How To Make Your Life Better... sending five simple emails
September 14th, 2014

Via Barking Up The Wrong Tree:
"HAPPINESS– Every morning send a friend, family member or co-worker an email to say thanks for something.
JOB– At the end of the week, send your boss an email and sum up what you’ve accomplished.
GROWTH– Once a week email a potential mentor.
FRIENDSHIP– Email a good friend and make plans.
CAREER– Send an email to someone you know (but don’t know very well) and check in."

Plus, 3 Simple Things That Will Make You 10% Happier:
"One: Sit with your eyes closed and your back straight.
Two: Notice what it feels like when your breath comes in and when your breath goes out, try to bring your full attention to the feeling of your breath coming in and going out.
Third step is the biggie: Every time you try to do this, your mind is going to go crazy. You are going to start thinking about all sorts of stupid things like if you need a haircut, why you said that dumb thing to your boss, what’s for lunch, etc. Every time you notice that your mind is wandering, bring your attention back to your breath and begin again. This is going to happen over and over and over again and that is meditation.

It’s not easy. You will fail a million times but the failing and starting over is succeeding. So this isn’t like most things in your life where, like if you can’t get up on water skis, you can’t do it. Here the trying and starting again, trying and starting again, that’s the whole game."

Filed under: Wunderkammer

Nice And Slow

by Boy George
September 13th, 2014

It's time to breathe
Good morning Mr Lovebones, how you doing today?
Well I’m just like Patsy, I got my sparkle back again
I’ve been talking less, thinking more,
feel like I should hold you inside
No more watching from the sidelines,
I ain’t along for the ride, no sir
Well the wind might change while I'm talking to you
I feel a little faint getting too much truth
And nothing that I need to do
Take it nice and slow
Nice and slow
Morning Mr Darkness, stop all this running away
Will you be walking in a straight line,
now you know crime doesn’t pay
Your luck has changed, I got sweeter for you
I used to be a dreamer with my heart full of moon
Be careful not to speak too soon
Take it nice and slow
Nice and slow (take it take it)
And l walk down the street with a smile on my face
and my heart on my sleeve
Nice and slow
And if you really love me then show it don’t say it
It’s the only way to go
Nice and slow
See I learnt the hard way love is mundane
Love is just nice and slow 

Filed under: Wunderkammer

New Vintage Porcelain Dishes Crawling with Hand-Painted Ants

by Evelyn Bracklow
September 13th, 2014

Via Colossal: "German artist Evelyn Bracklow of La Philie has created an entire new collection of ant-covered porcelain dishes and tableware since we first shared her work here early this year. Many of the new pieces are part of a unique partnership between the artist, Rijks Museum in the Netherlands, and Etsy. The pieces are hand-painted in Bracklow’s studio, signed, numbered and fired to 160 degrees. As unsettling as having insects permanently invading your dinnerware is, I can’t help but be enchanted by how perfectly crafted they are. You can see more of Bracklow’s recent work here."

Filed under: People

The Sound of Sorting

Audibilization and Visualization of Sorting Algorithms
September 6th, 2014

Via YouTube: "Sorts random shuffles of integers, with both speed and the number of items adapted to each algorithm's complexity. The algorithms are: selection sort, insertion sort, quick sort, merge sort, heap sort, radix sort (LSD), radix sort (MSD), std::sort (intro sort), std::stable_sort (adaptive merge sort), shell sort, bubble sort, cocktail shaker sort, gnome sort, bitonic sort and bogo sort (30 seconds of it)."

Via Panthema: "This web page presents my own demo program for sortings algorithms, called The Sound of Sorting, which both visualizes the algorithms internals and their operations, and generates sound effects from the values being compared. See below for YouTube videos created with the demo.

The demo is implemented using the cross-platform toolkits wxWidgets and SDL, can be executed on Windows, Linux and Mac, and runs in real time.

All of the sorting algorithms are implemented in the SortAlgo.cpp.

Since November 2013, there is also the SoS-CheatSheet.pdf, which contains pseudo-code of a small selection of the algorithms.

On 2013-10-24, the viral YouTube video infected the front page of my current employer: the Department of Informatics at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), which is of course whom I originally made the demo program for. See the blog post about this occasion for another more technical description of the sorting demo program."

Thanks to Florian Zeeh!

