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Blog archive for June 2006

June 6, 2006

Amnesty International was launched 45 years ago in the wake of an article in The Observer. A week ago The Observer and Amnesty International joined forces to launch a campaign against internet censorship. is described thus:

The web is a great tool for sharing ideas and freedom of expression. However efforts to try and control the Internet are growing. Internet repression is reported in countries like China Vietnam Tunisia Iran Saudi Arabia and Syria. People are persecuted and imprisoned simply for criticising their government calling for democracy and greater press freedom or exposing human rights abuses online.

But Internet repression is not just about governments. IT companies have helped build the systems that enable surveillance and censorship to take place. Yahoo! have supplied email users’private data to the Chinese authorities helping to facilitate cases of wrongful imprisonment. Microsoft and Google have both complied with government demands to actively censor Chinese users of their services.

Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right. It is one of the most precious of all rights. We should fight to protect it.

You can paritcipate by signing the pledge on Internet freedom undermine censorship by publishing irrepressible fragments of censored material on your own site and take action to free Shi Tao by writing to the Chinese authorities and Yahoo to urge the release of journalist Shi Tao serving 10 years in prison for sending an email to a pro-democracy website.

Electrohype and Article

June 7, 2006

Two calls for participations for Scandinavian new media exhibitions later this year are currently out: Article in Stavanger Norway and Electrohype at Lund Sweden.

MaxMSP standalone applications

June 7, 2006

In a similar way to how tracks 3rd party Max/MSP/Jitter externals standalone applications made using Max are tracked at Studiotoolz and EM411.

May 17th: Jamoma workshop in Paris

June 8, 2006

I came back from two weeks vacation yesterday. Prior to that I only had one day in Bergen after returning from a very exciting week-long trip to Paris. I still have not had the time to write much about that trip.

May 17th I met Pascal Baltazar Mathieu Chamagne and Olivier Pfeiffer
for a one day workshop/presentation on Jamoma in Paris. I first demonstrated how to use first one Jamoma module and later on a combination of modules including the cuelist module to give an idea of how it works from a user perspective. Afterwards I showed how to create a simple control module and next an audio effect module.

Pascal Mathieu and Olivier have all built similar frameworks for their performance patches though the approaches and solutions differed between the various solutions. They showed me their approaches and we had some stimulating discussions on approaches differences and similarities and the benefits and disadvantages of the various solutions. To me it was really useful to see their approaches often offering quite a few good ideas that we could benefit from adopting in Jamoma.

WARNING: This post is now turning exceedingly technical:


One of the topics discussed extensively was mapping of data. Alexander and Tim implemented a mapping module in Jamoma during the Teatrix workshop in March/April but I believe that it could both be made a lot more efficient CPU-wise and more intuitive from a user perspective.

Currently the remote communication between various modules is done using a single send/receive bus named jmod.remote.fromModule and jmod.remote.toModule. Inside the mapping module route is used for creating the various mappings. So if we set up 20 mappings each parameter change will be routed 20 times even if it maybe is not used for any mapping at all. In computer science the problem of efficient search is a basic problem with several optimized solutions. The current solution in Jamoma have to be the least efficient possible. I believe that it should be possible to improve this by using the OSC name of the parameter to create unique send/receive pairs for each mapping vastly reducing the number of routings required inside the mapping module. Another possibility would be to investigate if pattrforward could be used but I imagine that this will be a less transparent and easily manageable solution if it will work at all.

If it is possible to optimize mapping I believe that it should also be possible to extend this to how communication is handled between jmod.hub and jmod.parameter and jmod.message inside the modules to speed that up as well. I will try looking into this over the next few weeks. This should help towards reducing the CPU overhead introduced in parameter handling in Jamoma somewhat.

Pascal in his framework named “Z” has a nice feature with a menu being built automatically displaying all available mapping parameters. He poll the range of the parameters mapped from and to so that the mapping is auto-scaled and use lp.scampf from the Litter Power Package by Peter Casine and tap.smooth from by Tim Place for various mapping modes and smoothing of data.

