I spoke to Buzzfeed’s Isaac Fitzgerald for this article about twitter fiction, including pentametron:
It’s spring, and the 17 year cicadas are coming soon. It’s going to be a noisy June!
I recently showed my installation, “Singing Room for a Shy Person”, at the Clocktower Gallery in New York. Singing Room was commissioned by the Métamatic Research Initiative, and I’d been working on it for more than two years! It’s moving to the Tinguely Museum in Basel this Fall, along with all the other Métamatic commissioned works – if you happen to be in the area between October and February, please check it out! Here’s some more info about the thing:
I’ve got two big projects coming up next! First, in a few weeks, I’m going to Paris to meet up with a bunch of artists, architects, builders, and musicians to build CONCERT HALL – a sound sculpture shipwreck, a big walk-through experience made from salvaged materials and robotic instruments, and we kind of need your help to make it work. It’s opening next month at one of the largest contemporary art centers in Europe: the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. Even though this is a huge museum, they are opening twenty exhibitions all at once as part of their Nouvelles Vagues programming, and museum budgets being what they are, they weren’t able to offer us the full budget they had initially discussed.
Here’s a concept rendering of the thing:
We have been attempting to raise an extra $7000 through Rockethub, which is realistically the amount we need. As of now, we have 2 days left and it doesn’t look too likely that we’ll make it to that amount. However, with Rockethub, unlike Kickstarter, it is not all or nothing. Every little bit will help, and if we can make it to the half-way point, we at least know we’ll be able to provide for ourselves in terms of lodging and groceries during our stay in Paris. I know many of you have given already – thank you! It has not gone unnoticed, and we appreciate it!
Others, if you can spare just $10 each, it will really help us make this ambitious project possible. Please contribute if you’re intrigued – note that we’ve got some neat gifts for contributors!
The other big project, which I’m just as excited about, is the revival of SiSSYFiGHT 2000, the online multiplayer game I helped make way back in the late ’90s! It was a weird, disturbing, and fun game that had a lot of enthusiastic fans until we had to close it down a few years ago. Now we’ve raised money on kickstarter to rewrite the game in modern web technologies and give it all away as open source code. We’ve made our funding goal, but if you’d like to kick in a few bucks to reserve your SiSSYFiGHT username, or to help us reach our stretch goals, or to get some fun prizes, we’d be grateful!
Note for web readers: you can sign up to receive these email updates at http://moonmilk.com/mailing-list/. I’ve been meaning for years to move this mailing list to a fancier mail service. Hopefully I’ll get it done soon. If you sign up here and later get a letter from MailChimp asking you to confirm your subscription to my mailing list, don’t be alarmed! I hope you’ll choose to continue receiving the updates.
I always love hearing what you are up to – please keep in touch. You know how to reach me! Feel free to add me to your own announcement lists if you use such things.
My new sound installation Still Space (video) opened Friday September 14th at the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. It was commissioned for the Asian American Arts Alliance’s Locating the Sacred Festival.
Update: Steven Speliotis made this nice video of the installation: vimeo.com/49657504
Things are happening!
* My robot toy piano has a couple of gigs coming up:
This coming Wednesday, June 6, at Roulette in Brooklyn:
Satie and Satie-inspired music from John Cage, Federico Mompou, Toby Twining and Milos Raickovich
Margaret Leng Tan, piano and toy piano
Roberto Rossi, narrator
Ranjit Bhatnagar, sound artist
And then on Thursday, August 9, at the Museum of Modern Art’s John Cage Day:
Celebrate the centenary of legendary artist, composer, philosopher, and writer John Cage with a series of readings, performances, musical compositions, and personal reflections by poets, writers, musicians, and scholars. Participants include writer and editor Richard Kostelantez; Joan Retallack, John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Professor of Humanities, Bard College; pianist and toy-piano virtuoso Margaret Leng Tan; and poet, editor, and curator Roger van Voorhees.
* The Music Box, the sound sculpture shantytown I worked on in New Orleans last year, is open to visitors again this summer, and the final performances there are happening soon. If you’re going to be in New Orleans, check it out: http://www.dithyrambalina.com
* My wind-powered sound sculpture, “Trumpet Marine”, will be hanging out in Williamsburg’s East River Park this summer as part of BWAC’s Outdoor Sculpture Show, probably starting in July. More on that soon! Meanwhile, here’s a video of the thing at the Figment Festival last year: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ranjit/5840234686/
* I made a little algorithm that uses Twitter’s Streaming API to read millions of tweets per day (about 500 per second!) in search of the tiny fraction that happen to be in iambic pentameter. Out of those, it selects rhymed couplets and retweets them in an endless crowdsourced sonnet. You can follow it at http://twitter.com/pentametron and http://pentametron.com
Pentametron got some nice coverage from the Poetry Foundation -
And this interview in Gawker explains how it works: http://gawker.com/pentametron/
It even got a tweet from the Globe Theater! https://twitter.com/The_Globe/status/202377080820871168
* In September I’ll have an installation in the Asian American Arts Alliance’s “Locating the Sacred” Festival, and I’ll be doing a residency at Albuquerque Open Space as part of the ISEA electronic arts festival.
* …and I discovered that Electric Violin Lutherie has created a real violin inspired by my amateur 8-bit violin. That’s the kind of thing that makes me love open source design. http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:23103
Here’s a nice New York Times article about the big crazy sound sculpture shantytown I helped out with in New Orleans:
A Symphony of Floorboards, Pipes and Stairs
(My nightingale floors made it into the title! Whoo!)
“You’re going to have a house, and the house makes music. When you get here, you’ll figure it out.”
That is more or less accurate, as far as it goes, though it clearly falls short as a practical description. “The Music Box,” the project of which this tower is a part, is one of those things that requires a hyphen or a compound word to describe; Delaney Martin, its curator, calls it “a shantytown-sound laboratory.”
In more literal terms, it is a collection of tumbledown wooden and metal structures built on the site, and almost entirely from the remains of a late-18th-century Creole cottage that collapsed a couple of years ago here in the historic, bohemian Bywater neighborhood.
Each structure houses an instrument, or two or three. In some cases the structures are musical instruments themselves. There is the thatched-roof hut that is home to an elaborate arrangement of Balinese vibraphones, the shack with amplified floorboards, the rusty spiral staircase that is also a foot-operated pipe organ and the little glass house containing what looks like a giant, bell-lined hoop skirt. They are all clustered together on the narrow lot, like the stage set of a fairy tale that takes place in a junkyard.
Be sure to check out the slide show.
There’s also a brief video about the first performance. (You can hear my floorboards starting at 1:22 or so)
Here’s a teaser video of the New Orleans Airlift’s Music Box Orchestra, a big crazy sound art/architecture project I helped out with. My contribution was the squeaky moving floor, which you can see providing the bass line as the performance starts.