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TradeMark's Bark

Bark like a dog, and not like a tree

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ECC, TradeMark, Thimbletron

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June 21st, 2006

Friend often ask me to let them know of good reasons to come and visit San Francisco. Well, here's one -- an upcoming show of Survival Research Laboratories. Just short of ten years ago it was enough to get me to fly out here, so I figure I'll pass on the favor:

http://01sj.org/content/view/217/52/
Survival Research Labs
Mark Pauline, Artistic Director

Day: Friday, August 11, 2006
Time: 10:30 p.m.
Location: Behind South Hall
Ticket Price: $25
Special Notes: Very Big, Very Loud, Very Exciting

Some things are purely mythic like Survival Research Labs, which springs from the shell of abandoned buildings, monster robotic history, and fire. An interdisciplinary mash-up like no other, SRL, brings a newly conceived performance to ZeroOne San Jose full of its legendary machines, flame-throwers, and bombastic sound. Humans are only present as audience or operators; in this show its all about the machines. As described by founder Mark Pauline, an SRL performance is comprised of ritualistic interactions between machines, robots, and special effects devices." Whatever else you call it, (and the title wont be announced until just before the show), we call it big fun, exciting, and something you wont want to miss. This one is definitely for more than the brainiac crowd its monster machine, meets hovercraft, meets huge sculptural creatures, meets fire. See you there.

And if you come and visit, I can probably accommodate -- we'll soon be moving into a new place. Detached house in Twin Peaks. Dedicated/separated studio space for me. Yay!

- tm

June 8th, 2006

Ahhhh, June

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June! Finally!

May (and then some) was seriously busy -- as I knew it would be -- but now that the Wheel Of Mashup has been built, now that I've circuit bent a toaster and a blender, and now that I've been to Toronto to prove they work, I'm done for the moment.

June is regroup month: taking the new stuff, packaging & PR-ing it, 'n' putting it out. Time to go fish for new ponds to play!

The new stuff, plus some old stuff, means we (almost) have three brand new shows:

  • The Kitchen Of The Future (circuit-bent toaster, blender, etc.)

  • Wheel Of Mashup (club-oriented DJ show)

  • Reels Of Steel (DJ soundtracks to silent movies)


...not to mention the good ol' Thimbletron.

And, keep an eye on the website this month... I'm gutting it, and rebuilding it from scratch.

I hope.

And it's my birthday! (the 27th)

- tm

May 17th, 2006

More Residency Evidence

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Although I wasn't going to write a post for a while, I realize that my blog's title -- Residency Evidence -- makes it only too appropos that I should post anyway. Why? I'm back at my residency.

I started this blog two years ago when I started my residency at the Headlands Center for the Arts. The residency has a long-term fringe benefit: alumni can return for visits, two weeks out of any year. So, I checked in a couple weeks ago, and have been digging my time here enough to talk them into extending my stay. And it's been a productive one, doing a lot of work preparing for two major shows:

Wheel Of Mashup
#1: BOOTIE, the monthly mashup DJ night in San Francisco, where I was the guest DJ for May. This was a chance for me to debut the Ritalin Ruckus material, a seriously overloaded mashup setup I put together in Ableton Live, and to make it all the better I created a Wheel Of Mashup for people to spin -- it's two wheels actually, and one lands on the music that will come next and the other lands on the vocals which I'll mix on top of it, on the spot. The whole thing went superbly, with hundreds of happy clubgoers screaming in joy (yes, really!) and I can't wait for another chance to do it. There's also plenty of photos from the night, along with a thread discussing it with links to more photos (and audio? and video? not sure, I'm bandwidth-challenged at the moment).

#2: DEEP WIRELESS, a festival in Toronto where I'll be doing two performances. The first will finally debut something I've been talking about for years: The Kitchen Of The Future, a collection of circuit-bent kitchen appliances where the controls have been hijacked to do MIDI things. For instance, I converted a four-bay toaster so that the two toasting levers will trigger two different tones, and the light/brown setting beneath each lever makes the tone higher or lower. There's also a blender, and both will come with me to Toronto along with the Thimbletron to do a performance at the festival on Saturday, May 27. After that I'll participate in a Sunday show with John Oswald where we take audience requests and improv a response!

