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Monthly Archives: November 2012

Nov. 23, 1889

San Francisco  Gin Joint Hears the World’s First Jukebox

By Tony Long Email 11.23.07

For a nickel apiece a thrilled group tunes in on a screechy jukebox of the 1890s. 
Photo: Bettmann/Corbis

1889: The first jukebox is installed at the Palais Royale Saloon in San Francisco. It becomes an overnight sensation, and its popularity spreads around the world.

That first jukebox was constructed by the Pacific Phonograph Company. Four stethoscope-like tubes were attached to an Edison Class M electric phonograph fitted inside an oak cabinet. The tubes operated individually, each being activated by the insertion of a coin, meaning that four different listeners could be plugged in to the same song simultaneously.

Towels were supplied to patrons so they could wipe off the end of the tube after each listening.

The success of the jukebox eventually spelled the end of the player piano, then the most common way of pounding out popular music to a line of thirsty barflies.

The machine was originally called the “nickel-in-the-slot player” by Louis Glass, the entrepreneur who installed it at the Palais Royale. (A nickel then had the buying power of $1.08 today.) It came to be known as the jukebox only later, although the origin of the word remains a bit vague. It may derive from “juke house,” a slang reference to bawdy house, where music was not unknown.

(Source: writersalmanac.publicradio.org)

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SPECIAL EVENT

Label
Tate Britain
Saturday 24 November 2012, 13.00 – 17.00

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Tracey Moberly, Mam
Courtesy Tracey Moberly

You are invited to join us on a spirited quest to explore questions of identity and belonging. Amidst pumping bass lines and crowd mayhem, LABEL will explore the one question that has intrigued mankind for centuries: “Who am I?”

LABEL features live acoustic performances with Q+A sessions from Speech Debelle and Shakka, DJs Stööki Sound, plus installations and workshops with Soulful Creative.
Come and work with leading urban creatives on a giant collaborative piece that will transform the façade of Tate Britain, choose how to represent your super-talented self in a portrait taken by our photographer, join a guerrilla mosaics workshop to re-think emblems of Britishness or create a unique label that reflects who you really are with artist Chloe Cooper.

LABEL is curated by Tate Collective as part of the Great British Art Debate. What does Britishness mean to you? Join this audacious retort to stereotypical ideas about Britishness.

Follow The Great British Art Debate on Twitter @GBArtDebate and on Facebook
Sponsored by the Heritage Lottery Funded & Great British Art Debate
Tags:
Art and ideas

The Paradox of a Book

http://archives.obs-us.com/obs/english/books/nn/bdcont.htm

Being Digital (1995)

by Nicholas Negroponte

Introduction:

The Paradox of a Book

Being dyslexic, I don’t like to read. As a child I read train timetables instead of the classics, and delighted in making imaginary perfect connections from one obscure town in Europe to another. This fascination gave me an excellent grasp of European geography.

Thirty years later, as director of the MIT Media Lab, I found myself in the middle of a heated national debate about the transfer of technology from U.S. research universities to foreign companies. I was soon summoned to two industry-government meetings, one in Florida and one in California.

At both meetings, Evian water was served in one-liter glass bottles. Unlike most of the participants, I knew exactly where Evian was from my timetables. Evian, France, is more than five hundred miles from the Atlantic Ocean. Those heavy glass bottles had to traverse almost one-third of Europe, cross the Atlantic, and, in the case of California, travel an additional three thousand miles.

So here we were discussing the protection of the American computer industry and our electronic competitiveness, when we seemingly could not even provide American water at an American conference.

Today, I see my Evian story not so much being about French mineral water versus American, but illustrating the fundamental difference between atoms and bits. World trade has traditionally consisted of exchanging atoms. In the case of Evian water, we were shipping a large, heavy, and inert mass, slowly, painfully, and expensively, across thousands of miles, over a period of many days. When you go through customs you declare your atoms, not your bits. Even digitally recorded music is distributed on plastic CDs, with huge packaging, shipping, and inventory costs.

