the things they carry

Posted in Documentation on February 1st, 2009 by admin

Last night, while I was packing up after the XXXXX workshop at Club Transmediale, some kid popped a snapshot of my flightcase piled up with TONEWHEELS stuff. Like nobody has ever seen an overhead projector before! I wondered what the fascination was, so I made one myself. This time, the flightcase is packed for the two upcoming Ouroboros Orchestra workshops. The first will be at the Kobenhavn Kunstakademiet, in Copenhagen, Denmark this week, and the second will be during Tartu Art Month in Tartu Estonia. Contents: hundreds of ICs, diodes, resistors and capacitors, dozens of meters of wire and cables, and a selection of my favorite guitar pedals. The matrix mixer I posted about last time gets carried on to the plane… Of course, anyone in Copenhagen or Tartu is welcome to drop me a line for spontaneous chili-cooking, mixer feedback sessions or late night beerservations.

Some music which entered my world over the last 9 days at Club Transmediale:

Wolves in the Throne RoomMalevolent Grain 12″ [Southern Lord]
BJNilsen & StilluppsteypaMan From Deep River CD [Editions Mego]
White/LightBlack Acts CD [Smells Like Records]
Waldchengarten…In Preparation of the Machines to Fall CD [KFIOG]
Sten-Olof Hellström & Ann RosénLagrad CD [Fylikingen]
MudboyHungry Ghosts 12″ (amazing laser-cut cover!!!!) [Not Not Fun]

Oren Ambarchi – Live @ CTM
Mudboy – Live @ CTM
Monno – Live @ CTM
ASVA – Live @ CTM
Pan Sonic – Live @ CTM
Mika Vaino – Live @ CTM
Martin Tétrault – Live @ CTM in various configurations. The multiple drummer one, however, was a big fail.

Unfortunately I missed Lichens, and Æthenor and Attila Csihar’s sets were both screaming disappointments. I will post on CTM at greater length later on during the week. Until then, check Pablo Sanz’s CTM pics on Flickr and keep your clothes clean…I’ve got a plane to catch!

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Workshops: xxxxx/CTM Berlin (+ Beograd, Copenhagen, Estonia)

Posted in Announcement on January 20th, 2009 by admin

I’ve just returned from an exhausting but fun Pure Data workshop in Beograd, Srbija for the last few days, and I’m currently getting ready for the next round of activities in Berlin, Copenhagen and Tartu (Estonia).

The Copenhagen/Tartu series will be the first installations of a new workshop/collaborative performance called Ouroboros Orchestra, based on the creation and performance by participants and intermodulation live by myself of simple, small electronic sound/noise circuits, all planned accrording to a graphical score. I’ll be posting more on this soon. Please get in touch if this workshop/performance sounds interesting for a venue near you!

The Berlin event is co-organized with Martin Howse for Club Transmediale as a public laboratory in the Kunstraum Bethanien over 9 days from 23-31 January 2009. Info below.There should be some actions/performances at the workshop space on the opening night, Friday 23 January from 19:30-22:00 featuring some of the artists involved. Hope you can make it! Otherwise, drop by the workshop between 12:00-22:00 the rest of the days of the festival to revel in ther chaos!

xxxxx_temporary_structure for Club Transmediale 2009

Tracing a clear line of development from both xxxxx_workshops: [in]tolerance during CTM.08 examining the material basis of technology and a series of life coding events in Norway and Germany, xxxxx hosts an experimental nine day structure widening the scope of construction and constructivism to embrace the social and economic structures of production and performance. Public interface is to be made explicit, inviting participation, visit and conversation.

xxxxx_temporary_structure presents the expansion of both known and less familiar constructive procedures and apparatus, for example software (Pure Data, Python) and hardware (waves, circuits, simulation) into novel territory. Software becomes script and social pragmatics, hardware expands into optics, architecture, graffiti, elaborate kinetics and novel interfaces to the world addressing biologic and physical processes; a play of light, resonance and transmission.

The relationship between structure and system is playfully opened, with the modelling of systems as core activity within the temporary lab space; simulation within both code and analogue electronics, the embedding of an internal observer allowing for a play with agents and agency.

