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Students in my Visual Music class acquire knowledge of design principles and techniques by producing visualisations of sound/music – e.g. as installations, videos clips, VJ sets, installations, and computer games.

Visual Music Studies 2023

Annual show of student's Visual Music projects
February 15st, 2023

Every year composer and assistant professor Marcus Schmickler and I host the Visual Music Studies at Dusseldorf's Filmwerkstatt. This year's class - María Camila Agudelo Mejía, Roberto Alessio, Nora Bögel, Benjamín Herrera Lizana, Margareta von Klenze, und Ricardo Soares Fernandes - will show their studies on February 15th, 2023.

Creating a work for this show is part of the assignment in my Visual Music class at the Institute for Music and Media at Dusseldorf Robert Schumann conservatory. Many of the students decide to show a transmedia installation, but some of them are also interested in video clips, experimental films, and animations as well as audiovisual performances.

The students are supported by an amazing team of assistant professors: Prof. Ulla Barthold, Falk Grieffenhagen, Jan Höhe, and Christian Schäfer.

 

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Jayne Cortez photographed by Pete Williams.

Jayne Cortez

Under the Edge of February
February 1st, 2023

Via Poetry Foundation:

Under the edge of february
in hawk of a throat
hidden by ravines of sweet oil
by temples of switchblades
beautiful in its sound of fertility
beautiful in its turban of funeral crepe
beautiful in its camouflage of grief
in its solitude of bruises
in its arson of alert

Who will enter its beautiful calligraphy of blood

Its beautiful mask of fish net
mask of hubcaps mask of ice picks mask
of watermelon rinds mask of umbilical cords
changing into a mask of rubber bands
Who will enter this beautiful beautiful mask of
punctured bladders moving with a mask of chapsticks

Compound of Hearts   Compound of Hearts

Where is the lucky number for this shy love
this top-heavy beauty bathed with charcoal water
self-conscious against a mosaic of broken bottles
broken locks   broken pipes   broken
bloods of broken spirits broken through like
broken promises

Landlords  Junkies  Thieves
enthroning themselves in you
they burn up couches they burn down houses
and infuse themselves against memory
every thought
a pavement of old belts
every performance
a ceremonial pickup
how many more orphans  how many more neglected shrines
how many stolen feet  stolen fingers
stolen watchbands of death
in you how many times

Harlem

hidden by ravines of sweet oil
by temples of switchblades
beautiful in your sound of fertility
beautiful in your turban of funeral crepe
beautiful in your camouflage of grief
in your solitude of bruises
in your arson of alert
beautiful


Via the Jayne Cortez obituary: Poet whose incantatory performances could be militant, lyrical and surreal:

The arts are just a part of the weapons of life
Art can make us see and feel reality
and help change that reality
Art is revelation. Art is hard work
Art is a part of protest.


Thanks to Sarah Szczesny!

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"In her arms" by Charlotte Lieb was her final assigment in the Motion Design graduate program at Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg.

"An Original Title (WT)" by Leon Monschauer was his final assigment in the Motion Design graduate program at Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg.

Winners

At The 2022 Motion Awards by Motionographer
January 27th, 2023

Two students from my Motion Design class at Germany's renown film school Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg won at Motionographer's prestigious The 2022 Motion Awards:

My greatest congratulations to Charlotte Lieb for In Her Arms and Leon Monschauer for An Original Title (WT). I could not be more proud.

Via The Motion Award: "We exist to help elevate Motion Design in all its forms. United by a shared passion for creative expression, the Motion Awards celebrate achievements that help propel the industry forward.
The Motion Awards by Motionographer is the only awards show that celebrates the entire landscape of Motion Design; it’s widely considered the highest recognition in the industry.
Just being nominated for an award can give a studio or artist worldwide exposure. We enlist over 200 judges from countries spanning six continents, representing the upper echelon of talent in design, animation, and visual storytelling. The depth of our roster, which includes former nominees and winners, ensures credibility and trust in the eyes of the industry."

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EIFF Programmer Niall Greig Fulton takes EIFF TV through this year's fascinating Shirley Clarke retrospective.