Filed under: Visual Music

Curiosity Is as Important as Intelligence

by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic
September 5th, 2014

Via Harvard Business Review: "There seems to be wide support for the idea that we are living in an age of complexity, which implies that the world has never been more intricate. This idea is based on the rapid pace of technological changes, and the vast amount of information that we are generating (the two are related). Yet consider that philosophers like Leibniz (17th century) and Diderot (18th century) were already complaining about information overload. The 'horrible mass of books' they referred to may have represented only a tiny portion of what we know today, but much of what we know today will be equally insignificant to future generations.

In any event, the relative complexity of different eras is of little matter to the person who is simply struggling to cope with it in everyday life. So perhaps the right question is not Is this era more complex? but Why are some people more able to manage complexity? Although complexity is context-dependent, it is also determined by a person’s disposition. In particular, there are three key psychological qualities that enhance our ability to manage complexity:

1. […] higher levels of IQ enable people to learn and solve novel problems faster […]

2. […] individuals with higher EQ [emotional quotient] are less susceptible to stress and anxiety […]

3. […] People with higher CQ [curiosity quotient] are more inquisitive and open to new experiences […] they are generally more tolerant of ambiguity."

Filed under: Wunderkammer

Geometry Dash

More Visual Music games
August 13th, 2014

Via Wikipedia:"Geometry Dash is a 2013 mobile game, developed by Sweden-based developer Robert Topala, and also published by RobTop Games, which was founded by himself. It is a rhythm-based running game which has 16 levels currently, with each stage featuring unique background music. Although the player is not required to complete a level to advance to the next, they will often increase in difficulty. Other features of the game that exist in the latest versions is the level builder, map packs, user-created levels, secret coins, and a great variety of icons.
Topala also created a free version of the game, known simply as Geometry Dash Lite, which include the first 6 levels of full version up to now. This variant, excluding several features from the paid version, also does not feature level builder and user-created levels. Geometry Dash Lite has, however, been far more popular of a game in both the App Store and Play Store due to its pricing."

Via Cult of Mac: "His quirky, rhythm-based running game, a $1.99 gem called Geometry Dash, went on to own the App Store, crawling in less than a year from total obscurity to the top of the paid iPhone charts. 'Word of mouth,' says Topala, explaining his game’s monumental success. 'It’s as simple and frightening as that.'
As it happens, word of mouth may be an understatement. The super-addictive Geometry Dash has become an iOS superstar and is now spreading to other platforms like Android and Windows Phone. All told, Topala says the game has been downloaded more than 20 million times, across both paid and non-paid versions.
So what’s his secret?
For starters, we’re in the midst of a golden age for independent game developers in the iOS App Store. One of the big advantages of the platform is the level of interaction it allows between the coders who make games and the people who play them. For example, most indie devs are more than happy to strike up in-depth conversations with players — something almost unheard of in the world of AAA games, the classification given to those titles with the highest development budgets and levels of promotion (think Grand Theft Auto V or Mass Effect).

Topala wisely took things to the next level. While most indie developers go no further than soliciting feedback about features that gamers would like to see in future versions, with Geometry Dash Topala fully embraced the idea of letting his game be driven by its players. He created a level editor mode that lets users create and share their own levels of the hit game. More than 500,000 such custom stages exist now.
'The amount of user-generated content is insane, and the quality of many levels is truly amazing,' he says."

Thanks to Stephanie von Fragstein!

Filed under: Visual Music

Is mathematics absolute?

Is it possible that an alien civilization has completely different mathematics than ours?
August 3rd, 2014

Via Robert Walker: "This is an area of maths (use of sets or infinity or both) - that for us is full of paradoxes - such as Russell's paradox, various Cantor's paradoxes, the Banach Tarski paradox etc.

Some say the paradoxes have been solved.

Yes our maths is elegant in a way, and if you follow the rules carefully you don't get any contradictions (at least as far as we know).

But, if you look at those rules from a philosophically unattached standpoint you may get a different impression.

Modern set theory with
–The puzzling impossibility of counting many fundamental things in mathematics - as in - ordering them into an unending list.
–Yet everything "interesting" can be counted. Ratios, finite decimals, square roots, more generally, solutions to polynomial and trig equations - everything like that can be counted easily.
–If you haven't come across this before, see Impossibility of counting most mathematical objects by Robert Walker (just a short summary I did, linking to the material on the subject)."

