Monday, 29 November 2010

Parabolic Reflector

Parabola vs. sphere
If cross-sections of a spherical surface and a parabolic surface were made by slicing each surface in half, these would be the shapes you would see:

I've been wanting to make a parabolic reflector for quite some time now.
As I have heard more and more about them, from Marcus Coates using them to record specific birds in trees for his work 'morning call' and Chris Watson amongst various other sound artists mentioning them on several occasions, I thought it would be worth checking out what all the fuss is about.
I managed to find these instrucions of how to make a parabolic reflector on Instuctables. It also gives a dxf. file which is excelent as I could use this for the Laser cutter machine they have here at Bezalel.
There is also a rather good link to youtube on this page, showing a parabolic reflector being used to cook some bread and fry something (not sure what exactly).

And here is a very useful Java tool for anyone who might be wandering about how to calculate the radius of a parabola, according to it's length and therefore find the focal point - Equation of Parabola.

I was originally going to make a concrete parabola, something like what they used on the coast of britain to detect incoming aeroplanes during the war, using a large inflatable exercise ball.
However, after some research I realised that I had made one of the fundamental misconceptions - that a parabolic dish is part of a sphere. It is not. It is part of a paraboloid.

If you slice a cone with a plane that is parallel to a line on the cone through its vertex (such as UV on this figure), the intersection is a parabola. Here is a proof of this fact.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

The Jerusalem Show


During my first couple of weeks in Jerusalem, still sleeping on the floor in the studio of a friends apartment, one evening we went to an event at the The Al-Ma'mal Foundation for Contemporary Art.

Here we saw a fantastic performance by Uriel Barthélémi

Uriel Barthélémi is a composer, drummer and electro-acoustic musician who creates compelling physical and psychological dramas through the intense production of sound. Combining drums and electronics, composition and improvisation, his work captures the very essence of live performance.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Radio Free Jaffa

Liberating space through art and action - all.FM:

Along Jerusalem Boulevard the entrance into Jaffa. , Radio Free Jaffa made a radio intervention into all radio transmissions in the proximity.

Radio Free Jaffa offers free space which is much needed in Jaffa, and deals with the current social and political situation in Jaffa by highlighting the housing crises and the evictions of Arab residents from the city.
Radio Free Jaffa walks in Jaffa as a human antenna, broadcasting in close-range. It may not be noticeable, but if your radio starts behaving strangely, you can assume we are in the area.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Radio All Workshop

Israeli Centre for Digital Arts,
Holon, Tel-Aviv

As an introduction to the workshop, Kasia Krakowiak, a polish artist interested in the potential of radio in the wider community showed us this video. It is a story of underground Polish Radio pirates:

'In 1985 a group of astronomers from the University of Torun consturcted their own TV transmission equipment and superimposed Solidarity slogans over official TV broadcasts.'

Another isteresting video which helped to demonstrate what her practice's concerns were, was called the Complaints Choir of Birmingham. The Complaints Choir invites people to complain as much as they want and to sing their complaints out loud together with fellow complainers. The first choir was organised in Birmingham followed by the Complaints Choir of Helsinki and Hamburg. The lyrics were written by the Choir, Music by Mike Hurley. Project by Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen. Produced by Springhill Institute.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Hecker: De/Naturalising the Ear-Brain

Chisenhale Gallery - Thursday 18 March 2010

Beshkan! (1991)

Here is a pretty great video that I found on this blog 'Belog' which I discovered through the website of a magazine called Bidoun which is about Art & Culture from the Middle East.

International Artists workshops in Holon

Israeli Centre for Digital Arts

An e-mail was sent out from the school giving details of free workshops which would be happening in Holon, an area just outiside Tel Aviv, so I got in touch and enlisted myself for the following workshops. Very excited about the prospect of learning Pure Data in a bit more depth!

Genderchangers: Remote Intimacy

Friday, November 12, 9:00-13:00 and Sunday, November 14, 9:00-17:00

Kasia Krakowiak & Ronen Eidelman: Radio all.FM

Radio Hacking, Space Liberating

Monday, November 15, 10:00-16:00 and Tuesday, November 16, 10:00-13:00

Frank Barknecht: Introduction to Pure Data

Wednesday and Thursday, November 17-18, 9:00-17:00

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Mazaj Festival of Experimental Middle-Easter Music

MazaJ (meaning mood in Arabic) is a place of free expression, of attunement that presents sonic experimentation from the Middle East and its diaspora.

