Robert Henke, finding beauty in ever-iterating work with lasers

Robert Henke in his post-Ableton life has continued to see his stock rise on the media art scene. But in some ways, that’s a funny thing. You’ll very often see Robert in one of two guises – as club act, or large-scale AV event. Yet the very thing that makes his style so distinctive is somehow the opposite of what you normally expect from those arenas. Robert’s approach is meticulous, detail-oriented, compulsive. In some sense, I think that’s what makes it scale. Rather than crank the volume, push emotions, and embrace spectacle (in the AV/concert) and the visceral (in the …


Here’s what you should read about the closing of London’s fabric

You’ve probably already been inundated in social media with this news — London’s nightclub fabric saw its license revoked overnight last night. But there’s more to this story than simply another casualty of urban nightlife. With so much ink being spilt on this issue (uh, pixels being killed?), there are a few points to highlight.


A Building-Sized Net as Canvas, Overlaid with Light Paintings from Mobile Phones

“Interactive architecture” has long been a phrase, a future echo – something coming – but it’s been tough to say what it would look like when it arrived. In the collaboration of Janet Echelman and Aaron Koblin this month, we see one form it might take. Koblin and Echelman joined forces to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the TED Conference in Vancouver, in a massive 300-foot literal web (and Web) hung high above the water. Koblin is the well-known digital artist, now at Google, but the material of the work is rooted partly in old-world technique. Echelman – here sponsored …


Mexico Meets the World, in Superbly-Diverse Mixtapes from Static Discos [Free Downloads]

If you wondered where your musical inspiration would come from in the waning hours of 2013, or the early hours of 2014, we’ve got some ideas. In lieu of top-this-and-that lists, we have a motherload of musical listening and discussions for a series we’re calling Music into 2014. Eclectic and electronic, Mexico’s label Static Discos has become a nexus for artists from around the globe. Now, you can tap into that network as a listener, free. The new Dimension Series – a massive collection of free mixtapes from some extraordinary international artists – joins a year-end mix from the label …


Chronome: A monome-inspired Grid, with Color and Pressure Senstivity

Chronome Prototype from FlipMu on Vimeo. The monome is defined as much by what it isn’t as what it is: it’s monochromatic, it uses only on/off binary buttons, and that’s part of its beauty. But what if it weren’t that? What if a monome could do color, and velocity sensitivity? As both engineering problem and design inquiry, that question holds some intrigue. Owen Vallis, who with Jordan Hochenbaum makes up the digital duo FlipMu, shares the Chronome prototype. Like the Arduinome before it, it re-conceives the monome’s brain around the open-source Arduino microcontroller platform – now in the form of …


More Fuzzy Vintage Synths on Etsy; Now We Just Need Sound

Plushy soft replicas of beloved synths have become something of a meme. Via our friend atariboy of Plasq fame, here’s the latest addition to the cuddly vintage instrument category on Etsy. Think about what this means, if you will: it’s a synthesizer you can curl up with while you sleep. Now that’s love. (I know at least a few of you have a relationship with synths that rivals or replaces, erm, significant others…) Now, the last time I covered soft synths (cough), I got significant hate mail in comments, proving there are really some people who don’t enjoy joy. But …


Pirates and Knitting

High-end audio products maker SSL doesn’t just have their eccentric product manager do sales pitches in pirate talk, says Music thing. The whole company has Pirate Friday and uses “Arrgh-Harrgh” as their sales shout. Cool, but I want to find an audio company that pretends to be deadly ninjas. In meatspace, tonight I’ll be in Brooklyn for the Etsy Party with some of the folks from MAKE:Magazine. Say hi if you’re going. I hear they have a sewing machine in the new Etsy Labs they’re building, so maybe I can finally make a fabric-based MIDI controller.