Related: Everything and More: A Compact History of Infinity by David Foster Wallace.

Filed under: Wunderkammer

Of Mitochondria and Men

Why Brain Death is Not the Death of the Human Organism as a Whole
July 22nd, 2014

Via Social Science Research Network: "Death is a phenomenon that resists simple explanation. While the cardiopulmonary criterion of death has been used for centuries, in most nations (including the US and Canada) brain death has also been accepted since 1968 as a second legal criterion, held to be biologically equivalent to bodily death. This equivalence has been argued to derive either from the brain’s control over body functions or from the brain’s work against entropy, with a dead brain thereby producing a dead body. Subsequently, some have found these claims wanting. An alternative body-centered view, based on the functioning of the body’s mitochondria, is that in brain death, only the brain is dead, while the body may not necessarily be. Mitochondria are cellular organelles descended from ancient bacteria, symbiotically providing energy for entropy-resistance and sharing control over life processes. All of death’s features – its universality, oxygen-dependence, inevitability, link with aging, irreversibility, and association with disintegration and decay – may be explained as logical side-effects of mitochondrial failure. Yet the role of mitochondria in human life and death has been overlooked for over four decades in the legal and bioethical literature, which has focused instead on processes at the whole-organism level. Challenges remain however: if brain death and bodily death are not biologically equivalent, this may prove problematic for organ donation’s “dead donor rule,” which requires organs to be transplanted only from the bodies of dead consenting donors, not from those who are still dying. Nevertheless, brain death could be retained as a legal fiction satisfying the dead donor rule, which would allow its societal benefits to persist. Of fundamental importance is the principle that future patients be adequately informed regarding brain death, in order to ensure legally valid, informed consent for organ donation."

Filed under: Wunderkammer

Games, not games

I love my Mountain
July 20st, 2014

David O'Reilly's work is outstanding and now he has created a wonderful game.

Via The Atlantic: "Once one has witnessed events such as this in Mountain, its messages become ever more urgent and disorienting. I cannot tell if my life is going in circles or if I am making any progress, it tells me one morning. Later, as I’ve zoomed out into space amidst a snowstorm, it laments, Why am I alone? During a ruddy, overcast dusk it opines, If I ever see another thing like me, will it like me?

As time wears on, I get the sense that my mountain’s existential angst is intensifying. How long have I been here? it asks. Or, I can do whatever I want! it declares. Or Things are coming together, it opines. And forebodingly, as dawn’s rosy fingers break yet again, Here is another day. How many days do I have?

These interjections seem too anthropocentric to make sense for a game in which 'you are mountain.' If a mountain could talk, would it express existential doubt and dread? Would it play the Woody Allen neurotic, the Prufrock twerp content to let earthly waste accumulate upon it without objection? At this stage, the player has a choice: to dismiss Mountain as a curious, boring conceit, or to treat it as something more serious."

Thanks to Marcus Schmickler!

Related: I also very much enjoy the games by Tale of Tales.
Check out their blog.

Thanks to Tim Fehske!

Filed under: Wunderkammer

Quantum state may be a real thing

July 8th, 2014

Via Ars Technica: "At the very heart of quantum mechanics lies a monster waiting to consume unwary minds. This monster goes by the name The Nature of Reality. The greatest of physicists have taken one look into its mouth, saw the size of its teeth, and were consumed. Niels Bohr denied the existence of the monster after he nonchalantly (and very quietly) exited the monster's lair muttering 'shut up and calculate.' Einstein caught a glimpse of the teeth and fainted. He was reportedly rescued by Erwin Schrödinger at great personal risk, but neither really recovered from their encounter with the beast."

