Archive for November, 2011
"Crickets II" [3.2 MB .mp3]
Demo of the delay and pitch-shifting functions of the Doepfer A-112 module. Was trying to keep the beats minimal so I could hear better what the effects are doing. The delay is not an echo, with multiple steps (you have to use another module--a mixer--to create feedback). It's a simple time lag. But if you patch in the original beat you get two beats and a kind of unpredictable slurring and distortion that the voltage-controlled sampling adds. Pretty nice stuff. The pitch shift can be heard in a tom-tom that starts dropping a few semitones about halfway through. Very noisy and dirty track overall, atmospheric (hence the title).
my talk topic next week is going to be "Concrete Poetry vs 'Doing Internet'" (or words to that effect)
am scouting around for examples of work that might superficially prove Kenneth Goldsmith's thesis that concrete poetry anticipated the internet but in fact proves nothing of the kind
hat tips unicorngirl, lena, others...
"Proteus Projects" [3.5 MB .mp3]
I rarely use the Cubase "tempo track" but wanted to hear what the MIDI pitchbend- and mod wheel-controlled voltages were doing to an analogue signal at different speeds. The drums were an afterthought; for that matter so were the bell-like melodies. The MIDI "crunched sweeps" create a vintage computer-y sound so I named the song after the lustful cyber-brain in Demon Seed (a great B movie).
Barry Ritholtz is a straight-shooting financial blogger but he occasionally posts a stinker.
Below is a list of success tips from billionaires that he got from Barbara Walters (!)
To be a success, say these ultra-rich:
1. Figure out what you’re so passionate about that you’d be happy doing it for 10 years, even if you never made any money from it. That’s what you should be doing. (And if you like attending sports events with politicians, you may see results sooner than you think!)
2. Always be true to yourself. (If you are a greedy heel, that's just who you are.)
3. Figure out what your values are and live by them, in business and in life. (Is this getting redundant?)
4. Rather than focus on work-life separation, focus on work-life integration. (That jewel-encrusted toilet isn't only functional, it impresses clients!)
5. Don’t network. Focus on building real relationships and friendships where the relationship itself is its own reward, instead of trying to get something out of the relationship to benefit your business or yourself. (But if you have to shiv a colleague, never look back.)
6. Remember to maximize for happiness, not money or status. (And if money and status make you happy, that's OK too.)
7. Get ready for rejection. (But enjoy that golden parachute.)
8. Success unshared is failure. Give back — share your wealth. (Really.)
9. (A secret so powerful, we simply cannot tell you) (Hint: it rhymes with "stolen patents")
10. Successful people do all the things unsuccessful people don’t want to do. (Clean out grease traps, empty bedpans...)
remix of michael manning phone art; hat tip Nullsleep for stick and ball molecule
In connection with the "Telefone Sem Fio" show I'll be giving a talk on Dec. 7--more on this soon. The show celebrates the work of Augusto De Campos, a Brazilian poet who, together with his brother Haroldo and Decio Pignatari formed the Noigandres group in the '50s. Am reading an essay by Marjorie Perloff about them (hat tip Alessandra) and thinking about how much or little concrete poetry has to do with "the internet" or "net art."
1. Perloff begins her essay with this quote from poet/artist/Ubuweb founder Kenneth Goldsmith:
Everything [Pignatari] was saying seemed to predict the mechanics of the internet . . . delivery, content, interface, distribution, multi-media, just to name a few. ... [I]t’s taken the web to make us see just how prescient concrete poetics was in predicting its own lively reception half a century later... [W]hat had been missing from concrete poetry was an appropriate environment in which it could flourish. For many years, concrete poetry has been in limbo: it’s been a displaced genre in search of a new medium. And now it’s found one.
Sounds great but Perloff offers little proof that any of this is true. At the end of her essay she considers some examples of De Campos' poems rendered as interactive Flash video but the bulk of her writing is concerned with rehabilitating the concrete poets for other reasons, after they fell out of favor with the Academy in the '80s and '90s. Ultimately it seems like she's damning the movement with faint praise: "Thus Concretism, cutting-edge (literally!) as this arrière-garde was vis-à-vis the normative verse or painting of its own day, transformed the Utopian optimism and energy of the pre-World War I years into a more reflective, self-conscious, and complex project of recovery."
