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Kaos -aka- Rosencrantz & Guildenstern in Hell

Kaos -aka- Rosencrantz & Guildenstern in Hell from Federico Bonelli on Vimeo.

No budget short film, shot in less than a week -from casting to viewing- in Bergen Norway during piksel 2007 festival by August Black and Federico Bonelli.

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern seems to have a trip downward to Hell and they have to deal with various tests: a strange mixture of visual riddles, masked quotes from Discordian texts and viking sagas, bureaucratic definition of chaos... and nothing you see is there without a reason!

Is a proof of concept because is conceived to be shot, edited and post-produced only with free software and recycled hardware. The camera, an old Sony mini DV was bought for 50 euros from someone that thought was broken...

The local cast of actors is amazing and the atmosphere dark and tense with surreal tones. Dialogues are in norwegian and you can find subtitles in english, spanish and italian free to download from http://www.cinemasolubile.net

The film is released under creative commons licence

Posted by gif at 20:36 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)

piksel07 official weblog

Eleonora Oreggia, the official loglady of Piksel07, has kindly put together all the blog postings in chronological order as one pdf with a new set of very nice images to go with it.

For your enhanced reading pleasure - get the whole piksel07 story!

Posted by gif at 10:32 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)

Goodbye Noise Stars

Last day at Piksel in Bergen...

In the morning two workshops were open to public at Teknikerkroen: TOB by Jo frgmnt Grys and Seamus O'Donnell and Arduino + PureData by Marcos Yarza and Carlos Lopez.

TOB - Transmitting Object Behaviors, is an experimental home-made radio & noise installation. The workshop  focused on the construction of a musical device containing an oscillator (Special Noise Unit), a mini-fm-transmitter and a very simple digital theremin.The Transmitters are fed with sound material coming from DIY complex chaotic oscillators as well as from available radioprograms on air.

Technology is going out of control!

The arduino/pd VJ workshop aimed at creating ad-hoc physical interfaces to manipulate videos in real time using PD.

During the afternoon at USF the streaming crew presented GISS, Global Independent Streaming Support, a free software based internet broadcast network devoted to free media. Giss is a platform, based on icecast and ogg, supporting an everincreasing global network of streamers. One problem to be solved is anonymisation: icecast localises the streamers' ip, which can be inconvenient in some political situations. Lluis Gomez y Bigorda and Yves Degoyon recently developed T.S.S, Theora Streaming Studio, a long awaited GUI for ffmpeg2theora which allows double target encoding from the same source. Initially developed for horitzo.tv, and used during a workshop  in Palestina  (Sakabuntu live CD), it is a usefull application for streaming video in two different qualities on two mountpoints,  supporting audiences with different bandwidth. Applause!

Dyne.org Foundation , represented by MrGoil, featured BeTV, a  media-box for bi-directional streaming of live and recorded contents. Still in early phase of development.

David Cuartielles's speech, named HIGH is FIVE, was meant to discuss strategies for sustainable open s/h projects, starting from his experience within the Arduino group. Arduino can now count two years development; at the beginning the project was self founded, now they sold lots of boards and they are able to finance people who cannot afford their own boards, for example in Mexico.
The group is structured in two levels: the core group, two people, and the development group, thirteen people. David suggested the following main lines of sustainability: teaching; creating a half commercial system that gets money from companies releasing open source code; staring a foundation to access public money and fundings. Yet funds are an unstable source: you can easily run out of money!

Zosen and elpueblodechina made a quick overview on their manufactured toys and wearable electronic fancy accessories: collar and bracelet with integrated radio transmitter, a pink radio bag, beautiful puppets, a terrorist toy for crystal transmission, and masks with noise units. Pueblo quoted the French sociologist and philosopher Henry Lefebvre and his criticism of everyday life; objects have a cycle of life that is programmed, they are built to break... DiyNoiseToys is a research on different ways to adapt circuits to the body, and not the body to the circuits.
Yves Degoyon presented /etc/groups  (A Network Graphical Browser), a web application (a java applet using graphML files or a JDBC/SQL connection) for databasing big sets of data,  mainly aimed at visualising groups and organisations and the relations between them (social movements).

