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Archive by May, 2007

The Latency of the Moving Image in New Media, by Eduardo Navas

Image and text source: Telic Arts Exchange

Written for an exhibition with the same title curated by Eduardo Navas at Telic Arts Exchange, Chinatown, Los Angeles, CA. May 25 – June 16, 2007

Text released: May 25, 2007

What separates new media from previous media is, in part, waiting periods that define public and private experience; whether the download of a file from the Internet is taking longer than expected, an e-mail message has not been sent from one server to another for some unknown reason, or a large file is being rendered in video software like Final Cut Pro for output as a viewable movie, new media is largely dependent on constant moments of waiting, often referenced as latency.

Latency is used with three significations in mind. First, is the technological latency that takes place in new media culture due to the nature of the computer: the machine has to always check in loops what it must do, to then execute commands, eventually leading to the completion of a task. This is the case when someone uses Photoshop, Microsoft Word, or any other commercial application; or streams image and sound across the Internet. This constant checking in loops at hardware and software levels opens the space for latency’s second signification, which extends in social space when the user consciously waits for a response that begins and ends with the computer. Latency becomes naturalized when a person incorporates computer interaction as part of his/her everyday activities.


Black Secret Technology (The Whitey On The Moon Dub), BY Julian Jonker

Dr. Octagon Chapter 8

Image source: my.illhill.com/

Text source: CTheory

December 4, 2002

“I can’t pay no doctor bills but Whitey’s on the moon.” Earlier this year, while Mark Shuttleworth orbited the earth at a dazzling 66 sunrises a day in a piece of space junk called Soyuz, an email did the rounds of left-leaning South Africans, and ended up in my inbox one day. The message reproduced some complaints from a poem by Gil-Scott Heron:

The man just upped my rent last night cuz Whitey’s on the moon
No hot water, no toilets, no lights but Whitey’s on the moon.
I wonder why he’s uppin me. Cuz Whitey’s on the moon?
I was already givin’ him fifty a week but now Whitey’s on the moon.

Thirty years after Gil Scott Heron chanted his dissatisfaction with the US cold war space programme, race relations have changed, perhaps not entirely but significantly, in the US and at the tip of this continent. Other things have changed too.

Read the entire article at CTheory.

Deleuze/Guattari: Remix Culture, Paul D. Miller Interviews Carlo Simula

Image source: Dusty Groove

Text source: Nettime.org and Djspooky.com

November 20, 2005
The following is an interview with Carlo Simula for his book

Contributions will include Guy-Marc Hinant (Sub Rosa), Philippe Franck (transcultures, le maubege), Bernhard Lang, Tim Murphy, Achim Szepanski – and many others. I think it’s an update on some issues that have been percolating.

Smell the brew.
Tunis, Tunisia 11/20/05

1) You’ve often referred in your interviews to how much contemporary philosophy has influenced your work. Foucault said “Un jour, peut-être, le siècle sera deleuzien”, how much and in which way Deleuze and Guattari influenced you? And what you feel is interesting in their work?

The idea of the “remix” is pretty trendy these days – as usual people tend to “script” over the multi-cultural links: the economics of “re-purposing,” “outsourcing” and above all, of living in an “experience economy” – these are things that fuel African American culture, and it’s active dissemination in all of the diaspora of Afro-Modernity. My take on Deleuze and Guattari is to apply a “logic of the particular” to the concept of contemporary art. Basically it’s to say that software has undermined all of the categories of previous production models, and in turn, molded the “computational models” of how “cultural capital,” as Pierre Bourdieu coined it, mirrors various kinds of production models in a world where “sampling” (mathematical and musical), has become the global language of urban youth culture. Eduoard Glissant, the Afro-Caribbean philosopher/linguist liked to call this “creolization” – I like to call it “the remix.” Philosophy is basically a reflective activity. It always requires a surface to bounce off of. We don’t exist in a cultural vacuum.


Remixer Rising, by Dennis Romero

Image and text source: Los Angeles City Beat

Note: This article is useful to understand the process of the remixer. Although the intro may be putting down mash ups as simplistic, there are other good tips for further research.

January 22, 2004

DJ Bill Hamel is moving up, and not just because of his Grammy-nominated take on Seal’s ‘Get It Together’

The do-it-yourself revolution in music gets no closer to the top echelons of the industry than with the modern dance-music remixer. The remixer is often born of a DJ’s desire to fit a pop song into a linear, up-tempo dance-floor structure. A remix can be composed from a pop-song chorus, drum-machine beats, and simple keys. It can be accomplished using only a laptop. The most rudimentary remixes are known as “mash-ups,” basically DJs mixing together two popular tracks and recording the blend for posterity. Then there’s the bootleg, the homemade pop remix done on spec. Finally, there’s the official, label-sanctioned remix, often a DJ’s own artistic take on a pop song that doesn’t lift the chorus and hook wholesale, but rather offers a fresh interpretation.

Read the entire article at Los Angeles City Beat

Free Tool Offers ‘Easy’ Codin, by Jonathan Fildes

Scratch’s creator Mitchel Resnick building a character

Image and text source: BBC

May 14, 2007

A free programming tool that allows anyone to create their own animated stories, video games and interactive artworks has been developed.

Primarily aimed at children, Scratch does not require prior knowledge of complex computer languages.

Instead, it uses a simple graphical interface that allows programs to be assembled like building blocks.

