MGFest09 Austin events :: View Photo Stream
various art/culture/tech topics & happenings by Psymbolic audio/visual inter/multi-media artists
Motion Graphics Festival 2009
Austin, Texas :: May 11-22
Austin is known for supporting Indy Artists and Alternative Cultures throughout the year, but specifically, this month the Austin Motion Graphics Festival brings independent culture creators to the big screen. From filmmakers to musicians, MGFest unites artists across the divides of genre and medium to celebrate the weird, imaginative and other-worldly visions that use the technology of sequential images and the illusion of motion.
The studies of motion design, sound design and interactivity, are featured during the weeks of May 11th through 22nd. The apex of festival activity takes place during May 14th through 17th with entertainment events across the city, including: an art showcase with the Austin Museum Of Digital Art (AMODA), studio tours at top Austin design companies, screenings of local and international motion artists, a full-day educational conference, an open collaboration summit, and two weeks of industry workshops on creative software by Microsoft, Maxon, Adobe, Ableton and the local innovative Livid Instruments.
This year's Austin Motion Graphics Festival begins May 11th, 2009 featuring internationally recognized artists including: Shepard Fairey, Nine Inch Nails, David Byrne, Chuck D of Public Enemy, KRS-One, Addictive TV, Digital Kitchen, The Mill, Passion Pictures, Animal Logic, Post Panic, Dvein, Post Modern Times, David Lobser, Ken Adams, Yoshi Sodeoka, Larry Carlson, Robert Rich, Jen Stark, Bob Sabiston, Sandy Stone, Dr. Bleep, Paul Baker, Entranced, Init String, Gift Culture, Artificial Life Preserver and more.
This festival in the fast moving field of design technology has opened it's Art & Entertainment events for only $7. Rather than charging the typical $500-$1500 conference fee, the Motion Graphics Festival encourages participants to stop complaining about the economy, and spend their money on something that will upgrade their tools, technique and aesthetics. Software, DVDs and music will be available at a discount rate throughout the festival week.
Austin MGFest presented by Microsoft Expression Studio 2 and thirteen23.
Additional MGFest Sponsors include: Maxon, Austin Museum of Digital Art, IdN, Livid Instruments, Lumenbrite Training, Lumen Eclipse, SXSW Interactive, Stash DVD Magazine, Create Digital Motion, All City Technology, Future Media Concepts, DigiEffects, VidVox, Sterling Ledet, Boris FX, Resolume, Toolfarm, UnScene, GarageCUBE, Lift Motion Design, Monstrous, RE:Vision Effects, Ableton, Bleep Labs, Wondertouch & Clif Bar.
Silent Auction for over $30,000 in software, DVDs and training materials.
.: MGFest Schedule + Registration :: http://www.MGFest.com
There’s an article in Chicago’s NewCity this week called Breakout Artists 2009: Chicago’s next generation of image makers. And who is one of these breakout artists? Moi. Does it matter that I’m not much of an image maker? Not in the slightest.
Head on over to their site to check out the story, or grab one from the box if you’re a Chicagoan.
Also, work on the sequencer/drum machine continues, as evidenced by this video (which also features a guest appearance by Roger the cat):
See Co-Director of “Money,” Paul Griswold, speak at the Chicago Motion Design Conference.
Director/animators Syd Garon and Paul Griswold, recently co-directed a music video for the band NASA (North America South America). The song, titled Money, features Grammy, Oscar and Golden Globe winning singer/songwriter David Byrne and Chuck D, leader of the rap group Public Enemy. The music video features artwork by contemporary artist and designer Shepard Fairey, who recently gained national notoriety for his design of the Barack Obama “Hope” campaign poster.
Please welcome Random Rab, the world touring sonic explorer and master of manipulating temporal awareness.
Stay Tuned to future news from Random Rab.
I am completely tired of people complaining. The infrastructure of our conditional realities are becoming more and more transparent yet we insist on pretending that we don’t understand how things work, so we can continue to complain and brood over trivial matters as to assign some twisted form of responsibility to our otherwise gradually deflating egos. Even more dangerous, is when we apply the same paradigm to more than trivial matters, and pretend to ignore the larger machines behind the curtains…which aren’t really there at all. Our ambitions become stunted as we continue to cultivate fear and insignificance in a world regulated by vapid and elusive standards, stilted merely by the arbitrary mechanics of commerce and power.
We are fucking magicians. Sorcerers. God damn wizards and warriors…Yet we continue to self-loathe and bang our heads against the fabric of time. We have to realize that its not about “figuring it out.” Nothing is finite. It may be entirely possible that we are beginning to evolve beyond our binary architecture…all we have to do is acknowledge it. We have the ability to believe ANYTHING we want. it only begins there…
So we make art. We conjure up noises and arrange light in space. Somehow we feel okay when see something new…
Part 1 : Why does Barter feel so Good?
