Attempt to Make A Music Award That Matters, But Winning Act Calls It ‘F***ing Insane’

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Amidst award shows like the Grammies, Canada’s Polaris Awards seemed to be something different. As Internet over-abundance has made some feel big media has grown yet more powerful, Polaris seemed oozing with indie cred. Metric, Purity Ring, and Metz played the award ceremonies. Tegan and Sara, Zaki Ibrahim, and A Tribe Called Red got shortlisted. There’s even a cute infographic explaining how the selection process works, and it seems legitimate. (One potentially-bad sign: cloned, hipster-like characters in the image, vintage eyewear present, people of color entirely absent. But designers will be designers.) Past …

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Time To Act? Sobering Stats and Call for Change on International Women’s Day [Report, Editorial]

Announcing their findings in a wide variety of languages, femalepressure, a 56-country network representing hundreds of women in music from bookings to DJing, have put the electronic music scene into numbers. In a report formally released today, they quantify the sinking suspicion that labels, festivals, and media outlets are badly lacking in female representation. Just how few women are there in top festivals, label releases, and the media? Few enough that when the numbers break 10%, the results “can be considered above average.” Press Release (English) [femalepressure] Full March 2013 Report [PDF; worth reading in its entirety to see where …

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The 555 chip, imagined as delicious chocolate-covered graham crackers. And it was indeed a tasty chip, a major landmark in electronics. Photo (CC-BY) Windell H. Oskay.

Inventor of 555 Dies; Remember Him with an Atari Punk Console, Circuit You Can Make

Hans R. Camenzind, the Swiss-born engineer who worked in the United States, is responsible for major advancements in electronics and circuit design, but perhaps none so great as the 555 chip. This single integrated circuit is one of the most ubiquitous ever created, but even more importantly, has been for many a curious youngster, electronics hobbyist, or musician a window into the world of electronics. It can be a key to a world where you make your own electronic creations, rather than just relying on some distant manufacturer to produce them for you in a sealed case. And, oh yes, …

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anonymous

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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Projection Mapping for a Cause: Obscura’s Cube of CO2

CO2 Cube from Obscura Digital on Vimeo. It’s an older project, but no less timely: speaking of Obscura Digital’s work, they’ve also employed projection as a way to illustrate in tangible terms a serious issue. You’ll hear climate scientists speak in terms of metric tons of emissions. But because we can’t see those emissions, and because most people really don’t think about volumes of carbon dioxide (hardly something you pick up at the grocery), it’s tough to wrap your head around what that means. That is, it’s tough until you see the volume. Assuming sea level, you get a cube …

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Projection Mapping for a Cause: Obscura's Cube of CO2

CO2 Cube from Obscura Digital on Vimeo. It’s an older project, but no less timely: speaking of Obscura Digital’s work, they’ve also employed projection as a way to illustrate in tangible terms a serious issue. You’ll hear climate scientists speak in terms of metric tons of emissions. But because we can’t see those emissions, and because most people really don’t think about volumes of carbon dioxide (hardly something you pick up at the grocery), it’s tough to wrap your head around what that means. That is, it’s tough until you see the volume. Assuming sea level, you get a cube …

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Föhnseher Scoops Images from Wireless to Analog TV; in Berlin Saturday, More Julian Oliver

Julian Oliver’s “Föhnseher” spies on images on a wifi network, then “broadcasts” them to that older, less “pull”-based medium, the analog television. Have a look at the demonstration, as made by fellow media artist Servando Barreiro. Föhnseher rises from the scrap heap of analog TV. Unlike other televisions, Föhnseher captures and displays images downloaded by people on surrounding local wireless networks. Other people’s phones, laptops and tablet computers all become broadcast stations for this device, replacing the forgotten television towers of old. The name föhnseher derives from fernseher, the German word for television, and the föhn, a strange warm wind …

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Mobile Projection Becomes Activists' Tool in NYC Occupy Wall Street Protests

Democracy Now! has a feature on the use of mobile projection in Occupy Wall Street. Projections here are simple: factoids are blown up to big-building size, highlighting economic inequities. But the results do something even signs and megaphones may be unable to do, which is to reach a large audience of passers-by without in fact having to disturb almost any physical space. Mobile projection is of course nothing new, and a topic we cover regularly here, but it becomes visible to a broader audience when involved in a hot-button political action like this. Article and transcript: Projectionists Light Up New …

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Mobile Projection Becomes Activists’ Tool in NYC Occupy Wall Street Protests

Democracy Now! has a feature on the use of mobile projection in Occupy Wall Street. Projections here are simple: factoids are blown up to big-building size, highlighting economic inequities. But the results do something even signs and megaphones may be unable to do, which is to reach a large audience of passers-by without in fact having to disturb almost any physical space. Mobile projection is of course nothing new, and a topic we cover regularly here, but it becomes visible to a broader audience when involved in a hot-button political action like this. Article and transcript: Projectionists Light Up New …

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Urbanized to Join Objectified, Helvetica, as Design Nerds Get Their Ultimate Trilogy Box Set

Filmmaker Gary Hustwit has become the Francis Ford Coppola of design documentaries (I expect a vineyard soon). His documentaries on type (Helvetica) and industrial design (Objectified) are glorious, intimate sources of visual inspiration. Now, he’s taking his quest to release a third film on cities to Kickstarter. And while Kickstarter seems to be the “it” site of this bootstrapping economic dip, the pitch is pretty good. First, Hustwit on exactly where he came from: In 2005 I began work on my first documentary, Helvetica, which looked at the worlds of typography and graphic design through the eyes of one loved/hated/ubiquitous …

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