The first edition of the MazaJ Festival is a celebration of contemporary and experimental Arabic music and Middle Eastern sonic culture, taking place in London. Curated by artist Seth Ayyaz, MazaJ encourages audiences to look beyond the ‘world music’ label by stripping bare the stereotypes of ‘Arabic’ or ‘Middle Eastern’ music. Forging links between UK and Middle Eastern artists and audiences, the festival takes the form of a one-day conference and concert at City University, followed by a weekend of talks and performances at Café Oto.

Instal 10 Extras

Music is about more than just music.

In fact, any radical music has always been provoked by something from outside: by non-musical ideas, ideas from and about our situation. And it only stays radical if it keeps saying something back to that situation, if it tries to change it.

An experimental festival of experimental music, Instal 10 addresses itself to these and subsequent concerns.

TLOBF Interview // Oneohtrix Point Never

There was – there is – something about Rifts. A two-CD collection collecting together over six years of recorded work from New Yorker Daniel Lopatin’s Oneohtrix Point Never project, this 27-track collection – clocking in at approaching two-and-a-half hours in length – was not just one of the highlights of 2008, but the sort of treasure-trove of music that you could dive into, Scrooge McDuck-style, and never come up for air. (read more...)

Alvin Lucier - I am sitting in a room

I am sitting in a room (1969) is one of composer Alvin Lucier's best known works, featuring Lucier recording himself narrating a text, and then playing the recording back into the room, re-recording it. The new recording is then played back and re-recorded, and this process is repeated. Since all rooms have characteristic resonance or formant frequencies (e.g. different between a large hall and a small room), the effect is that certain frequencies are emphasized as they resonate in the room, until eventually the words become unintelligible, replaced by the pure resonant harmonies and tones of the room itself.

I Am Sitting in a Room, 15:23 (1969, original recording)

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Heavy Metal Drummer- Short film 2005 England/Morocco

The film tells the story of a 15 year's old Moroccan who is the only heavy metal fan in his town Essaouira. He spends his weekends playing traditional ballads in a wedding band with his two cousins but dreams of playing thrash metal and headlining Monsters of Rock.

Year of Production: 2005 Momac film Ltd
Director, Screenwriter and producer : Luke Morris, Toby MacDonald, Amanda Boyle
Principal Cast: Yassine Jari

Musical credits Morocco/Maroc:
Music on headphones/ Musique sur walkman:
Clear Crisis Act
Closing Music/ Musique fin de film:
(In) The Nightmare

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Video | Chris Watson and Sir David Attenborough in conversation

Calls of the Wild: Chris Watson and Sir David Attenborough in conversation from Forma Arts & Media on Vimeo.

From 29 May to 5 September 2010, co-producers Sound and Music and Forma presented Chris Watson's sound installation Whispering in the Leaves in the Palm House at Kew Gardens, part of Kew's Summer Festival.

Chris Watson is a renowned sound recordist and BAFTA winner for his work on the BBC documentary The Life of Birds. In this video he talks to long-time colleague Sir David Attenborough about their experiences sound recording in the wild. The talk was held on 10 August at the Royal Institution of Great Britain and was kindly chaired by Richard Ranft, Head of the British Sound Archive.

Please note this is an excerpt of a 1.5 hour talk.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Soundwalkers - Raquel Castro

Soundwalkers from raquel castro on Vimeo.

There are some fundamental principles regarding the construction of an acoustically healthy society, one where we can exist within the sounds of life. Respect towards voice and words, sonic awareness, the awakening of the sense of hearing. To preserve the sounds that tend to fade out, while remaining open to the sounds that spring out of each technological stride. To build an aural idiom that interprets its own symbolism. To accept the silence, enforcing it in the due moments. And, above all else, to listen.

Kjell Bjørgeengen & Keith Rowe: Porto VI 6.44-10.44 (Excerpt)

Watch an excerpt from a collaborative video by Kjell Bjørgeengen & Keith Rowe

Kjell Bjørgeengen & Keith Rowe: Porto VI 6.44-10.44 (Excerpt) from The Wire Magazine on Vimeo.

