MMME – Week 4 – project research/soundwalks/


  • Thoughts from last week – comments on visitor(s)
  • Materials that Ben dropped off…
  • LET’S TALK – next event TBC march 16th
Review of Last Week
  • Your research assignments – research projects of general public media projects and telephone projects
  • Audio phone service descriptions – what services did you try and what did you love/hate about them? Details »

Thinking Notes

Here are the terms and ideas that were discussed in yesterday’s recap session.

Benjamin, Adorno, Kittler
Aura, Perception, Reproduction, Marxism, Politics, Aesthetics, Temporality and Memory

McLuhan, Manovich
Extensions, Distance, Mediation, Addition, Prosthesis, Hot and Cool, Active and Passive Engagement. Subjective Engagement, Imagination, Interpretation, Information Flows,
(Analogue,Digital)-Data/information Ontologies Details »

MMME – Week 1 – intro/media/space


  • Mobile Media and Media Ecologies blog posts
  • Thursdays, 11AM-1PM, Space 7
  • Project collaborators – City Council Heritage Office
Review of Last Week Details »

THINKING – 9/02/10 – Perception 101

Notes from today’s session on perception and consciousness right here: perception101.

Link for Diana Deutsch’s Audio Illusions, as well as Al Bregman’s site on Auditory Scene analysis.

Would be great to see your own references to works and illusion (op-art?) on your blogs or in the comments here.

Don’t forget that you have really super special sessions coming up!

Bernhard Garnicnig Lunch Bites notes

Bernhard Garnicnig –

Entrainment by sound –

Conceptual art –

Art of Noise –

Acoustic Ecology –

Authority of performance practice (Alex Galloway) –

John Cage, 4’33” –′33″

Prosthetics –

Exoskeleton –

Seeing with Sound –

Mobile Music as Prosthetics….

rjdj –


Binaural audio –


DOING – 02/12/09 – More Matrices, Multichannel Sound, OpenGL,

  • Equipment for ECHOES exhibition – make sure you see Bren for gear
  • The 1st floor is OURS.  Please clean up afterwards – the next day or so.
  • oFncl event – Joey
  • Anything else?
Review of Last Week
  • Arduino + MaxMSP – building your own protocol.  If you understand this, you are free to use whatever system you like.  If you don’t, please make an appointment, with Joey/Tom/Bren/me.
  • OMX.comp, etc. – i cannot emphasize how important this is!
  • Jitter basics – matrices, planes, dimension,
  • WHAT IS THIS TOOL DOING TO US?   ‘We Make Our Tools And They Shape Us’ – Mcluhan… What are your embedded assumptions/frustrations you have with Max/MSP? Details »

DOING – 18/11/09 – Data and Moving Image

  • Equipment and facilities issues
  • Documentarium – on the horizon?
  • Mini-exhibition for this Module
  • Rest of the year schedule for this module
  • MRes Final Projects Scheduling – Submissions for fulltimers in JAN
  • OTHER questions?
  • Readings….
Review of Last Week
  • Irritating driver issues – Network Settings in OSX for your arduino
    (check these if you’re having trouble)
  • Resolution!
  • 8bit numbers – what goes down your USB cable – Why do we care?
  • The simple protocol we attempted to develop last class – 255, 254 as headers
  • We have a 10-bit ADC, so we should use all 10 bits!
  • ASCII protocol – the down deep dirty version of SMS, PDuino, FIRMATA.
    (I want you to understand this, not just use it, so please spend some time on it, or with me, if need be.  It will make you powerful, I swear.)
  • Little issues around file naming, groove~, buffer~, formats, etc.
  • Tips and Tricks:  VST~ object, omx. objects, installing externals for sound analysis, granular synthesis, et Details »

DOING – 28/10/09 – Numbers & Max/MSP

  • Laser cutters, 3d printers, CNC machines, plotters (oh my!)
  • From the comments: Pure Data Wiki
  • Documenting your work in this class
  • Documentarium – on the horizon?
  • OpenFrameworks group – ofNcl
  • OTHER questions?
Review of Last Week
  • Perhaps worth highlighting again:
    • ABSTRACTION (mechanical, electronic, digital) –> signals as abstraction (bandwidth) –> sampling –> resolution –> computer numbers –> programming
    • “sampling” theoretically and “analog to digital conversion” in electronics (Nyquist)
    • Frequency, Period and Wavelength – high and low frequency and such
    • Another non-monkey number set – HEX (HEX FIEND) Details »

Thinking – Week 2

Frankfurt school
Reinterpretations of marxist critical theory away from politics and in philosophy
Adorno’s aesthetics and the revolutionary potential of the avant garde as catalyst
Analysis of music, formal, structural complexity and high modernism
relationship to popular culture – its simplicity hinders the revolution

more situated in popular culture

Marxist tiers
Base and Superstructure
Base – material foundation
superstructure – transcendent ideological structure

Primacy in the base – the main driver
Superstructure changes happen more slowly

So  mechanical reproduction has emerged (at time of Benjamin’s writing) as a means of production, but the true revolutionary potential of this in the superstructure has yet to be realised