By Hannah Davenport and Mason Dixon, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Why does Barter feel so good? In the moment of exchange, Barter feels refreshing in a way that nothing on Main Street ever does. The experience of bartered exchange provides something currency-based exchange does not, and cannot. And yet, Barter could not replace Money on a large scale. Barter can, at best, be a temporary supplement for Money, a perversion of our more civilized system.
The exchange of goods and services pervades our experience of the world, and Money currently mediates that process. Currency sets the stage of exchange, impersonally and invisibly. When we give someone currency for a product or service, our thoughts collect solely on the thing we receive and the value it has. Barter, however, causes us to also think about the thing given, and its value to the other person involved in the exchange. The mechanics of Barter place value on a localized scale, the scale of individuals, rather than the “value by mass consensus” that Money supposes. (Even if Barter were expanded to a larger system, it would fall prey to the same shortfalls that Money now has, and more. It would not feel good.)
Money is not sinister, far from it. Currency reduced haggling. It made the exchange process simpler, faster, transitive, by creating an agreed-upon independent measurement, by translating value into a common metric. Money scaled exchange value to the global scale by symbolizing a statistical distribution of value among all exchanges, a composite of all the price-setters and manipulators, yet the assessment of value is not static.
Within the experience of an individual exchange, buyers and sellers operate under the assumption that when they give $3 to the Butcher, that it is still worth $3 when the Butcher gives it to the Rancher. But, this sense of consistent value, and thus the sense of equal purchasing power, are continuously undermined by the economic system itself, by capitalism. The profit motive requires that sellers collude and buyers influence.
Money represents itself as an accurate measure, as stable as the milimeter or pi, and yet is not. The currency in your pocket has no more intrinsic value than a wave would have form, separated from the kinetic energy of the ocean. Investment, dividends, derivatives, accumulation, interest, inflation, arbitrage, supply and demand, are all statistically distributed across the economic system, altering even how the same product is valued by the same vendor week to week. Clearance sales and discount malls, are not the indicators of value correcting themselves, but rather indicators of their fluctuations.
Money gives the impression that its position is steady, its relation to value unchanging, and Barter does not. Barter never claimed consistency or equality. Barter in some way is more honest with its participants by making the exchange independent and temporary. Barter assumes space within the value-exchange proposition for things outside of the currency, such as brutality or social class.
And why should Money’s relativity be so troubling? Desire production leads contemporary capitalism; consumerism drives our identities towards exchange. Money in American culture is more than the language of exchange, it is part and parcel with the language of identity, with who we are as individuals. The distribution of wealth described by Money became the distribution of value we have as individuals. It’s description of us defines who we can make ourselves into. While Social Mobility has increased over the last 100 years, it has come at a cost, the cost of embedding desire into every aspect of our lives (the exchanges) from scrubbing bubbles to baseball. Money’s lie, that it describes a consistent value, lets us forget that it mediates our exchanges. It lets us forget that other forces are at work. The pervasiveness of exchange then enables Money to tax our identities.
if you have a Family, here are the things you buy…
if you are German-American here are the things you buy…
if you like to drive fast, here are the things you buy…
if you are a Foodie here are the things you buy…
Perhaps, this is why barter feels so refreshing. Barter opens a freedom for the individual within exchange, freedom to assign the world with the value we believe it should have. Even when it is inefficient, people will Barter to feel good; people will barter to feel free. Barter makes the exchange itself personally valuable, independent of the value of the things being exchanged. Barter replaces the function of money in the exchange process by negotiating and mapping the territory of exchange, not to the scale of investment or accumulation of wealth, but it is not necessary for Barter to do these things. Barter feels good in the experience of it, and that value-in-exchange is something we can inhabit, something we can identify with.
Barter resituates the power relationship of value-exchange from the currency-backer, to the micro-community of a particular exchange. For once, the individuals involved determine what is valuable. Barter mimics the relations we have with friends and family. Can helping someone move, giving a back-rub, or writing a poem translate to value between acquaintances or even strangers? Is it possible to expand this ability to share our values, skills and specialities, without needing to take it to scale of a federally-mandated currency?
Part 2 : When the System is Down
Being a teacher means that you have to arrive at the school at least an hour before the students do. This was the first day of a new class and cold morning on Chicago’s Michigan Ave. So I was there 2 hours early. I had intended to get coffee before I arrived at the building, but my usual stop was closed, despite the sign that said they opened 30 minutes earlier and the “open” neon sign still blinking in the window.
I walked down a cold empty street and into a warm empty building. No one was around except the security guard, who was cordial and friendly. I offered to buy her a coffee and asked directions to the nearest place that would be open at this time of morning.