A concern with materiality and construction forms the base for an energetic examination of all manner of diagrams, public interface (reading space, discussion), bio-computing (plant life, EEG), world interface (practical endophysics), everyday technologies (light, food), code, transitions and translations. Such disciplines branch out mushroom like, revealing instabilities and new structures across nine days, in one space, publicly accessible throughout.

xxxxx_temporary_structure is inherently experimental and interdisciplinary, inviting practitioners and artists who are well able to prise open the gaps between reified disciplines to actively create new social and constructive apparatus within the xxxxx space.

A playful laboratory is proposed which does not mark boundaries between forms and between disciplines – which rather exposes and opens up social and artistic structures for sublime experience.



Oswald Berthold [AT/DE]
Berthold ( describes himself as a semi-autonomous social particle commissioned in Graz in 1976. His interests lie in media, programming, and networks. He is associated with xdv, farmersmanual,
and gullibloon.
Keywords: software-defined radio, sniffing, wide spectrum measurement of EM intensities, practical investigations of a brain equation, societal mapping.

Derek Holzer [US/DE]
Derek Holzer’s work focuses on capturing and transforming small, unnoticed sounds from various natural and urban locations, networked collaboration strategies, experiments in improvisational sound, self-made electronics and on the use of free software such as Pure-Data.
Keywords: drawn sound, optoelectronic synthesis, systems for collaboration, more open than source, life outside the box

Martin Howse [UK/DE]
Martin Howse operates within the fields of discourse, speculative hardware (environmental data in open physical systems), code (an examination of layers of abstraction), free software and the situational (performances and interventions).
Keywords: resonance, relativity and wave-length in space and architecture for varying wave phenomena, measurement and mapping of electromagnetic(EM) field strength intensities as archaeological conceit

Martin Kuentz [DE]
Martin Kuentz (Unkuentz) is a Berlin based freelance artist. He founded the Salon Bruit, a concert series on improvised, electroacoustic and noise music, and has been involved in the Dienstbar series, Transmitting Object Behaviour (T.O.B.), Berlin free radio campaign, Blind Operators, Unkuentz vs. Trodza and apostrov recordings.
Keywords: expansive kinetic constructivism, crashed kitchen sink and bath-tub chemistry, homemade fireworks, long-term transmissions

Rob Mullender [UK]
Rob Mullender is an artist and maker living and working in London, U.K. His current preoccupations mostly concern the possible inter-relationship between sound and light; in other words using one to help find out things about the other. This has proved to be an unexpectedly complicated and fertile subject, especially when seen as an artistic rather than a scientific or engineering pursuit.
Keywords: auditory cameras, photophonics, ultrasonics, Enigma machines, sonification-as-synthesis

Shintaro Miyazaki [CH/D/JP]
Shintaro Miyazaki is interested in the epistemology of software/hardware of consumer electronics. He works as a curator, media theorist or artist in Berlin and performed solo and with ensembles in Tokyo, Leipzig, Krakow, Palma de Mallorca, Frankfurt, Basel, Zürich and Berlin.
Keywords: epistemology, sonification of software/hardware processes, eavesdroping.

Julian Oliver [NZ/ES]
Julian Oliver has given numerous workshops and master classes in game-design, artistic game-development, object-oriented programming for artists, UNIX/Linux, virtual architecture, interface design,
augmented reality and open source development practices worldwide. In 1998 he established the artistic game-development collective, Select Parks.
Keywords: environmental steganography, Python code expansion, data forensics and augmented reality softwares

Yunchul Kim [KO/DE]
Yunchul Kim studied music composition in Seoul and media art in KHM Cologne, Germany. His work has been shown in Ars Electronica, Transmediale, NewYork digital salon and Medialab Madrid amongst many others. He has been living and working in Germany since 1999 and is a guest lecturer at the Merz Academy, Institute for New Media, Stuttgart.
Keywords: chaos elaboration, interface exploration, physical code trafficking, pataphysics, imaginary pathologies

