May 19, 2012

A Greater Horror

I made this video for A Greater Horror. This is their very loose re-imagining of Tyler, the Creator’s “Bastard”. While filming, I decided to try to hold a camera in each hand so there would be a bunch of different angles, since I’d be moving the whole time. It was good. I had to stabalize a good shot with one hand before moving my other hand into another good position–and the whole time leap frogging like this. Since the majority of this song is improvised its not like I could just use shots from other takes willy-nilly. This video is edited from mostly one take though I do sneak in a few seconds from other takes for the chorus.

Rodrigo Constanzo – electronics + keys
Mauricio Pauly – electric guitar
Alex Tod – drums

May 11, 2012


Owned by Kathryn Miller.

On March 30th, 2012 TSC performed as part of Reverb, an exhibition event at Bankley Gallery hosted by the MACFA students (of which I am one). Prior to the performance I had asked my peers on the course to record the performance. I let them know that they could film as much or as little of it as they wanted, and also let them know how I was planning on editing the footage together. This is the result (above).
The video itself is downloadable from vimeo (though there is an HD version on youtube, as they allow for a higher file size, but its read-only), and you can also download the sound file from the [free] downloads section of this site. Everything’s under a CC-BY license.

I find it really rewarding when other artists want to expand on the work I create. What contributes to that attitude is the notion that these performances are just me trying to put forward the best possible performance for the version of the work as it is at that time (and I’m speaking for myself there–“I” vs “we”–because I can best express my own thoughts, in my own words, when I’m not trying to democratize them or mediate them to try to encapsulate what Rod and Anton might also think.)

Expanding on that idea: Not in any kind of grandiose way, but I think some ideas are too big, or full of potential, to belong in just one person’s care. And I’m not saying that this performance is ‘a big idea’ or anything like that. These are just some of my thoughts on the free flow of ideas. I think its really arrogant for one person to presume they should be an idea’s sole keeper. There can be so many directions that a single idea might take, one person might not be able to actualize every strand even if they devoted their entire life to it. As far as I’m concerned, this is the only way to move forward when weighted against the disservice and harm that the alternative would suggest. We need evolve our idea of ownership so it doesn’t stunt humanity’s own evolution during this time of increasing technological and creative wonder.

Needless to say I got a very excited email from my friend Mauricio Pauly saying [really excitedly] that its rocked him out of a blockage he’s been having regarding a piece he’s been writing. Its beyond awesome that something I made is useful in that way.

Reverb Red

(Skip ahead in the video to 5:14 to see the moment the still above was taken.)

(left) This is a picture of the painting as it was exhibited post-performance and for the duration of the exhibit. I had decided that I would make the decision how [and IF !] to represent my work in ‘object’ form only after I had performed (though I had planned for each eventuality.) Right after the performance on the night, I transferred the audio onto my ipod and mounted it along with headphones, so that it was available to the audience immediately. I think this seemingly improptu installation spoke to the improvised nature of the work. On this occasion I decided to leave the canvas stretched, as I had decided to give it away as a gift and it was still stretched during that transaction. I feel that at that point, ownership was transferred and I was able to “let it exist out in the world” absolved of any involvement in transforming it further. In my mind this was the perfect resolution since for me the performance, in all its transience, is the true form of the work, though there is an actual physical object that I’m left to contend with.

Reverb flyer

This is one of the flyers I designed for the event (above). The text is inspired by a drawing that Cristine Brache made once upon a time.

May 11, 2012

Fiction vs. Non-fiction

pg. 88 – 89
Fiction vs. Non-fiction

pg. 90 – 91
We make ourselves relevant by making each other relevant
pg. 73
Things that I do not see
when I close my eyes,
drawn crudely.

Evidence of touching to feel comfort,
things that I did not see
when my eyes were closed.


pg. 75
breath —> light : gesture —> voice.

draw to shape sound. The sound is the feedback from my voice. Three/four tension points
-true voice
-feedback “voice”
-physical visuals created (ie lines)
-physical gesture used to create lines/manipulated voice/feedback

An instrument.

Performance requires execution or criteria for execution.

How does gesture effect the voice without supplementary technology?
Will the voice still be [like] a line?

