Friday, 30 November 2007

Sonic Experience: A Guide to Everyday Sounds by Jean Francois Augoyard

Never before has the everyday soundtrack of urban space been so cacophonous. Since the 1970s, sound researchers have attempted to classify noise, music, and everyday sounds using concepts such as Pierre Shafer's sound object and R. Murray Schafer's soundscape. Recently, the most significant team of soundscape researchers in the world has been concerned with the effects of sounds on listeners.

In a multidisciplinary work spanning musicology, electro-acoustic composition, architecture, urban studies, communication, phenomenology, social theory, physics, and psychology, Jean-François Augoyard, Henry Torgue, and their associates at the Centre for Research on Sonic Space and the Urban Environment (CRESSON) in Grenoble, France, provide an alphabetical sourcebook of eighty sonic/auditory effects. Their accounts of sonic effects such as echo, anticipation, vibrato, and wha-wha integrate information about the objective physical spaces in which sounds occur with cultural contexts and individual auditory experience. Sonic Experience attempts to rehabilitate general acoustic awareness, combining accessible definitions and literary examples with more in-depth technical information for specialists.

The ability to concentrate our attention on the speech of a specific speaker by disregarding parasite information coming from the surroundings…From the physical perspective, one of the predominant elements is the spatial separation of noise and speech. On the psychophysiological level, selective listening is governed by our capacity to discriminate sounds from different sources - by our capacity to localize in the noise.


Graffiti Artists Light the Way for Animation

Thanks to Johannes Tolk for this (from Wired):

Gallery: Graffiti Artists Light the Way for Animation
By Jenna Wortham

Cologne-based art collective Lichtfaktor has transformed a simple street science into a lucrative new genre of illuminative art. Check out samples of their signature style of light scribing, which has landed them ad campaigns producing videos and images for companies like Current TV, Philips, Sprint, Speedo and others.


Wednesday, 28 November 2007

INTERREGNUM: In Between States

PSi # 14 conference in Copenhagen 2008, August 20-24

The PSi # 14 conference INTERREGNUM: In Between States takes place at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. It will represent the collaboration of several institutions in the Øresund region, and seek to encourage interdisciplinary approaches to the concepts of vision and visuality within performance studies.
The conference will include areas beyond the traditional theatre studies approach, by emphasizing performance studies in relationship with visual arts. At the same time we wish to stress vision and visuality as areas of interest within disciplines other than art history, visual culture studies and media studies. This interdisciplinary focus on vision and visuality will be captured and developed throughout the conference under the theme of INTERREGNUM: In Between States.

To submit a proposal for the conference or find out more about the event please click the links above.

Please visit the Performance Studies international website for more information about the PSi organization.

Limited Language

And thanks to Johannes Tolk for this too:


limited Language is a brand which uses the web as a platform for generating writing about visual communication. the idea of the brand in this context is a deliberate conceit - to explore how words, like images, are commodities.


cutting, pasting and recycling are all properties of contemporary image culture and are present in the way we generate ideas. thoughts and conversations are cut and pasted from one context to the next, taking on a new significance in each. limited language aims to capture this as a working process for new writing.


like an image bank of stock photography, anyone can be part of limited language by responding to trigger blogs. once posted, we encourage people to recycle your comments in their own research, as we may collage them in to our own writing, with the aim to publish the resulting articles (any post eventually used will be credited to you).



Thanks to Johannes Tolk for this:

Proboscis is an artist-led studio which combines artistic practice with commissioning, curatorial projects, design and consultancy. Collaboration is at the core of our creative practice and ethic: Proboscis works across disciplines and practices, working with associate artists, writers, curators, critics, designers, technologists, filmmakers, scientists and theorists to explore social, cultural and creative issues.

Our work includes large scale collaborative artworks such as Mapping Perception, long term media works such as Urban Tapestries and DIFFUSION Generator, multi-project initiatives involving in depth research and a high level of public participation such as Social Tapestries, smaller scale artworks, interventions and films such as Topographies and Tales, experimental forums and events such as Human Echoes – A Dialogue on Cultures of Listening and large scale curatorial initiatives such as Navigating History.

