Friday, February 08, 2008

Friday Downstreams (Community Arts)

if you are going to have time to watch, listen to, read and play with all the exqusite media that I have found for this week's downstreams you are going to have to start NOW!

UbuWeb Sound - Richard Foreman MP3 loops from "Now That Communism is Dead My Life Feels Empty!" (2001)

Garden Of Delights: V.A.-Insane Times:25 British Psychedelic Artyfacts From The EMI Vaults (2007)
Psychedelic comps are ten-a-penny at the moment and many repeat the same tracks over and over and OVER AGAIN! Just how many times do I have to hear Green Circles by The Small Faces? Thankfully, the sixties most overrated group don't make an appearance on Insane Times - 25 British Psychedelic Artyfacts From the EMI Vaults with lesser known artists making the best moves... as well as some of the big hitters sneaking in.

Of course, Insane Times is a nod to Brit psych rag, the International Times... but does it manage to capture the weird and wonderful mindset of the swinging sixties of Britain? You'll be pleased to know that the answer is yes.

A free webcomics saga told in 5-page weekly installments, written by Warren Ellis with art by Paul Duffield. Launch date: 02/15/08.

U B U W E B :: Bern Porter - Five Books from the 1960s
Wisdom of the Questioning Eye
Five books from the 1960s, by found poet Bern Porter (1911-2004)
Mark Melnicove:
What to call Bern Porter? Found poet? Visual poet? Mail artist? Book artist? Pop artist? Concrete poet? He was each of these, and he will take his place in the histories of their genres (histories which have only begun to be written). And while it is true that the boundaries of these genres are permeable, allowing one to impregnate another, if we look for Porter's singular achievement, the one he delved into deeper and with more consistency than his contemporaries, it was as a found poet. As such, he is arguably the most significant found poet of the 20th century, if not all time.

Found implies lost. What others discarded he appropriated and claimed its authorship. He combed through trash (often at the post office, after sending off a fresh batch of mail art) to find new poems. In his life he scavenged for everything, not just language and imagery, but also food, clothing, and rides. (An ecologist before it was fashionable, he deliberately did not learn to drive or own a car.) He was living proof of his assertion, "Nuggets of value in the waste are everywhere for the looking, if only the viewer can develop his or her wisdom of the questioning eye."

U B U W E B :: Canada Inuit Games and Songs
Katadjak’, or throat-singing, is a form of vocal-verbal art common to many (but not all) Inuit (Eskimo) cultures. Banned by Christian priests for almost a hundred years despite its apparently secular nature, it is most commonly practiced by women – generally by two women facing off against each other in a form of friendly competition. Writes the musicologist Bruno Deschênes:

"Inuit throat-singing is not singing per se. Ethnomusicologists suggest that it should be viewed as vocal games or breathing games more than anything else. Traditionally, they are considered ‘games in which one makes noises,’ as the Inuit would say." And further:

Inuit throat-singing is done in the following way: two women face each other; they may be standing or crouching down; one is leading, while the other responds; the leader produces a short rhythmic motif that she repeats with a short silent gap in-between, while the other is rhythmically filling in the gaps. The game is such that both singers try to show their vocal abilities in competition, by exchanging these vocal motives. The first to run out of breath or be unable to maintain the pace of the other singer will start to laugh or simply stop and will thus lose the game. It generally lasts between one and three minutes. The winner is the singer who beats the largest number of people.

Originally, the lips of the two women were almost touching, each one using the other's mouth cavity as a resonator . Today, most singers stand straight, facing one another and holding each other's arms. Sometimes they will do some kind of dance movements while singing (e.g., balancing from right to left). The sounds used include voiced sounds as well as unvoiced ones, both through inhalation or exhalation. Because of this, singers develop a breathing technique, somewhat comparable to circular breathing used by some players of wind instruments. In this way, they can go on for hours.

BBC - Radio 4 In Our Time "At the Court of Rudolf II"
In 1606 the Archdukes of Vienna declared:

“His majesty is interested only in wizards, alchemists, Kabbalists and the like, sparing no expense to find all kinds of treasures, learn secrets and use scandalous ways of harming his enemies…He also has a whole library of magic books. He strives all the time to eliminate God completely so that he may in future serve a different master.”

The subject of this coruscating attack was the Holy Roman Emperor, Rudolf II, and his court at Prague. Rudolf had filled Prague with the wonders of the age – the great paintings of Italy were carried over the Alps, intricate automatons constructed, maps and models of the heavens unfurled and engineered. But Rudolf’s greatest possessions were people - the astronomers Johannes Kepler and Tycho Brahe, the magus John Dee and the philosopher Giordano Bruno had all found their way to his city. Far from the devilish inquisitor of the archdukes’ imaginations, Rudolf patronised a powerhouse of Renaissance ideas.