More interested in other people right now.

pg. 85
The animal in the machine
The human – the monkey
The machine – the animal – the sublime – the unknowable beyond

-The animal is at his best when the machine functions properly.
-A healthy mobile body
-The movement of the body to construct the mind
-The animal needs to maintain the machine, but sometimes doesn’t (probably causing psychotic behaviour on a large scale – society out of balance.)
-The animal as a seeking being — that imagines what is possible and tries to do it — is human. The animal in awe of the sublime is human.
-The seeking animal within a functional machine may know more/experience more of the unknowable — the beyond yourself.
-Between the animal and the sublime on that spectrum lives our best self
-The unknowable reveals itself to the seeking animal
-We gained the ability to see the unknowable at the symbolic revolution. An effect of which is also detachment by way of language.
-The ability to analyze the thing insulates us from the thing while in that “mode”.
-Aware of experiences I would normally not be aware of without language but the language creates a buffer around that first contact “feeling”

pg. 86
The machine isn’t just a healthy body. It is the processes of the mind–those that are in place for survival–also functioning properly. The machine also includes your instincts and automatic mental processes.

The animal appreciates the functions of the machine. All the joy of having a stupid monkey brain. Sometimes just the animal being.
Animal being.

I can’t experience everything
I am experiencing all I can
I need to be open, and learn how to be open to new experiences

-Machine functioning
-Animal being
-Human seeking
-Sublime transmitting

I need to know/remember that other people may not be “I” but they are me out “there”, where I stick my arm out.

Apr 22, 2012

Kate Freeborough

A portrait short I made of Kate Freeborough.

Apr 13, 2012

Light Potential

I’ve been tearing into canvases since I started using the projector to augment the experience (It just felt like the natural thing to do). However, just recent I’ve started placing the projector behind the canvas–so now it looks like I’m drawing with light as I break the fibers. After practice Anton drew my attention to the lines thrown across the room. Of course this happens! But it hadn’t occurred to me as I was doing it. Now that I know, I can use it and grow it. Pretty f—ing awesome.

Light potential by Takahashi (A sample from that session)

Apr 8, 2012


Move the drawings to three dimensional space.

Do it with movement and sound.
Possibly by diffusing the sound.
Eliminate the canvas/flat surface [any surface].
Eliminate the physical mark.
Use concat synthesis to create the sounds using gesture.
The natural gesture that would create them on the canvas surface I’m used to (as a starting point from which to build).

Keep breath to light.
Move in space.
Draw with sound to create the drawing.
I’ve built up the experience I wonder if I can do it without the visual output of actual marks.

Collect a library of sounds.
Build a corpus.

For home listening/viewing disconnected from the performance
Record the jit.window output
Record the sounds
Viewer wears headphones and closes eyes, then is placed in front of a projector (maybe just a computer screen is bright enough)
A version of the experience (just like the painting is–just a sample), if one can’t be at a performance, which is the ideal situation.
A translation.

Things I can do:
-Control brightness: the ramp up rate/decay rate
-All white
-Light off or all black
-All red
-Intensity of red based on pitch
-Red splash (currently with a set duration but doesn’t have to be)
-Synth pitch based on voice pitch
-Stutter/strobe (currently can’t control the alternating rate. Currently set at the constant 50 milliseconds)

Things I want to do:
-Illuminate specific area of a canvas (control the brightness & shape of those areas)
-Play back sounds using gestures in space–sounds that those gestures would produce on the canvas. Concat?
-Get my left hand free; not tied to a wiimote. Can do this if I move to gestures.

Extended mind thesis
Extended body

If you can do anything, why do this? –Rod
Anything is possible -me
Not everything is worth doing -my father

What’s worth doing?

I assume I can control [some aspects] of my development–conscious development.

I assume the norm for me is to exist in time and that it moves forward, as far as its perceivable to me. Its not useful in terms of my own development to assume I have no control or to not believe in time, or to believe the most useful things occur outside of time.

f(k) = A
Thinking of myself in terms of Kate Freeborough. (Is that formula kinda right?)
Kate is interested in play without agenda.
I have an agenda.
I do what I do to exercise mixing up information. I think I increase the probability of success by doing it in an unforgiving environment–in front of people, performing, in time (which is unforgiving because there are no ‘take backs’).
Doing it with other people (Anton and Rod) creates a dynamic, stimulating environment that I have to navigate in.  I have to read it and respond.