(i) Perloff says: "Eugen Gomringer, generally considered the father of concrete poetry... differed from [the Brazilian-born Swedish poet Oyvind] Fahlström, as from the Campos brothers, in coming out of an artistic rather than a literary milieu. As early as 1944, he had seen the international exhibition of concrete art organized by Max Bill in Basel, and in 1944-45, he made the acquaintance of Bill and Richard Loehse at the Galerie des Eaux Vives in Zurich. Soon, he was collaborating with two graphic artists, Dieter Rot and Marcel Wyss, to create a new journal called Spirale. Bauhaus, Hans Arp, Mondrian and Der Stilj—these were Gomringer’s chief visual sources."
[^This is the sort of modernist kitsch I think of when I hear "concrete poetry" --TM]
(ii) "In 1953 Fahlström published a “Manifesto for Concrete Poetry” under the title Hipy papy bithithdthuthda bthuthdy, a version of “Happy Birthday” he took from A. A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh."
(iii) The road to political incorrectness: "in 1956, Gomringer declared that 'Concrete poetry is founded upon the contemporary scientific-technical view of the world and will come into its own in the synthetic-rationalistic world of tomorrow.' This functional definition of a 'universal poetry' brings concretism dangerously close to industrial design and conformity to the political-ideological status quo," says Perloff, adding: "In 1967, Gomringer took on the position of chief design consultant for Rosenthal, the famous china and glass manufacturer, and increasingly his work became that of consolidation rather than innovation."
(iv) Brazil: The Noigandres group breaks with Gomringer, looking back to Pound, Joyce, and other figures from the early 20th Century avant garde.
3. Perloff: "[Brazilian] concrete poetry, as represented by [Augusto's] Lygia... is less a matter of iconicity or even spatial design, striking as that design is, than it is conceived as verbivocovisual composition, all of whose materials have a signifying function. Pound’s familiar distinction between melopoeia, phanopoeia, and logopoeia is applicable here, but note that phanopoeia is transferred from the realm of representation (e.g., the word or word group as effective “image” of X or Y) to that of the materiality of the poem: its sound (emphasized by color) and its visual appearance on the page.
See Perloff for translation and unpacking of the complexities of the above. But then De Campos also did this, which for all the cleverness of its construction has aged poorly and looks like a return to the Gomringer school:
4: '80s/'90s theorists dismissed concrete poetry, claiming it was impaired not just by capitalist design cooties but the "iconic fallacy" first announced in Plato's Cratylian argument "that the sound and visual properties of a given word have mimetic value." Perloff, recanting her earlier criticism, distinguishes the Noigandres canon as "not a 'fallacy' in the sense Caroline Bayard took it to be one, for the whole point is that poetry is that discourse in which astre [star] and desastre [disaster] do belong together even if, in ordinary discourse, there is no meaningful relationship between the two." Good poets aren't mindlessly literal--who knew?
5. Perloff says an avant garde needs a rear guard to protect and consolidate its advances. Two ways the Noigandres did this: (i) Haroldo's demystification of Chinese characters and his more informed use of ideographic elements based on this research and (ii) taking the concrete poetry avant garde into the realm of the "digital" via, e.g., Augusto's experiments with electronic poems and interactive video. The latter doesn't seem very rear-guard since these tools didn't exist in Pound's day. Also, while Flash video is certainly a tool of the Net it is not the same as "the internet," which a decade after De Campos' Flash work we understand to be a more busy, polyglot place full of intriguing expressions that don't necessarily frame themselves as art. To make the case in Kenneth Goldsmith's statement above--that "the Internet" makes the concrete poets relevant again--would take another article.
"Dot matrix" version by GucciSoFlosy of my original virtual painting of a PBS videographer's video of Ryder Ripps or his simulacrum
"Thx for the Add" [5.9 MB .mp3]
This starts all 8-bit then a secondary theme comes in that is MIDI controller-controlled CVs altering a synth's filter cutoff (pitchbend) and pulse width (mod wheel). At about 1:30 the 8-bit part drops out and the secondary theme continues over various Reaktor Nanowave patches playing the main theme. It ends with piano! #genre_bending