The very last presentation of this year was FLOSS+Art/people.makeart,
by Aymeric Mansoux and Gisle Fr√łysland. people.makeart is a repository of articles and lecture materials focused on the relationship between FLOSS and digital arts. The FLOSS+Art book is a collaboration between Bek, goto10 and the Digital Research Unit of the University of Huddersfield. The book, scheduled for spring 2008, will be print using OpenMute's POD publishing service.

Last night's performances were simply great; SheepSint by Tom Schouten, Marloes De Valk and Aymeric Mansoux was an intensive 1-bit noise live improvisation using a home grown cheap synth build with PIC chips! The sound suggested me the image of a slaughtered shrieking animal approaching its electronic reincarnation.

Noisehead was a strong, dense and concentrated performative action by elpueblodechina and Zosen. Pueblo activates the noisemask she is wearing with a light source. Zosen is drawing and writing over a pd projected text. Tension was high, electricity became visible: the sound thundered like an incredible, supernatural phenomenon!

VuNhatTan, Marhaug & Fr0ysland's audiovisual concert consisted of very good music accompanied by abstract unstable images of analogue and tactile appearance. A refined and erudite show.

Last but not least, the Piksel Noise Allstars improvised a/v set was a liberating interaction between various artists, a generative connection for future collaborations. Away from keyboards, noisers can also sing!

Posted by xname at 00:00 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)

XXXXX Seminar

Atmosphere at XXXXX was cheerful and vibrating, reminding collaborative hackmeetings but in a better equipment garment. The twelve hours life coding event, inspired by Plenum (collaboration with KOP, 2006), was divided in three sessions: Open Hardware, with Jessica Rylan and Ludic Society; Interface, with Yunchul Kim, Roman Kirchner, Olaf Val and Otto Roessler's incredible lecture, and Code, conducted by Tatiana Bazzichelli, Paolo Cirio and Stewart Home.

Noise//sound artist Jessica Rylan held a workshop on circuit boards to elaborate DIY audio representations of chaos.
Ludic  Society, a group attempting to create an artistic research discipline that studies the phenomenology of the act of playing in contemporary societies, presented blitz, a flashed Nintendo connected to a self etched electronic Littletree. This machine becomes a War driving access-scan tool to define play clouds and a circuit board to read RFID tags found in the area.
If culture industry produces players and consumers ready to accept fixed ideological conditions and rules, Ludic Society develops typologies of conversion and transformation, provoking and promoting a new form of gaming as a research field.

Yunchul Kim, Roman Kirchner, Olaf Val attempt to shift the world interface to include magic. Potential side effects include volcanic eruptions, according to local EM presence.

German biochemist Otto Roessler's digression around Chaos  was as simple as complex, touching and abstract, theoretic and psychedelic in its original acceptation, which indicates something showing the essence and soul of things. You think you are understanding, but are you? Science is in danger because the essence of science is the lack of knowledge, not knowledge itself. There is no progress on the level of mathematics from Anassagora to our times. Chaos is trivial and closed together with intuition. Benevolentia is the foundation of the "smile theory" which aims to define humanity (just in case...): animals are autistic, smile blind: they cannot show any benevolentia... That would be a categorisation of what is human, and what it's not. It is commonly accepted that animals do not have humanity, nor benevolentia. Though hackers are quite autistic, and some might have seen animals smiling, talking and making other delicate practices. So are animals human? Are humans animals? Are hackers persons? It is Chaos! Better not talk about malevolentia, for a better definition of the cycle, the omega point. Life will have life.