Filed under: Wunderkammer

70 of the Most Useful Websites on the Internet

by Johnny Webber
June 28th, 2014

Via Daily Zen List:
"1. — Find something random to watch on Netflix.
2. — Find somewhere to drink a pint in the sun.
3. — Upload your gifs.
4. — Convert documents.
5. — Download all the free software you want at the same time.
6. — Speed read the web one word at a time.
7. — Find out which applications you should remove from your computer.
8. — Find places to go in public that are not crowded.
9. — Practice your touch typing.
10. — Get old versions of software.
11. — Find out how readable text is.
12. — Have emails sent when you die.
13. — Budget your money.
14. — Plan your route with the best lodging and attractions.
15. — A search engine that is not following you.
16. — Maps out possible apartments/homes that fit your criteria.
17. — Another great source for finding your next home.
18. — Make any webpage print friendly.
19. — Print precisely what you want from any webpage.
20. — Write a note to someone that will self-destruct after they read it.
21. — A network of people giving away free stuff in their towns.
22. — Crash on someone’s couch anywhere in the world.
23. — Search for recipes based on the ingredients you have.
24. — A search engine for finding people.
25. — Evaluates various charities.
26. — Popular news headlines.
27. — Listen to radio channels across the nation.
28. — Link aggregator.
29. — A computational knowledge engine.
30. — Follow satellites and constellations.
31. — Figure out you I.P. address.
32. — Improve reading speed and comprehension.
33. — Listen to white noise.
34. — Tracks prices for any product.
35. — An interactive periodic table.
36. — Find coupons for just about anything.
37. — Search all of craigslist with one search.
38. — Peek in on somebody’s computer screen.
39. — Find out the best way to glue this to that.
40. — Find out what your website is missing, how you can improve it, and how to make Google recognize it better.
41. — Draw on maps then share them with friends.
42. — Video email.
43. — Online rhyming dictionary.
44. — Design your dream home.
45. — An easy way to send big files.
46. — A place to paste text.
47. — Make it sound like you are hard at work.
48. — Backup your sensitive document online.
49. — Find out where the best seats are on your plane flight.
50. — Find out which websites store data about you, and tell them to unlist your info.
51. — Compare two foods..
52. — Find local gas prices.
53. — Plan out your sleep schedule better.
54. — Find out when certain fruits are ripe .
55. — Talk out your problems with others, or help others yourself.
56. — Swap books with others.
57. — Plan out your meals better.
58. — A graphical look at the weather.
59. — Various network tools.
60. — The best place to buy things online.
61. — Correct grammar and check for plagiarism.
62. — Send yourself a wake-up call.
63. — Plan out your next PC build.
64. — Talk to an actual person instead of a machine when you call customer service.
65. — Find out how long it takes websites to load.
66. — Find nutrition information on various foods.
67. — A database of PDF manuals for various products.
68. — Create meal plans to meet your nutrition targets.
69. — Lock yourself out of time wasting websites.
70. — Research what it is like to work with certain companies."

Filed under: Wunderkammer

An Occult History of the Television Set

by Geoff Manaugh
June 24th, 2014

Via BLDGBLOG: "The origin of the television set was heavily shrouded in both spiritualism and the occult, Stefan Andriopoulos writes in his new book Ghostly Apparitions. In fact, as its very name implies, the television was first conceived as a technical device for seeing at a distance: like the telephone (speaking at a distance) and telescope (viewing at a distance), the television was intended as an almost magical box through which we could watch distant events unfold, a kind of technological crystal ball."

Thanks to Chris Harvey!

Filed under: Wunderkammer

Cooperation with Schlingensief's Opera Village

Learn from Africa
June 7th, 2014

As a result of my enthusiasm and initiative and in collaboration with Christin Richter (Festspielhaus Afrika), the cooperation agreement between the African Opera Village and the Robert Schumann School of Music and Media, Düsseldorf has now been signed by its president, Prof. Raimund Wippermann, its chancellor, Dr. Cathrin Müller-Brosch, and Christoph Schlingensief's wife and executive director of Festspielhaus Afrika gGmbH, Aino Laberenz.

Festspielhaus Afrika gGmbH, a non-profit public limited company, was founded in 2009 by Christoph Schlingensief with its headquarters in Berlin. Its aim is to strengthen the exchange of information between Europe and Africa incorporating artistic and scientific means, an exchange that has taken shape with the construction of an Opera Village in Burkina Faso. Festpielhaus Afrika gGmbH thereby follows a holistic concept, in which everyday life, art and science work together and open up new directions. It initiated the African Opera Village, runs construction contracts and coordinates the project progress.

As a first project under this cooperation agreement, Nico Neteler, Audio and Video student at the Institute For Music And Media, as part of his Bachelor thesis, is setting up the sound studio in the African Opera Village in Burkina Faso. For the project he will be living and working with his team members on location from October to December 2014.

Filed under: Project Archive > Research

Important peculiarities of memory

by memory researcher Robert Bjork
May 29th, 2014

Via Mindhacks: „Important peculiarities of the human memory system:

–A remarkable capacity for storing information is coupled with a highly fallible retrieval process.