Since 2001 Proboscis has created a number of projects that explore the relationships between individuals, communities and the environments they inhabit. Our work has developed from an initial focus on the geographies of place to the social relationships that underpin it. Our projects have become rooted in deeper engagement with specific situations and contexts with our interventions taking place over longer periods of time. For participatory work Proboscis uses co-creative approaches – encouraging people to participate in making and sharing ideas through artistic processes and works: examples are the Urban Tapestries mapping platform, the DIFFUSION Generator (utilising the DIFFUSION eBook format), the Endless Landscapes, the StoryCubes, the Sound Scavenging kits and the Feral Robots for environmental sensing.


'This is our world: the acoustics of vegetables'

The Vienna Vegetable Orchestra serves up a musical feast at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.

Extreme Environments

Landsat Image Mosaic Of Antarctica (LIMA)

In support of the International Polar Year (IPY 2007-2008), LIMA brings the coldest continent on Earth alive in greater detail than ever before through this virtually cloudless, seamless, and high resolution satellite view of Antarctica.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), created LIMA from more than 1,000 Landsat ETM+ scenes.

As the first major scientific outcome of the IPY, LIMA truly fulfills the IPY goals. LIMA is an international effort, supports current scientific polar research, encourages new projects, and helps the general public visualize Antarctica and changes happening to this southernmost environment. Researchers and the general public can download LIMA and all of the component Landsat scenes at no charge.


Sunday, 25 November 2007

'iPod oblivion' set to become illegal in New York

By Tom Leonard in New York
Last Updated: 1:24am GMT 09/02/2007

"iPod oblivion", the modern condition which reduces people with little white headphones stuffed into their ears to a zombie-like state, could become an offence in New York.

Alarmed by a spate of deaths in the city caused by iPod wearers inadvertently stepping into oncoming traffic, a New York senator is introducing legislation this week that would make it an offence - punishable by a $100 fine - to use any electronic device while crossing a street.

Carl Kruger, a senator for Brooklyn, wants the ban proposed in his distracted walking bill to be extended to mobile phones, handheld emailing devices such as Blackberries and video games.


Saturday, 24 November 2007

Design to Order

The future of design? Voters pick the next must-have on the net
Innovator wants to change face of shopping and replace mass-produced goods with people-power ideas

Ian Sample, science correspondent
The Guardian Saturday November 24 2007

If Kohei Nishiyama's wishes are granted, he will be financially independent by the age of 40, living as an inventor and being woken each morning by his robot dog. But the 37-year-old Tokyo-based designer and founder of Elephant Design has a more ambitious dream, one he hopes will change the face of British shopping.

He wants to empty the shelves of dreary, mass-marketed and mass-produced objects and replace them with products that we - the people - have helped to develop. Nishiyama calls his idea Design to Order and the principle is simple. Anyone with a unique idea, for anything from a robotic web camera to a magnetic bathroom mirror, posts an image and description on his website. There, people can log on to suggest alterations and improvements to the design. If enough people then vote for the product, he makes a deal with a manufacturer and the product is made.


Friday, 23 November 2007

Extreme Environments

Some exist in a comatose-like state. Some manufacture their own anti-freeze. Animals and plants have a variety of extraordinary adaptations to survive in extreme cold, which Mark Carwardine discovers in the first of this new series.

One creature he examines is the arctic ground squirrel, which has to hibernate for eight months of the year because of the arctic winter. The squirrel is not sleeping, but becoming a "supercooler". Its body temperature drops to zero and its heartbeat drops from 200 to just six beats a minute, yet none of this strains the squirrel's body. This supression of their system may in future help medical staff treat trauma and stroke patients, and to realise how difficult humans find it to survive in freezing temperatures, Mark records part of the programme in an environment simulation chamber at minus 23 degrees centigrade. Not an easy task.

Listen to Some Like It Cold (BBC Radio programme).


52 Projects is a site dedicated to thinking outside the craft. It's all about projects and project-making. Project ideas, projects to create, projects to check out, and projects to participate in. DIY projects, homemade projects, writing projects, photo projects, projects, projects, projects... And more projects.



Disturbance is a temporary change in environmental, societal or personal conditions that causes a pronounced change in a system. Disturbances can have profound immediate effects on these systems and can, accordingly, greatly alter its surroundings. Because of their impact, the effects can continue for an extended period of time.

