Wednesday, May 28, 2008


In the same way people sometimes record soundwalks, consider the possibility of a wordwalk: transcribing any words you come across during a walk.

Consider also:

  • Reinterpreting these words after the fact by inserting line breaks where desired
  • The constraint of not stopping to write down words in dense areas
  • (From Caitlin) write homophones of words, or semantically connected words instead of the words themselves (a "cockney wordwalk")

Friday, May 23, 2008

Pure Analog Pedals

Sometimes, instead of using electronics for processing audio we'll use air. Many different buildings are designed with their acoustic properties in mind. I've heard that high end studios sometimes have adjacent rooms meant solely for generating reverb. You can submit files online to the Tank or Silophone for natural processing.

Why don't we make guitar pedals like this? Obviously a small box won't have much reverb, but we could produce distortion. For example: a small speaker, absurdly overdriven, and a small mic picking it up.

Monday, May 19, 2008


Coins are conductive. There are lots of them. There must be something else we can use them for (involving electricity). Can money be a signal processor? Can we use coins as capacitors? Two pennies with a some malleable material between as an FSR? Can we make a coin-operated coin-computer? An evolving automaton that eats change in order to grow?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Attempted Suicide

A standalone microcontroller that continually resets itself (based on the principle here).

It would need to power an LED while on, to remind people that it is, indeed, "alive."

Where would the reset come from? It could come internally, once it counted to a certain number or did some other mundane task. It could come from the air, and every now and then it would interpret a message suicidally.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

I am Sitting in an Automatic Translator

Alvin Lucier's best known work fed to the engines at Free Translation and Google about 6 times back and forth from Simplified Chinese:

I sat in a room different from the one you are now. I recorded my voice of opinion and speech, I will be back to repeat any room drama until the clock speed of a room, I echo the rhythm of speech and perhaps their own similar exception, were defeated. You will hear, then clearly from the echo of his speech is the frequency room is a natural gift. I do not like such a vulnerable to him, have once again demonstrated the fact that natural things, but take off any more of my freedom of speech might have.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Cage and Affect

John Cage appreciated natural sounds. Striving to produce similar sounds, he attempted to remove any of his intentionality from his music making: imitating nature, he used chance events.

But maybe when we follow chance events, we don't make nature-like sounds. They're nature-like in that they have the same underlying order, but not in the experience. The average person might sometimes listen to rain, but not to Cage.

Perhaps in order to imitate nature we must act very unlike nature? Perhaps our best approximation of nature cannot come about by imitating its processes, but by analyzing its results?

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Instruction Piece for Keyboard

  1. Open a text editor.
  2. Remove all the keys from your keyboard.
  3. Clean your keyboard.
  4. Return all the keys to your keyboard.

Two realizations by Caitlin, one on February 23, 2008:

aaaaaaqwertyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeyyy898885553iopujuuuop iiiijj2kopppppppoocvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv zxcxxxxxxxxgggggzzzqqtttnmmmmmmmmmmmm66666-= 00999999999hkkkkbbbbbb gfdFAsddd00000000````````11111111nnn///////hllllll

ssssssrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrwwwfhfffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff ;]][,.>.....cchhhh,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,]]]]]]];;;;[[[[[[[[ [[[[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\44'''D

And another from May 4th, 2008:

qqqqqqqqqqqqjjjjggfffhhhhhhhhhhbioiopuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrr asdsssyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyggggggggggiocvbbvvviopppppADFGDFJKJJ JJJJJJJJ[[[KKOOOBXXX,,MNLLL./,,,TTTTTTTT;;WWW \\\\\\\\\ IIIII FFFFFFFFFF ZZZZZZZZ MMADDDAACCCCCCC.'/'' ee]]]]]]]]...../

(The horizontal lines are in fact much longer, but they had to be broken for the purpose of this post.)