Fractals, Bots, Nodes, and Patternists: Onyx Ashanti’s Cyborg Music Meets the Ensemble [Guest Post]

Get ready: from one more-than-human musical cyborg, a robotic horde of beatjazz artists. Onyx Ashanti isn’t satisfied just augmenting his own body and musical expression with 3D-printed, sensor-laden prostheses. He’s extending that solo performance with bots that crawl around and gesture for feedback, then – inspired by the organic beauty of fractal geometry – is binding together performers with his system in a networked system of nodes. Just don’t call it a jam session. Call them patternists. If this sounds crazy, it is: crazy in just the way we like. But amidst this hyper-futuristic vision of performance, Onyx also writes …

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Robots, Mimicking Bees, Cover a Room in a Drawn, Unbroken Line

MIND OUT : PROJECT LONGARM from e on Vimeo. The idea of technology being apart from nature may be entirely backwards. Patterns and logic in code spring from the organic engine of human brains, and can be at their most effective when they mirror the natural world. And so it is that you can cover the walls and floor of an installation using rules that mimic the flight of bees. Call it cross-pollination. Mattias Jones sends his project, and notes that “all code, engineering and music is bespoke for the installation.” Details: Towards the end of 2012, as part of …

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In Berlin, musicians and creators gather to work collaboratively on new means of creation and performance. Imogen Heap and her team are among the participants, presenting an interactive workshop on wearable tech. Photo from TEDGlobal 2012 in Edinburgh, by James Duncan Davidson.

Hack Into MusicMakers’ Future in Berlin [CTM Open Call]

Happy New Year, from the future. It’s too late for sci-fi movies with a dateline of 2013. If you want something futuristic, you’ll just have to get to work. That’s what we’re doing in Berlin at CTM Festival later this month, with some of our favorite artists and engineers and designers and artist-engineer-designers. And we’d love to have you join us. We’ll have live music to enjoy. That includes high-tech original creations — Sonic Robots’ real-life 808 drum machine and band, and Tarik Barri and Lea Fabrikant with their three-dimensional audiovisual space trip. Tim Exile will treat us to his …

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80s Roland engineers never imagined ... this. Welcome to the age of the Real. Photo: Jürgen Lösel.

A Robotic, Physical 808 Machine Advances Weird Science of Music, Tech Alike

So, you’re really hot stuff now that you’ve got a vintage Roland TR-808, huh? Ready to have your pride taken down a few notches? If you haven’t seen it, have a look at this. The MR-808 is a “real-world” replica of the Roland sounds. And when people throw around buzzwords like “post-digital” to try to describe the spirit of the age in which we live, this is what they’re trying to get at. In some sense, this creation is a tribute to the 808’s minimalism and essential design. And this is still a creation of the digital realm. The robots …

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mindstormsinstallation

Lego Mindstorm Robotics, One Kitchen, One Psycho Barbie: Bonaparte Music Video

BONAPARTE – 40°42’48.46 N 73°58’18.38 by JUL & MAT from JUL & MAT on Vimeo. Out of the screen, into your kitchen: digital tech can become magically alive when grown-up robotics meet child-like play. And it’s not trickery: this LEGO-powered robotic installation really is playing the parts of this song by Bonaparte. Peter Cocteau already showed the world that LEGO’s Mindstorms platform can become a fantastic drum machine, in his brilliant NXT-606. Now he’s back, with a robotic installation that “performs” the music video for German rock/electronic artist Bonaparte. Teaming up with Cocteau and French directing team Jul & Mat, …

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Gotye to Queen to Radiohead, The Songs of Hard Drives, Robotics, and Retro Gear

Beyond the viral-ready novelty, listen to the serenades of defunct hard drives, flatbed scanners, and garage sale-rescue computers and you might just hear a sense of urgency. As the discs whir, the chips bleet, and the solenoids ping percussion, this chorus of obsolete electronics seems to plea, save us from landfill doom. The latest breakout hit from repurposed retro machines is Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know.” Here, it’s covered by a set of glockenspiel-playing solenoids and an HP ScanJet as the angst-ridden whine of the now-infamous vocals. An Amiga rounds out the band. Even the robotics can be …

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A Robot Paints with Light, in New Daedelus Music Video

Daedelus’ saturated electric rhythms themselves have the kind of blinding quality of light, so recent visuals fit that sonic aesthetic nicely, from the shards of reflected projection that blaze from motorized mirrors in his touring “Archimedes Show” to this, the new music video for “Platforming.” Perhaps taking on a new life as renegade tag artist, an assembly-line robot makes spectacular abstract artwork, cutting geometries into space. There’s certainly a zeitgeist going on: director Chris Cunningham uses lasers and robots in a spectacular new show: Chris Cunningham Unveils His Most Intense Project Yet (And It Includes Robots And Lazers) [Creators Project] …

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A Ballet of Quadrotors: Helicopter Spectacular from Saatchi & Saatchi [Vicon, OpenFrameworks]

So, we can point lights at different stuff and map projections to surfaces and do all that good stuff. You know what’s even more fun? Flying the lights around on helicopters. In a dazzling visual display of abstract spectacle, Quadrotors – in this case, small, mobile four-rotor helicopters – buzz about like a precision ballet team of UFOs. Apparently none other than friend-of-the-site Memo Akten was involved, among others (full credit to the whole team after the jump). And there’s quite a bit of technology required to make these helicopters semi-autonomous, including some creative coding in OpenFrameworks and a high-accuracy …

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A Ballet of Quadrotors: Helicopter Spectacular from Saatchi & Saatchi [Vicon, OpenFrameworks]

So, we can point lights at different stuff and map projections to surfaces and do all that good stuff. You know what’s even more fun? Flying the lights around on helicopters. In a dazzling visual display of abstract spectacle, Quadrotors – in this case, small, mobile four-rotor helicopters – buzz about like a precision ballet team of UFOs. Apparently none other than friend-of-the-site Memo Akten was involved, among others (full credit to the whole team after the jump). And there’s quite a bit of technology required to make these helicopters semi-autonomous, including some creative coding in OpenFrameworks and a high-accuracy …

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Robotic Mapping Pulls a Model Building, Tron-Like, Into the Virtual

MPS – Building Presentation from White Kanga on Vimeo. A model building rotates, light spilling over it. A virtualized sun creates shadows and accelerated days. And then, halfway through, the building still gliding in circles, it’s as though you can see through the building to wireframes beneath. The latest illusions from the White Kanga crew aren’t simply mapping as a novel way of making projection look three-dimensional. They appear to alter the reality around the object itself, playing with our perception’s ability to see animation as something fluid and real. Or, to put it another way: moving the subject, not …

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