Its getting easier to hear.

I improvise in that environment.
I set my intention to be aware and to be as fluid as possible so I can learn what I don’t know. I want to be surprised.

Questions to ask Kate:
Do you believe you can do anything?
Do you believe anything is possible?
Is everything you do worth doing?
Do you set an intention before beginning to make?
Do you [always] play without agenda? or is there sometimes ‘game’ involved?
Can you expand on the difference between the two as far as you’re concerned?
Do you consider unpredictability in your closed systems?
If yes:
What’s the role of of unpredictability in your closed systems?

Mar 29, 2012

I am mostly bacteria

I am mostly bacteria. My body is in stability, an equilibrium of symbiotic small organisms. But I also have a single point of view, I. And it is a tool, or a muscle, that evolved from that organization of trillions of simpler life forms–presumably because it benefited me.  I am still trillions of bacteria. I think sometimes about how my I is not as big a part of me as I necessarily presume it is.

I wonder if that consciousness formed slowly or came into existence all at once.  What is the simplest form of life that has that singular awareness? Or is that singular awareness just a group of dummies that cross a critical mass threshold, and the whole crowd puts that self-awareness hat on for the time they are that group? Its funny to think about ooze that’s all of a sudden like “whoop! Here I am”

And then…
What am I doing when I am part of a group and we explore the transfer of information–and there’s an ephemeral abstraction to it?

Bonnie Bassler: Discovering bacteria’s amazing communication system
Joe Rogan: “There’s a study that proves that humans are 96% chimpanzee. If I gave you a sandwich that was 96% shit… and 4% ham… would you call that a ham sandwich? Shit sandwich, my friend.”

Mar 17, 2012


MP3 (8:55) of our TSC performance (creative commons BY, so download and remix if you wish)
VIDEO of the event with Takahashi as the first act

Takahashi’s Shellfish Concern performed at Trinity Church on March 15th 2012 for a Videoformers event. I used the new set up, which means I was controlling the light source using a wii-mote, in conjunction with my voice/breathing, in conjunction with Max/MSP.  There are still lots of things to improve on with this set up. I’d like to get my left hand free again. I feel too restricted not being able to use it, even if its not the hand I draw/paint with. It wasn’t the best performance, and didn’t yield the best painting, but it reinforced my feelings about refining things and needing to push forward.

On the video you’ll also be able to see other performances from Helmut Lemke, and Kate Freeborough.


Jan 13, 2012

HISS Tools – Impulse Response Tutorials

I shot and edited this video. It stars Rod and he’s explaining some crazy voodoo that Alex Harker and P.A. Tremblay have been researching at the University of Huddersfield. Basically they steal the soul of a room so it can then be imbued into any recording to make it sound as if that recorded music was recorded IN that room. Whatever–its impressive looking. Watch it and learn something.

Here is the second video of the series:

Jan 6, 2012


reflective statement metadata

I want to put small things in high places in big rooms with tall ceilings.
These things make sound–as if they are building something up there…
What are they doing up there?
Little things in big rooms.
Big things in little containers–high–in big rooms

How quick is our “present” frame rate? (ie I’m aware of “now” “now” “now” “now”.) We have the potential to be present at a faster frame rate than we can speak, but once we begin to indicate it with words we stutter that slowly.

I stobe and flicker into the future.

Guides for tech informed by performance principles:
-Start with nothing
-Density – of sound and of material
-Natural gesture is more desirable than artificial gesture. Less intrusive to the intuitive process. Intuitive movement triggering non one to one actions = flow
-Shapes to dictate artificial gesture. They are only useful in so far as the movement they demand on the body. Shapes as potential sequences (motions). Useful only as the motion they embody (perhaps to be done with the left hand, requiring simplicity?)
-The repetition of figures. The figure recalls [an aspect] of the sound that was in play when the figure first appeared.
-Dropping off a curve. While creating/following a line and I change direction dramatically–when I do this I accelerate through the change. If I don’t accelerate I suggest that trigger the drop off of [an element]. A perceivable dropping out. The drop out happens at a certain rate as if it were effected by a force–like the acceleration/deceleration of a force such as gravity on an object–so it doesn’t happen instantly.

