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Blog archive for June 2011

Calibrating speakers

June 7, 2011


The speaker setup at my studio is non-orthodox, defined by the limited space available and a general bend towards non-circular setups.

Today I finally decided to make use of a pretty nice feature of my Denon receivers: Automatic setup adjusting delay, gain and EQ to ensure a more homogeneous sound from all channels.

Note to self: Having struggled with menus and manuals for at least two hours, I finally figured out that in order to select the really important menu items® such as Automatic Setup, I need to click the Left button rather than OK.

Photo documentation of Borealis Avgarde Extreme

June 7, 2011


I have extended documentation of the Borealis Avgarde Extreme event earlier this year with some photos by Svennevenn.

Live video processing was done in Max/Jitter and Jamoma using various spectral distortions and color manipulations, controlled by iCube sensors.

The event received a positive review in Morgenbladet:

Musikkens mest grunnleggende parameter er tiden. Den tolv timer lange improvisasjonen Borealis Avgarde Extreme, med musikerne i Le Jury og Trond Lossius spilte ikke med tiden, men den satte selve tiden på spill. Å være i rommet hvor de musiserte var å være i en annen tid. Å si at den gikk langsomt blir for enkelt. Det var heller snakk om å være nærværende i et rom hvor andre lover for kausalitet gjaldt. Enkelte musikalske utsagn får uvante betydninger fordi det ikke nødvendigvis er vesentlig om det henger sammen med andre hendelser i fremførelsen eller ikke. Musikken opphører å være tanke eller klang, blir til nærvær i rommet: går fra det åndelige til det fysiske.

Magnus Andersson, Morgenbladet, 1. april 2011

Jamoma 0.5.3 released

June 13, 2011


A new version of Jamoma has been released, and for the first time in a year, a Windows installer is available as well, thanks to recent work by Adrian Gierakowski.

Read the full announcement in this Jamoma blog post, and grab the installers from the Jamoma download page.


June 13, 2011

I have set up a mailing list for occasional newsletters on the projects I’m up to. This will be a low volume mailing list with not more than one mail a month.

Feel free to sign up here.

New Media Art Organisations in Netherlands lose funding

June 14, 2011

Not very good news fron Netherlands.


The Dutch New Media Art Organisations Steim, De Waag, Mediamatic, V2 & NIMK are about to lose all their funding.

The Dutch secretary of state for Culture in the Netherlands, Halbe Zijlstra, has published his policy plan for coming years. In contrast to the official recommendations given to him by the Culture Advisory Board, the cutbacks will not be spread out over a number of years, but will take immediate effect in 2013. The budget for visual art will shrink from 53,3 to 31 million.

Among the more damaging and destructive decisions is the complete cutting of funding for the six leading New Media Art Organsiations that produce, distribute and facilitate New Media Art;

  • STEIM: Independent Live electronic music centre that is exclusively dedicated to the performing arts.
  • De WAAG: Organisation & Worklab for old and new media, developers of open source tools, research & technology for
    the creative independant industry & intermediate between art, science and media.
  • Worm: Rotterdam based laboratory, venue and studios for film, music and internet featuring concerts, new media events, screenings, production of film, music and software art.
  • Mediamatic: software art projects, lectures, workshops & screenings aiming on the young generation of artists, designers & tinkerers.
  • V2: interdisciplinary centre for art and media technology in Rotterdam, activities include organizing presentations, exhibitions and workshops, research and development of artworks operating in an international network
  • NIMK: The Netherlands Media Art Institute (NIMk) promotes the wide and unrestrained development, application and distribution of, and reflection on, new technologies within the visual arts.

Since the Netherlands Media Art Institute came into being in 1978 an extensive collection of video and media art has been assembled, to which new works are constantly being added.

These institutes together form the foundation for New Media Arts in the Netherlands and forfil an important role in the International Network that shares knowledge, exchanges, produces, distributes and promotes various forms of New Media Art.

For most of these organisations the budgetcuts will mean their disappearance.


More on he topic can be found e.g. here.

Testing backups in the clouds

June 18, 2011

I am currently testing out CrashPlan as an option for backing up in the clouds. In addition to the documents I use on a daily basis, I have extra disks with documentation of past projects (video, images, sound, etc) and a disk for audio files. Loosing the content of these would be pretty disastrous. Although I do regular backups, the original and backup disks to often end up sitting next to each other.

