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you are the result of a social experiment; it's the simplest explanation

The experimental method: Testing solutions with randomized trials -- In trying to help explicate the complexity of society Clark Medal-winner Esther Duflo is raising the productivity of social policies by increasing our knowledge of what works and doesn't work through repeated social experiments of randomised controlled trials. She has a large surplus labour pool, a veritable industrial reserve army, to worth with. [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 19, 2010 - 18 comments

If you watched PBS as a kid, Al Jarnow's animations blew your mind.

Al Jarnow had been exploring time and space in his panoramic paintings when a friend suggested he try animation. From experimental films (Cubits) he went on to create shorts for Children's Television Workshop that were seen by millions on Sesame Street (Yak, Orange, Floor Tiles, Block City, Perpectives, Put Your Litter in the Can, Real Cats Drink Milk) and 3-2-1 Contact (Facial Recognition). One standout is Cosmic Clock, which speeds us through time much the way the Eames' Powers of Ten speeds us through space. Along with his collected works on DVD, Numero Group has released the half-hour documentary Asymmetric Cycles: The Work Of Al Jarnow. [more inside]
posted by hydrophonic on May 18, 2010 - 8 comments

My dear friend

I Can Hold My Breath Forever. [Flash]
posted by Smart Dalek on Mar 31, 2010 - 12 comments

A little music

Music from a bonsai. Diego Stocco Flash, auto-music makes music from lots of things. Here he makes music from a bonsai.
posted by djgh on Mar 27, 2010 - 12 comments

Impossible Music

A favorite of John Cage and Gyorgy Ligeti, the latter describing his music as "so utterly original, enjoyable, perfectly constructed but at the same time emotional...the best of any composer living today," Conlon Nancarrow's musical ideas were nevertheless too complex and technically demanding for human performers, and his political ideas too radical and leftist for McCarthy-era America. Expatriated to Mexico, the Texarkana-born avant-gardeist lived most of his life in isolation, in a cluttered, dusty studio surrounded by records, piles of books, empty Vodka bottles, newspapers, cigarette cartons, and the tools of his trade: 2 old player pianos and a custom-built piano roll press. [more inside]
posted by swift on Feb 15, 2010 - 16 comments

Possibly the most controversial National Film Board film of all time.

Norman McLaren's 1952 short film [Youtube version] Neighbours uses live actors in a stop-motion film, to great effect.
McLaren created the soundtrack by scratching the edge of the film, which was then read by the projector.
posted by dunkadunc on Dec 10, 2009 - 19 comments

David Lynch's "Rabbits"

In a nameless city deluged by a continuous rain, three rabbits live with a fearful mystery... [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Oct 30, 2009 - 31 comments

Artificial Intelligence?

Hell is Other People [more inside]
posted by flatluigi on Oct 19, 2009 - 61 comments

In Bb 2.0

In Bb 2.0
posted by loquacious on May 12, 2009 - 60 comments

if robert lowell is a poet i dont want to be a poet

"Not until I put them there." David Antin worked in a wide range of innovative modes until landing in the early 1970s on what he calls the talk poem. Antin speaks extemporaneously and then transcribes his talks using only space as punctuation. The implications of positioning these works as poetry are, of course, part of the point.
posted by roll truck roll on Apr 14, 2009 - 15 comments

Oh Say Can You See The Way I Play "In C"?

Terry Riley celebrates the 45th anniversary of his groundbreaking composition, In C. A major work in the history of minimalist music, In C has an incredibly flexible score and performance guidelines, which have inspired many musicians to make their own versions, including a French guitar quintet, a traditional Chinese orchestra, a keyboard ensemble, an all-synthesizer group, CalArts Music students, French-Canadian hippies, a Danish vocal and percussion ensemble, another percussion ensemble, Japanese acidheads, a "laptop orchestra", the Bang on a Can Orchestra, and a rock "orchestration" by the Styrenes. No two versions can sound exactly the same, but it's still an open question how they will compare to the performance of In C at its Carnegie Hall debut next month. No recording of the original 1964 performance has ever been publicly released, but some eyewitness accounts can be found here.
posted by jonp72 on Mar 4, 2009 - 40 comments

