Links For March 15, 2015

Why I Am Not a Maker

Making is not a rebel movement, scrappy individuals going up against the system. While the shift might be from the corporate to the individual (supported, mind, by a different set of companies selling a different set of things), it mostly re-inscribes familiar values, in slightly different form: that artifacts are important, and people are not.... Describing oneself as a maker—regardless of what one actually or mostly does—is a way of accruing to oneself the gendered, capitalist benefits of being a person who makes products.

First Things First (1964)

First Things First (2000)

The dangers of digital: Brian Eno on technology and modern music

So the question that everybody’s asking is, is it getting any better as a result of all this? But it’s such a hard temptation to resist. You’re recording a song and find a note that is really quite out of tune. In the past, you’d have said, it’s a great performance, so we’ll just live with it. What you do now is retune that note. So you’re always asking yourself, have we lost something of the tension of the performance, of the feeling of humanity and vulnerability and organic truth or whatever, by making these corrections? It does make you question the role of new technology in the studio.

Yes to the Dress?

You can’t get the dress traffic from angry competition any more than you can get “Snow Fall” by pasting a bunch of stories and pictures together. You can’t buy software for it or squeeze it out of people. You have to build it over time with lots of nerds of all sort and make people not hate their lives along the way. Then you need to see which parts work, and do them over and over again. It takes years.

Unmapped Pleasures: from Pulsar Signal to Post-Punk Icon

The image that eventually found its way onto the Joy Division album cover was a cut and stacked version of a continuous readout, so arranged precisely to demonstrate the regularity of the signal. But soon, the Little Green Men were discounted as a possible source; the pulsar was renamed PSR B1919+21 and the stacked image found its way into the 1977 Cambridge Encyclopedia of Astronomy, where it was noticed by the band.

The Ghost in the MP3

“moDernisT” was created by salvaging the sounds and images lost to compression via the MP3 and MP4 codecs. The audio is comprised of lost mp3 compression material from the song “Tom’s Diner” famously used as one of the main controls in the listening tests to develop the MP3 encoding algorithm. Here we find the form of the song intact, but the details are just remnants of the original. The video is the MP4 ghost of a corresponding video created in collaboration with Takahiro Suzuki. Thus, both audio and video are the “ghosts” of their respective compression codecs.