31 08/11

Pure Data convention 2011

Three weeks ago I attended the 4th Pure Data (PD) convention.  This time it was organised in Weimar and Berlin. The convention lasted one week and included conferences, workshops, concerts, and installations. The frame for the convention was Weimar, which has a name in art history: Goethe, Schiller, Bach, and the Bauhaus were there.

The conferences were technical oriented. The topics included the implementations, the developing of tools for PD, extensions to PD, and sound projects using PD. The workshops happened in the afternoon and there were for beginners and for experienced users. I took part in the beginners workshop, especially in the visual ones as GEM for beginners, GLSL, and Understanding the PD Data Structures. The concerts were scheduled in the evening; they were amusing, exciting, and inspiring. Although I enjoyed most of them I got impressed by the works of Chikasi Miyama, Hsin-jen Wang, Jinyao Lin, Oscar Martin (Noish), Cyrille Henry and Nicolas Montgermont, Dan Wilcox, and Onyx Ashanti. From my point of view, these were the most aesthetically refined works. They depict too a wide range of expressions to be found in contemporary digital/electronic art. An impression of each concert could be got at the convention website. Finally, from the installations I would like to highlight Tafel by Alexandre Castonguay, Cymatic Imprints by Donna Legault, and Concerto para Lanhouse by Giuliano Obici. They all graciously combined machinic poetry and ingeniousness which made me wonder if I weren’t in a Gibsonian reality.

A small bite of what happened in Weimar could be listen to below.

Chikashi Miyama.Black Box. Record of a live performance in the 4th PD Convention 2011. Weimar, Germany. Duration: 7:17

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11 09/10

Open Art Open Design

Today the production and distribution tools for media have to be free and open. Free and open software have brought a new perception towards these tools. Steadily, we leave pyramidal and individual forms of ownership and production in media to openly share materials, ideas, and procedures in social surfaces without centres. To embrace collaborative forms of production is a breakthrough in media (art, design, and production). Free software allows collective knowledge and aesthetic to surface. These expressions have been largely, neglected by close and feudal tools because they are thought as poor quality. We’ve been conveniently convinced that only the industrial and formal knowledge in media production is proper. This idea has pervaded the media arts and the designs as they remain mainly focused on spectacle and effects.

Knowledge has to run free across the very media. People have to remember how to collaborate if we are to change our world. But digital media are meant to fragment and to be used by mere machine bureaucrats in a state of frenzy consumption. Artists and designers! WE have the duty to denounce and expose this. WE need to defranchise the production of images, narratives, experiences, and objects. WE have to believe it is possible to overcome to supremacy of the bureaucrat system with single ideas and single tasks. WE ought to appropriate these tools before they appropriate us. WE need to fight the self-referential trend of the open media, if WE are to see the variety of the possible. WE need to open art and design and a first step to free art and design.

05 05/09

Machinima Fictions: Colloquium

Hi, next week I will present and defend my master’s thesis in Bremen. The colloquium is public and everyone interested on is hearty welcome, for details click on the image below.


Machinima Fictions. A do-it-yourself practice to produce narrative movies from video games.

This thesis investigates the growing phenomenon of the moving image form of machinima, which has been defined as a technique that utilizes 3D video game environments to produce narrative animated movies. The main argument centers on the hybridization of media languages that machinima exhibits, allowing a cultural appreciation of this phenomenon. Two productions that promote machinima qualities such real-time and film language are examined in order to observe how these features mold the expressive potentialities machinima as a hybrid moving image medium. The metaphor of a rhizomatic, tangled surface (maraña) streams throughout the document and fosters a multifaceted view of this moving image medium.

Through my research, which encompasses the critical view of terms, the development of concepts, and a review of relevant literature, I argue that machinima is more than a technique that imperfectly imitates the conventions and codes of mainstream film and television. Instead, machinima is considered a cultural phenomenon that stems from a persistent contact with machinic entertainment media and subscribes to the current widespread do-it-yourself (DIY) mentality in media production that emphasizes production over consumption.

Chapter I. The phenomenon: machinima
A. Describing machinima
B. A hybrid form
C. Machinima’s tangled history
Chapter II. Fiction making: real-time
A. Machinima techniques
B. Real-time
C. Marionettes: A Puppet Play
D. Conclusion
Chapter III. Fiction making: The Monad
A. Hammer and Faceposer: the means
B. Virtual worlds: the context
C. Narrative form in The Monad
D. Film Style in The Monad
E. Conclusion
Chapter IV. Context: DIY mentality
A. Video games and popular culture
C. Aesthetics of DIY
D. Conclusion

Soon to be available online.
Ricardo Cedeño Montaña.

11 12/08


In 1994 Lapham derived the following pairs from McLuhan’s Understanding Media (Link broken, new link: here – update: 03.07.2009)

As all comparisons do, they seek out to separate and differentiate aiming at better comprehension—especially when put on a table; its logic is more similar to a well rooted tree-like structure rather than to an interconnected mesh of elements in perpetual change.

Print vs. Electronic Media
visual tactile
mathematical organic
sequence simultaneity
composition improvisation
eye ear
active reactive
expansion contraction
complete incomplete
soliloquy chorus
classification pattern recognition
centre margin
continuous discontinuous
syntax mosaic
self-expression group therapy
Typographic man Graphic man