Dorotha Walentynowicz [PL/NL]
Dorotha Walentynowicz is an artist and performer who works withphotography, video and sound, as well as modified game engines andother interactive media.
Keywords: exposure, manipulation and voluntary oppression in gaming,performative communications strategies, “black box” as camera obscura

Otto Roessler [DE]
Otto Roessler reveals the power and cruelty of the rationalist project as first invoked within a dream of Rene Descartes. Through elaboration of endophysics, a science of interiority, the world as interface is implemented within potential practical, scientific and artistic experiment.
Keywords: practical endophysics, discussion of mute sperm whale communication, impending technocratic disaster analysis

Danja Vassiliev [RU/NL]
From the middle of 90s, Danja Vassiliev has been actively engaged with internet, computer and digital based visual and installation art. His most recent research and works are concentrated around topics of digital networking, internet and stereotypes of the digital age.
Keywords: literal UNIX pipes, shared communications systems, terminal VJ, swarmed networks with traffic/person as information carrier

Valentina Vuksic [CH]
Valentina Vuksic explores a highly individual articulation of hard and software mediation; the processes in such intermediate space as action thus implying actors rendered audible through novel intrusion.
Keywords: exploration of computational process as actor/staged on physical substrate (audio) rendering, comparison of crash spectra

+ participants from the public selection:

Georg Holzmann
Jonathan Kemp
Lars Lundehave Hansen
Lindsay Brown
Shintaro Miyazaki
Verena Friedrich
Walter Langelaar
Will Scrimshaw

Now Playing

Brethren of the Free SpiritAll Things Are From Him, Through Him and In Him [2008]
Carlos GiffoniAdult Life [2008]
Deathspell OmegaMass Grave Aesthetics [2008]
Deathspell OmegaVeritas Diaboli Manet in Aeternum: Chaining the Katechon [2008]
Eliane RadigueKyema, Intermediate States [1992]
Ghäst tracks from split with Rape X[2008]
Hala StranaHeave the Gambrel Roof [2007]
James BlackshawLitany of Echoes [2008]
Kevin DrummComedy [2000]
KTLIV [2009]
One Tail, One HeadDemo [2008]
Paysage d’HiverKerker [2008][reiissue]
RorschachProtestant [1992]
VAGive Me Love: Songs of the Brokenhearted: Baghdad, 1925-1929 [2008 Honest jons]
VALiving is Hard: West African Music in Britain, 1927-1929 2xlp [2008 Honest Jons]
VASprigs of Time: 78s from the EMI Archive [2008 Honest Jons]
ZaimphMirror Images CDR [2005 Heavy Blossom]

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ABOMINATIONS live at CTM [photos, video]

Posted in Documentation on February 10th, 2008 by admin

ABOMINATIONS played as part of the Dark Alloy evening at Club Transmediale in Berlin on 30 January 2008, along with Utarm, Ives no. 1, Shit and Shine and Wolves in the Throne Room.

From the CTM catalog text:

This program draws parallels between various approaches to playing Noise and Metal. Although distorted riffs and guitar feedback play a major role in Metal, it is not generally in search of the chaotic sound signatures of Noise. The latter tend only to provide background in Metal, against which compositional rigor and the players’ precision can stand out all the more dramatically. This is quite different from Noise where the chaotic overlaying of the greatest possible amount of interference, feedback, distortion, buzzing, crackle, drone and their often unpredictable permutations is the actual material of the music. Despite this, since the advent of Black Metal’s preference for rich overtones in the high-frequencies, noise has become increasingly important in Metal – doubtless the fundamental reason why the marriage of Noise and Metal is currently producing so many exciting projects. Yet other influences are also helping catalyze new developments: the tendency to abstraction for example, or the transmutability of Jazz, or narrative elements taken from Folk and Gothic.

Differences notwithstanding, Noise and Metal are driven by many similarities: the physical sensation of sound intensity taken to the highest extreme, complete immersion in sound, aggressively confronting the audience with a massive wall of sound. The extreme tension between amorphous chaos and rigorous control, between eruptive noise and precise composition, between devotion and control fantasies, creates the special experience of both genres, in terms the sound and the absorbing dramaturgy. Above all, Metal and Noise musicians love to stage themselves as tamers of the destructive, dark forces embodied in sound.