Porto VI 6.44-10.44 was made by Kjell Bjørgeengen and Keith Rowe during a residency at Porto's Esquilo Records in 2007. The video was produced from Bjørgeengen's audio oscillators and Rowe's audio outputs converted into a video signal.

Kjell Bjørgeengen and Keith Rowe will both be taking part in the Cut & Splice: Transmission festival in London, 4–6 November. Click here for more details.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

The Wire Salon

Environmental Agents: The Art Of Field Recording

Lee Patterson recording in Dunadd, West Scotland, 2007

An evening devoted to listening to and talking about field recordings. The panel included Justin Bennett, Peter Cusak and Lee Patterson.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010


1 exhibition, 2 venues, 40 artists, 80 projects: «Dynasty» is the outcome of an innovative joint venture involving the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris/ARC and the Palais de Tokyo.

Robin Meier et Ali Momeni

Robin Meier and Ali Momeni both apply the rules of music composition to the confines of art and science. Their collaboration focuses particularly on the interactions between man and the machine. Even though their work integrates high-tech procedures, it resonates nevertheless with the purest traditions of the arts. Trained as a musician, Robin Meier studied composition in Switzerland and electroacoustics at the National Conservatory in the Region of Nice. Since 2004, he has pursued a degree in cognitive philosophy at the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS). Ali Momeni is, as he holds a Ph.D. in Music Composition from the University of California, Berkeley, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Art at the University of Minnesota.
Robin Meier was born in 1980. Lives and works in Paris. Ali Momeni was born in Isfahan, Iran, in 1975. Lives and works in Minneapolis, USA.

Dynasty Robin Meier's and Ali Momeni's work at the Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris /ARC combines electromagnetic waves with astrological rituals, echoing Raoul Dufy’s La Fée Electricité [The Electricity Fairy], which showed the impact of a growing urban electrical distribution on society. At the Palais de Tokyo, Meier and Momeni propose Truce: Strategies for Post-Apocalyptic Computation, an original reading of the works of Gabrielle Gibson and Ian Russel. These scientists from Greenwich University discovered a humming modulation in mosquitoes during copulation. The artists propose here to regulate this behavior by inviting three live insects to reinterpret a traditional Indian song.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Chris Watson

I have only just discovered Chris Watson and what a pleasure it is to find someone who is so passionate about sounds. In todays society we are constantly being bombarded with sounds, noise pollution as it is called, and we have learnt to cut out all these unwanted sounds to try and focus on the task at hand. However we have forgotten to listen to things attentatively for their rich sonic qualities and this is what Chris manages to do to show us the beauty of everyday sounds from the microscosm to the sound of an Adult Cheetah Resting By Beobab Tree.

Friday, 3 September 2010

The Wire Salon: We Hear A New World: Microphony, Technology & The Rise Of Sound Art

Artist/writer Salomé Voegelin, author of Listening To Noise And Silence (Continuum), Helen Frosi, curator of the Soundfjord gallery, and critic/sound artist Will Montgomery discuss the new philosophies and practices of 21st century sound art.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010


Here is a brief video showing an instument originally designed by Luigi Russolo called the Intonarumori which has been re-created by Nicolas Bernier creating some fantastic sounds.

nicolas bernier | boîte. | excerpt from Nicolas Bernier on Vimeo.

Martin Messier + Nicolas Bernier | La chambre des machines from Nicolas Bernier on Vimeo.

Here are some very professionaly made intonarumori by Wexel:

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Weights, Motors & Chimes

Carving Log

I've been wanting to try my hand at carving for quite some time so I asked Russel where I might be able to find a nice log to carve and he mentioned that there were a few trees past the Botanic Gardens which had recently been felled. So that's where I found this wondeful log.

I thought it would just be a great chance to get used to using the tools and learning what kind of patterns could be made with them so that I would then be able to apply this to my practice if ever the situation arose.

Janet Cardiff & Georges Bures Miller

Pandemonium (2005)
Materials: robotic beaters hitting lights, pipes, cupboards, beds and steel drums controlled by midi.
Installation 2005-7 Eastern State Pennitentiary Museum, curated by Julie Courtney

Tip tap tip tap. Is that the sound of dripping or is it someone in a cell tapping a code on the wall? Now there are many more tapping sounds. Far and near. Loud and soft. Now someone is banging on a pipe, now a cupboard. Now the hall is filled with a cacophony of beats, working their way back and forth, a PANDEMONIUM of percussion.

