore we are especially inviting submissions in all categories in the area of Robotics and Music. Special consideration will be given to competent submissions in this area.

VENDOR BOOTHS
For presentations of commercial products and companies not associated with a conference submission there will be exhibit booths. Please contact Dana Karwas at vendors@nime2007.org.

WORKSHOPS SPECIAL SESSION AND ASSOCIATED EVENTS

June 6 morning:
* Workshop on Music and Robotics
Details on how to participate in the Music and Robotics workshop to come.

June 7:
* NIME 7 Day One

June 8:
* NIME 7 Day Two

June 9:
* NIME 7 Day Three

June 1st to June 10th:
* Harvestworks 30th Anniversary Festival

NIME 7 organized site visits additional workshops and off-concerts including jam sessions are planned.

 
 
 

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