Another interesting approach is that Pascal utilize amplitude envelope data from level monitoring as a flow of data that can be possibly mapped. This information is probably more or less available already in the Jamoma audio modules using jmod.meter~ so it should be possible to consider implementing.


The namespace of modules came up again as a topic of discussion. This I have previously discussed with Henrik Sundt at NoTAM. Two days later it came up once more as I did a brief presentation of Jamoma to Diemo Schwatz and Rémy Müller at IRCAM (we also discussed a lot of other exciting issues but that is a different story). To me it makes more and more sense to try to adopt the concept of namespaces that is currently being defined in the Integra project or at least parts of it. The Integra OSC namespace is based on an object-oriented approach. Henrik has recently published a first proposition for it online. The integration with Integra makes even more sense now that Pascal is joining in as a Jamoma developer as he is also involved in the Integra project through La Kitchen in Paris.

I learned programming (BASIC Pascal and FORTRAN) in the late 80s before object oriented languages such as C++ and Java emerged so I will have to fill in a few holes here in the near future to get a better understanding of object-oriented languages.


Apart from these issues a number of smaller issues and bugs and stuff was discovered or suggested during the session. I tried to write short notes on them as we went along and Pascal has repeated most of them in a mail at the Jamoma-devel list a few days ago. One of the first things to do probably is to revise the road map and try to structure it all so that it can be approached in a systematic way.

Another interesting observation: Mathieu Chamagne use a touch-sensitive display for his live performances. Even if it is not multitouch it is fast and responcive and provide better interfacing with the patches than an ordinary mouse would do. In addition he also avoid the typical laptop performer layout as he have the display laying flat on the table instead of being hidden behind a laptop.


Peralvino by Olivier Pfeiffer
Sys-org Pascal has been developing the framework “Z” mainly for the project sys-org.


June 9, 2006

The true artist helps the world by revealing mystic truths.

Bruce Nauman

Music is prophetic and (…) social organization echoes it.

Jacques Attali

database interface spatialisation navigation

June 9, 2006

I just stumbled across the topic of a seminar on Computer Culture: Defining New Media Genres held sometime in the past at Center for Research in Computing and the Arts.

New media requires a new critical language- to describe it to analyze it and to teach it. Where shall this language come from? We can’t go on simply using technical terms such as “a web site” to refer to works radically different from each other in intention and form. At the same time traditional cultural concepts and forms prove to be inadequate as well. Image and viewer narrative and montage illusion and representation space and time – everything needs to be re-defined again.

The goal of our symposium is to explore new conceptual categories appropriate for analyzing computer culture and its objects. We focus on four categories: DATABASE INTERFACE SPATIALISATION and NAVIGATION. Each of these categories provides a different lens through which to inquire about the emerging logic grammar and poetics of new media each brings with it a set of different questions.

During the symposium we will interrogate these categories and use them to map out two key genres of computer culture. That is creating works in new media can be understood as either constructing the right interface to a multimedia database or as defining navigation methods through spatialised representations.

Why does computer culture privilege these genres over other possibilities? We may associate the first genre with work (post-industrial labor of information processing) and the second with leisure and fun (computer games) yet this very distinction is no longer valid in computer culture. Increasingly the same metaphors and interfaces are used at work and at home for business and for entertainment. For instance the user navigates through a virtual space both to work and to play whether analyzing financial data or killing enemies in “Doom.”

The four terms database interface spatialisation and navigation are defined thus:

DATABASE. After the novel and later cinema privileged narrative as the key form of cultural expression of the modern age the computer age brings with it a new form — database. What are the origins ideology and possible aesthetics of a database? How can we negotiate between a narrative and a database? Why is database imagination taking over at the end of the 20th century?