What is accessible in memory is highly dependent on the current environmental, interpersonal, emotional and body-state cues.

–Retrieving information from memory is a dynamic process that alters the subsequent state of the system.

–Access to competing memory representations regresses towards the earlier representation over time."

Filed under: Wunderkammer

Why our guilt about consumption is all-consuming

by Slavoj Žižek
May 25th, 2014

Via Lacanian Ink: "One should not fear denouncing sustainability itself, the big mantra of ecologists from the developed countries, as an ideological myth based on the idea of self-enclosed circulation where nothing is wasted. Upon a closer look, one can establish that sustainability always refers to a limited process that enforces its balance at the expense of its larger environs. Think about the proverbial sustainable house of a rich, ecologically enlightened manager, located somewhere in a green isolated valley close to a forest and lake, with solar energy, use of waste as manure, windows open to natural light, etc: the costs of building such a house (to the environment, not only financial costs) make it prohibitive to the large majority. For a sincere ecologist, the optimal habitat is a big city where millions live close together: although such a city produces a lot of waste and pollution, its per capita pollution is much lower than that of a modern family living in the countryside. How does our manager reach his office from his country house? Probably with a helicopter, to avoid polluting the grass around his house …

To recap, we thus primarily buy commodities neither on account of their utility nor as status symbols; we buy them to get the experience provided by them, we consume them in order to make our life pleasurable and meaningful.

Here is an exemplary case of cultural capitalism: Starbucks' ad campaign 'It's not just what you're buying. It's what you're buying into.' After celebrating the quality of the coffee itself, the ad goes on: 'But, when you buy Starbucks, whether you realise it or not, you're buying into something bigger than a cup of coffee. You're buying into a coffee ethic. Through our Starbucks Shared Planet programme, we purchase more Fair Trade coffee than any company in the world, ensuring that the farmers who grow the beans receive a fair price for their hard work. And, we invest in and improve coffee-growing practices and communities around the globe. It's good coffee karma. … Oh, and a little bit of the price of a cup of Starbucks coffee helps furnish the place with comfy chairs, good music, and the right atmosphere to dream, work and chat in. We all need places like that these days. When you choose Starbucks, you are buying a cup of coffee from a company that cares. No wonder it tastes so good.'

The cultural surplus is here spelled out: the price is higher than elsewhere since what you are really buying is the "coffee ethic" that includes care for the environment, social responsibility towards the producers, plus a place where you yourself can participate in communal life.

This is how capitalism, at the level of consumption, has integrated the legacy of 1968, the critique of alienated consumption: authentic experience matters. A recent Hilton hotels ad consists of a simple claim: 'Travel doesn't only get us from place A to place B. It should also make us a better person.' Can one even imagine such an ad a decade ago? The latest scientific expression of this new spirit is the rise of a new discipline, happiness studies – how is it that, in our era of spiritualised hedonism, when the goal of life is directly defined as happiness, anxiety and depression are exploding?

Thanks to Manu Burghart!

Filed under: Wunderkammer

Panelist @ Literature Club Dusseldorf Düsseldorf

Interfaces as a hinge and interpretation
May 21st, 2014

Prof. Dr. Swantje Lichtenstein invited Dr. Johanna Dombois and me to place a discussion along the boundaries of literature, theory and art at the very last event of the LCD - Literature Club Duesseldorf on June 3rd 2014 at 8.30 p.m. in the Salon des Amateurs.

The event itself is an area of experimentation and performance. At the same time the subject Interfaces is open for new paths and opportunities. There is a cut which represents the end of LCD, there are sections, which divide a topic, breaks, which need to be done etc. It is in any case a wild, colorful, lively endeavor.

Here is our list of favorite books (PDF)

Filed under: Talks & Workshops

Winner: Best German Game

German Computer Game Award 2014
May 20st, 2014

Two of my former students, Mareike Ottrand and Fabian Rühle, who studied Motion Design at the Film Academy Baden-Württemberg won with their team the German Computer Game Award for their hilarious and critically acclaimed 2D-Point’n’Click adventure The Inner World. Wow, this is superb, splendid and fantastic. Congratulations!