The digital toolkit, developed in the US at MIT’s Media Lab, allows people to blend images, sound and video.

“Computer programming has been traditionally seen as something that is beyond most people – it’s only for a special group with technical expertise and experience,” said Professor Mitchel Resnick, one of the researchers at the Lifelong Kindergarten group at MIT.

The Web 2.0 Mashup Ecosystem Ramps Up, by Dion Hinchcliffe

Image and text source: Soa Web Services

4 February 2006

2.63 new mashups a day.  That’s what John Musser’s terrific new Mashup Feed site says is current the creation rate.  If that rate flattens out today, which isn’t likely, that’s over 960 new mashups every year.  Mashups, composite web applications partially constructed from the services and content from other web sites, are taking off with an amazing speed.  Yet they are a relatively new phenomenon in terms of being this widespread and pervasive.  All this even though mashups, like blogs and wikis, were actually possible from the creation date of the first forms-capable browser.  So why the sudden widespread interest?


Martha Schwartz : Landscapes of Awareness, by Quilian Riano

Image and text source: archinect

Mar 20, 2007

With little care or tact we keep expanding our cities and replacing what was once wilderness with pathetic shrubs in the medians between three car lane avenues. Because we love nature, we put small planters in front of big box stores in the concrete seas that are our suburbs, in what amounts to a desperate effort to humanize the landscape. We love nature so much that we romanticize it, using its image to sell SUVs that in ads, climb idyllic mountains, but in reality are uncritically driven through the increasingly bland (visually and culturally) landscape of sprawl. These are among the arguments laid out to a full Piper Auditorium at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (GSD) by landscape architect Martha Schwartz. She concludes that this Quick, Cheap, and (token) Green view of landscape is an increasing problem in the United States and the world. Martha finishes this section of her lecture with a haunting question: What are the long-term effects of a bland landscape on a society and each of its members?


1 + 1 + 1 = 1: The new math of mashups, by Sasha Frere-Jones

Image source: Gullbuy

Text source: The New Yorker

January 10, 2005

In July of 2003, Jeremy Brown, a.k.a. DJ Reset, took apart a song. Using digital software, Brown isolated instrumental elements of “Debra,” a song by Beck from his 1999 album “Midnite Vultures.” Brown, who is thirty-three and has studied with Max Roach, adjusted the tempo of “Debra” and added live drums and human beat-box noises that he recorded at his small but tidy house in Long Island City. Then he sifted through countless a-cappella vocals archived on several hard drives. Some a-cappellas are on commercially released singles, specifically intended for d.j. use, while others appear on the Internet, having been leaked by people working in the studio where the song was recorded, or sometimes even by the artist.

After auditioning almost a thousand vocals, Brown found that an a-cappella of “Frontin’,” a collaboration between the rapper Jay-Z and the producer Pharrell Williams, was approximately in the same key as “Debra.” The two songs are not close in style—“Debra” is a tongue-in-cheek take on seventies soul music, while “Frontin’ ” is hard and shimmering computer music—but the vocalists are doing something similar. Brown exploited this commonality, and used his software to put the two singers exactly in tune.

Read the entire article at The New Yorker

Time for an Apple/Google Mash-up, by Arik Hesseldahl

Abbey Road ipod mash up

Image source: xlr8r.com
Text source: Business Week
AUGUST 31, 2006

Byte of the Apple

The two titans are drawing closer together. If they would just combine their offerings, they’d pose a real threat to Microsoft

I have an admittedly odd affinity for remembering TV advertisements I saw as a very young child. Sometimes those memories pop up when I least expect them.

Today I’ve been thinking of a spot that those of a certain age will remember well: Two guys walking, one eating chocolate, the other, inexplicably eating peanut butter out of a jar. They bump, and the chocolate drops into the jar. The rest, of course, has become marketing history, summed up by the jingle for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups: “Two great tastes that taste great together.”

Funny, the ad comes to mind in the wake of an announcement that Google (GOOG) CEO Eric Schmidt is joining the board at Apple Computer (AAPL). It’s the latest indication these two Silicon Valley stalwarts are getting closer all the time. And the possibilities for cooperation between the two are legion.

Read the entire article at Business Week

“Street Level” an Art Exhibition Featuring Works by Mark Bradford, William Cordova, & Robin Rhode

Image source: Youtube

I recently received the following link to a Youtube video about the exhibition “Street Level” taking place at the Nasher Museum of Art:


As great and as challenging the works in this exhibition may be, they do not fall in emerging Remix practice, but rather belong in appropriation art practice following the conceptual art movement from the nineteen seventies. One thing which should be pointed out is that not everything that makes references to pre-existing material is Remix. Appropriating something does not mean one automatically is remixing. Remix relies on sampling–that is an actual part–an actual section of the “thing” must be part of the “remix,” and the projects in “Street Level” are precise allegorical references to the street, or some other source that is connected to the street. Even after making this clarification I urge you to look at the Youtube video, please do take the time to view it.

Below is the brief statement sent by David Colagiovanni (thank you for the forward!):

It’s the work of 3 artists- Mark Bradford, William Cordova, & Robin Rhode
for who the streets of their respective cities act as fluid, living sources of inspiration. Found objects, urban vernacular and performative gestures help build a foundation for their art, including painting, works on paper, sculpture, photography, video, installation and other mixed media. Their work explores the ways that cultural territory is defined and space is transformed in urban environments.

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