berlin/report##1

its been 3rd day in berlin with transmediale festival Futirity Now! which overlaps with another two festivals same time –CTM 2010 festival for adventurous music & related visuals and -Amaze (celebrating the convergence of games, art, and music). i ve been taking many photographs which i will upload when i develop my film rolls. then i will document my experiences along with the photos. for now i will briefly summarize lectures i attended today.

first was a discussion on “gadgets & apps – a medium for artist?”
i did miss the beginning part of this lecture and saw just 3 performances out of 5. they were artists and designers who introduced their developed music gadgets and applications for mobile electronic devices. each of them was proudly presenting their inventions whether it would be an iPhone applications as  Star6 and RjDj or a never existed before plastic cube with LEDs as an interactive tech gadget with operating on fly network installed in clubs called Contact.

each development concept of these devices suggested a particular approach in defining a collaboration between artist and technology. there were many opinions from radically different viewpoints on how we define, listen and adjust music to each liking. how with a help of technology development approach to music has changed and whether it has been successful. the argument whether introducing many music apps will maintain standards of good quality music and necessity of music studios did sketch out very important aspect. by looking at today’s possibilities to make music while sitting in toilet has seriously questioned such crafts as sound mastering and recording at studio, djing and experiencing hands-on  actions with real analog instruments.
there was very sensible argument presented about processes happening in music industry and in general way of perceiving music today. we have come to the point where the way of how music has been made is merging with the way how we listen to it. dated back there was a need for immense studios able to record many instruments and edit sound and then deliver it to listener in form of cd or vinyl. majority had no idea how this music has been made and were happy of being just passive receivers unable to influence or take part in creating process. today access to music has opened many ways to be part of the creation. we listen to music with a same tool music has been made of by means of having just a computer or an iPhone or any other tool allowing not only create music with lifelike high quality sounds but also interact with it while its been playback. easy access to manipulate pure data on fly has totally changed the way people used to relate to music. and rapid development of technologies has allowed almost each person experience  music making. sure, there will always be people working hard and mastering their violin skills or any other instrument and have high-quality recorded track to be delivered to listeners. but that will not be the only source of music available today. it made me think of how we define what is music and if such thing as augmented music stitched together from surrounding sounds by a program would challenge a years mastered skill of hearing and writing a symphony for a live orchestra.

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related links::
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* agilepartners.com/apps/star6
* magnetmus.net
* m-nus.com
* rjdj.me
* de-bug.de

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another lecture was on “gadget cultures. hack a day. from consumer fetishism to prosumer play to DIY makeaway”. i really loved this lecture which was greatly delivered by Verena Kuni, a professor of visual culture at goethe university in frankfurt. she was talking about historical meaning of gadgets and how we fetishize mundane every-day objects, especially phones. she wanted to draw attention that not always most practical and helpful objects can satisfy our needs. there are growing community which buy many electronic gadgets on e-bay and open, and hack them. they can be like toys but in some cases they can turn into complicated wired gadgets appreciated by real coders and hackers. there are lots of gadgets at people disposal today and many of them has lost the meaningful usability. people tend to have gimmicky usb toys attached to their laptops in form of a pole dancer or fondu maker. they are reluctant to spend money on shit products by supporting these type of industries. the useful aspect of a gadget has changed to ambitious urge to have the latest and funniest thing i saw my mother-in-law just bought.
there are many gadgets and some are worth mentioning of. quite funny one was invented in japan for bubble-wrap lovers. everyone loves to feel popping plastic bubble under finger and more to that – sound can make people reach orgasmic states. for japanese people – definetly! here is the bubble popping gadget called Puchi–

there is not a chance you will ever run out of bubbles!!!!

maywa denki is yet another innovative experimentalist who comes up with original and amazing gadgets. he has taken part in many festivals around the world and runs his “company” of selling gadgets with his brother::

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for those who are not happy just buying ready-made gadgets there is an open possibility to customize and create a gadget to individual likings. these people usually take apart anything that has screws and mess with wires and motherboards of dissected objects. they would use different open source softwares to make them do things, commonly used would be arduino. there are many subprogramms which works with this platform. others worth mentioning are pure data, processing, etc

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related links
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* kuniver.se
* hackaday.com
* makezine.com
* instructables.com

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the main aspects emerging from these lectures are about individual taking part in creative processes whether it would be an interactive listening to music or creating accustomed tools. the long path between producer and consumer has been shortened or removed at all in some cases. we can take immediate part in creating tools and adjust it to individual needs, same with music, we can have applications running and composing sound structures on the fly from surrounding sounds. we have instant access to information and ability to interact and alter it any time we need it. that is a huge step forward in information technologies and is already shaping a future prospects in these fields. anyone can become an innovator and creator of something which might turn into a big thing. we are shaping the future!

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