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

Posts tagged “experimental music

Swedish Energies @ ISSUE Project Room

Photos of Swedish Energies at ISSUE Project Room by Phillip Stearns

This two-night Swedish Invasion is an ultimate melange of Sweden’s top experimental music performers. Night one featured surreal delay washed neo-psychedelia by The Magic State; technical and intellectual audio-visual pursuits by Kathy Hinde & Daniel Skoglund; a powerful spoken word piece by Leif Elggren; raw, harsh noise from Alter of Flies and Sewer Election reminiscent of the Japanese noise scene; and a delicate performance from Hanna Hartman that evoked the crunching of powdered snow underfoot in the dead of the cold and dark Swedish winter.

Night two was a worthy follow up to the first night of performances. Mats Lindström and Anna Koch opened with a hypnotic performance, using fluorescent tubes to produce the sonic material for a stark music and dance piece. CM von Hausswolff countered Lindström’s frenetic flickering of light sound with a slow crescendo of drones and voice. The following set by Ikue Mori and Ida Lundén pitted laptop performance against homebrew and wearable handmade electronics. Mats Gustafsson opened his scintillating set with gasping and disjointed extended melodic lines on the sax and closed with an earth moving onslaught of distorted drones. The night ended on a trance induced high following the theatrics of Daniel Higgs leading The Skull Defekts with special guest C. Spenser Yeh.

“The two-night program, presented by Issue Project Room, iDEAL, EMS, WELD and the Consulate General of Sweden NYC, will feature a huge lineup of some of Sweden’s most exciting experimental musicians. Performances will include collaborations between U.S. and Swedish artists as well as a cross-section of Swedish groups, such as the prolific The Skull Defekts (joined by C. Spencer Yeh), and saxophonist Mats Gustafsson, one of the most important free jazz and improv musicians working today. Leif Elggren will open the event with a reading of his “The North is Protected.”” — ISSUE Project Room


Compression Study 01

 

With the opening of the Algorithmic Unconscious group show at Devotion Gallery earlier this month, my interest in iterative video processing has been renewed as a method of exploring compression algorithms.  You might be familiar with the technique, it was the same used for the epic Alvin Lucier inspired Video Room where YouTube user canzona uploads, downloads and re-uploads a video to youtube 1000 times.  Where his work explores the impact of the compression schemes native to YouTube, the new video work above explores the motion JPEG-2000 compression algorithm.

The source video is a custom made 16 second loop cycling through the 8 fully saturated primary and secondary additive colors—black, red, yellow, green, cyan, blue, magenta, white.  In quicktime, the JPEG-2000 compression algorithm is chosen to export a .mov file of the lowest quality (smallest size).  At this setting, the compression algorithm is repeatedly making decisions concerning what information is relevant or important while discarding the rest—up to 99% of the original data.  The result is a considerably low quality reproduction of the original with visible data-compression artifacts.  By applying a handful of filters to the compressed file and then re-compressing, data-compression artifacts are amplified.  By repeating this iterative or recursive process hundreds of times, an effect similar to feedback is achieved where the visual output becomes degraded from the original and the artifacts take on a generative nature.

For this study, 193 iterations were time compressed to fit within a roughly 10 minute span.  The video was then paired with audio from “Metamorphopsia”, a track from the Macular Degeneration project.

Leading up to this completed study, several attempts were made to work with h.264 on fades between black and white frames.  Similar work was down with audio compression algorithms and white noise.  Further works in this series will investigate the effects of different compression algorithms on simple patterns of varying motion, shapes, and transition effects.

As a note, this work is less about abstraction and more about taking the concepts of Concrete Art to a place where expression re-emerges through the algorithm, which I am taking to be an abstraction of human perceptual features mediated by a deterministic system of discrete logic.


Toktek Vs. Simonz Berz @ 319 Scholes

Date: Saturday, October 8th 2011
Time: 8pm Doors
Location: 319 Scholes @ 319 Scholes St. Brooklyn, NY 11206
Tickets: $10 at the door
Info: http://319scholes.org/leisure_october2011/
Description: Leisure, a concert series produced by 319 Scholes, welcomes special international guests Tom Verbruggen (Toktek) and Simon Berz in a program curated by Phillip Stearns featuring performances by locals TwistyCat, Jeff Donaldson Vs. Phil White, Phillip Stearns. The evening promises to be a “spastic, sweaty and intense” display of electronic music from a wide array of sensibilities spanning drone, noise, glitch, and ambient genres.


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