The Inner World started as their final year project and the company behind it, Studio Fizbin, emerged when two of the owners, Sebastian Mittag and Mareike Ottrand, were still at the Film Academy. Sebastian studied Interactive Media, another super successful program, which is chaired by my wonderful colleague Inga von Staden.

Filed under: Students

19 Questions

answered by the singular John Cage
May 19th, 2014

Via Mode Records: "John Cage answers 19 questions on a variety of subjects, using chance operations to determine the duration of his colorful and often witty answers. A unique opportunity to view the Cagean process of chance in real-time."

For example:
"Thoreau was very happy to be little known while he was alive. He said it enabled him to do what he had to do. I'm now very well known. It makes me very happy, because I'm able to do what I have to do."
"I think conversation works best when the second thing that is said is not in the mind of the person who said the first thing."

Filed under: People

Reflection On Norman McLaren, George Balanchine And Absolute Ballet

by Aimee Mollaghan
May 18th, 2014

Via Animation Studies: "Although Norman McLaren’s ballet films are often considered independently of his animation work, they do essentially engage with many of the same core concerns. McLaren’s assertion as to the plotless, abstract nature of the film notwithstanding, he has attested to the idea of relationships between two objects, continuously drawn to one another across his body of work. The dancers in Pas de Deux eventually become abstract forms, their auras seeming to move through space and each other so that they become indivisible at points, in a manner similar to the fluid formations in his hand painted animations to express Madame Chiriaeff’s philosophy: La danse, c’est le mouvement, et le mouvement, c’est la vie. [Dance is movement, and movement is life]."

Thanks to Center for Visual Music!

Filed under: Visual Music

Stephan Telaar

May 6th, 2014

2052. A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years is a description of the tendency of global development by Jørgen Randers, which links up to the first globally-renowned report to the Club of Rome, The Limits to Growth, from 1972. It differs from its preceding report in particular through three features. Firstly, it does not describe a potential disaster scenario, but rather shows tendencies. Secondly, it must be read considering the experience since 1972, namely that the entire human population has reacted to the report, but with a delay of 20 to 40 years. Thirdly, it not only offers future scenarios, but rather makes concrete suggestions as to how the individual should react to the emerging developments.

The film 2052 by Stephan Telaar is an audiovisual engagement with this report, which convincingly uses the format of a metaphorical title sequence for its expression.

2052 is the first Bachelor degree in the major Visual Music and has already set a benchmark beyond the Institute For Music And Media. Stephan Telaar was supervised by Jan Höhe, assistant professor for Creative Editing, and me.

Filed under: Students

The Hanged Man

Thoth tarot deck
April 23rd, 2014

Related: The Psychomagical Realism of Alejandro Jodorowsky

Filed under: Wunderkammer

320° Licht

Spatial experience | Gasometer Oberhausen
April 21st, 2014

Via Urbanscreen: „The 320° Licht installation of URBANSCREEN uses the cathedral-like beauty of the Gasometer as the starting point for a fascinating game with shapes and light.
Within a radius of 320 degrees graphic patterns grow and change on the 100-metre high inside wall of the Gasometer.
The observer experiences the interplay between real and virtual space, in which the Gasometer seems to dissolve into its own, filigree structures and yet finally always reverts to its clear shape. [...]
With approx 20,000 square meters of area played upon, the installation is among the world’s largest and technically most sophisticated interior projections - interconnecting 21 powerful projectors to one projection screen.“

Thanks to Florian Zeeh!

Filed under: Visual Music


On Being Invisible
April 20st, 2014

Via James Ingram: "Freitag aus Licht (1991-94): My favorite of the operas. Possibly because it is partly about the marriage of people and machines. Its his reaction to the advent of computers (which intelligence uses to seduce us). Possibly also because of its ambiguities and its being sometimes so politically incorrect that one has to laugh (the alternative is too dreadful to contemplate). Also because of Johannes Conen’s fantasic stage realization, and because Freitag-Versuchung is technically the most advanced score I produced for Stockhausen (full use of all my experience and software). Michael Manion did the basic work of creating the initial Finale files, but it was a long way from there to the final score! The score also contains a full photographic record of the production, and is heartily to be recommended. (Buy it! Buy it! Here!)
The piece is a good example of the danger into which his absolute trust in his intuition could lead him. The piece ends with a beautiful auto-da-fé, with mixed-race beings (bastards) being ceremoniously burned. Kathinka calls 'Do you all repent?', but we are not told why they should repent. Nobody notices what’s happening (if Stockhausen notices, he does not care) because he does his best, as always, to make things as beautiful as possible."