Singing Bulls and Sun Blindness

Imagine 19th Century America. Say you were out on the Oregon Trail, but instead of dying of dysentery, you ate some ergot-tainted bread and stared at the sun until you went blind? Or perhaps you were enchanted by the dulcet tones of a wonderful singing bull? Probably not the vision of 1800's America that readily springs to mind, unless you are familiar with the singular work of a group that has gone by many names since its founding in 1982, but currently rejoices in Caroliner Rainbow Blumbeigh Treason of the Abyss.. [more inside]
posted by louche mustachio on Feb 24, 2009 - 34 comments

The voices of happiness

What does happiness sound like? Maybe Anna knows. Charles Spearin explores. Mrs. Morris - Vanessa [more inside]
posted by bigmusic on Feb 15, 2009 - 3 comments

Structures Sonores

In 1952, Bernard and François BASCHET reveal a new acoustic principle. They manage to amplify the internal vibration of metal, thus founding a new acoustic instrumental family : The Sound Structures [more inside]
posted by Grangousier on Jan 21, 2009 - 4 comments

Punkcast

Punkcast is a long running series of videos of live underground music in NYC shot by Joly MacFie. Each video is usually one song. The Internet Archive hosts its videos and offers downloads in a variety of formats. MacFie also has a YouTube channel with 480 videos and a video podcast [iTunes link, feedburner link]. Here are a few bands that caught my fancy: The Icicles and The Besties, The Slits (1, 2 ), Andrew W. K., Oneida (1, 2), The Long Blondes, The Gossip, Acid Mothers Temple & Cosmic Inferno, Art Brut, Be Your Own Pet, Cansei de Ser Sexy, Lesbians on Ecstasy, The Fall, Fred Frith, Rose Melberg and Jennifer O'Connor, The Horrors, The Homosexuals, Bat for Lashes, Radio 4 and Teddybears, Kimya Dawson and Tiny Masters of Today, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Nikki Sudden.
posted by Kattullus on Dec 25, 2008 - 12 comments

The veiled sound of a secretive world

Muslimgauze was the sound of an angry Middle East, a prolific source of music dark, spacious and smothering. Tension was a constant theme not only in the music but in the packaging. (For example, Betrayal shows the hands of Yassir Arafat and Yitzak Rabin, and guns, knives, and news photos of an Arab world at war were a common motif in titles and sleeve art.) However, the music wasn't the usual agitprop fare: Music meant to rile a public to a cause isn't normally pigeonholed as ambient, electronica or musique concrete. But the band, hidden from public view, was rumored to donate proceeds to Palestinian terrorists, and that they were eventually silenced by Mossad. Despite the prodigious output -- issuing almost a hundred EPs and albums between 1983 and 1998, over a hundred more since -- limited distribution and perpetual obscurity ensured the rumors were easier to find than the music. While the facts about Muslimgauze have little in common with the fictions, they are, if anything, stranger... [more inside]
posted by ardgedee on Dec 22, 2008 - 48 comments

Venetian Flair

The Most Serene Republic, quite possibly the most underrated of all the acts on the Arts & Crafts label, create music in a similar vein to fellow Canadian indie rockers Arcade Fire, Stars, and Broken Social Scene. Experience their explosive, big-band, polyphonic, experimental flair by listening to their 3 releases in full: Underwater Cinematographer (2005), Phages EP (2006), and Population (2007). A few video music videos as well: The Men Who Live Upstairs, Oh God, Content Always Was My Favourite
posted by Christ, what an asshole on Sep 30, 2008 - 21 comments

The Aesthetic of Anticipation

What does the artist do to a machine? There's a hammer lying here. Suppose we consider the computer a tool very much like the hammer, only we don't know what to make with it or what to do with it. [more inside]
posted by louche mustachio on Sep 12, 2008 - 2 comments