Everything is language; pornography as well and, especially in this accelerated society, it can be coded and recoded exploring different strategies and devices.
The working group was examining new fetishes and possibilities of  overturn and subversion of the imaginary.
Tatiana Bazzichelli, Paolo Cirio and Stewart Home decided to analyse myspace-hacking possibilities. Nowadays it is not easy to inject a virus  into myspace, as it was in early times. But what is hacking? Isn't it a break, the introduction of crammed full, redundant fake information?
The group decided to play with a fake identity, a trees-fucking girl who created a network based on non-existence. Is this effective? Identity playing, as Tatiana tried to remind us, is limited. If a virus can be a cultural virus, and sex with trees is no-sense worm breaking into public domain, yet a platform like myspace is off-course taking into account the proliferation of this fake identities practice, and  probably it is ready to make profit out of it. What giants like myspace, facebox and google are marketing are our preferences, trends, fantasies, choices. When the database (of the variety and variations of humanity) will be filled, people will be asked not to make decisions anymore, because their profiles will be automatically making selections for them: fill in the form, and we will tell you what music you are supposed to listen to, what you would like to eat, who are your best friends, where you should really go on holidays, and, offcourse, what to buy, how to dress, which books might interest you... Fake identities are an expression of our cultural shape, as much as real identities. As well, the observer is not ingenuous or naive. Google, by example, is able to recognise a user even if  this person is not logged to any gmail and connects from a different IP and Mac-address. Everyone tends to query the oracle with his normal everyday struggles; everyone will search according to his interests, field of work, language. Everyone will probably often open his own website and a range of usual places. Our movements are pre-mapped. Murderer goes back to the place of crime!
As Paolo suggested, the best virus is an efficient alternative: social network needs a new open source peer-to-peer not centralized platform.

"Keep your hands off my settings... I don't want to be awake"
Philip K. Dick (1968), Do androids dream of electric sheeps?

Posted by xname at 00:30 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)

Achilles' heel of FLOSS

Video editing is Achilles' heel of Floss environments.
Lot has been done through years, and it is now quite easy to approach video editing from different sides, within the Floss community.
One way is, off course, 'dividi et impera': instead of using gigantic problematic softwares like for example Cinerella, it is possible to use small handy applications to performe one specific step at a time. This is a very efficient way of developing small projects and experimental videos, animations and little clips of any kind. A list of available applications can be found here.
Piksel, always very sensitive to video issues, organized this year a number of initiatives in that direction.
An example is Open Video Workshop by Richard Spindler; the intent was to go through a complete movie making work flow, using Open Movie Editor (a  tool that provides basic movie making capabilites), dvgrab, dvdstyler, ffmpeg, etc.

Federico Bonelli and August Black performed a project similar in approach and target: "Kaos - Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead". The film, shouted and edited in few days during the festival, was premiered on Saturday night at USF Sardinen. The short, inspired by Tom Stoppard's play, is a nice experiment on languages and the poetics of absurd. Characters are running around the screen, they look unsure, not knowing what to do, divided by order and disorder. They throw a coin, which gives always the same result: solutions are probably there, but you need to visualise them, and lots of what is happening is not relevant nor related to the main plot... But what is the main plot of our fictitious life styles? The authors used a second hand video-camera and free tools only... Success!

If Floss film production is still a pioneering process, real-time video, procedural video scripting and other delicious experimental practices can find a wider set of possibilities and applications within a Unix/Linux environment.

Some of these tools were presented on Saturday afternoon at Teknikerkroen. Lluis Gomez y Bigorda and Yves Degoyon introduced PDVJtools, a group of externals to facilitate visual work in puredata. The blobs function, by example, keys anything that moves and has a shape bigger than the defined numbers... Fresh code in full development!
Robert Atwood, who explored the use of free software for creating numerical feedback loops at multiple levels, gave a short demonstration of Jackbytes, his own applications for sound and visuals communicating via JACK and jackbytes. His presentation is available online.

Emanuel Andel introduced Tagr.tv, a dedicated video blog platform documenting in real-time all kinds of digital and media arts events. The idea was born during last piksel; collaboration with thenextlayer, a similar project by Armin Medosh, is active. Participation is open! Tagr.tv aims to abandon youtube and feature its own media system...

Christian Thater explained the advantages of GIT (Distributed Revision Control), a version control system designed to handle very large projects, most notably the Linux kernel. This distributed system is safer because only the owner needs writing permissions; this creates less conflicts and no discussions about who is allowed to commit because none has privileges. This system is fast and includes powerful tools for visualising and navigating a non-linear development history. It was created once upon a time by Linus Torvalds.

Posted by xname at 00:15 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)