Thursday, January 13, 2022

What men can do to stop male violence

We live in a society where the dominant patriarchal order offers men individual and institutional power, resources and opportunities, respect and status, and control over their lives. Women, as a group, do not have the same privileges, a fact that is continuously demonstrated. If a woman is not safe even to walk down a public thoroughfare, there can be no argument that we live in a fair society. 

It's not up to women, the victims of these assaults, to change their behaviour. It's up to men.

Monday, January 10, 2022

How fast are Apple M1 computers for video?

Since Apple introduced their new M1 "system on a chip" there's been incredible hype over the capabilities of their laptops. In this article I will summarise information provided on the Blackmagic forums, in order to judge the worth of these systems for video editing. The results may surprise you. 

Sunday, January 09, 2022

The origins of "glitch"

The word "glitch" is now in common usage, used to describe any fault, applied to artistic products like glitch video and glitch music. It was firmly established as a genre of music circa 1994 when Autechre released the track "Glitch." 

An online discussion prompted me to look for the origins of this curious term. There are multiple places in which the source is cited incorrectly or the source quote is garbled. This post will set matters straight.
Monday, December 27, 2021

60 Voices: A mixtape to open your ears

It's year-end, a time when music lovers are besieged with lists and charts. These rankings rankle for several reasons. First, I refuse to view music as a contest. Yes, a "top ten" can be a way of highlighting new music. But I've been seeing too many, especially those of a historic nature, that serve only to confirm an existing canon. Read on, and you'll hear what I did about it: 60 carefully-chosen tracks mixed for your listening pleasure!

Thursday, December 02, 2021

Heldscalla system cooling, heat, benchmarks

This article will benchmark my current Heldscalla system against my previous VALIS computer. I will be comparing specifications and getting results from both Passmark and Cinebench R23. I'll explain that I turned off the overclocking built into the motherboard settings. And I will describe the physical air flow and choice of CPU cooler, as a prelude to measuring operating temperatures and noise levels. 

As usual, my goal is an article that doesn't avoid discussion of necessary technical considerations, while remaining comprehensible to readers not steeped in jargon. YMMV.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Why is my hard drive making noises?

Now that I've built my computer to the specifications outlined in my previous article, I am ready to write a series of articles reflecting on the experience. Spoiler: This was the most frustrating build of my life. These articles will outline specific hardware problems and their solutions (if any).

This first article will discuss issues with hard drives. My next article will review the Fractal case I used. I might also prepare some benchmark figures. 

Monday, November 22, 2021

Essential books on sound art

This is a reading list of essential books in the field of sound art. The term is provisionally defined to include non-narrative, non-performative works in a gallery context. This definition excludes experimental music in the main, since that field is well-served by a century of robust literature. 

As a term, sound art is only as old as 1990, though it has been applied retroactively to a body of prior work. Further debates on categories will be deferred to the following volumes, each of which deals with this thorny issue in its own way.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Video editing computer build 2021

In my previous article I outlined my computer purchases over the last decade. During that time I used the same Fractal Design case and upgraded the motherboard, CPU, and GPU exactly once.

But now my video work requires more computing power than I have available. Over a year ago I decided to build a new system from scratch. This ill-timed decision corresponded with the worldwide GPU shortage. It is only now that I've been able to act on this requirement. The upside is that I've had plenty of time to research and document my choices. This article outlines the rationale for my purchases, so that you can benefit from my research.

Tuesday, November 09, 2021

Computer purchase history to date

I thought it would be interesting to review my computer purchase history. Partial motivation for this exercise is to refute the consumerist idea that one must continuously advance to the "latest greatest" thing. I've only ever bought computer components in order to achieve immediate, necessary goals. In each case I've determined where the "weakest link" in my system resided, then replaced that component. 

While many YouTube builders put together new systems monthly, I re-use old parts and "make do" for sometimes years at a time. This is a necessary process for anyone on a budget.

Tuesday, November 09, 2021

The computer as a tool: a prelude to hardware specifications

Being a digital media artist, the computer is my primary tool, quite unlike other tools, being general-purpose machines that require modification and configuration before they are fit for purpose. It's easy to buy a hammer to hammer, a toaster to toast. It's somewhat more involved to buy paints to paint, paper on which to print, and so on. But it's definitively a non-trivial matter to buy and configure a computer... at least for anyone who wishes to deeply engage with their working process.