Using the existing elements in the prison cells Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller have made the entire Cellblock Seven into a giant musical instrument, producing a percussive site work. This instrument, controlled by a computer and midi system, is made up of one hundred and twenty separate beaters hitting disparate xobjects such as toilet bowls, light fixtures and bedside tables found within the prison cells. The composition begins subtly as if two prisoners are trying to communicate and then moves through an abstract soundscape and lively dance beats until it reaches a riot-like crescendo.

The massive Eastern State Penitentiary was once the most famous and expensive prison in the world. Its gothic, castle-like towers stood as a grim warning to lawbreakers in the young United States. This was the world’s first true “penitentiary,” a prison intended to inspire profound regret – or penitence—in the hearts of criminals. The influential design featured cellblocks extending like the spokes of a wheel; each inmate lived in solitary confinement in a vaulted sky-lit cell. The prison itself had running water and central heat before the White House, and once held many of America’s most notorious criminals, including bank robber “Slick Willie” Sutton and Al Capone.

Eastern State closed in 1971. The prison stands today in ruin, a haunting world of crumbling cellblocks and a place of surprising beauty. Cardiff and Miller present Pandemonium in Cell Block Seven, a massive, cathedral-like, two-story wing completed in 1836. It has never been open to the public, and has been stabilized especially for this exhibition. The installation will open to the public on May 12, 2005 and will remain on view through November as well as in 2006.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Queen's Park Arena Design Competition

My Dad sent me this clipping from a newspaper which regards a competition to design a new bandstand for Queen's park to replace the one which burnt down in 1996.

Can you remember what the bandstand was like?
Can you imagine what a new performance space might be like?
Our aim is to restore the amphitheatre / former bandstand area in Queen’s Park for modern performance use.
The project will provide opportunities to perform, entertain, and enhance the Park.
This is a pilot project designed to see whether community councils can work together to shape and lead community projects. It is one of only two in Scotland supported with £15,000 pump-priming funding in 2009-10.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Experimenting with Piston Motion

I have been meaning to study different forms of motion for quite some time having been an admirer of Sharmanka (Russian Kinetic Sculpture) for several years now.

With this understanding of how to transform one form of motion into another I would be able to make large-scale kinetic sculptures. I have found the website flying pig to have been particularly useful and have been experimenting making a piston mechanism.

Ideally this would be powered by bicycle or wind power but I would equally like to learn how to use a car battery with an inverter. Below I have tried making a small wind powered piston which moves a small object on wheels back and forth.

There were several problems with this which were that the back garden is not windy enough and there was too much lateral friction from the weight of the car, however the resulting motion was as expected.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Chris Petit's 'Content'

Tuesday 09 March 2010 10PM More4

Thirty years ago, Chris Petit directed Radio On, now considered a road movie cult classic which caught the zeitgeist of the Britain of the time.

Now showing in the True Stories strand, Content is described by Petit as, "an ambient 21st century road movie", a meditative essay inspired by the almost trancelike state the act of driving can bring

With the narrative provided by Hanns Zischler, the film is variously about memories of other journeys from Texas through to Poland, the impact of modern technology and the rise of the huge impersonal factory sheds which now line roads throughout the world.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Which Way Home

Tuesday 17 November 2009 10PM More4

The Oscar-nominated Which Way Home follows unaccompanied child migrants as they journey through Mexico on a freight train they call 'The Beast', hoping to reach the USA

Rebecca Cammisa's film tracks the stories of children like Olga and Freddy, nine-year-old Hondurans who are desperately trying to reach their families in Minnesota; Jose, a ten-year-old El Salvadoran who has been abandoned by smugglers and ends up alone in a Mexican detention centre; and Kevin, a canny, streetwise 14-year-old Honduran, whose mother hopes that he will reach New York City and send money back to his family.

These are stories of hope and courage, disappointment and sorrow. They are the stories most people never hear about: the invisible ones.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Found - Cybraphon

Preview at SWG3 Saturday 14th April

The objects which were sourced for this piece came from the incredible collection of Michael Bennet Levy's collection in Monkton House, described in an article of the Edinburgh Evening News and the catalogue of all the items which were sold at auction by Bonham's on the 30th September 2009, which included a collection of 20 pre-war television sets (rarer than a Stradivaius violin), is available to view here.