Dialectics (Hegel)

DOING – 14/10/09 – Digital Representation & Programming


  • Next module meeting – NOVEMBER 3rd – 2PM
  • Go over the module handbook
  • Talk about expectations/goals (work load and help – Me!  Bren!  Hi Joey and Tom!)
  • Delivery style and pace
  • This blog, your blog
  • Extra sessions after most classes – not today! (usually 4:30-8:00PM, Bren also scheduled to be available for some of this time)
  • Our extensive use of Wikipedia on these notes is emphatically intentional – you are the best people to be engaging with a new shared conception of knowledge and fact (correct mistakes! help generate our a posteriori reality! join the conversation!) Details »

Thinking and Doing, Week 1

Notes from today thanks to John O’Shea – cheers, because it’s hard for me to blog while I speak!

Theoretical Foundations 001: Atau Tanaka

Wednesday 7th October 2009

Module handbook

Slides from today’s lecture: why-theory200910.pdf

Outline of syllabus
By the end of this module students will…

technological and cultural background
advantages and disadvantages of digital media production methods
not pure positivism Details »

MMME – Mobile sound and music

Some perspectives of sound

  • Noises and musical sounds [Helmholtz, 1885/1954].”The sensation of a musical tone is due to a rapid periodic motion of the sonorous body” and “the sensation of noise to non-periodic motions”.

    Helmholtz, H. L.F. (1885/1954) On the Sensations of Tone, Alexander Ellis, trans., New York: Dover Edition.
  • Sonorous objects (“objets sonores”) [Schaeffer, 1954]
    Instead of distinguishing sounds as noises and musical tones nor with reference to their sources, he attempts to separate signals from source, and to restrict itself to describing the differences among sounds themselves.

    “The sonorous object (i.e. sound) is not the instrument that was played”.

    Schaeffer, P. (1966) “Acousmatics.” In Audio Culture: Readings in Modern Music. Ed. C. Cox and D. Warner. New York: Continuum, 2004, pp. 76-81.

  • Musical listening and Everyday listening [Gaver, 1993] Details »

DOING – Week 2 – Numbers and Max/MSP


  • Next module meeting – NOVEMBER 3rd – 2PM
  • Digital Plotter, Laser Cutter, 3D printer, CNC
  • OpenFrameworks group
Review of Last Week
  • Digitizing (sampling), bits, bytes, number systems, sampling, resolution, dynamic range, number types (bytes, integers, floating point)
  • Perhaps worth highlighting again:
    • ABSTRACTION (mechanical, electronic, digital) –> signals as abstraction (bandwidth) –> sampling –> resolution –> computer numbers –> programming
    • “sampling” theoretically vs. “analog to digital conversion” in electronics – theory vs. practice
    • Frequency, Period and Wavelength – high frequency and low frequency
    • Another non-monkey number set – HEX (HEX FIEND)
    • Indexing from zero – zero may not be a thing, but it is a position!
  • Programming, program flow, mince pies – PROCEDURALITY
  • Questions about any of that? Details »

New Terms and New Terminology

Hi all!  WELCOME!   A new term is upon us.  We are very happy to have you all here, and are excited to see the work, relationships and ideas that will come out of our expanding family in the DM MRes!

For your info – we are running two  core modules this semester and (a change from last year) they run concurrently, interleaved.  That is, on Oct 7th, 2-5PM we have the first section of the DM THINKING class – which will look at issues in the production of interactive and experimental media works, as well as relevant cultural theory.  The DM DOING module – a class where we teach and workshop softwares for the production of creative digital media works – has it’s first session in the same time slot on Oct 14th (both in Space 7, Culture Lab).

Also running this term is Stevie Ronnie’s Web and Interactive Narrative class – Thursdays, 11AM-1PM.  Space 7.

As you were told in your advisement sessions, we will have infrequent but important ‘special sessions’ for topics that come up in your course.  These will, as much as it is possible, be held in the 5PM-midnight (?) time-slog following the Wednesday sessions.  So far we have ideas for an expanded discussion of intellectual property and copyright as it relates to students works, a session on music for new media, and a special workshop on OpenFrameworks.  If you have any other ideas for issues you’d like to look at and discuss with the group please get a hold of Jamie (, or leave a comment on this blog, post to your own blog – in short, get in touch.

More soon… and see you soon!

Basic Techniques – Week 9 – Stats & Classes

Review of Last Week(s)

  • Project reviews
  • Great progress for most of you this week! PLEASE KEEP IN TOUCH. I have not heard from some of you in a while… Jamie worries.
  • Week 11: Individual meetings – SIGN UP HERE – Max/MSP scripting with java and javascript
  • Week 12: PRESENTATIONS!!! 20 mins each, go through concept, ideas, context, show what you have completed. There will be new people in the audience, so START FROM THE BEGINNING Details »

Basic Techniques – Week 8 – Project Specific Feedback & OpenFrameworks

Review of Last Week(s)