Shirley Clarke

Shirley Clarke (1919-1997) was an American filmmaker
January 9th, 2023

Via Wikipedia: "Her interest in dance began at an early age, but met with the disapproval of her father, a violent bully. Clarke attended Stephens College, Johns Hopkins University, Bennington College, and University of North Carolina. As a result of dance lessons at each of these schools, she trained under the Martha Graham technique, the Humphrey-Weidman technique, and the Hanya Holm method of modern dance. She married Bert Clarke to escape her father's control, so she could study dance under the masters in New York City. Their daughter Wendy was born in 1944.[3] Her marriage to Bert ended in divorce in 1963.[4] She began her career as a dancer in the New York avant garde modern dance movement. She was an avid participant in dance lessons and performances at the Young Women's Hebrew Association."

Via Pop Matters: "Every short film, documentary and home movie here tells you something about this indefatigable dynamo and largely overlooked artist. The folks at Milestone have been industriously restoring and packaging the output of Shirley Clarke. Their operating theory, aside from loving her work, is that its unavailability has been responsible for eclipsing one of America’s most important filmmakers and for many years its most visible woman director. After releasing The Connection followed by Portrait of Jason and Ornette: Made in America, they’ve packaged a head-spinning three-disc set of shorts called The Magic Box, available on DVD or Blu-ray."

Start here: Shirley Clarke & Wendy Clarke - Butterfly (1967)

Thanks to Sarah Szczesny!

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rand

Levon Biss: "I had the pleasure of shooting this image at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History recently, one of my favourite museums by far. My thanks goes to Robert Douglas for his assistance in creating this picture.⁠"

Values

My pyramid
January 6th, 2023

Humor
Optimism – Honesty – Intuition
Emotionality – Serenity – Music – Love – Freedom – Faith.

Take another step toward what matters.

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Public Projects by Michael Pederson.

End of 2022

To the power of ten
December 31st, 2022

Auld Lang Syne As I write this, New Year's is only a few hours away. Two days ago legend Vivienne Westwood passed on. Unfortunately, it remains a challenge to find older female role models for my process to become a female 'senior', as in beautiful, crazy, sexy Wise Old Woman. Westwood embodied everthing I hope for in aging, and beyond. What an incredible beautiful soul. Two other heroines of mine are Laurie Anderson and bell hooks – the list keeps growing faster every year. Let's do this, girls.

Films My favorite viewings this year were, 2021 drama film Drive my car directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, George Miller's fantasy romantic drama film Three Thousand Years of Longing, Werner Herzog's 1998 documentary Wings Of Hope, and Regina Schilling's documentary Igor Levit - No Fear. Thank you, fabulous editor and friend, Carina Mergens for bringing the big screen back into my life!

Nest Finally moved to a new apartment. Have been sharing my home for the last 16 years. It was an adventure as long as it lasted, and now I am so happy, joyous, and free with a nest all to myself where I can experience my love for wallpaper to full extend.

Rapport Not entirely sure but I think I got my first answering machine in 1986. From then on I used my phones less to talk, instead I got accustomed to recorded messages. In 1995 I started to write emails, and called even less. I have now reversed this development, and much to my own surprise I make at least one telephone call a day to check in with friends. My live has improved considerably by connecting to fellow travellers.

Studio In July I officially opened our new Studio Klang und Realität, built to serve the students in our master's degree program of the same name. With its specialized, high-quality recording studio technology, the studio offers an acoustically optimized and at the same time inspiring workspace. So grateful for the support from my colleagues Julian Rohrhuber, Marcus Schmickler, and Phillip Schulze in designing this studio with me.

Summer We had what is called a Jahrhundersommer. So I got to spent many days at a secret little beach on the short, super clean and pretty cold river Agger close to where I live. Sweet, sweet summer days. Sun, water, trees, fishes, dogs, horses, trees, flowers, and finally time to read.

Time Travel My parents took a day off to show me my father's childhood places in the former German Democratic Republic. My father told many stories from more than half a century ago. Too many to remember but I now have a much better idea and feeling for where he came from.

Travel I was super sad when my youngest friend left for a year to live with her parents at the infamous Villa Massimo in Rome. Got to visit her twice this year. We had long walks and deep conversations in the morning and afternoon to and from her kindergarten. Precious.