Also, check out James Ingram's notations.

Thanks to Elmar Hintz!

Invited Johannes Conen to my Visual Music seminar at the Institute for Music and Media (IMM) in July. Am very excited to meet him and get to know his concepts.

Filed under: People

Black and White World Map

April 16th, 2014

Via Wallpapered: "This is a standard black and white terrain world map showing relief. It also includes country and city labels, so is the perfect educational tool for an office, study or bedroom."

Related, friends and totally fabulous: 5qm.

Filed under: Wunderkammer


April 14th, 2014

Via Wikipedia: „Homeostasis — also spelled homoeostasis or homœostasis (from Greek: ὅμοιος, hómoios, similar, and στάσις, stásis, standing still) — is the property of a system in which variables are regulated so that internal conditions remain stable and relatively constant. Examples of homeostasis include the regulation of temperature and the balance between acidity and alkalinity (pH). It is a process that maintains the stability of the human body's internal environment in response to changes in external conditions.

The concept was described by Claude Bernard in 1865 and the word was coined by Walter Bradford Cannon in 1926, 1929 and 1932. Although the term was originally used to refer to processes within living organisms, it is frequently applied to automatic control systems such as thermostats. Homeostasis requires a sensor to detect changes in the condition to be regulated, an effector mechanism that can vary that condition; and a negative feedback connection between the two."

Filed under: Wunderkammer

Palo Santo

Limitless dimensions
April 12th, 2014

Via Wikipedia: "Bursera graveolens, known in Spanish as palo santo (holy wood) is a wild tree native from Mexico and the Yucatán Peninsula to Peru and Venezuela that inhabits the South American Gran Chaco region (northern Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia and the Brazilian Mato Grosso). It is also found in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and on the Galapagos islands. The tree belongs to the same family (Burseraceae) as frankincense and myrrh. It is widely used in folk medicine for stomach ache, as sudorific, and as liniment for rheumatism. Aged heartwood is rich in terpenes such as limonene and α-terpineol."

Thanks to Sandra Münchenbach!

Filed under: Wunderkammer

Workshop @ Academy of Art and Design Basel

Dazwischen – Want the gap
March 27th, 2014

Regine Halter invited me to give the 2-day seminar Dazwischen – Want the gap on March 28th and 29th at the Academy of Art and Design in Basel for their Conceptional Design Masterstudio students.
Have the great pleasure of co-teaching with Ralf Neubauer. In the two days of the seminar the students reflect, analyze and discuss inter- and transdisciplinarity regarding the challenges and advantages in the context of their own projects.

Filed under: Talks & Workshops

Let’s talk about search

by Lisa Gold
March 18th, 2014

Via Lisa Gold's blog: "Yes, it’s a truth universally acknowledged that most students are lazy and want to get quick and good enough results. But the problem is that they don’t know what they don’t know. (As the ERIAL researchers noted, 'students were just as unaware of the extent of their own information illiteracy as everyone else.') They have no idea that there’s a world of information out there that you can’t find through a Google search. Most of it has never been digitized and probably never will be (for lack of funding and copyright concerns, among other reasons). Some has been digitized but is locked in proprietary databases and the invisible web. Most books and articles published in the US after 1922 are still under copyright, so even if they’ve been digitized chances are they aren’t free (unless you borrow them from a library). Even if information has been indexed in Google, you may never find it if you don’t know how to properly search for it.

Google could certainly improve the situation, but it is a company of engineers trying to make search as easy and simple as possible for the vast majority of users, giving them a single magic box into which they can type anything and get results, even if they’ve spelled the keywords wrong or don’t really know what they are looking for. Some of the improvements they’ve made over time have made it frustrating for advanced users like me, such as ignoring the terms I’ve actually typed and substituting what they assume I’m looking for, or filtering my results based on my past search history. And if you want more advanced search options, Google doesn’t make it easy to find or learn about them, and their help articles often aren’t helpful at all. Search is not just an engineering problem to be solved– it is both an art and a science, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. But no matter how good or flawed a tool like Google search is, anyone can learn how to use it well and get far better results.

A number of people have asked for some advice and tips on search, so here you go. [...]