This is changing rapidly. The methodical movement of recorded music as pieces of plastic, like the slow human handling of most information in the form of books, magazines, newspapers, and videocassettes, is about to become the instantaneous and inexpensive transfer of electronic data that move at the speed of light. In this form, the information can become universally accessible. Thomas Jefferson advanced the concept of libraries and the right to check out a book free of charge. But this great forefather never considered the likelihood that 20 million people might access a digital library electronically and withdraw its contents at no cost.

The change from atoms to bits is irrevocable and unstoppable. Why now? Because the change is also exponential – small differences of yesterday can have suddenly shocking consequences tomorrow. […..]

Read more of the electronic version of “Being Digital”:

Next: Bits and Atoms or Epilogue

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A Book is Technology: An Interview with Tan Lin

Angela Genusa on Wednesday Oct 24th, 2012

Over the past 15 years, poet, novelist, and filmmaker Tan Lin has been at work creating an “ambient” mode of literature that engages a set of practices including sampling, communal production, and social networks, addressing issues such as relaxed copyright, boredom, plagiarism, and the commodification of attention.

He has written 10 books, most recently Seven Controlled Vocabularies and Obituary 2004. The Joy of Cooking; Insomnia and the Aunt; and HEATH COURSE PAK. His video work has screened at the Yale Art Museum, Artists Space, the Drawing Center, and the Ontological Hysterical Theatre. He is currently finishing work on a novel, OUR FEELINGS WERE MADE BY HAND. He teaches creative writing at New Jersey City University.

We talked by Skype, G-chat, email, phone, and used Google Drive in real-time to talk about the many different uses of technology in his work and what its implications are for the future of literature:


In your books, especially HEATH (plagiarism/outsource) and Seven Controlled Vocabularies and Obituary 2004. The Joy of Cooking, you introduced people to a new idea of what a book of literature can be. For these books, in their various versions and associated events, you incorporated everything from email to Twitter, programming languages to RSS feeds, Google Translate to Post-it notes. What led you to use so many different forms of technology in the creation and publication of a book? How would you define a book?

People forget that a book or codex is a technology. My interest with HEATH and 7CV was to treat the book as a distinct medial platform through which a lot of ancillary information passes, much like a broadcast medium like TV or a narrow-cast medium like Twitter or Tumblr. Reading is information control, just as a metadata tag is a bibliographic control. So I wanted to highlight the book’s medial and time-based underpinnings.

How would you prepare someone who has never read a Tan Lin book to read one of your books?

It’s a little hard to say. I think a book is something consumed slowly over many years—it’s a little like watching a plant reproduce. What are HEATH and 7CV? I’m not sure, but maybe a delayed reading experience that involves Course Paks, marketing departments of publishing houses, seminars at the University of Pennsylvania, RSS feeds, and Post-it notes. And, of course, other books—with 7CV, The Joy of Cooking—and with plagiarism/outsource, blogs that chronicled Heath Ledger’s death. Why insert The Joy of Cooking into the title of 7CV? Because it was the cookbook my family used to become American and because I thought the title would increase Google hits. I consider Google a mode of (loose) autobiography. A book in Google Books, like someone’s search history, isn’t really a book; it’s data connected to other data, and it’s searchable. Reading, like autobiography, is a subset of a search function…

MORE »

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“Wild Thing” – The First Punk Rock Song? (Interview)

An Anatomy of a Pop Song?

Writer Chip Taylor, Producer Larry Page and Troggs Bassist Pete Staples on the ‘Sexy’ Classic

NOVEMBER 2012 BY FRANK MASTROPOLO

Monterey Pop, one of the earliest rock festivals, launched 45 years ago in 1967 during the “Summer of Love.”

Two years before Woodstock, 50,000 people gathered at California’s Monterey County Fairgrounds for 3 days of music by headliners like the Who, Jefferson Airplane and Otis Redding.  But the most electrifying set came from Jimi Hendrix, who was introduced by Brian Jones as “the most exciting guitar player I’ve ever heard.”

