Thursday, October 30, 2008

escalation746 Live This Saturday

Just a quick note that I will be playing under the guise of escalation746 this Saturday evening at Baker's Place, as part of the ongoing micronite series.
Thursday, October 23, 2008

Csound Revisited

From my silence here you might imagine I've been doing no programming at all. Nothing could be further from the truth. While it is true that my commercial and open source projects are pretty well at a standstill, I have been working with a variety of languages for music composition and processing, so you can soon expect some sort of follow-up to the articles I wrote on music control languages, Chuck, etc.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Presence Of Baudrillard / The Absence Of Baudrillard

(I set out to create a sound art piece for a conference on Jean Baudrillard. This blog entry collates some of the thoughts I encountered on the way.)

Baudrillard's writings address a predominantly visual world. He wrote of objects in mirrors, took photographs of absence, and sharply probed a hyper-saturated mediascape that was dominantly ocular. In an interview for CTHEORY in 1995 he was asked to comment on sound as distinct from image. His response was to conflate the two into the "audio-visual", admitting that "the sphere of sound, the acoustic sphere, audio, is really more alien to me than the visual."
Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Baudrillard Sound Art In Mainz

This Saturday at 5:30pm, if you happen to be in Mainz Germany, drop by the Antiquariat am Ballplatz to hear me debut a new sound art piece. I have the honour of kick-starting Die Gegenwart Von Jean Baudrillard, a two day conference organised by Caroline Heinrich. Among the six papers is one by Alan Shapiro, friend and author of the fantastic Star Trek book I blogged about back in 2006.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Cloudy Today, Followed By Showers

What's this then? A word cloud showing some of the popular words I've used in recent articles. (Click it for a larger view.) Want your own?
Sunday, October 05, 2008

Economics For Children

Say I give you a dollar a week as your allowance. You are free to spend this right away on something you like. But say you want something that costs $2. Now you must save your dollar from this week and wait until you get another dollar next week. Then you will have $2 and can buy the more expensive item. If you want something that costs $50 you'll have to carefully save for most of a year.

This is how it works for children, but for adults things can be different. Because adults do not want to wait. They want to buy things before they have the money.
Sunday, October 05, 2008

On Test: SMC Pentax-A 28mm f/2.8

After testing four Vivitar 28mm lenses in the search for the Perfect Normal some might ask what is so special about Vivitar that other manufacturers couldn't also manage? In particular, Pentax themselves are known for lens quality throughout almost their entire range. In order to provide a baseline I thought it best to throw into the test group the SMC Pentax-A 28mm f/2.8. This lens was released in 1984 and so is a more recent design than the others I have looked at. However, it is similar enough to earlier Pentax offerings.

How does Pentax compare with third-party Vivitar? Read on to find out.
Wednesday, October 01, 2008

On Test: Vivitar 28mm 1:2.8 Close Focus Wide Angle [K03]

This lens is very similar to the Vivitar 28mm 1:2.0 Close Focus Wide Angle [K01] I tested the last time. In fact the differences can be enumerated quickly: there are no magnification markings on the barrel, the widest aperture is f/2.8 and there is an aperture click between f/11 and f/16. Perhaps the biggest difference is that this lens is much more commonly available, and inexpensive.

So it's cheap, but is it good? Let's see how it tests out in our continuing search for the Perfect Normal.