GenresArticles and Essays
Individual WorksReset (Fiction)
Metaphors We Create By
Reset (Short Story in Progress)
Reset is first in a trilogy of "neurohumanistic" short stories that posit a world post-singularity, taking place mid-21st Century. It is a world in the midst of a new Zeitgeist arising from the travails of the early century, and a possible World War. [more...]
When Metaphors Break Down
For the musician just learning harmony, any metaphors are useful, as they can be visualized in the mind by associating an object with the information, a mnemonic device. [more...]
To speak of the fluency of writing is to consider its musicality. Music is a fluid phenomenon in a vessel of time. [more...]
The Rite of Spring Through a 21st Century Lens
The Rite is purported to be a Big Bang moment for the genesis of Heavy Metal. [more...]
101 Updates Are Available (No Need To Remind Me)
101 iPhone App updates were available last month, 130 updates are available today. They're still "available" and I no longer want them, yet may contain things I find interesting or important. [more...]
Bliss of Consonance
Perception at a distance can be disorienting. At a close distance we can see that one image is blurry. But when each version is viewed at a distance they look identical. This is how the brain may also work with value judgments... [more...]
Very often works are created seemingly as completely unique objects, when if fact they are created in a 'delayed borrowing' where just enough time has passed between seeing or hearing something and making something inspired by it, that the artist believes that it is a unique singular event, that they came up with it. [more...]
The way we perceive and appreciate art is always changing in fundamental ways. Most of us now look at art on screens, which distort the perception of art in terms of size, color and context.
Mondrian Still Rocks
Little did Mondrian know the ramifications of his work. The residue of 1920s geometric idealism may have indirectly changed the course of pop music through musicians influenced by Mondrian or his contemporaries.
Dunes and Runes
Even as far back as the late 1940s, artists had been pondering the enigmatic nature of other planets and whether they ever supported intelligent life. Intelligent life naturally assumes a propensity to make art and/or monuments as an expression of intelligence.
Human Camera Interaction (HCI)
The IPad and even the iPhone have changed the way we hold a camera to capture an image, and how we perceive and/or appreciate the captured image.
Metaphors We Create By
Sometimes metaphorical associations are obvious and natural, and can suggest interesting ways of approaching a task. In other instances the connections are more distant, or even bizarre, which demonstrates the limits of metaphor use overall. Metaphors can be flimsy things, but can also be a powerful bond between initial idea and final product.
What Music Can Teach About Information Design
Music notation can also teach us so much about usability, information architecture and design standards. One bar of music can transmit so much information clearly and efficiently: key, meter, tempo and dynamics are supplied at the upper left as the main navigational 'menu'.
This Thing Must Be Continued
Contemporary visual languages (or vocabularies) are essentially shaped by older, or even ancient forms and methods. Primarily driven by imitation in synchrony across cultures and time periods, the objects we make are not primary, but are based on something that already preexists. [more...]
Between Likeness and Nothingness
At least from this particular interview, Cage was giving the impression that he was a 'representational' musician (like a representational artist), where sounds are not an abstraction or inorganic. [more...]
Visual Feedback Loops
Many artists work from indeterminate concepts, as opposed to a fixed plan (like mechanical or architectural drawings), so the thinking about the work as it is being made is constantly changing, all the way up until the work is finished, at which point the artist realizes, "That's what I was thinking and doing." Understanding the process usually comes in hindsight, and only matures after many years or decades. Sometimes making another version of it helps you to understand it better, or to fully put it to rest. [more...]
On Working Incrementally
Everything we do is incremental in some way. Activities that involve making something are almost always reliant on a series of linear or non-linear action chains, sometimes taking place in a period of weeks, months or years. [more...]
On Cover Art
Cover art for books and music was always a 'push' phenomenon: You didn't have to request it--it was standard equipment. Now one wonders where it might be located. [more...]
Where's That Confounded Bridge?!
Bridges (sometimes used synonymously with middle-eight) are difficult to do well because not any musical transition can qualify as a bridge device. They typically appear only once in a composition: If a section is repeated, it technically is not a bridge. [more...]
Why musicians are joined at the hip with technology
Computers have become essential appliances in our lives that are ubiquitous in the background, but the first sparks of an idea in which a computer is involved are essentially creative and artistic in purpose. The Silver Scale was more of a rough prototype (an étude, as it were) than a finished piece, but was a demonstration of the fun things we could do with hardware and software. [more...]
Emily 2.0: Possible applications for AI in music
When I first heard Emily play this I thought it was interesting, and when I reverse-engineered it, I understood the set of rules that made it. [more...]
Maier was self-effacing and modest about her abilities as a photographer. Celebrity was of less importance during her lifetime, and perhaps suppressed by the fact that the medium was still analog, and was not influenced by the Internet celebrity mill. [more...]
Information and Exformation in Music
Exformation is a term coined by author Tor Nørretranders in his 1998 book 'The User Illusion', and defined as explicitly discarded information. It is all the extraneous details that are removed to achieve an elegant result--one in which is easy to understand and use. It is everything cut to the chase. [more...]
Beat Artifacts: Clyde Stubblefield and the Pillage of Roman Art
In the 18th century, the Bourbons raided the ancient city of Herculaneum, entombed in the 79 AD eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. Their intention was not archaeological, but rather a ruthless pursuit or Roman art. In recent excavations, evidence was found of hacked frescoes: art not taken for examination for historical and cultural context, but for the loot. [more...]
The Music of Language, The Music of Place
How meaning gets mapped onto language is largely musical. Syllabic stresses are like upbeats and downbeats, and when placed in a specific temporal context, communicates ideas. [more...]
Photographism, Musicism and new dialects for the arts
With every new technology comes a whole new set of definitions for art. And in the infancy of new technologies, we are initially unsure of how to use the new media, and consequently we apply old technologies and things we already know. With the advent of photography, painters found themselves using existing notions of composition, color and texture. Similarly with the advent of film, it was the painters who were first to experiment with the new medium. And like learning a new language, we associate new expressions with established concepts. [more...]
We're All Sinners
The most interesting thing about the camera is that it brings things into context, and the viewer adds the missing pieces. [more...]
The Jazz Avant-Garde: Not as free as we would think
The easy assumption about jazz is that it is free, or that it represents attempts at freedom, and makes it seem easy to evoke an spirit of an unbounded freedom. In fact, the driving force behind jazz is in many cases the story of liberation from existing cultural and societal structures set in place by the largely white world of central Europe. [more...]
The Threshold of 1966
In 1965 we were approaching the boundary, in 1966 we crossed it, and by 1967 we had established a new “sovereignty” of American (and world) culture. By 1970, the psychedelic period was over, but its after effects are still felt to this day. [more...]