A series of internet radio broadcasts curated by Niels Van Tomme

Interactive Architecture

Interactive Architecture dot Org explorers emerging practices within architecture that aim to merge digital technologies & virtual spaces with tangible and physical spatial experiences. Instead of defining a fixed architectural product it is an architecture in constant flux best suited to protyping and semi-perminant installations.


The Society of the Spectacle

In societies where modern conditions of production prevail, all of life presents itself as an immense accumulation of spectacles. Everything that was directly lived has moved away into a representation.


by Guy-Ernest Debord


I have met with but one or two persons in the course of my life who understood the art of Walking, that is, of taking walks--who had a genius, so to speak, for SAUNTERING, which word is beautifully derived "from idle people who roved about the country, in the Middle Ages, and asked charity, under pretense of going a la Sainte Terre," to the Holy Land, till the children exclaimed, "There goes a Sainte-Terrer," a Saunterer, a Holy-Lander. They who never go to the Holy Land in their walks, as they pretend, are indeed mere idlers and vagabonds; but they who do go there are saunterers in the good sense, such as I mean. Some, however, would derive the word from sans terre without land or a home, which, therefore, in the good sense, will mean, having no particular home, but equally at home everywhere. For this is the secret of successful sauntering. He who sits still in a house all the time may be the greatest vagrant of all; but the saunterer, in the good sense, is no more vagrant than the meandering river, which is all the while sedulously seeking the shortest course to the sea. But I prefer the first, which, indeed, is the most probable derivation. For every walk is a sort of crusade, preached by some Peter the Hermit in us, to go forth and reconquer this Holy Land from the hands of the Infidels.


by Henry David Thoreau
first published 1862

Making Critical Public Space

Interview with Krzysztof Wodiczko
by Elise S. Youn and María J. Prieto

The projects of public artist Krzysztof Wodiczko give participants the opportunity to speak about their traumatic experiences. Through the animation of historic public buildings and monuments in cities such as Krakow, Boston, Hiroshima, Tijuana, St. Louis and Barcelona, his video projections create spaces for individual therapy and public reflection. In the conversation that follows, Wodiczko discusses his process of testing ideas and expressions (as speech-acts) in order to initiate a critical dialogue both within a specific marginalized culture, as well as with the greater community. In a concluding discussion about September 11th, Wodiczko also extends this critical consciousness to other fields, emphasizing the active role of architecture in questioning and engaging society.

Extreme Environments

The Ascent of Mount Ventoux

Petrarch's motives for climbing Mount Ventoux - to see the view - is often cited as the mark of a new humanistic "Renaissance" spirit. It is worthing noting, however, that in his distinctly non-humanistic work on the "Misery of the Human Condition", Pope Innocent III had asked the question about why people climb mountains, and had come up with the same need to see the view.

Wooster Collective

woo·ster (noun)
A street in the Soho section of New York City

col·lec·tive (noun)
Of, relating to, characteristic of, or made by a number of people acting as a group: a collective decision.

The Wooster Collective was founded in 2001. This site is dedicated to showcasing and celebrating ephemeral art placed on streets in cities around the world.

Overcoming Tourism

In the Old Days tourism didnt exist. Gypsies, Tinkers and other true nomads even now roam about their worlds at will, but no one would therefore think of calling them «tourists».

Tourism is an invention of the 19th century-a period of history which sometimes seems to have stretched out to unnatural length. In many ways, we are still living in the 19th century.

The tourist seeks out Culture because -in our world-culture has disappeared into the maw of the Spectacle culture has been torn down and replaced with a Mall or a talk show- because our education is nothing but a preparation for a lifetime of work and consumption-because we ourselves have ceased to create. Even though tourists appear to be physically present in Nature or Culture, in effect one might call them ghosts haunting ruins, lacking all bodily presence. They're not really there, but rather move through a mind scape, an abstraction («Nature», «Culture»), collecting images rather than experience. All too frequently their vacations are taken in the midst of other peoples' misery and even add to that misery.

Hakim Bey

Extreme Environments

The South Pole

An Account of the Norwegian Antarctic Expedition in the "Fram," 1910 - 1912

by Roald Amundsen

Translated from the Norwegian by A. G. Chater

Extreme Environments

Scott's Last Expedition