  • Marks from midterms – any questions or concerns?
  • What did you get done? What are your major problems/concerns going forward? (Project updates)
  • Notes and thoughts from the class…
  • Laser cutter 2pm-ish
  • Quick look at Processing assignments? Anyone wanna show anything?
  • Quick look at Physical computing assignments? Anyone do anything fun?
  • Final project presentations on May 14th. This is, as ever, outlined in the Module Handbook.
  • NOTE! You lucky ducks have until May 28th (“Week 14”) to polish up any remaining ‘things’ that you’d like to be evaluated as part of the project. If these are large, dynamic or physical, they need to be documented (however you please) on your blog. If they can be submitted, they need to be submitted to the SACS office. Details »

Basic Techniques Midterm Project Concept Presentations

Thanks for the effort a few weeks back giving brief descriptions of your proposed projects for Basic Techniques. I’m looking at the below blog posts for each of you, so please let me know if I’m looking at the wrong thing, or if there are further resources I should be including in my understanding of what you’re currently working on. I’ve gotten responses up for a good number of you via the comments on these blogs, so watch for that. Working through posting these just now…

You’ll get your official midterm marks for this module from Catherine as soon as they’re processed – probably the beginning of next week or so. Rest assured everyone did well, and these are all incredibly interesting, honest projects – so thank you all… (in no particular order)

Pete Hindle

Andrea Pozzi

Ko Le Chen

Joe Scully

Andrew Nixon

Oliver Marchant

Pete Evans

Roma Byer

Helen Collard

Abraham Thomas

Thom Gray

Tom Schofield

Please do not hesitate to get in touch via email while I’m away next week – especially for little pieces of technical direction. As usual, I’m also available on skype, AIM, and cellphone. I am looking forward to hearing as much as you care to tell me.  Please work hard, and ask questions.  🙂

Basic Techniques – Week 7 – Midterm Presentations

Review of Last Week

  • Hardware, physical sensors, Arduino, serial data
  • Processing assignments – who gets a shiny gold coin!?
  • Conceptual questions about Processing or Arduino assignment packs – anything?
  • The way forward:
    • 4 weeks of Easter Break. I will comment on your blog posts any really pressing comments regarding your module projects. Try to use this as work time – and concentrate on the scoped version of your project for the Module. If you’re stuck and waiting for help on technology stuff, then make sure you’re drawing, writing or blogging about other aspects of the project!
    • Then we have 4 more weeks of class:
      • Week 8 – Main comments, advice and reactions to your projects (as much as this can be generalized). There will be a short exercise here for your blog to describe and report back on someone else’s project.
      • Week 9 – Topics relating to your projects (as much as this can be generalized). There will be some coverage here of OpenFrameworks and OpenGL generally. Exercise will be available.
      • Week 10 – Working meetings with Bren and Jamie for each student – we need to book these into May 4th – May 8th. SIGN UP HERE.
      • Week 11 – You present a working prototype, some text and a short talk about how far you’ve come…
    • THAT’S 2 MONTHS! For reference, in 2 months, a human child can learn to: Details »

DM Technology Workshop – Mobile Sound Applications


The invention of the portable audio player enabled us to change our environments perceptually by carrying sound in our pocket. The ‘father’ of the portable personal stereo cassette player, Andreas Pavel, described his first experience and said

“I was in the woods in St. Moritz, in the mountains. The snow was falling down. I pressed the button, and suddenly we were floating. It was an incredible feeling, to realize that I now had the means to multiply the aesthetic potential of any situation. [1]”

[1] LARRY ROHTER, An Unlikely Trendsetter Made Earphones a Way of Life, The New York Times, December 17, 2005.

Many people were inspired by his aesthetics and some people consider such portable machine as an environment transformation device through the ear (not as a huge library of music). They envision transforming the perception of the surroundings, enhancing the absorption in the environment, and altering the sensation of time and space with their mobile sound applications.

In this session, we briefly look around these practices with recent published iPhone projects, Bloom, RjDj, and Audible Realities. Then we’ll learn how to use such devices as a platform to develop your own work with RjDj. Details »

Basic Techniques – Week 6 – Physical & Networking

virtual reality helmut.jpg

Review of Last Week

  • Processing: Double buffering, loops in the draw loop, functions
  • Little bit of 3D
    • Loading ‘obj’ files into Procesing and Max/MSP (Blender makes .obj, as does sketchup)
  • Questions about the current Processing assignment pack – anything?
  • Questions about your 10-15 minutes presentation next week? (Please put all of this info on your blog, and check this. Please make it easy for me to give you full marks.)


We now have a programmatic basis for communicating with all kinds of stuff outside the computer. Overall, there is a tendency for screen-based media arts to attempt to disengage from reference to the body or physical presence of the environment. As a result, we do a lot of strange things to try and reconcile the supposed ‘rift’ between the “body” and the “machine”.

Another approach, as we have pointed to in the past, is to think of the nature of our relationships with technology as a more complex ‘continuum’, instead of an “interface” or “layer.” What are the possibilities when we stop thinking of technologies as something to wrap onto existing experience contexts, but something that can (perhaps selectively or subtly) permeate experience in a more contiguous way. Is this a ‘new frontier’ of communications, experience, creativity, humanity? Hmmm… a frontier, yes… but new? Maybe. Details »