Few weeks ago I visited a luthier looking for instruments parts, I had an idea in mind for an instrument I wanted to build. My curiosity was to hear the sound of violin, viola and cello strings amplified through the body of a double bass. I came up with a quadruple-neck experimental “something” that I thought to call Experibass.
To play it I used cello and double bass bows, a little device I built with fishing line and hose clamps, a paintbrush, a fork, spoons, a kick drum pedal and a drum stick. I hope you’ll like it!

Via swissmiss.

The Fragmented Orchestra

The Fragmented Orchestra is a huge distributed musical structure modelled on the firing of the human brain’s neurons. The Fragmented Orchestra connects 24 public sites across the UK to form a tiny networked cortex, which will adapt, evolve and trigger site-specific sounds via FACT in Liverpool.
Each of the sites has a soundbox installed, which will stream human-made and elemental sounds from the site via an artificial neuron to one of 24 speakers in FACT. The sound will only be transmitted when the neuron fires. A firing event will cause fragments of sound to be relayed to the gallery and will also be communicated to the cortex as a whole. The combined sound of the 24 speakers at the gallery will be continuously transmitted back to the sites and to each of the 24 sites.


Beautiful artwork, animation, and sound design. Amazing work.

Just like modular synthesizers, people connect with each other in order to achieve diverse objectives. In Voltage, robots, half-human and half-synthesizer, powered by a huge amount of energy, connect to each other in an electric and chaotic trance.

Output default thumbnail in Movabletype 4

In a recent website redesign I wanted to have a simple article photo thumnbnail beside the title in a recent articles list placed in the site’s sidebar.
Using Movabletype 4’s asset manager this is relatively painless to implement unless their happens to be no assets associated with that entry. In that case MT will output the title without thumbnail.
What I want to happen is MT to output a default thumbnail in those instances.
I spent a couple hours trying to get this to work until a kind member of the MT community forums gave me the template code below:

<mt:SetVarBlock name="fallbackthumb">[FALLBACK CONTENT]</mt:setvarblock>
    <mt:EntryAssets setvar="postthumb">[DESIRED CONTENT]</mt:entryassets>
    <$mt:Var name="postthumb" _default="$fallbackthumb"$>

This is how mine looked after replacing the bracketed content.

<ul class="featured clearfix"><mt:Entries lastn="8"><li><a href="<$mt:EntryPermalink$>"><mt:SetVarBlock name="fallbackthumb"><img src="<$MTBlogURL$>img/default.jpg" /></mt:setvarblock><mt:EntryAssets setvar="postthumb" type="image" limit="1"><img src="<mt:AssetThumbnailURL width="70" />" alt="<mt:assetlabel>"/></mt:entryassets>
    <$mt:Var name="postthumb" _default="$fallbackthumb"$><strong><$MTEntryTitle$></strong></a></li>

Movabletype’s Documentation Boondoggle

In product documentation, the manual is the product. If a feature isn’t defined, it doesn’t exist as far as the user can tell. If a feature is described badly, the user will perceive the product to be a bad product. Thus, do not skimp on the documentation. Randal L. Schwartz, Perl author

With Sixapart’s Movabletype (MT) the lack of usable documentation is a feature. How else could you explain the lack of improvement despite a (shrinking) community of developers constantly complaining for years.
I’m currently upgrading a website that has been using MT since the software was publicly available. With such a long history there is a sense of loyalty and accumulated experience that made switching to Drupal or WordPress difficult. There were other concerns as well but thats not important here.
During this transition, the MT documentation has failed in almost every instance I have needed an answer to a question.
It’s not just their lack of written material, it’s the stupid mistakes with the material they have. The embedded links to ‘help’ within my MT install are a dead end and their search engine continuously times out.
We all plan our sites with the knowledge that Google search is likely how many will experience our sites but shouldn’t they, like the rest of us, at least try to design their site in such a fashion that data can actually be found? Nothing that is written seems to be connected — I found the old help forums through a Google search. There is a huge amount of user-contributed information that’s been available through these forums for years. They don’t bother to link to it nor provide a facility to search it.
Generally the best guide to MT is provided outside Six Apart but much of that is disappearing along with their user base.
Perhaps their latest effort will bare fruit but I’m not holding my breath.

Last Day Dream

Though touching, this short film by director Chris Milk, left me wanting more. Last Day Dream was produced for the 42 Second Dream Film Festival in Beijing, China.

Sour’s ‘Hibi no Neiro’

This music video was shot for Sour’s ‘Hibi no Neiro’ (Tone of everyday) from their first mini album ‘Water Flavor EP’. The cast were selected from the actual Sour fan base, from many countries around the world. Each person and scene was filmed purely via webcam.

Fun! Via.

Zigote at Siggraph Vancouver

Invited by the Vancouver Siggraph chapter we worked with Danjel van Tijn on this experience, where touching the balls generated different sounds. Danjel Van Tijn was in charge of developing the Max Msp application and also writing the sound generation program.

Impress – flexible display

Impress is the deliverance of the touch screen from its technical stiffness, coldness and rigidity. It breaks the distance in the relationship of human and technology, because it is not any longer the user which is subjected to technology, but in this case the display itself has to cave in to the human. Impress is a chance of approach of user and technology, above all, from technology.
It is a matter of a flexible display consisting of foam and force sensors which is deformable and feels pleasantly soft. Impress works with the parameters position and time like other touch screens as well, but in addition to that, it reacts, above all, on the intensity of pressure.

Impress was developed by Silke Hilsing, a student at the department Design of the FH-Würzburg (Germany). No revolutionary tech. but good execution.

Film: Rhubard

Rhubarb was lovingly and painstakingly handcrafted in about five months time. I started the project back in May 2007, and worked on it until the end of August 2007, at which point I ran out of patience. As the beginning of September rolled by, I stopped working on the film entirely. By this time, I had roughly two and a half minutes of footage, and no clue how to continue the story line. I let the film sit for a little less than a year before sketching out the second half of the story board. At the end of April 2008, I got my ideas onto paper, and cranked out the final three minutes and ten seconds of footage in about four weeks.
In the end, 170 8.5 x 11 in. drawings were used to make the film, along with a dozen Sharpie markers.