She said there was a Starbucks inside a hotel a block down. When I got there the lone attendant behind the counter was frantically calculating the cost of a business women’s group order on a calculator. She made the poor kid explain three times how the credit card machine was connected to the currently down computer system. She had no other way to pay for her company breakfast and left in a huff. What else was she supposed to do? There was no other place open for blocks.
I showed him my cash and he looked relieved. I order two coffees and while he prepared them I browsed the pastry window. When he returned I asked how much a cookie cost. He leaned over the counter and saw that none of the pastries prices had been labeled. He said, “This morning, the cookies are free.” Somehow I don’t think that was in the employee handbook.
Part 3 : Manipulating Desire
The First Things First Manifesto was a call to designers to revalue their fees based on the social relevance of their clients. It was first published in 1964 and reified in 2000.
First Things First 2000: a design manifesto
Published jointly by 33 signatories in: Adbusters, the AIGA journal, Blueprint, Emigre, Eye, Form, Items
We, the undersigned, are graphic designers, art directors and visual communicators who have been raised in a world in which the techniques and apparatus of advertising have persistently been presented to us as the most lucrative, effective and desirable use of our talents. Many design teachers and mentors promote this belief; the market rewards it; a tide of books and publications reinforces it.
Encouraged in this direction, designers then apply their skill and imagination to sell dog biscuits, designer coffee, diamonds, detergents, hair gel, cigarettes, credit cards, sneakers, butt toners, light beer and heavy-duty recreational vehicles. Commercial work has always paid the bills, but many graphic designers have now let it become, in large measure, what graphic designers do. This, in turn, is how the world perceives design. The profession’s time and energy is used up manufacturing demand for things that are inessential at best.
Many of us have grown increasingly uncomfortable with this view of design. Designers who devote their efforts primarily to advertising, marketing and brand development are supporting, and implicitly endorsing, a mental environment so saturated with commercial messages that it is changing the very way citizen-consumers speak, think, feel, respond and interact. To some extent we are all helping draft a reductive and immeasurably harmful code of public discourse.
There are pursuits more worthy of our problem-solving skills. Unprecedented environmental, social and cultural crises demand our attention. Many cultural interventions, social marketing campaigns, books, magazines, exhibitions, educational tools, television programs, films, charitable causes and other information design projects urgently require our expertise and help.
We propose a reversal of priorities in favor of more useful, lasting and democratic forms of communication - a mindshift away from product marketing and toward the exploration and production of a new kind of meaning. The scope of debate is shrinking; it must expand. Consumerism is running uncontested; it must be challenged by other perspectives expressed, in part, through the visual languages and resources of design.
In 1964, 22 visual communicators signed the original call for our skills to be put to worthwhile use. With the explosive growth of global commercial culture, their message has only grown more urgent. Today, we renew their manifesto in expectation that no more decades will pass before it is taken to heart.
Part 4 : Bazaar-Op
We call it the “Bazaar-Op.” We hope to launch the process of Bartering and Exchange (B&E) of goods and services for all to enjoy. It is organized Chaos!
THE GOAL- is to trade goods and have fun! Creating new value for skills and objects to share with each other…
- BRING- 10 items, a bottle of some elixir (preferably alcoholic) and you are encouraged to dress as a merchant or wear some other creative duds.
- SETUP- participants are welcome to set up the evening before (6pm-midnight), or on the day of between 4pm and 8pm.
- CRUISE & PERUSE- between 8pm and 10pm scour the terrain of items and make offers on items you have an interest in Bartering… (no deals though)
- BARTER & BAZZOP- between 10pm and 12pm, interested parties will engage in pure and chaotic Bartering… When both parties are in agreement we say, “BAZZOP,” at which time the deal is done and final. The items are then taken off the bartering floor so that the rest of the items can be bartered without distraction…
- CLEAN- after the clock strikes midnight, we will clean up. This is a leave no trace event- You must take everything home with you and return the space to an acceptable condition.
- CELEBRATE- when the space is adequately cleaned, we will begin a party with wonderful musicians for your dancing pleasure. Given that the event is on a Wednesday, the event will end at 3am
WHAT DO WE CONSIDER A BARTER-ABLE ITEM?
- each participant will bring 10 items/ barter-able objects… and value those items 1-10 according to your subjective valuation of them…
* SIZE- note, all items need to be less than 2′ X 2′ X 2′ otherwise you will need to take a photograph of it
** SERVICES- also note- you can make one of your items a “service” such as an hour or day of labor. (For example, painting a room). Please bring a piece of paper that says for example, “One hour massage”
*** PANDORA’S BOX- one item can also be an unknown which we call the “Pandora’s box” which you can barter as you see fit…
Let’s get foolish and trade priceless goods!
Start setting aside your Barter Items…
You Get What you Give…
Gift Culture's album Terraforming is now available at the various online music services linked below.