If sound is conceived as fluid and malleable, Noise musicians embrace it unconditionally, wrestling to give it form, never resting and yet never quite able to – and not willing to – completely win the upper hand. The struggle is everything. In contrast, the Metal musician, draws slightly more authority by maintaining a degree of distance. As in a necromantic legend, the fluid forms into matter before him, writhing, spitting and spraying while he plunges violently into its innards.

Metal and Noise: each is in search of an ecstatic catharsis, of purification by sound.

¡Muchos gracias a Pablo Sanz por las fotografías y video!

Abominations [AR/US/NL]
Uploaded by pablosanz

Now Playing

Sten Ove ToftLit De Parade (Roggbiff Records)

About a week before CTM, Sten Ove Toft sent me his latest disc, Lit De Parade in the mail, ahead of his appearance as half of Utarm‘s live set in Berlin. Sten joked that this was his “pop” record, as it appears to diverge from his heavier, full-on live sets which mingle elements of noise, experimental and metal in favor of impressionist scribbles of sound and deep moods hanging in the background. He told me that Lit De Parade was based on scraps of material gathered over the years which didn’t seem to fit into his other works. The CD come across as deceptively simple, and even though I was supposed to be doing about five other things that week, I put it on several times to listen, and each listening exposed new details which crept out of the mix. A fine work, and deserving of one’s attention.

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Tuned City/XXXXX/Club Transmediale

Posted in Announcement on January 23rd, 2008 by admin

Somehow, I seem to have stumbled into three different projects in the upcoming Club Transmediale festival, and I’d like to invite those of you coming to Berlin this weekend or next week to check them out.

The first is a preview weekend for an event on sound and architecture planned for July 2008 called Tuned City. For the first Club Transmediale weekend, we have a mini-conference at the Ballhaus Naunynstrasse on SAT 26/01, featuring artists, academics and urban scientists reflecting on the topic, as well as a “keynote” Q&A between Brandon LaBelle and Max Neuhaus. This event is meant as both a kickoff and a call for interested persons. Drop by if you’d like to talk with us!


On SUN 27/01 there will be a performance evening on the same theme at the Maria club that I co-curated, called Tuned Space, featuring Dallas Simpson, BJNilssen & Hildur Gudnadottir, Mattin, Daniel Menche and Mark Bain. The night should go from quiet minimal world of found objects and sounds through to the body- and building-crushing power of subsonic rumblings.


Then my “electroacoustic death metal” duo ABOMINATIONS (with Argentinian drummer Marcelo Aguirre) plays on the Dark Alloy night WEDS 30/01 alongside Wolves in the Throne Room, Utarm, Shit & Shine and Ives no. 1. Esoteric drones and non-linear distortion meet animalistic vocals and percussive brutality!


And during that whole week, I an co-coordinating the xxxxx-Workshops: [in]tolerance series at the Ballhaus Naunynstrasse. This series focuses on noise electronics and free software, emphasising making and connection within the field of the existent. Workshop leaders include Jessica Rylan, Alejandra Perez Nuñez, Frederik Olofsson, Martin Howse, Martin Kuentz and Andrei Smirnov, with whom I will conduct the Digital Theremin workshop. The workshops are long since full, but you can drop by the public presentations each night of the week at 18:00 from TUE 29/01 to SAT 02/02, with the final workshop performance taking place at 20:00 on SAT 02/02.


Hope to see you all in the coming weeks!

Now Playing

Bolz’nRiemen (unreleased)
Destructo SwarmbotsClear Light (Public Guilt)
Iannis XenakisIannis Xenakis (Edition RZ)
MagicicadaEveryone is Everyone (Public Guilt)
Various ArtistsUntitled 3xCD (Underadar, Public Guilt, Epicene)
ZaïmphEmblem (W.M.O./R)
SkullflowerAbyssic Lowland Hiss (Heavy Blossom)
Tim HeckerAtlas 10″ (Audraglint)
Wolf EyesDog Jaw (Heresee)

Thanks to Pure for letting me plunder his CD collection over the holidays for many of these!

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