Hendrix ended his set with a virtuoso cover of Wild Thing, the #1 hit by British Invasion group the Troggs.  It was classic Hendrix, as he alternately played his guitar with his teeth or behind his back.  To close, Hendrix knelt before his guitar, drenched it with lighter fluid and set it ablaze. The sacrifice complete, Hendrix repeatedly smashed the guitar against the stage and threw what remained into the crowd.

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Though the song was later covered by Bruce Springsteen, the definitive version ofWild Thing will always be the raw, visceral hit by the Troggs, four working class Brits from Andover who formed in 1964.

But the Troggs’ classic was itself a cover; the song was born in the USA, first recorded by the Wild Ones, the house band at New York City discotheque Arthur.  Rock Cellar Magazine recently spoke with Pete Staples, original member and bass player of the Troggs,  Larry Page, who produced the Troggs’ hit; and Chip Taylor, who wrote Wild Thing.

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Taylor was then a young songwriter who’d had success in the early 1960s penning country tunes like He Sits at My Table for Willie Nelson. The brother of actor Jon Voight, Taylor was by 1965 a staff writer at April-Blackwood Music, the publishing arm of CBS who had started writing a few rock tunes.

For ore see: http://wp.me/P2Mz2y-22

And full article at: http://t.co/Htlz10rz

@malarkeypalaver

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Viral Utopias

The Virality part of this free event (see below) will now be a collaboration between Tim Vogt, Francesco Tacchini, Nik Vaughn and Tony D. Sampson. We will be responding to the idea(l) of a viral utopia using academic voice, VJing, bass guitar and turntable.

Viral Utopia: What kind of Ontology is This?

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RSVP ESSENTIAL

http://www.eventbrite.com/event/4688544563

Viral Utopias launch event on Friday November 16th

Viral Utopias Friday November 16th – 7PM til 1AM @ LimehouseTown Hall

Panics, plagues, and politics. Countless times the death of politics, utopia and neoliberalism has been proclaimed… and just as many times the lumbering remains of our conceptual apparatuses dust themselves and trundle on again… mutating their movements in unfolding recombinatory patterns.

Come join us to celebrate the release of several new publications exploring this overlap between the utopian and the viral, the networked and the not-worked: Virality: Contagion Theory in the Age of Networks by Tony Sampson; Contract & Contagion: From Biopolitics to Oikonomia by Angela Mitropoulos;

Open Utopia by Thomas More & Stephen Duncombe; and the current issue of Mute Magazine, ‘Becoming Impersonal’ Vol.3 #3.

DJS Agit Disco DJs http://www.metamute.org/shop/mute-books/agit-disco LIVE BANDS Traum – London-based chanson for lovers of neo-romantisch perverse pop http://snd.sc/PqsQb1 Hungry Hearts – whisky filled gruff folk punk: http://www.myspace.com/thehungryhearts

VENUE Limehouse Town Hall 646 Commercial Road London E14 7HA RSVP ESSENTIAL http://www.eventbrite.com/event/4688544563

ABOUT THE PUBLICATIONS Virality: Contagion Theory in the Age of Networks – Tony D Sampson with Tim Vogt, Francesco Tacchini and Nik Vaughn http://www.upress.umn.edu/book-division/books/virality Contract & Contagion: From Biopolitics to Oikonomia – Angela Mitropoulos http://www.akpress.org/contract-contagion.html Open Utopia – Thomas More & Steve Duncombe http://theopenutopia.org/ Mute, ‘Becoming Impersonal’, Vol.3 #3 http://linkme2.net/sx

Link to Mute Magazine

About Virality Tony D. Sampson is a London-based academic and writer currently lecturing at the University of East London. A former musician, he studied computer technology and cultural theory before receiving a PhD in sociology from the University of Essex. His ongoing interest in contagion theory is reflected in his recent publications, including The Spam Book: On Viruses, Porn, and Other Anomalies from the Dark Side of Digital Culture (2009), which he coedited with Jussi Parikka. His new book, Virality: Contagion Theory in the Age of Networks is published by the University of Minnesota Press in August 2012

View all posts by Virality →

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