INTERFACE. In contrast to a film which is projected upon a blank screen and a painting which begins with a white surface new media objects always exist within a larger context of a human-computer interface. How does a user’s familiarity with the computer’s interface structure the reception of new media art? Where does interface end and the “content” begin?

SPATIALISATION. The overall trend of computer culture is to spatialise all representations and experiences. The library is replaced by cyberspace narrative is equated with traveling through space (“Myst”) all kinds of data are rendered in three dimensions through computer visualization. Why is space being privileged? Shall we try to oppose this spatialisation (i.e. what about time in new media)? What are the different kinds of spaces possible in new media?

NAVIGATION. We no longer only look at images or read texts instead we navigate through new media spaces. How can we relate the concept of navigation to more traditional categories such as viewing reading and identifying? In what ways do current popular navigation strategies reflect military origins of computer imaging technology? How do we de-militarize our interaction with a computer? How can we describe the person doing the navigation beyond the familiar metaphors of “user” and “flaneur”?

Natasha Barrett winner of Nordic Council Music Prize

June 10, 2006

Natasha Barrett recently was awarded the Nordic Council Music Prize for the electroacoustic work “…fetters…” (2002). She is interviewed in Aftenposten and Jøran Rudi has written an article emphasising the importance of her work at Ballade.

Update: Ballade has also posted an interview of Natasha Barrett.

Kianga Ford: City of Progress

June 10, 2006

The sound walk “The Story of this Place – City of Progress” made by Kianga Ford for Museum of Modern Art – North Miami is currently available online as two mp3 files and a jpg map for the walk.

Kianga has recently been artist in recidency at USF in Bergen.

Setback for sound abatement plans in Norway

June 13, 2006

A new plan for sound abatment is currently being drafted in Norway. The Norwegian Noise Abatement Society are protesting the plan claiming that it represents a serious setback in terms of ambitions.


Nasjonalt støymål i fare:

Den støyrapporten som en direktoratsgruppe framla 24.000 april er et forsøk på å begrave det som har vært offisiell norsk støypolitikk de siste seks årene. Dagens nasjonale støysmål skal erstattes av nye mål som er betydelig mindre ambisiøse men som vil bli desto billigere å gjennomføre.

Norsk forening mot støy protesterer og forlanger at regjeringen begynner å følge opp dagens støymål i stedet for å forlate det. En rekke miljø- helse- og beboerorganisasjoner er i ferd med å slutte seg til et felles opprop som Støyforeningen har tatt initiativ til. Her kreves det at direktoratgruppens rapport må avvises.

-Direktoratgruppens forslag er et forsøk på å begrave det som har vært offisiell norsk støypolitikk i seks år. Alternativene de kommer med innebærer alle betydelig større støyplager enn det regjeringen har lovet i Soria Moria-erklæringen sa styreleder Kjell Dahle da Miljøverndepartementet 24.000 april holdt høringsmøte om det som ble kalt en ny handlingsplan mot støy.

Dahle lovet på vegne av Støyforeningen at en eventuell begravelse ikke vil finne sted i stillhet. Foreningen er i ferd med å samle bred støtte bak et opprop der regjeringen bes om å holde fast på løftene sine om mindre støy og begynne å følge dem opp i praksis. Regjeringsmedlemmer og politiske partier følges også opp.

Vi skal få avklart hvilke partier som holder fast på løftene sine i denne saken sier Dahle. Han minner om at det i fjor vår var en enstemmig energi og miljøkomite som stilte seg bak kravet om oppfølging av det nasjonale støymålet.

Rapporten fra direktoratsgruppen har valgt en annen vei. De instansene som vil få regningen for mulige tiltak på sine budsjetter er ikke ute etter å angi hvordan vi kan strekke oss for å nå målet. I stedet hevder de at målet ikke lar seg innfri. on generative art

June 15, 2006 the Toronto-based digital arts quarterly has just launched its third issue: vague terrain 03:generative art. This issue is dedicated to an exploration of generative art through various texts and multimedia projects which document and illustrate the tools techniques and discourse surrounding automated production.