This object is placed in space. I know its is ‘hanging’. That means very little. There is this space and there are different things intersecting in it–supporting themselves perfectly. The shadow and the wall make me aware of this.

Construction: (as the opposite of de-construction) assumes that there is a cohesive whole once all the elements have been executed/put in place.

Improvisation: sometimes gives me access to greater understanding, intelligence, ability–something, maybe not even exclusively ‘mine’.

Improvised construction: surprises me and when I am able to recognize elements that I pulled out of that event/state that I may not have done otherwise–those glimpses are beautiful. It is what I find beautiful.

Aftifacts: elements that persist even after the construction has fallen away. The painting. In these artifacts there is space that those other elements once filled/fit into. There is sound in my paintings only because there is now no sound in the paintings. These holes are also places for my imagination to wander. The artifact came out of the cohesive singularity.

Joy: Constant amazement for serendipitous, spontaneous, singular moments. Things are beautiful and there is direct communication with that larger, surging, sublime under-current.

Compositions: Not in direct opposition of improvisation. The art is to leave room, with reason, for things to appear/happen. Set the parameters for singular moments to happen.

What is the painting?

-It is an artifact
technological connotation = glitch evidence
archeological connotation = from another time
There is a mystery to this, an unknowable or lost context

-It is the continuation of the work through time

-My emphasis on the performance makes you think of the painting as evidence of action in a very real way. Its a bridge to that event whether through memory or imagination, because it does not stand here self-contained in a bubble

-It stutters forward, incapable of changing. It is dead. The amputated limb from the dynamic body it came from. Through the performance event the dynamic body is set into motion. It is an organic machine made up of parts. These are forward moving present time, those things encapsulated in me, Rod, and Anton, and visual & audio information filtered through us in a feedback loop. And the other element –the unseen x. The binding body that allows interaction and understanding of unfamiliar abstract ideas–that which completes the singular moments for which we make room and attempt to contour. (The aggregate of our intelligence? Transformed and evolved in this context?)

I am in a playground. I build playgrounds.

Improvisation is a direct line
Audio and visual information is the medium
The body thinks through gesture
The mind produces ideas too, but can’t actuate as quickly (?)
All tools are necessary because time moves quickly and forward and doesn’t care if you’re left behind
Navigate dynamic landscapes with the dynamic body to try to be present and glimpse at synchronicity, beauty, or the sublime
Romantic language is deceptive and probably mostly ultimately wrong

Let’s speak plainly
and simply perform.

Bigger is better…and if it feels good do it (?)

-Internal conflict as follows:
From the gut. Awe felt at witnessing a great big physical work. how can this not be good or worth doing?
My ideological stance against the object fetish. Cerebral. What I need to train myself for and remain disciplined in–because it does not come as readily. Discipline is required to transcend materialism.

-It is possible endulging/being moved by/connecting with an object is not giving in to the fetish. There may be a middle ground
OR (but not both)
-It is possible they are one and the same; enjoying an object is enjoying an object, and you can’t hope to transcend by rationalizing there are exceptions.

-The parameters set by the rules of a system follow freedom. You can just act in accordance to the one rule set rather than assuming the default rule sets of the various social contracts that we live in/by — Which are many and inappropriate for creative work.
Example: It is difficult to find a situation where staring at someone for hours/days isn’t uncomfortable, but it is more comfortable if the pretext is portraiture.

-Allow enough room within a system for improvisation. Personal preference. improvisation is powerful.

-Otherwise: Less is less – draw a line using a ruler in the usual way. There are no “glitches” or “artifcats” (the unexpected), no tensions. The exciting thing about systems are the surprising unexpected outputs.

-An efficient, concise, eloquent system does this. ex Stockhausen, From the Seven Days

Put something into words that you’ve already put in paint and sound.

An economy of gesture and material can be achieved by putting yourself in an uncomfortable position — so no motion is made without necessity. you will do the most efficient thing if you put yourself in an effective system. You can construct the system. This will make you more efficient than just consciously trying to be efficient.

