Identity, Body, Making: “Timeless” Short Meditates on Digital Being and Design

What does it mean to disconnect from time and space, from our bodies, when communicating and making? “Timeless” is a meditation on that question, refracted through the ideas of a number of thinkers from various backgrounds, and interspersed with a mysterious, glowing object in the form of a regular polyhedron. (This alien device seems to act as both mirror and unspeaking narrator.) The work of filmmaker Gabriel Shalom and designer Patrizia Kommerell, “Timeless” is an immersion into the contradictions of digital expression. With thinkers from cyberpunk futurist Bruce Sterling to game theorist Mary Flanagan, it holds a critical, visionary mirror …

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MegaUpload Raided; Do You Feel Your Future as a Creator is Brighter Yet?

Anonymous 2. And, uh, jeez, if you like uptime, you don’t want to annoy Anonymous. (CC-BY-SA) liryon. Well, that happened. It’s a surreal episode that seems not to have any clear winners, as the US government on one side and hackers on the other face off over what is and isn’t freedom online. The mystery is, what will be the long-term outcome for people making content – or, for that matter, do these kinds of dramatics even really have any logic in your work at all? While the music tech industry was holed away in the palm tree-lined walls of …

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Opponents of US SOPA Legislation Gaining Momentum on Blackout Day; Musicians Have a Stake

Photo (CC-BY-NC-SA) Dawn Loh. It’s been called, bluntly, “Internet censorship” by opponents. And now, US legislation that claims to curb piracy faces mounting challenges as that opposition grows, particularly as the White House warns it will block the bills. Today, even as a flood of delightful new music toys become available, it’s worth pausing to consider why this matters – and, if you vote in the United States, to call your Senators and Representatives (again, if needed). Many of us who create music believe the dynamic, user-driven nature of the Web is our best chance at a bright future. Free …

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Off-Topic: Deadmau5 Eats a Giant Epic Meal Time Tower of Grilled Cheese

North America: it’ll kill you, m***********. Sure, you know what the United States can do to destroy your taste in Dubstep, and how it likes to roll without health insurance. And you probably think USA when you think fatally-unhealthy cuisine. But meet USA’s neighbor to the north, Canada. The country that takes cheese, fries, and fat to a whole other level has made bad eating into a YouTube meme. I got to see the Epic Meal Time crew at a party in Toronto in June, but … uh … didn’t exactly have a reason to mention it on CDM. (Create …

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How to Gather Artists Together to Make Stuff: Morning Music + Coffee Consumption

Drink up — just not too much, or your playing could wind up a tad … jittery. Photo (CC-BY) Lali Masriera). Let’s get together and play music. The Morning Music & Coffee Consumption series, an informal gathering of artists, aims to do just that. The assumption about digital music production may be very different – the solo artist, holed up in a bedroom alone with a laptop is the default image. But instruments and laptops go together, and laptops can increasingly be played comfortably as instruments, so there’s really no excuse. And Jared Smyth’s mm-cc series, having already produced a …

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Ten Music Technologies to Be Thankful For Right Now

Photo (CC-BY-ND Dave/riptheskull. Happy Thanksgiving to our American readers. I was thinking about technologies for which I’m particularly thankful, some non-obvious, some perhaps so obvious they might be easily be taken for granted. Each I hope represents some opportunities for others. At the risk of starting a Thanksgiving roast, in no particular order, here are the ones foremost in my mind in the waning days of 2010.

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A New Documentary Examines the Electro Scene in the Age of the Internet

The Electro Wars Final Trailer from Stephen Alex Vasquez on Vimeo. The Electro Wars Final Trailer from Stephen Alex Vasquez on Vimeo. Can a documentary finally tell the story of the electronic music scene? Primus Luta has become a scholar of electronic sounds himself, and joins us in a guest post to examine a film that, like the music itself, is a work in progress. Electro Wars premieres in its current form in New York Friday, but you can get a first glimpse at the movie and the state of music in the Internet – whether wishful thinking might imagine …

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Prince: The Internet is Over; Digital Music Just Fills Your Head with Numbers

I hope you liked music while it lasted, because me and a bunch of nerds are about to replace it with … this. Photo (CC-BY) João Trindade Music celebrities have given CDM words to live by over the years — strange, yet strangely profound, reflections on the evils of modern technology. Sure, they’re trying to make some point about MP3 compression or the potential distractions of the Internet or … something. Yet, taken out of context, they form a kind of beat poetry for our time. 2006, Bob Dylan: “New records … have sound all over them. … CDs are …

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Help EFF Save Web Content: Prove Podcasting and Media Patent is Wrong

Act now, or this puppy is in grave danger. Podcasting pug photograph (CC) zoomar. Patenting the use of all episodic media on the Web might sound absurd, but the US Patent and Trademark Office has granted just such a patent, to a company called VoloMedia. It’s a significant issue, one that could threaten the freedom of all media distribution online. Wherever you are in the world, you can help. Intellectual property law was created in order to protect genuine inventions and innovation from exploitation. But predatory patents, based on bogus claims and attempting to stake out broad rights, threaten to …

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In Bb 2.0: YouTube-Generated, Collaborative Music Remix

That sounds like the usual collection of meaningless YouTube buzzwords, but yet again, in the spirit of the YouTube-fueled musical genius of Kutiman and, more recently, Tan Dun and Internet orchestras, the combination of user-contributed videos turns out to be magical. Perhaps “You” are a star, after all. In Bb also gives You, the viewer, some powers over the remix. As the name implies, everything will blend, so you can start the videos as you wish, and control volume with the volume sliders. It’s part of the ongoing evidence that sometimes simple ideas can be deeply musical and effective. Now, …

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