A final note: Improving your search skills is important, but it’s even more important that you think critically and evaluate your search results and sources

Filed under: Wunderkammer


Your voice betrays your personality in a split second
March 14th, 2014

Via New Scientist: "We know that our voices can transmit subtle signals about our gender, age, even body strength and certain personality traits, but Phil McAleer at the University of Glasgow and his colleagues wondered whether we make an instant impression. To find out, they recorded 64 people as they read a passage. They then extracted the word hello and asked 320 people to rate the voices on a scale of 1 to 9 for one of 10 perceived personality traits – including trustworthiness, dominance and attractiveness.

Although it's not clear how accurate such snap judgements are, what is apparent is that we all make them, and very quickly. 'We were surprised by just how similar people's ratings were,' says McAleer. Using a scale in which 0 represents no agreement on a perceived trait and 1 reflects complete agreement, all 10 traits scored on average 0.92 – meaning most people agreed very closely to what extent each voice represented each trait."

Filed under: Wunderkammer


by King Crimson
March 13th, 2014

"Now in this faraway land
Strange that the palms of my hands
Should be damp with expectancy

Spring, and the air's turning mild
City lights and the glimpse of a child
Of the alleyway infantry

Friends – do they know what I mean?
Rain and the gathering green
Of an afternoon out of town

But lord I had to go
The trail was laid too slow behind me
To face the call of fame
Or make a drunkard's name for me
Though now this better life
Has brought a different understanding
And from these endless days
Shall come a broader sympathy
And though I count the hours
To be alone's no injury

My home was a place by the sand
Cliffs and a military band
Blew an air of normality"


Filed under: Wunderkammer

Patrick Arnold

March 12th, 2014

This video documents the installation Neon by Patrick Arnold, exhibited in February 2014. The project focuses on four fluorescent tubes which are the driving force as well as the framework of the installation. The viewer experiences the effect of these tubes along with their analogue and digitally edited surround sound in relation to the subjective spatial perception.

Supervised Neon in my Visual Music class together with IMM assistant professor Andreas Kolinski at the Institute For Music And Media.

Filed under: Students

Why College Students Are Dying to Get

Into Death Classes
March 8th, 2014

Via The Wall Street Journal: "At Kean University, students are dying (as it were) to get into Norma Bowe's class Death in Perspective, which has sometimes carried a three-year waiting list. On one field trip to a local coroner's office, Dr. Bowe's students were shown three naked cadavers on metal tables. One person had died from a gunshot, the other from suicide and the third by drowning.

The last corpse appeared overweight but wasn't; he had expanded like a water balloon. A suspect in a hit-and-run case, he had fled the scene, been chased by police, abandoned his car and jumped into the Passaic River. On the autopsy table, he looked surprised, his mouth splayed open, as if he realized he had made a mistake. As the class clustered around, a technician began to carve his torso open. Some students gagged or scurried out, unable to stand the sight or the smell.

This grim visit was just one of the excursions for Dr. Bowe's class. Every semester, students also leave the campus in Union, New Jersey, to visit a cemetery, a maximum-security prison (to meet murderers), a hospice, a crematory and a funeral home, where they pick out caskets for themselves. The homework is also unusual: Students are required to write goodbye letters to dead loved ones and to compose their own eulogies and wills."

Filed under: Wunderkammer


The next big fashion movement?
March 2nd, 2014

Via The Guardian: "Blending in is the new standing out – and Larry David is this year’s unlikely style icon. Welcome to Normcore, where dressing like a tourist is the ultimate fashion statement.

Fashion, by its very nature, is a peacock of an industry – it is bright, extrovert and likes to show off. There is, however, always a minority that take a different approach to dressing – one that avoids the print-clashing, kerazy shades and artful poses of street-style photographer bait. They go for something that is – well, there’s no other way to put this – boring.

New York magazine ran an article this weekend defining the look as Normcore – clothes that are so anonymous that, as the article says, from the back their wearer could just as easily be art kids or middle-aged, middle-American tourists. [...]

This is an attribute of fashion that those working in it – who have spent the past 10 years at the bleeding edge of fashion as art – sometimes forget about. The flipside – function over art – feels new and a bit subversive.

Welcome to fashion, 2014 – where normal is the new cool. Good luck telling the tourists and top stylists apart."

Thanks to Manu Burghart!
And off we go...

Filed under: Wunderkammer