CrashPlan seems user-friendly and reasonably priced and I’ll give it a go for the free test month and see how it works. I just need to ensure that I am not uploading to the clouds when connected to internet using iPhone tethering, or my monthly bandwidth will be soon gone.

To prevent this, I followed suggestions in this thread and installed the freeware software Marco Polo, a simple context-aware program. I have added a context for iPhone teethering. Hopefully Marco Polo will discover when I’m teethering based on the IP address. It will then run the following AppleScript when I start tethering:

do shell script "launchctl unload -w /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.crashplan.engine.plist &" with administrator privileges

and the following script when I stop teethering:

do shell script "launchctl load -w /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.crashplan.engine.plist &" with administrator privileges

Both scripts should be one line only when pasted into Script Editor.

Viva Voce Victoria Johnson

June 20, 2011

Norwegian Academy of Music is pleased to invite you to the viva voce of research fellow Victoria Johnson on Tuesday 21 June 1100 in the Levin Hall. Electric violin in digital space is the title of the research project, whose main focus has been to create new music and improvisations in collaboration with various composers.

Victoria Johnson has explored the expressive possibilities of the electric violin, and accumulated knowledge and experience with electronic sound processing and control of electronic processing in live performance.

The close dialogue with composers has led to a blurring of roles between the composer and performer. Johnson has worked extensively in a field of tension between improvisation, composition and electronics, in collaboration with composers who have wanted to work procedural and inclusive.

It has also been central to the project to experiment with the performance situation, through cooperation with video artists, and by presenting works not only in traditional concerts, but also other venues and arenas.

Opponents: Anna Lindal and Wayne Siegel
Commission Chairman: Live Maria Roggen
Charing the viva voce: Erik Birkeland

Supervisor: Ivar Frounberg, Norwegian Academy of Music
Assistant supervisor: Lei Cox, Bergen National Academy of the Arts
Assistant supervisor: Trond Lossius, BEK

Forcing MacBook to hibernate

June 22, 2011

Pardon this exceedingly geeky note, I just want to store it for my own future self.

There are different ways of bringing a Mac laptop to sleep. I would like to prevent my laptop from drawing power when sleeping, and the following is based on instructions I found here. However I don’t see any need for creating terminal aliases, and hence no need for editiing the .bash_profile file.

Sleep mode can be controlled with the pmset command in the terminal. According to the following excerpt from the man pmset documentation, one should stick to one of three values:

We do not recommend modifying hibernation settings. Any changes you make are not supported. If you choose to do so anyway, we recommend using one of these three settings. For your sake and mine, please don’t use anything other than 0, 3, or 25.

hibernatemode = 0. The system will not back memory up to persistent storage. The system must wake from the contents of memory; the system will lose context on power loss. This is, historically, plain old sleep.

hibernatemode = 3. The system will store a copy of memory to persistent storage (the disk), and will power memory during sleep. The system will wake from memory, unless a power loss forces it to restore from disk image. (This is the default for my current laptop.)

hibernatemode = 25. The system will store a copy of memory to persistent storage (the disk), and will remove power to memory. The system will restore from disk image. If you want “hibernation” – slower sleeps, slower wakes, and better battery life, you should use this setting.

Sleep mode can be set with the following terminal command (this one will set it to the 25 hibernation mode):

sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 25

You can check what sleep mode is currently being used with the following command:

pmset -g | grep hibernate

Sound installation at Håkon’s hall

June 30, 2011


I am currently preparing a sound installation for the magnificent Håkon’s Hall.

This year Håkon’s Hall is 750 years old. It was built by King Håkon Håkonsson as a royal residence and banqueting hall. The first recorded use of Håkon´s Hall was in 1261, when Håkon Håkonsson held a banquet for the wedding and coronation of his son Magnus Lagabøte. He married the Danish princess Ingeborg. Twenty years later, in 1281, the Hall hosted another wedding as Lagabøte’s son, the 13 year old king Eirik Magnusson, was married to the Scottish princess Margareta – a woman twenty years his senior. The earliest secular song transmitted in a Norwegian manuscript was composed for this occasion: the Latin homophonic song “Ex te lux oritur o dulcis Scocia”, or “Carmen Gratulatorium”.

The installation will use multi-channel sound, with loudspeakers discretely mounted to ensure a minimal visual impact. The installation will open Thursday next week (July 7) at 15:00, and run until the middle of September.