Electronic tensegrity harp.

From squid labs via Bucky. There are three sets of twelve blue electronically sensed ropes. Apparently: one set sounds like bells or wind chimes. The 2nd set sounds like a dulcimer or xylophone. The 3rd set has a variety of fun percussion sounds.

It sounds like this.


Leopard Leg tour.

with the Liars. Little bit scared of stages.


Are people really mumbling?

That isn't the greatest audiogram I could find, but the title alone is worth it. Also, it comes from a website called deafened.org.

Marclay's comment on hearing pushed audiograms back into my memory. Not that I've had one in a while, but hearing tests are pretty Cagean. It's easy to push buttons and hear subtleties in the gaps, everything makes a noise if you want to hear it. They don't make sense like blind spot tests do. The visual outcome isn't as satisfying either. Grey areas are grey areas are grey areas.

Things always sound different, but his words worried me that I might not be able to hear the minutiae soon, and also, how will I know. Part of me thinks a logical plan would be to listen to the same thing every day and memorise the shifts, so I won't notice. Like rubbing fingertips consistently. That same thing could be Ryoji Ikeda.

This is the point where I could admit that I didn't visit the Millenium Dome.

Christian Marclay at the Architectural Association.

Video Quartet 2002. It came up a lot.

There were a few things he said on Friday night that I liked:

There's no order in a stack of cards.

I'm a true believer of using stuff.

I don't hear things the way I used to 25 years ago.

I'm not a movie buff.

And there were a few things that the architects said that made me laugh:

What's the difference between music and sound?
Do you mark the grooves on your records - how do you smooth them into each other?
What happens if the people don't like the bumps?

But my favourite thing that was said all night: fluxus with gloves.

Marclay made a circle of video monitors show objects from the Walker collection overlap, and it was called Shake Rattle and Roll. He got to touch things that arguably shouldn't be kept behind cabinets. It reminded me of the silly ephemera exhibition at the ICA a few years back, and also of Hayley Newman's plasticine in the South London Gallery, winter time. She made versions of objects used in fluxus scores. She wanted people to pick them up and play with them, but she didn't tell anyone. Funnily enough, no one really did.


Kaleidoscope applet.


More kaleidoscopes:

And my favourite, tiny little kaleidoscopes:

Originally made by David E. Joyce in 1983 in Pascal. Here's the source.

Mr Joyce has also explained the mutations of phylogenetic trees in a beautiful way. Those blocks.

Here's some mutations I made:

That last one there is made from this configuration:

I could press the new phyl button all day. It's the most aesthetically satisfying activity thing I've done in a while.


Prefabulous London | The A to Z of modern city homes.

Til the 18th of March at New London Architecture.

The exhibition catalogue is great. Highlights:

C is for Container:

Container City, Docklands.

F is for Factory:

Raines Court, Hackney.

M is for Modular:

Murray Grove, Hackney.

R is for Repetition:

Baron's Place, Waterloo.

song of a road | A radio-ballad about the building of the M1 motorway.

A few days ago I stumbled across Dorian Lynskey's music underground map. I didn't read the blurb, went straight to the PDF. Thought it would be anthropological, so I went straight to New Cross, which is Ewan MacColl. This didn't make sense until I read the key, and then, just like a 40-something out of touch professional, I thought 'wow, there's something I know nothing about, British folk music, let's go find.' My tesco garage is the LCC loan department, where I found this:

It's fun to listen to on a Saturday afternoon. And also quite informative, I don't know much about surveying and hydraulics. Or the plight of men without their machines: "I didn't have a machine for days and you saw what it did to me! You couldn't do anything with me!"

Don't think the makers were so happy with it though:
"We fumbled the opportunity. We found ourselves asking questions about road-building, about running a concrete-batching plant, about prefabrication techniques. Worse, we found ourselves incorporating the answers in the programme itself. In short, we were behaving as though our intention was to create a programme which would inform the listeners how to build their own motorway. It's an uneasy compromise between a typical feature programme and a radio-ballad and a not particularly good example of either."

