An artist working with electronics and electronic media, based in Brooklyn, NY

Archive for March, 2012

Solar Buddha Machine – Voltaic Systems

For those of you who don’t already know about the FM3 Buddha Machine, here’s the scoop:

The Buddha Machine is a small plastic box that plays meditative music composed by Christiaan Virant and Zhang Jian. (source: fm3buddhamachine.com/)

The device is inspired by electronic prayer boxes, popular in China, that play back looped recordings of Buddhist prayers. Instead of prayers, the Buddha Machine plays back various ambient music loops. The duo behind FM3 have even enlisted artists to contribute material for special editions, as in the Gristleism, developed by the industrial group, Throbbing Gristle, securing the device’s status as an alternative distribution format.

I documented and posted my modification to enable the Buddha Machine I to not only run from solar, but to charge NiMH AA batteries. It’s super simple! Check out my Solar Buddha Machine post on Voltaic System’s blog.


Cameras of Year of the Glitch

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Images and information about three cameras used in recent Year of the Glitch posts and the DCP Series are now public.  The Kodak DC280, DC215, and DC200/210, have played a key role in my exploration of hardware and software based image generation/corruption.  In the near future, these pages will be updated with more detailed information about specific techniques and circuits involved in creating the variety of images found in both the YOTG project and DCP Series.

Cameras Featured


Kodak DC 280

Kodak DC 200/210

Kodak DC 215

Bernard Garnicnig’s “Almost White”

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Selections from Almost White by Bernhard Garnicnig (source: flickr – images taken between 29 Mar 2006 & 04 Aug 2010)

Photographs taken to set a camera’s white balance.

“Almost all cameras allow the user to set the photographic white point manually. To make this setting on some cameras, you have to shoot a picture of a usually white surface and set it as the white point reference.

These pictures, usually deleted right after confirming the setting, question the concept of subjective realities in the photographic process and document the photographers surroundings from his part unconscious, part mechanic eye. This is one of the last kinds of photography where no post processing is applied by a human while it shows how much the camera is manipulating the image already.

Its one of the last snapshots of photographic truth in the digital imaging age.” — B. Garnicnig

So much of the world is left on the cutting room floor. This is a necessary part of relating experience, whether in the transmission of factual information or the telling of story based on fact. Not every detail is needed in order to give a general picture or to convey the essence of an idea or experience, nor can every detail be captured, recalled, or communicated. Exactly what is omitted reveals the circumstances (bias) around and through which the material aspects of an experience are transformed by the process of relating and crafted into media.

Where lived subjective experience is often filled or obscured by the mediated experience of information displayed or rendered through electronics, today those scraps are increasingly difficult to find. Our culture of digitally mediated exchanges has been carefully structured to remove the perception of the framework through which we conduct our daily activities. The unwanted bits are tucked away on our hard-drives or tossed in the recycling bin—in some cases, deleted in-camera. Everything is curated, edited, cleaned and polished (even the raw webcam feed is a considered choice to convey honesty).

It’s not so much an issue of noise—the din of cellphone rings, tinny ear buds cranked way too high, the drone of our air handling systems and refrigeration units, the screeching, grinding and rumbling of our transportation machines is certainly something we will not easily rid ourselves of—the dust that imposed itself on the grooves of a record, the grain of a piece of paper and the pen-in-hand overcoming it to scrawl a letter, the grit of static and dead air between the stations, are all disappearing.

It is not so much a sense of nostalgia but a reflection, looking back on where we were but a few years ago, while understanding that today digital media strives for higher levels of fidelity (which ironically force television personalities to pursue more extreme methods to alter their physical appearance; this in addition to the artificial sharpening and saturation applied to just about every image these days) in an attempt to look forward into the potential media of the future where everything is so radically fabricated and manipulated that there is no honesty, no substance, no reality left but a simulated phantom of what once was.

What is striking to me about Bernhard’s Almost White series is that it brings to the surface issues of the photographic medium, how its digitization has been quietly accepted as Photography wholesale. The question of what makes photography different than digital imaging has been unearthed. By using these artifacts as evidence of the manipulation nearly every digital image undergoes, Bernard opens the door to questioning the honesty behind every media image. Even tempting us to ask exactly how staged are these white balance calibration shots? Has “fidelity” in the digital (dark) age become a matter of passing off artificially enhanced hyper-realism as reality? Or has it becomes something more subtle, staging reality in such a way that the extraordinary seems mundane?


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