20 minutes or so on why I am 4 Barack by Lawrence Lessig
I wasn't going to do this, but then someone ask me to do it, and someone else told me (to my horror -- not that it would be insane for anyone, but insane for her) that she was for Clinton. So consider this my precinct captain duty for the lessig blog.

Playble – Paying Artists for Free
The Pirate Bay has started a unique collaboration with the members of the Swedish rock band Lamont. After lengthy discussions about the future of the record industry and its implications for the many talented artists and songwriters around the world, we discovered that we held the same vision. The shared insight that the record industry—with its current business model—is outdated inspired the birth of

This innovative music site will allow users to download music by artists for free and still support them financially. will give companies with strong brands the opportunity to support music and artists directly. Welcome to

Ryan Trecartin - A Family Finds Entertainment (2004)
From the New York Underground Film Festival website:

"Entertainment is easy… Fuck! I’m so ugly!"

Ladies and Gentlemen, prepare to meet the experimental people and ready yourself for "IDM up the rear end! But be careful listening… it’s very influential."

Directed/Edited/Starring experimental person Ryan Trecartin, AFFE is a fucked up digital bedtime story that indulges a drag-queen-dress-up-twist on the classic coming out melodrama. In this world, populated by about 50 of Trecartin’s outrageously costumed friends, every moment and sound is electronically manipulated or processed, and performances seem to be fueled by an Alice-in-Wonderland type drug that accelerates (and often reverses) every character’s movement. It’s like the internet, but it is SO HONEST.

"I believe that somewhere there is something worth dying for, and I think it’s AMAZING!"

Meet Skippy, a depressed suicidal "teen" who locks himself in a bathroom with face-paint, a Polaroid camera and a knife. Desperately in search of an identity—any identity—Skippy has settled on suicide as a solution. But after a failed attempt, he receives a message in a seashell telling him "Skippy, don’t do it!" and immediately leaves home to embrace a newfound queer life. It’s a revelation, a celebration, "Ye-ah!"

"You’re so revolutionary!"

Ryan Trecartin - I-BE AREA (2007)
WE’RE in a house of many tight, messy rooms. In the suburbs? Cyberspace? Hard to say. Anyway, it’s night. A door bangs open. A girl, who is also a boy, dashes in, talking, talking. Other people are already there, in gaudy attire, dire wigs and makeup like paint on de Koonings.

Everyone moves in a jerky, speeded-up, look-at-me way and speaks superfast to one another, to the camera, into a cellphone. Phrases whiz by about cloning, family, same-sex adoption, the art world, the end of the world, identity, blogging, the future. Suddenly indoors turns into outdoors, night into day, and we’re at a picnic, in dappled sunshine, with a baby. Then this all reverses, and we’re indoors again. A goth band is pounding away in the kitchen. The house is under siege. Hysteria. Everyone runs through the walls.

This is a highly impressionistic account of Ryan Trecartin’s sensationally anarchic video “I-Be Area,” which made its debut in the Elizabeth Dee Gallery in Manhattan last fall. The piece caused a stir, in part because most people had never seen anything quite like it before, certainly not in an art gallery.

Two Trips to Gorilla Land and the Cataracts of the Congo, by Richard F. Burton (1876)
The notes which form the ground-work of these volumes have long been kept in the obscurity of manuscript: my studies of South America, of Syria and Palestine, of Iceland, and of Istria, left me scant time for the labour of preparation. Leisure and opportunity have now offered themselves, and I avail myself of them in the hope that the publication will be found useful to more than one class of readers. The many who take an interest in the life of barbarous peoples may not be displeased to hear more about the Fán; and the few who would try a fall with Mister Gorilla can learn from me how to equip themselves, whence to set out and whither to go for the best chance. Travelling with M. Paul B. du Chaillu’s “First Expedition” in my hand, I jealously looked into every statement, and his numerous friends will be pleased to see how many of his assertions are confirmed by my experience.

The second part is devoted to the Nzadi or lower Congo River, from the mouth to the Yellala or main rapids, the gate by which the mighty stream, emerging from the plateau of Inner Africa, goes to its long home, the Atlantic. Some time must elapse before the second expedition, which left Ambriz early in 1873, under Lieutenant Grandy, R. N., can submit its labours to the public: meanwhile these pages will, I trust, form a suitable introduction to the gallant explorer’s travel in the interior. It would be preposterous to publish descriptions of any European country from information gathered ten years ago. But Africa moves slowly, and thus we see that the results of an Abyssinian journey (M. Antoine d’Abbadie’s “Géodésic d’Ethiopie,” which took place about 1845, are not considered obsolete in 1873.