Ultimately, it was made in 1959. It makes the words "hot asphalt" sound quaint. Having not been near a ballad or a radio or the M1 for a while, it's good.

Why not build a piano out of used B-52 wing struts?

That's what Harry Rhodes did during his time off WWII. It's also the name of chapter 3 in How Things Don't Work:

They then get talking about various other DIY kits, like flat pack synths and colour tvs, and finish off with a Chinese proverb (and why not?)

I hear and I forget
I see and I remember
I do and I understand.

I think I'm a sucker for good chapter titles. Papanek's good with titles. Another great one:
"No Roast Tonight - the Lights on My Carving Knife Need Realignment"

Papanek's other good title: the Green Imperative.


Knitting cycle animation.

Mathematical knitting.

Generative knitting via Freddie Robins is all the rage: generator x reckons knitting patterns are harder than programming cellular automation. Ha!

I'm a knit-hacker myself: I don't do patterns. If something needs to be made, it can be figured out. The fun part about knitting is internally configuring the pattern and modifying it as it grows. Admittedly, sometimes it doesn't work. I can't understand starting something completely assured of its end result, it's no fun.

Knitting a consistent real-time typeface remains one of my favourite hobbies.

So, I've found some interesting mathematical knitting projects. And a knitted moebius strip. Yes.

(Why purple? Got to ask.)

How to is here. Might give up the blanket ban for it, bus journeys are long.

Where is Vasco?


Podcast from space.

Steve Robinson talks about insomnia, experimental space walks and tricky gap filler on STS-114.

Golden quotemarks:
"Sure didn't expect that big piece of foam to come off of the tank. Fortunately it missed us."


Comment Vivre Ensemble.

How I wish this connection of mine weren't so shaky - an idiorhythmic ideal in itself. Just for this:

Roland Barthes
- Comment Vivre Ensemble
- le Neutre

36 hours of his lectures at College de France 1977 - 78.

Fontana Modern Masters.

Found these books in a gallery window in Soho a few months ago. They are stunning:

Mike Dempsey was the art director in the 1980s, this I know.

Been trying to find the other covers, but all I can find is some art project by Jame Shovlin redoing them in dripping watercolours. Is that really necessary?

It does give some handy information though:

"To further increase the desirability of each volume, the books were created in series of ten with each of the ten covers sharing the same design albeit with different colours which, when combined with the other nine titles in the series, created a larger composite picture."

Sounds nice. I can only find Beckett:


Eisenman and Koolhaas at the AA.

Architecture, ideology and the city (in 90 minutes)
Subtitle: radical passivity!

So, they talked a lot about diagrams as icons vs indexes, mentioned the moebius strip, and each other through the decades in anecdotal 3rd person.
Peter wore a bow tie, called himself a sportscaster and Rem showed some nice graphs about architects' wages and personality attributes, which made the architects laugh.
But this wasn't as good as when they talked about needs.

They talked a lot about needs: the need for non-phallocentric towers. The need for buildings to have an internal didactic nature. The need for neutrality: the declining importance of the spectacular: moving away from the production/allure of difference.
(Rem's bored of it. Which is different and spectacular, but anyway.)

Can't keep going beyond. Which is where radical passivity / non passive passivity comes in. Not to necessarily know, but an engaging illegibility: to become involved in nothing happening. I say: secret codes.

Eisenman's taking tips from Michael Haneke. He wants to translate films like code inconnu and cache into physical spaces. I'm yet to see these films, I have no idea. In relation to his Holocaust memorial, it's an easy concept to grasp.

They mentioned Blanchot at this point, which was nice, his ideas tie in with a lot of theirs.

At this point I should mention that, amongst other things, this is good:

Favourite quotes of the evening: (- context ++bells)
Rem to Peter: "what you say almost makes me cry."
Peter to Rem: "where will Rem go next?"
Rem to Peter: "you are a successful politician."
Peter to 4 rooms of people: "teaching studios is a waste of time."
Rem to 4 rooms of people: "books are important."