Posted in Announcement on November 30th, 2010 by admin

The project has been featured in a selection of essays and articles on open source art and culture published by REFF/RomaEuropa/FakeFactory. This book is available in print form (somewhere…) and electronic form (here). Their website(s) and general presence seem completely disordered and confusing, as only the Italians can do, however it does look like an interesting collection with a few artists/theorists I have heard of before and a lot of new names.

Unfortunately, by the end of the year Soundtransit will no longer exist in its current form. I’ll post more on this later on, however it would be safe to safe the project has run its course.

REFF, RomaEuropa FakeFactory: critique, arts, culture, publishing and augmented reality

REFF RomaEuropa FakeFactory, a book in augmented reality, a performance about critical innovation on cultural policies and forms of expression, an open source system to produce cross-medial publications.

(in alphabetical order)

Richard Barbrook, Tatiana Bazzichelli, Germana Berlantini, Mike Bonanno, Loretta Borrelli, Andy Cameron, Massimo Canevacci, Francesca Canu, Carlo Cappa, Antonio Caronia, Dario Carrera, Stefano Coletto, Fiorello Cortiana, Umberto Croppi, Marco Fagotti, Marc Garret, Alex Giordano, Maria Hellström Reimer e Milica Lapčević, Lorenzo Imbesi, Stephen Kovats, Simona Lodi, Francesco “Warbear” Macarone Palmieri, Federico Monaco, Movimento ScambioEtico, Andrea Natella, Eleonora Oreggia aka xname, Luigi Pagliarini, Federico Ruberti, Marco Scialdone, Guido Scorza, Valentina Tanni, Jasmina Tescnovic, Cristina Trivellin e Martina Coletti

0100101110101101.ORG, Antoni Abad, Alterazioni Video, Apparati Effimeri, David Benqué, Jens Brand, Alex Dragulescu, Amy Francescini (Future Farmers), Flyer Communication (FLxER), Derek Holzer, Carlo Infante,, Steve Lambert, Les Liens Invisibles, Fosco Loiti Celant, Garrett Lynch, Guthrie Lonergan, Quayola, Rebar Group, Ben Rubin, Adam Somlai-Fischer (Architecture), Sosolimited, Eugenio Tisselli, Troika, Hannes Walter e Stephen Williams (Fluid Forms), Marianne Weems (The Builders Association), Clemens Weisshaar e Reed Kram, Jaka Železnikar

Edited by:
Cary Hendrickson, Salvatore Iaconesi, Oriana Persico, Federico Ruberti, Luca Simeone (FakePress)

Available in the best bookstores from November 2010


moddr_opening, iMAL Brussels

Posted in Documentation on November 30th, 2010 by admin

Photos of my SoundBoxes from the moddr opening at iMAL, Brussels, plus Matt Kemp’s Nizo Super 8 Analogue Noise Machine which he made during one of my Neanderthal Electronics workshops in Rotterdam a while back. Photos by Yves Bernard, iMAL.

Now Playing

jack londonthe call of the wild & white fang[1903/1906]
neil younglive rust[1979]
t.e. lawrenceseven pillars of wisdom[1926]

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SoundBox Tech

Posted in Documentation on November 27th, 2010 by admin

Just finished this schematic and stripboard layout for tomorrow’s Neanderthal Electronics workshop at NK Project Berlin. This is a new approach to the NE concept, called simply SoundBoxes which you can read about here. Hoping to do more in the future, as well as making my own unique ones.

The circuit itself is quite simple. Take the reverse-engineered design of one very expensive boutique guitar pedal, slim it down a bit and run it through a half-watt amplifier into a speaker. It’s an unpredictable little monster, which I like best while feeding it’s own signal back to itself via a contact mic and any loose junk that happens to be within reach. Chaotic magic in the works, microcosms in the making…

ACHTUNG! Double check the pin orientation of the Germanium PNP transistors! I can sure for sure that at least the 2N404 is wrong, which may account for several failed builds during workshops. I will update the artwork eventually. Until then… Google is your friend.

All artwork draw by myself with help from these sources:
La Revolution Deux

Now Playing

crippled black phoenixi, vigilante[2010 invada]
kevin drumm & tom smithreconquer sleep or disappear[2010 savage land]
tindersticksfalling down a mountain[2010 4ad]

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Singing the Post-France Blues

Posted in Documentation on November 23rd, 2010 by admin

Watching Tomoko Sauvage Performance/Installation @ Grimm Museum Berlin (photos by Laura Gianetti)

Miss Tomoko was a fabulous host during my last stay in Paris, especially when she indulged my obsession with second hand stores and flea markets. The TONEWHEELS gig at the Art Museum of Dijon went strange, basically I was asked to turn it down about 5 minutes into the set, when I was only a quarter of the way up! Seems the security guards were frightened I might “vibrate” the paintings in the museum (organizers, on the other hand, were cool and supportive). Talk/demo for the /dev/art series was a bit friendlier, with lots of questions and interest, and the final I-R-L gig was super, very good PA and responsive audience. Thanks to everyone who made it possible.