This diverse body of work contains contributions across multiple mediums from: Ben Bogart Mantissa Marius Watz Meta Neil Wiernik Paul Webb Peter Nyboer Philip Galanter Rob Myers William Farkas and also features an interview with Ben Fry and Casey Reas by Donna Marie Vakalis.

Come on feel the noise

June 16, 2006

The Observer had an interesting blurb on sound art in England a few days ago.

Max + MySQL = true

June 20, 2006

A little while ago Nick Rothwell announced a solution for embedding SQL databases in Max using the Max Java interface mxj. Now he has extended this to also support interfacing between Max and MySQL. More details can be found here.

Nick has been developing this for the Audiotierra audiovisual installation at Victoria Baths as part of Expo Manchester this weekend.

nSlam 2.0000 & xjimmies for Max/MSP announced

June 20, 2006

**Over 50 objects to deal with multichannel sound sound source
simulation and immersive audio. All of them gloriously open source. Get nSLAM 2.000 and the xjimmies library for Max/MSP here:

New Release announcement


Multi-channel audio suite for streaming spatialization and signal
processing for musicians sound artists and audio/music system developers.

This release is for the Max/MSP environnement (OSX Windows). To get a
version of the xjimmies and the example apps for another
environement/platform see:

What is nSLAM?

nSLAM is an open-source audio suite for multi-channel audio application
development developed by the SAT Audio Group. It is written for the PD
(Pure Data by M. Puckette) environment and includes a library of
low-level DSP objects called – xjimmies – (most of which has been also
ported to Max/MSP) online help and example applications for
multi-channel audio streaming and immersive audio among others.

The – xjimmies – library included with nSLAM v2.0 offers new
functionality not defined in the original – jimmies – (IRCAM 1994) running
under Max/MSP. Specifically a number of new objects have been added
for working with multichannel sound sound source simulation and
immersive audio. The name of the library formerly – jimmies – was
changed to – xjimmies – since the – X – -platform library runs in both PD
(Windows/OS-X/Linux) and now in Max/MSP (Windows/OS-X).

nSLAM includes some example applications for didactic and practical
purposes the applications can be easily cannibalized by users looking
for spare parts or wishing to develop their own custom applications.
Applications for multi-channel streaming and sound processing are offered.

For complete documentation:

nSlam is developed and offered by the TOT audio group of the SAT
(Societé des Arts Technologiques Montréal)

TOT audio group (
Zack Settel
Jean-Michel Dumas
Simon Piette

The xjimmies should not be mistaken for the original jimmies
library (IRCAM) which can be obtained here.

Core Audio tetrahedral microphone

June 21, 2006

In a mail to the surround sound mailing list Coree Sound offered a sneak peak of one of the prototypes for low-cost tethrahedral microphones. It is expected to be announced shortly and be ready for the AES in San Francisco in October along with a 4Mic four-channel microphone pre-amp/A-to-D converter. 4Mic is expected to be available for sale in July.

If this can become a low-cost alternative to the SoundField B-format microphone for ambisonic recording it will be really exciting.

ICMC paper on Jamoma accepted

June 21, 2006

Yesterday I was notified that a proposal for a paper by Tim Place and myself on Jamoma has been accepted for the upcoming ICMC 2006 in New Orleans. Cool!

Jamoma 0.3.1

June 25, 2006

Jamoma 0.3.1 was released yesterday. This version includes quite a few new modules for work on ambisonics that I have been developing lately but there are more to come.

It also includes universal binary verisons of the externals making Jamoma compatible with the just released public beta version of Max 4.6.

LMW – The Heroes of Telemark (2006)

June 26, 2006

LMW (Trond Lossius, Jon Arne Mogstad and Jeremy Welsh) was invited to make a site-specific work for the summer exhibition at Seljord Kunstforening in Telemark – a small community in the middle of the countryside. The exhibition space was a converted barn in which it was possible to work directly on the walls.