Stay Tuned as this post will be updated as the album gets added to more online shops worldwide.
MGFest09 Cambridge / Boston events :: View Photo Stream
I recently did an interview with Open Labs about the art of making electronic music remotely.
As technology continues to make strides, more and more artists are finding themselves left alone in their studios; while endless piles of gadgets replace people, and become an artist's sole source of inspiration. Where there were once groups of artists discussing the levels on the bass line, there are now lonely sound engineers, pushing buttons and sliding faders. But it doesn't have to be so solitary. Working remotely, while not a new phenomenon, is becoming progressively easier and producing better quality music. Although the set-up isn't always ideal, it creates the opportunity for musicians to work together—with people, equipment, time and even talent they may not otherwise have access to.
To further the idea of a collective aloneness, Jamie Watts, who appropriately goes by the DJ name KiloWatts, points out an intensely interactive and collective piece of music. “Perhaps the most extreme example of musicians working remotely would be the Soulseek One Second Massacre, aptly titled, 'Sloppy Seconds,'” says Jamie. This musical collage is a collection of one-second sound bytes, each created by a lone artist, tacked on to the existing project, and forwarded to more than 500 artists over two years. The result is a 9-minute sonic patchwork. As Jamie describes it, “The result sounds something like a bunch of monkeys pushing buttons, but it's interesting how certain segments develop, especially in the segments where the rhythm is done at 120 bpm, which fills one second evenly.”
Jamie, who was a part of the “Sloppy Seconds” project, met his recording partner, Peter Van Ewijk, just once, and long after initiating their own remote recording process. The US-Germany relationship started via the file-sharing program Soulseek. Jamie says, “He sent me some guitar and vocal ideas he was working on, and I added my production to the mix.” It seemed like an easy enough orchestration between the two familiar studios but when they got together for the first time in person, at the Lab30 festival in Augsburg, Germany, the duo only had two days to practice a live set they'd spent a year building, seemingly effortlessly.
Four years later, Jamie and Peter got together for a second album. Jamie says, “The second album was more involved, so there was a lot more creativity going back and forth for each track: re-recording things, adding things, changing things. Doing the two albums like this was fun, but if we decide to do another one, I would want to create it in person together.” Headed in different musical directions, the second album was harder to control. “Because of the limitations of being in different places ... it's almost like the process is a 3rd collaborator. Ideas can change drastically during the time it takes for a project to transfer, or when the other guy gets around to working on it.” This can be good in situations where it allows the project to grow into something new, but it can also be frustrating because it is impossible to be in the same room, bouncing ideas off each other.
Providing a valuable insight, Jamie adds, “Working remotely helps with scheduling differences, as each person can get to the song at their convenience. But the result sometimes can sound double-sided, as each person is solely in their own head during the creation process. With uploading and downloading time, it usually takes a lot longer to complete a track. I've found that when working in the same studio together, we can ... pull immediate inspiration from what we're both feeling in the moment.”
There are options, though, for a sort of “live remote” session, which is exactly what Jamie concluded is one of the best alternatives. “I'd love to see something that is real-time interactive,” Jamie says. “If you can imagine it ... software that allows for two users to interact with the same song file through TCPIP, and chat at the same time. You could be tweaking a synth while your partner's arranging a sequence.” More than the future of remote work, it's the present.
Nick O'Toole, who's used remote recording techniques to capture the sound of the Prague Orchestra, explained the intricate process of producing the sound monsoon in real time from his Southern California location. “We used my NeKo to run Protools and another source connect plugin to monitor the session. The tracks were actually being recorded in Prague. It works by having the plugin, which is RTAS/VST/AU capable, and has to be running on both ends. The plugins connect and you can send audio back and forth in real time.” This is an impressive process because it compensates for latency and carries a MIDI time code signal, so the two systems can be in sync for recording. “It's all done via IP and the Internet,” Nick says. “This plugin enables you to monitor and produce what is being recorded on the other end in real time.”
Nick continued, “[We were] streaming at MP3 compression in real time and set up a Mackie big knob for the feed so the talk back button would send our voice to ... the control room. We hear it as it happens, then make comments, ask for more horns etc.”
Live remote recording, or producing as in this case, is an awesome technological feat and alleviates a lot of the problems that musicians encounter when recording remotely, or live for that matter. Nick emphasizes this last point, saying, “The best part is you never have to get dressed.”
Between scheduling, living across the country, or not wanting to get dressed, remote recording has solved a lot of problems. For those who prefer the solitude of their audio lairs, remote recording is being social. At the same time, it's not for everyone. Just as Myspace is fun for a while, it's not face-to-face human interaction. And, as Jamie says, “At its worst, working remotely can turn you into a head case from lack of human interaction.”
Article by Tatiana Ryckman, Open Labs Staff Writer