One uncomfortable position is to work in time that moves, where things change constantly and you’re only as good as your ability to recognize the shifts and decisions–and then you can go further and try to act appropriately. In the process causing ripples–causing the system to change–again and again and again–in minute ways. Recognize micro and macro shifts so you might anticipate the future. So you’re not caught un-aware.

No interest in slavishly transcribing sound. Visuals not subserviant to the sound if I’m creating visual information. Transcriptions may be ok if in the context of trying to communicate them–just a means–to get someone else to reproduce them. Purely utilitarian purpose. Or as an exercise. Personally, boring.

It is not that the end product is worth nothing, but you must be willing to sacrifice your notion of the end product during the process of making it.

Make friends with destruction.

Liberating. Accept that its ok that its final form may not have been the most appealing compared to other moments in its making. This is infinitely better than 0ver-working it.

Over-working it ruins all of it. Muddy. Uninspired. The worst thing. Worse than having a pile of little bits (because no chances were taken–less opportunity to learn/gain something.)

There is always a next time.

Lighten up, knowing when to stop and call a work finished is difficult. This philosphy helps with that timing — as well as liberating you to explore threads (benign and destructive alike), so you can grow.

failure, arc of beauty

Trust: This is what it feels like to trust. Everything is right — the plan for what to do is in the work itself. The drawing sound and the drawn mark are not the same thing but work in concert to give me access to a place where every thing works. Things I am not aware of and discover later. The plan for how to interact with the work is in the work.

I trust sound–and it builds with me
What a benevolent thing giving me this access.
Its playing with me–and I am playing.

-Write everything that comes through as words near where you think it
Don’t finish sentences if they are unfinished
-Explore the sounds with joy
-Draw and think on the sound–the marks are wonderful
-I tried editing the interference–like contradictions or alliteration that are self-serving/closed/selfish/shallow
-What was left told me how to navigate it.
It was more and more physical–until it wasn’t.

I don’t want to show you anything that I think I may know. When I paint, I just want to experience that thought [method]. As if there are many ways to think. Thought through that method. Visual. Kinaesthetic. Physical. Can I make sounds there? Yes. Aural. All of it together there. An I am thinking some way else.

More than anything else–sound is ours. Its the complicated codes of our own psyches manifesting themselves outwards–as beautiful music/language. its as present as a touch on the shoulder and grabs your whole mind–entering at your ears/eyes. Sound is ours. We can create it and eminate it so easily we just pulse.

I don’t know anything.
I am confronted by the amazing thing that I am conscious from a singular point (I) every single moment that passes.
I am a human like you are.
I need to work beyond the bashfulness/theatricality(?)
I will share with you what it is to be human
I confront the present and I confront myself
That is all there is.

pg 69 – 70
Reflective Statement
3 Section Composition

1. No light, hear breathing, sounds not manipulated
2. Light associated with breathing cannot hear breathing, sounds manipulated/evolved
3. Room mic picks up volume. Once reached a certain threshold lights associated (white/viewing light). Breath/voice not heard amplified. Just seen via light intensity.

Say what you think to those that will listen. be completely honest no matter how it sounds. Don’t be embarrassed by the way it makes you feel–and don’t stop even if you are.

I don’t know what to think about time. I looked into myself, trying to look into the place where thoughts come from and I couldn’t see anything. I opened my eyes and I couldn’t know anything out there either. I’m just where the two meet–so thin its impossibly thin. Is that who I am? I’m aware (as much as I’m aware) only there. How do I live now?

I recognize something so much a part of me that I know it is a part of me.  That thing emerged into a human at some point in time and it is fundamental now. It is the same now. Not just a perfect copy into me but the same.

A part of me is painting on cave walls now.

It has always been the present for everyone. I wonder if people looking at me are also me or a part of me…just over there.

An impossible 30,000 years.
I don’t know anything.
I’m glad I know this–overwelmed before I died.
Something fundamental.
Its important.
How to live now [knowing this]?
I don’t want to do anything that will distance me from that. I don’t want to “honor” it or be afraid of changing it.

I am here now.
How to live if everything is now
It makes me cry.