Yes, the same port that fell into the ocean off Jamaica

port-royal - Musicians from Genova, Italy who specialize in a distinct blend of cinematic guitars and synthesizers. Experience rather than merely listen:
jeka, roliga timmen, putin vs. valery (NSFW), anya: sehnsucht, bahnhof zoo, stasi, flares pt. 3
posted by Christ, what an asshole on Aug 9, 2008 - 2 comments

Vormittagsspuk

Flying derbys! Revolving revolvers! Ladders to nowhere! It's Hans Richter's wonderful Vormittagsspuk (or, Ghosts Before Breakfast), certainly one of the most playful and entertaining of all the Dada film experiments of the 1920s. Presented here with a nicely done soundtrack by Donald Sosin. . [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jul 20, 2008 - 9 comments

Holy Fucking Shit: 40,000

Connecticut's Have a Nice Life is responsible for one of the year's most acclaimed, highly conceptual albums this year, Deathconsciousness. The two discs (entitled The Plow That Broke The Plains and The Future, respectively) feature music spanning over five years of collaboration between the two artists, and are accompanied by a 75-page booklet on medieval Italian heretics in lieu of liner notes. Combining elements of shoegaze, new wave, ambient drone, post-rock, experimental industrial, avant-garde dark metal, and electronic music, and citing references such as My Bloody Valentine and Joy Division to their credit, the original and only pressings sold out within hours. Full stream of all 85 minutes available here. Direct mp3 samples here and here. [more inside]
posted by Christ, what an asshole on Jun 28, 2008 - 34 comments

Myoelectric Music

Experimental artist Daito Manabe makes music with his muscles. [more inside]
posted by carsonb on May 22, 2008 - 5 comments

The Yellow Shark [NOT MUDSHARK-IST]

In 1993, we said goodbye to Frank Zappa, fallen victim to prostate cancer. A 1993 Today Show interview with Frank. A 1993 BBC documentary about Frank. {Parts 2, 3, 4.} "Outrage at Valdez," from 1993's The Yellow Shark. [Zappa mega-post previously on MeFi]
posted by not_on_display on May 17, 2008 - 43 comments

Serein v3

Serein v3
posted by hama7 on Nov 9, 2007 - 50 comments

HOMOPHONI

HOMOPHONI
posted by hama7 on Oct 7, 2007 - 37 comments

Art Experimental: Ruttmann vs. Milant

Ruttmann vs. Milant
Alexis Milant has composed scores for three experimental animations realised by Walter Ruttmann. The pleasure in watching and [listening to] this come from the reactivity in the same temporality between sound and picture. [more inside]
posted by carsonb on Sep 9, 2007 - 8 comments

If I had a million monkeys...

WriteCloud is a collaborative writing game where the wisdom of crowds guides the cursor. Kind of like a web 2.0 version of exquisite corpse with letters instead of drawings. [via mefi projects]
posted by eoligarry on Aug 14, 2007 - 11 comments

Too Weird for Words

The Holy Mountain is an extremely odd 1973 film by Alejandro Jodorowsky, and the trailer for it is probably the most bizarre single video on Youtube (not an easy feat by any measure). It just doesn't get much weirder than this guy. Well, then again... (none of this is SFW).
posted by dbiedny on Jul 3, 2007 - 72 comments

tween

Life Imitating Web. Experimenting with very simple, life-like scenes in Flash by Ka Wai Cheung
posted by sluglicker on May 16, 2007 - 14 comments

Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet

Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet...Scroll down and play the audio clip..."The door of the recording room opened on to one of the large painting studios and I left the tape copying, with the door open, while I went to have a cup of coffee. When I came back I found the normally lively room unnaturally subdued. People were moving about much more slowly than usual and a few were sitting alone, quietly weeping." Sez Wikipedia: Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet is a piece of music composed by Gavin Bryars in 1971. It is based around a recorded loop of an un-named tramp improvising a hymn. The track was rerecorded with Tom Waits in the 80's, and can be bought on Amazon. Originally heard on CBC's (soon to end) Northern Lights.
posted by KokuRyu on Feb 14, 2007 - 27 comments