TV Invited my godson to see ZDF Magazin Royale, a successful German late night program by satirist, journalist, and TV host Jan Böhmermann, live. The show's TV band Rundfunk-Tanzorchester Ehrenfeld is lead by one of my former students, the ultra talented and charming Lorenz Rhode. I was impressed by his courtesy and modesty, and of course by the powerful sound of his band.

Quote Experienced a couple of unpleasant moments at work in 2022. After an especially crass meeting I had an one-on-one online session with a student who wore a cap with TRUST written on it – in uppercase letters. I will not forget the surprise and comfort it gave me.

So, here we are... And what is next?

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klein

The list is the work of the celebrated artist and educator Sister Corita Kent and was created as part of a project for a class she taught in 1967-1968.

At a time when pop art was finding its footing and the nation was in a state of upheaval, Sister Corita helped make art more accessible to the public.

Corita Kent

Love is hard work
December 30th, 2022

Via The Marginalian: "Buried in various corners of the web is a beautiful and poignant list titled Some Rules for Students and Teachers, attributed to John Cage. The list, however, is the work of the celebrated artist and educator Sister Corita Kent and was created as part of a project for a class she taught in 1967-1968. It was subsequently appropriated as the official art department rules at the college of LA’s Immaculate Heart Convent, her alma mater, but was commonly popularized by Cage, whom the tenth rule cites directly. Legendary choreographer Merce Cunningham, Cage’s longtime partner and the love of his life, kept a copy of it in the studio where his company rehearsed until his death. It appears in Stewart Brand’s cult-classic Essential Whole Earth Catalog, published in 1986, the year Kent passed away.
The list, which can be found in Sister Corita’s Learning by Heart: Teachings to Free the Creative Spirit (public library), touches on a number of previously discussed themes and materials, including Bertrand Russell’s 10 commandments of teaching, the importance of embracing uncertainty, the pivotal role of work ethic, the intricate osmosis between intuition and intellect, and the crucial habit of being fully awake to everything."

Via Corita Art Center: "Corita Kent (1918–1986) was an artist, educator, and advocate for social justice. At age 18 she entered the religious order Immaculate Heart of Mary, eventually teaching and then heading the art department at Immaculate Heart College. During the course of her career, her artwork evolved from using figurative and religious imagery to incorporating advertising images and slogans, popular song lyrics, biblical verses, and literature. Throughout the ‘60s, her work became increasingly political, urging viewers to consider poverty, racism, and social injustice. In 1968, she left the order and moved to Boston. After 1970, her work evolved into a sparser, introspective style, influenced by living in a new environment, a secular life, and her battles with cancer. She remained active in social causes until her death in 1986. At the time of her death, she had created almost 800 serigraph editions, thousands of watercolors, and innumerable public and private commissions. [...]

1985: Corita was asked to design a postage stamp in 1983. After several years in limbo, the design is issued. The unveiling takes place on the Love Boat. Furious, Corita refuses to attend saying that was not the kind of love she meant. She had wanted the stamp to be unveiled at the United Nations. In response she makes the work Love is hard work."

Via Wikipedia: "Between 1938 and 1968 Kent lived and worked in the Immaculate Heart Community. She taught in the Immaculate Heart College and became the chair of its art department in 1964. Her classes at Immaculate Heart were an avant-garde mecca for prominent, ground-breaking artists and inventors, such as Alfred Hitchcock, John Cage, Saul Bass, Buckminster Fuller and Charles & Ray Eames. Kent credited Charles Eames, Buckminster Fuller, and art historian Dr. Alois Schardt for their important roles in her intellectual and artistic growth. By the early 1950s, she had such a unique and well-known aesthetic and teaching style that clergy members from all over the country were sent to be educated at Immaculate Heart College. Her students were drawn to her selflessness and unique teaching methods such as large class assignments like asking students to create 200 drawings or take three hours to draw their arm without looking at what they were creating."

Thanks to Ulli Schumacher!

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Cultural Mashups by Todd Alcott.

Feedback needed

Underestimating others' desire for constructive feedback
December 27th, 2022

Via National Library of Medicine: "People sometimes avoid giving feedback to others even when it would help fix others' problems. For example, only 2.6% of individuals in a pilot field study provided feedback to a survey administrator who had food or lipstick on their face. Five experiments (N = 1,984) identify a possible reason for the lack of feedback: People underestimate how much others want to receive constructive feedback. [...]

