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Archive by March, 2010

Parts One and Two of Re*- Lecture: “Remix[ing]. The Three Chronological Stages of Sampling” by Eduardo Navas

The following is a presentation separated into two parts; it was produced for the conference Re*-Recycling_Sampling_Jamming, which took place in Berlin during February 2009.

Part One: Remix[ing]. The Three Chronological Stages of Sampling

Part One (above) introduces the three chronological stages of Remix, while part two (below) defines how the three chronological stages are linked to the concept of Authorship, as defined by Roland Barthes and Michel Foucault.  Also see my previous entry “The Author Function in Remix” which is a written excerpt of the theory proposed in part two.

Part Two: Remix[ing]. The Three Chronological Stages of Sampling

Below is the abstract that summarizes the content of the two videos.  Total running time is around fifteen minutes.

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Text originally published on Re*- on February 2009:

SAMSTAG_28.02.2009_SEKTION IV_15-20 UHR

12_15:00 Remix[ing]. The Three Chronological Stages of Sampling
Eduardo Navas, Künstler und Medienwissenschaftler, University of California in San Diego (USA)

Sampling is the key element that makes the act of remixing possible. In order for Remix to take effect, an originating source must be sampled in part or as a whole. Sampling is often associated with music; however, this text will show that sampling has roots in mechanical reproduction, initially explored in visual culture with photography. A theory of sampling will be presented which consists of three stages: The first took place in the nineteenth century with the development of photography and film, along with sound recording. In this first stage, the world sampled itself. The second stage took place at the beginning of the twentieth century, once mechanical recording became conventionalized, and early forms of cutting and pasting were explored. This is the time of collage and photo-montage. And the third stage is found in new media in which the two previous stages are combined at a meta-level, giving users the option to cut or copy (the current most popular form of sampling) based on aesthetics, rather than limitations of media. This is not to say that new media does not have limitations, but exactly what these limitations may be is what will be entertained at greater length.The analysis of the three stages of sampling that inform Remix as discourse is framed by critical theory. A particular focus is placed on how the role of the author in contemporary media practice is being redefined in content production due to the tendency to share and collaborate. The theories on authorship by Roland Barthes and Michel Foucault are entertained in direct relation to the complexities that sampling has brought forth since it became ubiquitous in popular activities of global media, such as social networking and blogging.

REBLOG: scientists, designers, and artists will gather in New York to discuss how our lives could be transformed by recognizing scent as design, by Eva Wisten

Image and text source: Seed

On March 26, Parsons the New School for Design and MoMA, in collaboration with IFF, Seed, and Coty, will present Headspace: On Scent as Design. A one-day symposium on the conception, impact, and potential applications of scent, the event will gather leading thinkers, designers, scientists, artists, established perfumers as well as “accidental perfumers”—architects, designers, and chefs—to acknowledge scent as a new territory for design. Seed sat down with organizers Paola Antonelli, Véronique Ferval, Jamer Hunt, Jane Nisselson, and Laetitia Wolff to discuss why we tend to overlook the importance of scent, our increasingly antiseptic, smell-free lives, and how our lives could change when we begin to tap into the rich olfactory dimension of design.

What inspired Headspace?

The idea that led us to organize Headspace is that scent is not only a medium for design, but also a design form in its own right.  Perfumers and scientists working on scent perform every time a design act. Sometimes it is good, sometimes mediocre. It can be very commercial, or more limited and idiosyncratic. Just like other forms of design, it is targeted to the goal at hand, whether the creation of a new clothing detergent with universal appeal or of a unique scent that will touch only a few dozen wrists. Just like other forms of design, it requires expertise and dedication, not to mention talent. We are therefore not advocating that any self-described designer should also feel free to tackle scent, but rather that designers should be aware of the spatial and perceptive potential of scent, and that perfumers should realize that they are engaged in design and take advantage of that knowledge.

Why is the smell experience of an object or an environment so often ignored or treated as less significant than the visual and, when it applies, aural, tactile or taste experience?