Very Slowly

"To play this motif 840 times in succession, it would be advisable to prepare oneself beforehand, in the deepest silence, by serious immobilities." Erik Satie's Vexations (previously) was more-or-less disregarded as an unperformable thought experiment, until John Cage staged an eighteen-hour performance in 1963. The event cemented Satie's importance in avant-garde music and his influence on a generation of artists. In 2006, several musicians and artists performed their own renditions.
posted by roll truck roll on Dec 30, 2006 - 17 comments

Harry Everett Smith

Harry Everett Smith was a, "20th-century Renaissance man, working as an abstract film-maker, painter, musicologist, anthropologist, theoretician, self-mythologizer and connoisseur of arcana". His Anthology of American Folk Music was hugely influential on American music, while his alchemical, synæsthetic films were to have a similar impact on experimental film and animation. Enjoy his mesmerising and astonishing "Early Abstractions" on Youtube [part 1 or 4], hear Harry lecture, or listen to some tracks from The Anthology.
posted by MetaMonkey on Dec 8, 2006 - 9 comments

Supporting our troops by making them guinea pigs?

Recombinant Activated Factor VII --the Food and Drug Administration said that giving it to patients with normal blood could cause strokes and heart attacks... the Army's faith in the $6,000-a-dose drug is based almost entirely on anecdotal evidence and persists despite public warnings and published research suggesting that Factor VII is not as effective or as safe as military officials say. ...
posted by amberglow on Nov 21, 2006 - 17 comments

The Toriton Plus - Water and light music interface.

The Toriton Plus A new electronic music interface using water and light. (YouTube). Make your own. From Little-Scale, which is chock-full of cool and wonderous stuff.
posted by loquacious on Nov 11, 2006 - 8 comments

Circuit Bending a PC

Circuit bending a personal computer. (Server slow? Mirror 1 Mirror 2) (more inside)
posted by loquacious on Nov 8, 2006 - 18 comments

Mod(isti) Squad

Modisti is an online directory with information with regard to experimental music, it's performers and enthusiats, thru lists promotion activities such as concerts, festivals, etc., as well as record releases.
posted by onkelchrispy on Oct 14, 2006 - 4 comments

This American Life

Radio Lab! Already listened to everything This American Life offers or maybe looking for something a bit smarter and full of science? Maybe you'll like Radio Lab. Maybe you'll like the mind-blowing and historically expanding episode on music. Maybe older history is your cup of tea -- how about biblical times and how they sit in shoeboxes in Oxford. A stack of shows available via podcast, MP3 download (and some .RAM, sorry).
posted by Ogre Lawless on Oct 13, 2006 - 11 comments

That sounds colorful...

The John Whitney Music Box Variations are (currently) 17 nifty Flash sound/color objects based on the harmonics and algorithmic animation work of John Whitney, from the same fine fellow who brought us CoverPop and ColrPickr.
posted by loquacious on Oct 8, 2006 - 15 comments

Machine-made synthesizer weirdness.

Doktor Future's modular synthesizer has been set up to send a real audio stream, 24/7. The analog modular synthesizer will be running a quadraphonic aleatoric patch that will change from day to day. (via Matrixsynth)
posted by zonkout on Sep 19, 2006 - 10 comments

Begone Dull Care

Norman McLaren's Masterpiece with music by Oscar Peterson. Each frame of this short was scratched directly onto the film in order to be in perfect synch with the pre-recorded soundtrack. This has been discussed before here and more generally here but I haven't seen this online until now. More on Norman McLaren.
posted by ob on Sep 6, 2006 - 34 comments

Free Poetry MP3s that don't suck!