While we found evidence that people consider both types of consequences, people particularly underestimated how much receivers value their feedback, a mechanism not extensively tested in prior research. Specifically, in Experiment 4, two interventions-making feedback-givers consider receivers' perspectives (enhancing consideration of receivers' consequences) or imagine someone else providing feedback (reducing consideration of givers' consequences)-both improved givers' recognition of others' desire for feedback compared to no intervention, but the perspective-taking intervention was most effective.

Finally, Experiment 5 demonstrates the underestimation during a financially incentivized public-speaking contest and shows that giving less constructive feedback resulted in less improvement in feedback-receivers' performances.

Overall, people consistently underestimate others' desire for feedback, with potentially negative consequences for feedback-receivers' outcomes.

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Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts offers a unique master's degree program that enriches artistic jazz education in Germany. Their partner is the hr-Bigband – one of the world's most renowned ensembles of its kind.

Workshop @ HfMDK Frankfurt

What you need to start your communication with the public
December 15th,  2022

Fabulous Hendrika Entzian, professor for Bigband & Composition/Arrangement in Jazz and also current chair of the master's degree program in Big Band for players, writers and conductors at the prestigious Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts, invited me to give a 2-days workshop on Public Relations.

Had the great pleasure to work with five exciting talents on their approach how to introduce their upcoming projects to the public. The students developed a new strategy to communicate their work, and started to widen the perspective on whom they are talking to e.g via social media platforms.

In short, the workshop strengthened self consciousness and empathy by asking, what do you want to communicate and to whom?

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The child-like character of her imagery and her touch like sudden lightning fill sheets of paper in one format only: A4. “Within the standard the minimum reduces immensity to distance between signs”.

Lisa Ponti

"Drawing is the least tiring thing there is."
September 29th, 2022

Via Macro - Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome: "After taking a degree in Philosophy, she worked with her father in various contexts: she assisted him in the making of the frescos at Palazzo del Bo in Padua (1940), played an active role on the editorial staff of the magazine Stile published by Garzanti (1941-1946), and was an editor-in-chief inside Domus (1940-1979), then specifically editing the magazine’s art coverage until 1986. [...]

Lisa Ponti began drawing while she was still working with Domus, but her first solo exhibition came only at age 70, in 1992, at the gallery of Franco Toselli in Milan. The child-like character of her imagery and her touch like sudden lightning fill sheets of paper in one format only: A4. 'Within the standard the minimum reduces immensity to distance between signs'
Like apparitions, the words and text graphically and ironically contribute, performing together with the rapid gesture that outlines the profile of cherub-like characters, figures of fantasy but also companions of hopes and turbulence. The duel between drawing and watercolours on the white page is enhanced by many other ways of narrating, thanks to the use of a range of materials and tools: newspaper pages and personal photographs with which to produce collages, markers and paintbrushes, cotton and wadding, stickers that dot or sketch forms on paper surfaces. For the artist, drawing is an intimate location, a moment in which to stake out and claim a private space of abandon. The A4 format is a limit to overcome through a mark that takes flight and compresses the dream or apparition into an instant."

From Lisa Ponti and Franco Toselli in conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist:
"Hans Ulrich Obrist: Why should we be optimistic today in this world?'
Lisa Ponti: Because it’s not up to us! I’ve had a lot of surprises from the world, simply with optimism, without having made an effort. Making an effort is of no help at all; in fact it’s a bit depressing. Once you have found the right path, things then come along, one at a time, and so I took advantage. [...]
Hans Ulrich Obrist: What advice would you give to a young artist?
Lisa Ponto: Try all the paths, to try them all out! That’s the way to learn, by making mistakes! For example I learned from Sottsass about the color pink. In Milan, the custom is for rooms to be white, and then inside the rooms there are colorful objects and furniture. But from Sottsass, whom I visited a great deal because he collaborated on Domus, I learned the pink backdrop—the pink backdrop, with a few dashes of other colors. Sottsass came from Turin, which was outside this Milanese business according to which the house has to be a blank page punctuated with one, two, three, four, five objects. And so I painted my home in via Randaccio all pink! Even though pink was somewhat frowned upon then."

Thanks to Edda Charlie Eckardt!

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