Scent happens both before and behind all other senses. Scents hit us directly through the limbic system; they are more pre-cognitive and emotional. For that reason, it’s harder for our mind to compute. Language doesn’t really seem up to the task of expressing all that scent means to us, or triggers within us. We ignore olfactive input because we have not been educated in a language with which to express any perceived gradations. Thus, we are still at the level of the “grunt,” limited to broad terms like good, bad, ugh, and sweet.

History has helped smell’s downfall, too. With the Enlightenment Era came a certain rationalization of our senses, where knowledge, culture, class, and intelligence were associated directly with our visual senses, whereas smell was associated with bodily fluids, dirt, and poverty. We seem to still be shaped by that dichotomy and we therefore miss out on one of our great cognitive gifts

An approach similar to the wine industry’s could motivate the public to acquire an education and a vocabulary to share their olfactive experiences. We have cultivated a sophisticated approach to flavor that makes us think we can really choose among twelve types of salt and twenty-five types of olive oils. There is no similar reciprocal relationship in the domain of smell that invites and rewards people to cultivate and pursue odor distinctions and experiences.

Social history has encouraged a discomfort with our beautifully functional nostrils. It is time to reclaim them!

Read the entire feature at Seed

REBLOG: Album Sleeve Transforms Into a Cardboard Record Player!

Image and text source: Inhabitat

At Inhabitat we love gadgets, but sometimes we cringe at the environmental costs of their manufacturing. So, we perked up when we heard about GGRP’s brilliant album packaging that transforms into a cardboard record player. The 45 rpm album sleeve unfolds into a miniature record player, and with the help a pencil you can become a DIY zero-energy DJ.

Read the entire entry

REBLOG (Press Release): Dead Fingers Talk: The Tape Experiments of William S. Burroughs

Image and text source: IMT Gallery

Note: Press release about an upcoming exhibition in which I participate taking place in London at IMT Gallery during May through June of 2010.

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Dead Fingers Talk is an ambitious forthcoming exhibition presenting two unreleased tape experiments by William Burroughs from the mid 1960s alongside responses by 23 artists, musicians, writers, composers and curators.

Few writers have exerted as great an influence over such a diverse range of art forms as William Burroughs. Burroughs, author of Naked Lunch, The Soft Machine and Junky, continues to be regularly referenced in music, visual art, sound art, film, web-based practice and literature. One typically overlooked, yet critically important, manifestation of his radical ideas about manipulation, technology and society is found in his extensive experiments with tape recorders in the 1960s and ’70s. Dead Fingers Talk: The Tape Experiments of William S. Burroughs is the first exhibition to truly demonstrate the diversity of resonance in the arts of Burroughs’ theories of sound.

listen to your present time tapes and you will begin to see who you are and what you are doing here mix yesterday in with today and hear tomorrow your future rising out of old recordings

everybody splice himself in with everybody else

The exhibition includes work by Joe Ambrose, Steve Aylett, Alex Baker & Kit Poulson, Lawrence English, The Human Separation, Riccardo Iacono, Anthony Joseph, Cathy Lane, Eduardo Navas, Negativland, o.blaat, Aki Onda, Jörg Piringer, Plastique Fantastique, Simon Ruben White, Giorgio Sadotti, Scanner, Terre Thaemlitz, Thomson & Craighead, Laureana Toledo and Ultra-red, with performances by Ascsoms and Solina Hi-Fi.

Inspired by the expelled Surrealist painter Brion Gysin, and yet never meant as art but as a pseudo-scientific investigation of sounds and our relationship to technology and material, the experiments provide early examples of interactions which are essential listening for artists working in the digital age.

In the case of the work in the exhibition the contributors were asked to provide a “recording” in response to Burroughs’ tape experiments. The works, which vary significantly in media and focus, demonstrate the diversity of attitudes to such a groundbreaking period of investigation.

Dead Fingers Talk: The Tape Experiments of William S. Burroughs is curated by Mark Jackson. The project is supported by the London College of Communication, CRiSAP and ADi Audiovisual and has been made possible by the kind assistance of the William Burroughs Trust, Riflemaker and the British Library.

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