Welp, I'm not at this residency to write blogs -- back to work.

April 23rd, 2006

GEEKSTOCK

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I haven't been blogging much for quite a while, for various reasons: to get more "productive" stuff done; because there are plenty of other better blogs out there to read; because I haven't really been too crazy about writing. But this weekend I had... an experience.



Geekstock.

That's probably the best way I can think to describe it.

This weekend I was part of what is sure to be the first Make Magazine Maker Faire of many to come. I wanted to be part of it from the beginning, but then I even got an unsolicited invitation from them to be part of it. I knew going into this that it was going to be just right -- my kind of crowd, both audience as well as other participants -- but what surprised me was just how large, and how successful, it turned out to be.

I would have been pretty pleased to see a conference hall full of DIY types showing off their geekery. And I got it: plus another hall, and another, and a garage, and three more halls, and a few stages, outdoor booths, and more. I met people from many cities, from both coasts, a few from other countries. Major camera crews: news channels, those Mythbusters guys, local, national, internet, all over. I showed off the Thimbletron for the weekend, and got interviewed and filmed by The Tonight Show (Leno) and CNN, at least. It was like a science fair without competition; a safehaven for geeks, of all stripes, to just be geeks.

A steam-powered vehicle, electric mini-cars, RFID implants, soap bubble fu, 3D printing, rocketry, blinky jewelry, insect robots, Segway polo, a working replica of a PDP-11 computer... and this was just in the hall I was in.

It didn't hurt that one of my promo photos of The ECC was used in an article plugging the Faire and was printed in the SF Chronicle, not to mention appearing at the top of their web page one day. But ECC hardly needed the boost -- it was non-stop both Saturday and Sunday, a constant parade of curious minds, all wanting to know just how the hell you make music with a fistful of sewing thimbles. And I showed 'em -- again and again and again and again, giving demonstrations almost constantly from open to close. I finally had to tear myself away from the booth on Sunday to give myself 30 minutes of hit-and-run visits to other booths, every one of which were doing simply amazing things that I would have gladly lost an hour to. Unabashed, nerdy, brainy, lovely, smartass fun.

In a word... GEEKSTOCK.

There are 4,500+ photos on Flickr.com from the Maker Faire... so far. I took a few and might put those online (elsewhere) at some point. But for now... I could use a little lie-down. I'm exhausted, exhilarated, spent... and happy.

- tm

March 20th, 2006

We're breaking radio silence with the following important announcement:

Any readers who are Ohio friends of mine will be happy to know that I'm visiting there from March 20th - 30th. I've intentionally left my schedule fairly open so that I might do better than usual at catching up with everybody. Been wanting to walk in the park with Mark? Have tea with Mr. G? Your window of opportunity begins today, so don't delay...

Best way to contact me is by email, which is the same address it's always been (ecc at pobox dot communists) since I don't have a cell phone and don't have a fixed place that I'll be staying while in town. Hope to see you...

- TradeMark G. / Mark Gunderson

January 19th, 2006

Happy 2006! Did you know that this year is the 20th birthday of my band The Evolution Control Committee?

Lat year I was interviewed on the podcast of RU Sirius, former editor of the legendary magazine Mondo 2000. On this week's podcast you can listen to part 2 of the interview. You can also go back to listen to part 1 on RU Sirius Show #20 if you missed it the first time around.

January 15th, 2006

Dream Analysis 01/15/06

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Haven't been blogging lately because, well, I don't want to you. And you can't make me. Oh c'mon, you didn't really miss it.

Last night, I had a dream...

(Every once in a while I have one of these dreams... so good that I've got to make sure I put it here for the purpose of good, solid archival. This, and the other dreams in this blog, are absolutely real dreams.)