In the late Seventies and Early Eighties, Dial-a-Poem put out recordings of William S. Burroughs, John Giorno, Sonic Youth, Cabaret Voltaire, Coil, Diamanda Galas, Anne Walderman, Charles Bukowski, Amiri Baraka, Gregory Corso, Phillip Glass, Patti Smith, and many many more. Apparently, the incredibly awesome Ubuweb has streaming mp3s of all twelve Dial-A-Poem releases here. Yay!
posted by elr on Sep 1, 2006 - 14 comments

This Iranian American Life

This Iranian American Life "This blog is for an experimental documentary that I am working on this year, where I will be shooting video of my experiences in Iran and creating shorts, interactive installations, and/or videoblogs using the footage from my experiences and the experiences of others."

Iranian-American student Paris Marashi has gone back to Tehran with the goal of documenting her own experiences with family, friends, and about town. She's also giving inexpensive cameras to Iranians to help them document their own experiences. There are only a few posts up at the moment, but it should be stay interesting as time goes on.
posted by chasing on Aug 8, 2006 - 15 comments

happy happy happy

When all else fails, go to your happy place.
via BLDGBLOG
posted by signal on Mar 30, 2006 - 25 comments

Fleischfilm

Fleischfilm Films by Thorsten Fleisch, experimental filmmaker. Fleisch "became recognized as one of the world's leading innovators of experimental film with the release of his 16mm film, Blutrausch, a film made entirely from his own blood." "Fleisch feels a compulsive need to attack everyone's eyes and ears... challenging the eyes and mind with wickedly clever films that combine mathematical systems of editing with reflexive commentary." Check out some interviews or Fleisch's stimulating article, Animating the 4th Dimension.
posted by MetaMonkey on Feb 3, 2006 - 5 comments

Return to the Source

Bruce Haack Grandfather of Techno. "Bruce was always somewhat prophetic in his works and in predictions to friends - he once described a future age in which all music would be shared by everyone..."

MP3.com samples. Wikipedia. Incomplete discography. Weird interview. And the video documentary, Bruce Haack: King of Techno. (Warning: Flash, audio.)
posted by loquacious on Jan 18, 2006 - 18 comments

Is there any escape... from noise?

MAN - Mothers Against Noise. "Noise is music that uses unpleasant or painful or extremely loud or discordant sound. Noise is also a very dangerous musical trend that is hell bent on destroying civilized culture, this anti-cultural movement is quickly sweeping the globe, and is very dangerous to our youth." via MonkeyFilter and our own panoptican.
posted by loquacious on Dec 26, 2005 - 70 comments

DONTCLICK.IT - Interface Experiment

dontclick.it : what would you do if somebody stole your mouse button? Yes, it’s flash, and it’s annoying, but that’s the point.
posted by signal on Jul 8, 2005 - 32 comments

Il massacro di Brandeburgo N° 3 in sol maggiore

Demetrio Stratos's 1978 solo album of experiments in vocal technique Cantare la Voce in RA format. "Settembre Nero" [mp3], by Area, which he fronted. Some links in Italian.
posted by kenko on Jun 3, 2005 - 4 comments

Stem Cells in China

First look look into the surgery of of Dr Huang Hongyun who cultivates the cells of aborted foetuses and injects them into the brains and spines of his patients. His method is controversial, but his results have led hundreds of westerners to his Beijing surgery. (MI)
posted by brettski on Dec 2, 2004 - 28 comments

Versatile Electronic Music

Thinner/Autoplate is the real deal: a netlabel that doesn't suck. Ambient/dub/minimal house/drone/experimental sounds that'll turn your home into the chillout room of a Finnish club at 5 am. Or at least pleasantly buzz in the background while you read. Sixty-five releases, high-quality bit rates, zipped files, creative commons licence -- the site itself is very nicely done. But more importantly, the music is just freakin' good, for fans of this sort of thing of course. For a taster, try the excellent ambient dub mix (125MB) or the more beat-oriented house standard mix (95MB). The label chief explains the rationale behind giving the music away in an interview here.
posted by dydecker on Nov 25, 2004 - 20 comments

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