However, a funny thing happened on the way to the airport…

I almost forgot to mention that I missed my flight going to France! The long and the short of it is this: I hadn’t done the TONEWHEELS set since last spring, so I had forgotten how screwed up all my equipment was. I started checking it the day before my flight, and realized that I would have to remake everything…motor controllers, light-to-sound converters and all. Mostly because of stubbornness, I have to confess. I had tried to make a single unit of the whole thing before my USA tour and abandoned it the day before leaving.

This time I would not be defeated! I worked until the last possible minute, but to no avail. Then I called a taxi to the airport, which never showed up. I rebooked the flight (at my own expense!!!) for the next morning early, and spent the whole sleepless night (again…) building the SlenderTONEWHEELS box.

SlenderTONEWHEELS takes it’s name and super-70’s enclosure plus matching carry case from a Slendertone “fitness” machine, designed to stimulate your abdominal muscles with electrical pulses while you perform such rigorous labor as eating popcorn while watching Saturday Night Live. I found the device at a flea market in Helsinki last winter and had been dying to use it for something. So at the cost of a missed flight, I managed to put a 6 channel Arduino-based PWM motor controller and four light-to-sound-converters inside just in time to show off for the Frenchies.

Now that I’m home I can start preparing for the next two upcoming workshops at NK Project Berlin plus a Tuned City trip to Tallin, as well as thinking how to concentrate more on crafting unique sound boxes to sell rather than traveling so much for gigs and workshops. Not that I don’t like playing and teaching, it’s just that I start to feel so un-grounded these days. Maybe missing flights is a sign I need some rest…

Now Playing

agallochmarrow of the spirit[2010 profound lore]
bruce springsteennebraska[1982]
jazkamerfailed state of mind[2010 pica disk]
kris kristoffersonkristofferson[1970]
krzysztof pendereckithrenody to the victims of hiroshima(tren ofiarom hiroszimy)[1960]

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Live @ UH Fest mp3

Posted in Documentation on November 9th, 2010 by admin

Although this sounds absolutely nothing like what people in the room actually experienced, I’m posting this mixing desk recording of my set at the UH Fest just to give an idea. Get ready for slooooooow development…

Now Playing

enthe absent coast[2010 root strata]
expo 70where does your mind go[2010 immune]
jazkamerfailed state of mind[2010 pica disk]
locrianterritories[2010 at war with false noise]
merzbow+z’evspiral left/spiral right[2010 cold spring]
mv & eebollywoe[2010 child of microtone]
seth nehiltracing the skins of clouds[1998 orogenetics]
sun arawon patrol[2010 not not fun]
supersilent10[2010 rune grammofon]
supersilent11[2010 rune grammofon]
the fun yearsgod was like, no[2010 barge]

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“nonlinearity I” video + SoundBoxes in Brussels

Posted in Announcement on November 7th, 2010 by admin

nonlinearity I

nonlinearity I from macumbista on Vimeo.

After touring 3 weeks with 25 Kg of heavy metal synthesizer in a suitcase, I came home wanting something a bit lighter and simpler. My back-to-basics approach uses one SoundBox built for workshops with gypsy children and Afghan refugees in Hungary a few months ago, one contact mic, a Germanium transistor distortion pedal and 10 years worth of found objects collected on trips around the world.

At the heart of this video lies the concept of nonlinearity, that most basic building block of chaos theory and the wonderful complexities of our natural world. The microphone/speaker loop forms a system into which the nonlinear irregularities of 9V electronics, beads, springs, moss, shells and bits of bone produce unique bifurcations and attractors. Shaking things up a bit resets the system and new chaotic patterns begin to emerge…

SoundBoxes in Brussels

Three Neanderthal Electronics works of mine will be shown as part of the moddr_* showcase at iMAL in Brussels this month:

* BlueLightSpecial (2009)
* SoundBoxOne(“handmade”) (2010)
* SoundBoxTwo(“indianblanket”) (2010)

The show runs 13 November – 12 December 2010 and also features far more computer-oriented works by Gordan Savicic, Danja Vasiliev, Walter Langelaar, Julian Oliver, Martin Howse, Jonathan Kemp, Matt Kemp, Philip Lammer and Florian Cramer.

asbl iMAL vzw – 30 Quai des Charbonnages/Koolmijnenkaai 30 – 1080 Bruxelles/Brussel 1080
Opening on Saturday 13th of November, 15:00 – 23:30
with moddr_ workshop and performances, check the complete program! Finissage on Sunday 12th of December.
Opening hours:
Wed > Sat, 12:30 – 18:30. Free admission

BlueLightSpecial + SoundBoxOne("handmade")


Thanks to Walter Langelaar for the invitation!!!!

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Regnskog Bergen 2010 video + photos

Posted in Documentation on November 6th, 2010 by admin

Regnskog Bergen 2010 from macumbista on Vimeo.

Regnskog is a contemporary re-interpretation of David Tudor’s series of compositions from the 1970’s entitled Rainforest. It uses various types of sonic transducers to play live sounds through the assortment of resonant metal objects suspended by wires in the performance space. Additionally, an 8×8 matrix mixer allows the sound from any of the objects to be sent to any of the performers, making the whole piece an experiment in generative chaos.