In my dream, I'm ranting to someone about the pathetic state of copyright. I'm incensed about just how absurdly long copyright lasts, and I'm trying to give them a perspective on just how crazy the length is:

TradeMark: "Let me give you an example: Let's say right now, I write a short story right here in front of you. It's automatically copyright the moment I finish it (or even if I don't) because things are presumed to be copyright unless you explicitly say otherwise. This short story will remain in the restrictive binds of copyright for the rest of my life PLUS another 90 -- yes NINETY -- years!! That's like until the year 2150!!!"

...and I start cracking up when I try to complete the rant with...

"For chrissakes, by then we'll have evolved into beings of pure energy and light and won't NEED FUCKING COPYRIGHT!!"

I actually was cracking up outside of the dream too, and woke Christy up...

Also during this dream I had an idea to take music of The Beatles and edit out all the beats. The resulting project -- taking the beat from The Beatles -- would be called of course, "les".

December 10th, 2005

Translation Elation

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Nope, haven't posted lately -- haven't felt like it. You can't make me. nyah nyah.

For those in Ohio: I'll be there, Dec. 19-29.

My Google work continues now with automatic translations, where they ask that I compare two computer-generated translations of text. I never thought I'd get the dream job of being paid to laugh at absurd translations, but... here I am:

Source: "She has sunk to the bottom," Johnson said.

Translation 1: Strong Health said : "She has to rest."

Translation 2: Johnson say:"she has already exactlied drown."

Hard to choose, really...

November 17th, 2005

New day, new links

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Googling again, finally, following a lot of work on ECC videos. Nothing significant new; mostly re-rendering exisiting videos to be up to DVD quality. I've been wanting to do this since I got a DVD burner last year for Christmas but hadn't really needed to until now, as I was just putting together an application to get into a weekend retreat given by Creative Capital, a group that essentially helps artists to sell out more effectively. (I actually don't mean that in a bad way, by the way.)

Today's Googling links:

I remember vividly when John Lennon was assassinated; I was a teenage hacker and went immediately to a hacked account I had with newswire feed access to get breaking news about it. :-) Seems that there are some about-to-be-released interview tapes with Mark David Chapman, Lennon's assassin. I hadn't realized Chapman actually got Lennon to autograph an album just hours before the shooting.. the article has some other intriguing bits from Chapman about his thoughts and motivations.

Doh, ran outta work time -- that's it for now!

November 11th, 2005

Back to Blogland

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And thus ends another of my signature months-long delays in blogging.

For one thing, because I'm now starting some work that produce good grist for blogging. What, you say? Work? TradeMark is crawling back to the land of wage slavery? Well, kinda sorta... but... not. At least it's for someplace that isn't evil. How do I know they're not evil? 'cuz they say they aren't! Yep, it's Google, the "do no evil" company.

Google farms out some temp work to have people be "Quality Raters", human beings who rate queries that other human beings put into Google. Basically, you just rate how well a specific query matches a specific result page. You can work from home, you can't work more than 20 hours a week, and it doesn't seem to be too brain-numbing. Although it would be nice to be doing something higher-leve that I'm more qualified for (programming, network admin, etc.), I need to focus on music and not get all sucked up into a career job... so, something like this is probably the better pick for me right now. I can always give up later.

But for you, dear reader, this means new life for this blog: It will house all the nutty, wacky, loopy links that I come across during my work. Woop! Woop! Lucky you, yes indeedy, rejoice now please. And we begin with...

A boingboing.net article pointing to a links page for House of Cosbys (which by now is "sooooo last week" in the hyper-pace of internet culture) was the subject of a query result I was reviewing. From it you can get things as great as the entire album of Bill Cosby Talks To Kids About Drugs (1971), and as retarded as the Pac-Man and Cosby Show.

Sausage Poetry: "Twenty yellow waterlillies skunked Donald Duck's snake."

Here in the US we're usually sick of Christmas when the advertisements and Christmas sales reach the saturation point (around, say, mid-October), but if you simply must know everything there is to know about Christmas, there's (you guessed it) christmas.com. Includes translations for "Merry Christmas" for every country, even Iraq (although they admit that "less than 3% of the population is Christian so the day is barely noticed"). However, they missed how to translate "Merry Christmas" in Wal-Mart.
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