Triste Tryst, a tango for Cybraphon by Bernd Rest from Cybraphon on Vimeo.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

NVA White Bicycle Plan

On Thursday the 15th April I participated in NVA's White Bicycle Ride out from the Fountain in Kelvingrove Park to St. Georges Square, a re-anactment of the infamous White Bike Plan, a Dutch anarchist action from the mid 1960’s. It turned out to be a very successful ride with very little agression from the drivers which I have experienced before on Critical Mass when there have been much fewer people.

White Bikes from Central Station on Vimeo.

“The White Bicycle Plan proposes to create bicycles for public use that cannot be locked. The white bicycle symbolizes simplicity and healthy living, as opposed to the gaudiness and filth of the authoritarian automobile.” Provo manifesto

Monday, 12 April 2010

Baschet Brothers

Sculpture Sonores is the name given to the Baschet Brothers vast collection of visually striking instruments crafted out of steel and aluminum and amplified by large curved conical sheets of metal. Some small, some over twenty feet high and incorporating glass rods, metal cones, wires, plastic inflatable resonators, and many other devices, these fascinating structures are not only aesthetically entrancing, but produce an incredible range of sounds and varied sonic textures.

These cones seem rather similar to the one I made for the performance in the garage space last at the end of first term. If you would like to download an album of theirs I recommend you check out Continuo's web blog here...enjoy.

Ron Pippin

Interactive art on display at the Kinetica Art Fair

Artworks that move, glow and react to human movement and sound are on display at the Kinetica Art Fair in London.

The show aims to push the boundaries between science, art and engineering.

The Kinetica Art Fair February 2009.

Jean Tinguely - Homage to New York (1960)

I am subscribed to the South London Gallery who issue small publications every month addressing some very interesting issues. This month in reference to Michael Landy's 'art bin' they mentioned Jean Tinguely who's I decided to do some further research on. Here is a short video of the work which made the most significant impression on Landy.

Jean Tinguely - Homage to New York (1960) from Stephen Cornford on Vimeo.

To grasp what he’s getting at here, one needs to appreciate Landy’s long-standing love affair with the Swiss Dadaist/performance artist, Jean Tinguely, who died in 1991. In 1982, Landy caught a Tinguely retrospective at Tate and the anarchic energy of the show, coupled with the joyous response of the audience, made a deep impression on his teenage mind. “There were machines you could ride or throw balls into; there were others where, if you put your foot on a pedal, they did a manic dance,” he explains. “They were all made out of junk, so aesthetically they were quite ugly-looking, but I was a textile student, collecting and making patterns out of junk. It was a revelation.”

(Read more...)

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Feldstärke international

Open Day at Centquatre (Paris)
Saturday 3rd April

Over the Easter Holidays I went to go visit a friend in Paris. Whilst I was there I found out about this opening being held in this fantastic building CENTQUATRE, a place where the artistic dynamic pushes back the boundary between art and the public.

People were inside this temporary enclosure creating sounds out of objects which they had purchased for under a euro. The performance was then streamed live to several tv's and speakers next door for the audience to watch, creating a somewhat disjointed experience of a live event - existing in such close proximity yet witnessing the event through a screen.

“Feldstärke international” is an exchange programme that brings together students from 16 Schools of Art from Germany, France and Turkey, as well as one from the United States. Participating students have the mission to share their disciplines and to work together with the enthusiasm and the vision of creating works of art collectively.

The aim of this programme, which is a joint programme between CENTQUATRE, PACT Zollverein (Essen) and ¨cˇu’m„a* (Istanbul), is to motivate the 44 arts students from all disciplines (design, dance, cinema, landscaping, plastic arts, music, theatre etc.) to work together at each of the three partners’ venues, thus at PACT in January 2010, at CENTQUATRE in April and finally in Istanbul in October. The programme, which was launched in 2009, is to be developed at international level over the next few years.

The picture above is the site of a performance where two people would hold balloons just outside the beam from the projector and gradually bring them in, creating fantastic effects as they span the balloons round highlighting a temporary round window of the projected pattern

The Blog is the online forum of exchanges between the students where they share their interactions, whether they happen over long distances or when they meet together: