PEAL Revisited


We’re about to do some remedial work on PEAL, our laser-controlled virtual English church bell tower. The work has just been listed as a Cycling ’74 Project. The main project page is on the Monomatic site, with videos on Vimeo.

Here are some shots of the piece in situ at Kinetica 2010:

Hack the Barbican


In the Short Notice Department: we’re playing a short set at the Hack the Barbican event this Thursday. Gemma Riggs is doing visuals.

Quil and Field (EuroClojure 2012)

This video of my presentation at EuroClojure 2012 made its way online a year ago, yet I only recently discovered it. (Coming soon: not one but two video interviews from the first two MaxMSP UK festivals.)

Interview at monome


Many thanks to Brian and Kelli at monome for including me in their ongoing list of artist interviews. The questions were tricky to answer in a way that I found satisfying; it took most of a transatlantic flight to complete them.

Saat at Code Control

Saat is a monome arc-based performance piece that I wheeled out a few months ago for London Music Hackspace. I’m going to revisit the set for one of the performance slots at Code Control.

Code Control


We’ve been given a Catalyst Award to produce an installation piece for the Max-themed Code Control event at Phoenix in Leicester later this month. I’m keeping the details under wraps until the event launch on Friday the 22nd, but the screen-grab above shows some simple OpenGL graphics with which we’re testing the codebase. We’ll post more teasers over the next week or two.

Whitney Reloaded, Revised, at Kinetica 2013


We’ve revisited our 2012 revisitation of the work of John Whitney for Kinetica Art Fair 2013. This is a 30-minute rendering for the small(er) screen, and I’ve added a soundtrack derived from the work for Virtual Physical Bodies in Paris. Thanks to the Computer Arts Society for hosting this work.

Kinetica runs from February 27th to March 3rd.

MaxMSP at Music Hackspace


In the Short Notice Department: I’m teaching a Max workshop tomorrow afternoon (Sunday 17th) at London Music Hackspace. Details here.

Gerry Anderson 1929-2012


Gerry Anderson‘s work was made and shown at a time of technological optimism: the Jet Age was making way for the Space Age, NASA’s Apollo moon shot programme was under way, Concorde was about to fly, and Harold Wilson was telling us how the “white heat of technology” would propel us all towards a wonderful future. Gerry Anderson’s television programmes were part and parcel of this: bold and daring exploration, adventures and rescues, powered by amazing futuristic vehicles and spacecraft, each delivering moments of wonder. While the likes of Stingray and Fireball XL5 look naive and dated, the production values in later efforts like Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet were incredible for their time, and portrayed worlds to inspire a generation of children into science and engineering.

It’s easy to poke fun at the Anderson productions with their shaky marionettes, but Anderson himself detested the puppets, forced upon him by financial pressures and, later, by Lew Grade‘s insistence on sticking to a popular formula. By the time Anderson progressed to the live-actor series UFO, television science fiction was falling out of favour with public and media alike, while ironically the US market rejected the darker, human-interest story lines in the series.

Anderson’s last major work is probably my favourite: Space: 1999, in its first series (the second series was wrecked by Fred Freiburger) combined incredible model-work and visuals with metaphysical imagination-filled stories (with, admittedly, some sacrifice of scientific accuracy). A couple of years later, a movie called Star Wars premiered, and the rest is history.

Calling Anderson’s work iconic is a massive understatement. For my generation, it created our world and defined our future.

12/12/12: Senses Places


Today’s iconic date marks performances of Senses Places in Second Life. We were responsible for transforming the feed from from the (physical) dancers’ wearable sensors into an interactive granular soundtrack, with network code written in Clojure driving a sound engine in MaxMSP.

Second Life location: Koru.