Pax 2010: Chiptune Madness

I didn’t expect that I would be attending a music festival and have a remarkable aesthetic experience when I went to Pax.
Dev suggested that we stay on Friday to watch Anamanaguchi, a New York based chiptune band.
After leaving the dismal “Girls and Gaming” I was concerned that we might have missed them. Fortunately, everything was running an hour and a half late.
After sitting through the Protomen, Anamanaguchi was a sweet payoff.

The Protomen were a metal, gamer, fantasy opera. The stage performance was energetic and played well to the audience. When you want to rock a ~5000 person show and have two large screens to project upon, you need strong visuals, because up in the balcony, I’m looking at the screens. The Protomen had a live mix of onstage activity and looping video images. The live video was shaky. The choice of shots, unsteady zooms and bad timing of when to cut away into the loops versus action on stage. I was constantly distracted by mediocre video loops, when there was an interesting narrative on the stage.

Anamanaguchi (A-Na-Ma-Na-Goo-Chi)
As my introduction to chiptunes, I doubt that I could do better. The VJ, Band, Nintendo connection was sublime. The next day at the Magfest Lounge, I was introduced to the idea of chiptunes being a match of dj/band and the vj. This idea of visuals as the vocals of chiptunes resonated deeply within me. I was fortunate enough to talk to a VJ at the Magfest Lounge. He showed me his set up and how he uses a game cartridge from Pikilipita A guest dj from Anamanguchi, Knife City came and brought forth a day time rave. I kid you not, fair readers, the man threw open the doors and called to the people languishing in lines: “Do you want to Party? Do you want to Dance?” He brought the thunder. If I wasn’t so concerned about being cool, I would have danced like a wild woman. Instead, I settled for dancing in my seat. As I quest on to learn more about combining the videogame aesthetic with my future work, I will continue to post.
Below is a video from the actual concert:

“The Winning Edge” Peter Doskoch

Doskoch’s article is useful information sandwiched in the fluff magazine “Psychology Today.” Although the key words of “Gritty” was overused, the concept of “perseverance is more important than innate intelligence/talent” is a valuable one that shines through in Doskoch’s article. Without such perseverance, an otherwise talented person, would give up before they have any measure of success. This is poignant as our first articles as MFA candidates, because this is a vital lesson that we must internalize, if we have not already. Receiving an MFA is not enough to guarantee success in our chosen fields. Working without ceasing is what we need. Working without knowing what quitting means, is the key to our future and current success.

“Networking on the Network” Philip Agre

Agre’s article resonated with my overall goals of entering academia, yet, like many articles on academia, it feels like a awkward fit for a academic in the fine arts studio. Perhaps it is because of our separation from theory in our practice, or in the awkward joining of theory and practice that the field is undergoing. The sectiont aht I read was on Networking and building a network. Many of the advice that si proscribed is still useful, but I can’t help but feel like it is dated information that needs to include the rapid changes in electronic communication with the advent of web 2.0, or is it 3.0 now? It feels like he is still talking about bulletin boards and unix email, rather than the streamlined methods of collaboration that keep being developed. When meeting another professor, would you rather give them a paper copy of your thirty page article when a pdf could be shared just as easily and without having to wait a week, or more for them to receive it? Although many of the principles remain the same, this article wwould do well with a revision to stay current.

Creativity and working with it.

Today, I was sharing my worries on the phone with a friend and a storm suddenly swelled up and lightning flashed. Each shock of lightning punctuated the sage advice that she gave to me. With those transformative words, I was ready to see this video and take to heart what Elizabeth Gilbert had to say on nurturing creativity.

Love it/ Hate it Websites and Design

I usually am fair minded when it comes down to what I like and what I dislike. I think I am a bit hesitant to really state strongly if I absolutely hate something. In this case, I will do my best to be exacting!
Love it:
Twitter: It’s a simple interface, clean and has interesting ways of gradually informing you of other features and drawing you in until you start to wonder “What is Martha, up to?” at ten at night.
k10k: Call it the Designer’s Lunchbox, call it a bento of design, potato, po-ta-to. I’ve loved this site since 2002 and Kaliber 10000  still looks fabulous!
Hate it:
MySpace: Yes, I’m the jerk who hates MySpace, but not for the reasons that you would suspect. I do like that it let everyone on the internet have access and I even like that  it allowed everyone to create their own ugly slice of the web. What I hated was the 8, 10, 20 or whatever number of  top friends you could have annd the non-sensical network visualization.  I, for the life of me could not see how I was connected to someone that I was not friends with and no one in my network was associated with.  I hold social networks to a higher standard. Also having to log in every five minutes is bad.
While I’m flogging the social media…I do want to give kudos to okcupid for overcoming ugly design, to make a moderately well designed and fully functional machine of awkward flirting.