So the Museion/Transart/SKB contest winners have been announced yesterday… and we were not among the first 6. My guess is that we didn’t fit into the contemporary art drawer. But maybe there were just some better projects in the contest.
So this project now is free and available, who wants to produce it?
Promo trailer for the upcoming project with the same title. It’s a audiovisual composition for string quartet, Goasslschnölln (whip cracking), live-electronics and videosynthesis.
Camera and Editing: Alessio Vasarin
Cello: Federica Ragnini
Whip crackers: Latscher Tuiflverein
Durante il laboratorio di circuit bending si modificheranno
i circuiti di giochi elettronici allo scopo di creare automi sonori interattivi. Non è necessario portare materiale proprio: abbiamo giochi elettronici, componenti e saldatori*. Posti disponibili per il laboratorio: 8
Per l’iscrizione e/o informazioni: lasciate un commento o mandatemi una mail
É possibile partecipare gratuitamente al workshop come uditore (Gasthörer).
Die beim Workshop modifizierten Geräte werden zu einer großen, interaktiven Klanginstallation*.
Live computer-less electronic music with the experimental, electroacoustic duo kvsu featuring visual artist akirasrebirth, both members of the secret media lab collective.
secret media lab è un collettivo di hacker, musicisti e videomaker interessati al fai-da-te elettronico applicato ad ambiti come la musica sperimentale e la sintesi visiva.
* Wer einen Lötkolben oder anderes Werkzeug besitzt, kann es gerne mitbringen. ** Am Ende der Ausstellung können die Teilnehmer des Workshops ihre modifizierten Geräte abholen.
While working on Music Makers of the World (and of course thanks to my work at helios), I often stumble over the complicated topic of sustainability in consumer electronics.
There’s a lot of talk about sustainability in general these days (to the point where the word itself stated to loose meaning due to the constant misuse), yet somehow there seems to be little interest for it of it in the field of consumer electronics. We could say that the very nature of of these products is unsustainable. Most have been designed to last only a few years, either because the marketing machine makes us want to buy a newer model, because the parts have been engineered to break or degrade quickly or because the ecosystem in which the device “lives” has changed its standards (this is often referred to as planned obsolescence).
Production is usually based in countries like China, where worker rights are still a very sketchy concept, and due to the production methods and logistics have a pretty heavy CO2 fingerprint.
Last but not least, electronic devices often contain very toxic substances and recycling them is in many cases problematic.
So far I think that it’s quite obvious that the unsustainability of consumer electronics is mainly a culturally rooted problem. The people in the industrialized western countries (the so called “the consumers”) have learned to treat these devices as something to consume, i.e. something you use, and throw away once performance starts to degrade. It should be noted at this point that performance, when talking about consumer electronics, is not only intended in a strictly practical sense, but in a more cultural one. A smartphone has to deliver a certain practical performance, by enabling the user to call people, surf the web and execute software at a decent speed, but also has to perform as a fashion and lifestyle object. Also many of the needs associated with them are often artificially created or enforced by the economic actors (mainly by means of marketing and advertising), which in turn enforces what could be called the obsolescence cycle.
I find it very interesting how the worldwide hacking and making movement (which of course is not strictly one movement) has the potential of indirectly influencing the perception of this whole topic. For example: If you learn to hack a toy you will gain a completely different approach to electronic devices, the whole thing looses its “magic” and given a bit of experience you might even learn to repair things on your own (something the companies seem to fear most).
Among musicians (especially the ones that deal a lot with electronic instruments) there’s a lot of talk about G.A.S. (which stands for Gear Aquisition Syndrome). It’s quite common for people to buy a lot of devices, and sell many of them after a short time to buy some new ones. The phenomenon is not really negative from a sustainability point of view, since the gear just changes owner and usually gets used until it really won’t work anymore If a device is built to last, it can have a lifetime well over 10 years (people still buy and sell equipment from the 70s). Open Hardware instruments, that come as D.I.Y. kits have the interesting side effect to increase the knowledge and relation to technology for people who build them (so for example it’s more likely that they will be able to service the devices themselves, or even provide repair services for fellow musicians) but it also radically changes the relationship with the object. Something you have built with your own hands, with a bit of hard work, stops to be something you just consume because you’ve somehow created it.
The good thing is that music and art have a strong communication-related part. If this changed relationship with technology can be communicated through one’s creative work, it will spread to other people, and we will slowly see a cultural change, which will positively impact the world.
To close this discussion, here’s an extract from an interview I’ve made with Patrick McCarthy from Roth Mobot in comic form (recently published by the magazine PILLS).
IT: Il Secret Media Lab, in collaborazione con la Musikbörse12, organizza un workshop di Circuit Bending (modificare circuiti di apparecchi e giochi elettronici allo scopo di generare nuovi suoni e rumori). Il workshop consisterà di una parte introduttiva teorica e di una parte principale pratica nella quale si modificheranno i circuiti di strumenti musicali giocattolo. Non è necessario portare materiale proprio: abbiamo giochi elettronici, componenti e saldatori. Alla fine del workshop, ogni partecipante potrà portarsi a casa lo strumento che ha modificato.
Per quelli che hanno già un saldatore o altre attrezzature: portate pure tutto.
DE: Das Secret Media Lab, in Zusammenarbeit mit der Musikbörse12, organisiert einen Circuit Bending Workshop (dabei werden elektronische Geräte oder Spiele so modifiziert, dass sie neue Klänge produzieren). Der Workshop besteht aus einer kurzen theoretischen Einleitung und einem praktischen Hauptteil, wo jeder Hand an den Schaltkreisen legen darf. Es muss kein Material von zu Hause mitgebracht werden, wir haben alles da: Elektronische Spiele, Komponenten und Lötkolben. Am Ende des Workshops kann sich jeder Teilnehmer das Modifizierte Gerät mit nach Hause nehmen.
Wer schon einen Lötkolben, oder anderes Werkzeug hat, darf es natürlich gerne mitbringen.
Il Secret Media Lab in collaborazione con la MusicBörse 2012 presenta:
la prima edizione di Music Makers South Tyrol, un’edizione indipendente e inufficiale di Music Makers, il design party per il futuro della musica (http://musicmake.rs/). Questo potrebbe essere solo l’inizio…
Das Secret Media Lab, in Zusammenarbeit mit der MusicBörse 2012 präsentiert:
Die erste Ausgabe vom Music Makers South Tyrol, eine unabhängige und inoffizielle Ausgabe von Music Makers, die design Party für die Zukunft der Musik (http://musicmake.rs/). Das ist hoffentlich nur der Anfang…
This new version is called Yellow Magic and uses a 2 pole, 12db low-pass filter in conjunction with a lo-fi delay effect. Since the inspiration for the filter came mainly from Japanese synths of the past like the Korg MS-20 Olivier (from Mutable Instrumens) decided to go for a Nipponic theme for the graphics on the PCBs and the cases. We created a manga-styled version of the goddes Saraswati (Mutable Instrument’s logo) an imaginary Kamon and various typographic elements.
A couple of days ago somebody posted that on the eSymposium Google goups (great resource if you’re into experimental electronic music, hacking and making in the Cicago area).
I think the text is pretty self-explanatory… the amazing thing is that Cage wrote this in 1940.
Finally it’s done! I completed my Shruthi XT! The XT is an advanced version of the Shruthi-1 with added controls for most parameters. It comes as a DIY kit and is developed by a name called Frank Daniels from Germany.
This was one hell of a project and it took me over 3 months to complete it. I think it will also be my last DIY project, for several reasons.
check http://mutable-instruments.net/ This video I have posted yesterday, was made completely with this synthesizer.