The structure of the piece is improvisational, shifting between relatively static installation-like moments and performative sections where the artists seek new relationships with the objects and each other. The audience is free to move around the performance space, engage in conversations and explore the resonant objects, thus adding new life to the rainforest.

The performers: Harald Fetveit (Oslo), Gisle Frøysland (Bergen), Derek Holzer (Berlin), Ryan Jordan (London), Jørgen Knudsen (Bergen), Signe Lidèn (Bergen), Julien Ottavi (Nantes), Jørgen Træen (Bergen)

Produced 10-16 October 2010 in Bergen, Norway by Video by Derek Holzer and Elisabeth Nesheim.

Photos courtesy of Elisabeth Nesheim, Signe Lidèn and svennevenn


After some years working in this experimental music scene, you realize that even if you put a bunch of performers in the same room and tell them they are working on the same thing, they all remain soloists at heart. Regnskog suffered initially as any group project might from egoistic hotdoggery, with some artists unable to look past the object in front of them as their own personal PA system. Once we got past that phase, things opened up quite a bit on the second night with many of us experimenting with the entire room as instrument and system, much as I originally intended. A small but highly engaged audience explored the room as well–listening, looking, touching and even singing with the pieces! It was a massive learning experience for me personally, which I hope to benefit from with the next two prospective versions of the project in Berlin and Tallinn during 2011. Details as soon as they are confirmed…

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Some Thoughts on Concept and Craft

Posted in Text on November 4th, 2010 by admin

Raymond Parker, Untitled, 1959

While Pop art constantly referred to contemporary society through its reconfiguration of consumerist images, Color Field painting consciously distanced itself from societal referents and focused on the lyrical possibilities of color.

—“Color Fields” exhibition catalog, Deutsche Guggenheim, 2010

An Estonian art student recently informed me that, “since WWII” as he was taught, the position of the artist has essentially become that of a conceptual engineer rather than that a mere “craftsman”. I did as best I could to protest. On the one hand, I argued, this means that the artist is largely divorced from the process of creating their own work. All the would-be Jeff Koonses or Damien Hirsts who relegate their labor to hired armies of technicians and assistants lose the direct familiarity with the medium that they work in, and subsequently miss out on any suggestions that the materiality of that medium might have on their creative process.

On the other hand, what it leads to is a vision of art as a cynical manipulation of symbols and referents alone. Whether it is the visual-arts hipster ironically juxtaposing iconic cultural references, or the media-arts nerd sonifying stock market data streamed at them through Twitter, it all becomes a series of artistic black boxes where we can only assume that what comes out has some relationship to what went in. And when anything=anything, the end result is that the we the artists take a stand on nothing.

One week it’s unwatchable “found footage” from YouTube in the galleries, the next it’s sock monkeys, with everyone in the monkey camp loudly denouncing those who still prefer handycams to knitting. The Estonian student’s professor once placed a golden replica in the former location of a controversial Soviet-era statue in Tallinn.  In his 5 minutes of fame on the evening news, he preferred to mumble something about “relational aesthetics” rather than admit that the action might actually mean something. And so we the audience…in the end we can believe in nothing.

When I began working on the TONEWHEELS project, I was more interested in the technical side of this equation: how to avoid the black box of the computer and how to demonstrate a tangible connection between image and sound. But now I see how it addresses the conceptual side as well.  By working with direct optical synthesis, I hope (in a similar manner to the Color Field painters of the 1960s, the subject of a current exhibition at the Deutsch Guggenheim) to shortcut this reliance on symbols and intellectualism in favor of the only thing left to believe in: the direct, personal and physical experience of light and sound.

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France 17, 19, 20 December 2010

Posted in Announcement on November 4th, 2010 by admin

17 November: TONEWHEELS performance @ Résonances Electroniques Festival, Museum of Fine Arts, Dijon FR

19 November: TONEWHEELS discussion + performance @ /dev/art/, 19h / 23h, BlackBoxe, 17 rue de la Chapelle 75018 Paris FR, FREE

20 November: TONEWHEELS performance @ I-R-L Performances / Optica Festival avec Art of Failure and Chloé Mazlo & Son of a Pitch, 20h30, Centre Mercoeur, 4 rue Mercoeur 75011 Paris FR – M° voltaire/charonne, paf: 5 euros

Thanks to Octarine Productions, Jack/Kevin/Laurent@RYBN and the beautiful Tomoko Sauvage for support putting this trip together.

Now Playing

kevin drummlive at bardens boudoir, london, uk 29.01.08 mp3[2008]
kk nullakumu[2008 vital]
mattin (ed.)noise and capitalism book[2009 arteleku audiolab]
paul demarinisburied in noise book[2010 kehrer][danke carsten!!!]
prurient+cold cavestars explode[2010 hospital productions]
merzbow+balázs pándilive at fluc wanne, vienna 18.05.10 lp[2010]

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