The Dongas Tribe (and friends)
Extensive collection of musical jams from the Dongas Tribe and friends. The Dongas Tribe were a UK road protest group in England originally noted for their occupation of Twyford Down outside Winchester, Hampshire. This was a protest against the M3 motorway extension which destroyed some "government protected" rich ecological sites and ancient monuments there. The name Dongas comes from the Matabele word for "Gully". This had somehow been given by Winchester locals to the deep drovers' tracks on Twyford Down.

Following "Yellow Wednesday", when hordes of police and security guards invaded the camp to bulldoze the area, the Dongas left Twyford Down for Bramdean Common.

They constituted about twenty people in their early twenties. Some of the Tribe maintained an involvement in various subsequent road protests (Solsbury Hill, North Wales, Newbury bypass), but gradually morphed into a semi-nomadic "tribe", travelling the South West of England on foot, squatting various hill-forts and putting on seasonal gatherings in an attempt to reawaken a sense of connectedness with the land. The last of the nomadic Dongas were travelling in Cornwall until the end of 1999, after which some of them moved to France to continue their nomadic lifestyle

Fried Shoes and Cooked Diamonds
This video takes you on a whirlwind visit to the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University in Colorado. It feels like a truthful, unfaked portrait. We have no host pointing things out and explaining.
The skill of this documentary is that the camera's perspective is wide enough that we can just follow and watch. We are shown classes at Naropa, which range from formal meditation sessions to anarchic lectures with Gregory Corso. We attend performances at the school, and an anti-nuclear demonstration where Corso and Allen Ginsberg read their own works and many people are arrested. Ginsberg, the late great poet and one of our last gentlemen, orients us a little bit - like a busy host at a wonderful party. Tim Leary and William Burroughs and Anne Waldman gossip about art, spirituality, and one another. Amiri Baraka critiques his friends and also reads his work.

We may linger overlong on some things - like Ginsberg singing "Father Death" tunelessly while accompanying himself on a squeeze box, but even there we are edified when we see Baraka looking on and, with us, a little bored. The documentary truly has a perspective of its own and shows us some legendary people without a speck of awe.

be the change you want to see in the world
Documentaries, art films, images, meditations, sounds

w00t Studios - Documentary Features w00t's Mindscythe
Nathan "Aniero" Bender recently created a documentary on the relationships players of MMORPG's create with each other and how they translate offline.

Five Pieces for Winter Morning at motel de moka
So here is a list of what she left behind: a husband, an abortion,
a mathematical education, and a black market career in
trading currencies. And what she brought: a gray poodle,
eight dresses and a fearful combination of hope, sarcasm,
and steel-eyed desire to which I have surrendered. And now
I know her secrets: she will never give up smoking.
She would have crawled across Eastern Europe and fed
that dog her own blood if she had to. And her mother’s secrets:
she would have thought, at last, that you were safe with me.
She hated men. Let me, then, acknowledge that last generation
of the women of the enemy: they are a mystery to me.
They would be a mystery even to my most liberal-minded friends.

MUTANT SOUNDS: Negativland-St.,1980+Points,1981,LPs,USA
Negativland is an experimental music and sound collage band which originated in the San Francisco Bay Area in the late 1970s. They took their name from a Neu! song [1], while their record label is named after another Neu! song. The current core of the band consists of Mark Hosler, Richard Lyons, Don Joyce, David Wills, and Peter Conheim, but membership is considered rather irrelevant, in the usual sense of band personnel, and this list may be inaccurate or false.
Negativland has released a number of albums ranging from pure sound collage to more musical expositions. These have mostly been released on their own label, Seeland Records. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, they produced several recordings for SST Records, most notably Escape from Noise, Helter Stupid, and U2. Negativland became involved in a lawsuit with U2's lawyers, which brought them widespread publicity and notoriety, but nearly destroyed them as a band.

MUTANT SOUNDS: Muslimgauze-Hammer & Sickle,7" e.p,1983+Opaques,tape,1983,UK
Muslimgauze was the one-man musical project of Bryn Jones (June 17, 1961 - January 14, 1999), a prolific British electronic music artist, strongly influenced by everything to do with the Middle East.
He first began making music in 1982, under the alias of E.g Oblique Graph, to protest the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. He released three cassettes and a 7" EP as E.g Oblique Graph: Extended Play (1982), Piano Room (1982), the 7" Triptych (1982), and Inhalt (1983). After he changed his name to Muslimgauze, he released a 7" EP (Hammer & Sickle), his first full-length LP (Kabul), and another cassette (Opaques) in 1983. In 1990, the Australian record label Extreme signed him, but he left in 1994 for Dutch label Staalplaat and its sister American label Soleilmoon because his albums were not being released as promptly as he had wanted, and he was also not receiving payment. Since he had put out seven releases since he signed, money was becoming a problem. His output was always very high. In 1995, he had six releases; in 1996, fifteen; in 1997, nine; in 1998, sixteen. After his death, the many record companies he had associated with released unreleased material and re-pressed older, out-of-print material

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