Posts by Damian Stewart

  • PA Radio: Auckland Festival 2,

    I saw Siren at the Ars Electronica festival in Austria in 2007 - hands down the most beautiful piece at the festival that year, and remains one of the most exquisite works of new media art / sonic art / contemporary art I've ever seen.

    We need more of this kind of stuff in New Zealand.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 6 posts Report

  • NZ shorts online?,

    hey everyone,

    just wondering if anyone might know of a place one could view NZ short films online? i'm in Germany and have been telling a number of (cynical/dark/Russian) friends about the beautiful cynical darkness of NZ short cinema, and i'd love to share the love, but it's nigh on impossible to find any content online.

    any recommendations? is there a good torrent tracker for NZ related media?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 6 posts Report

  • Summer Holiday,

    re stars -

    Two years ago I was on a cycling tour of the South Island. My three days on the West Coast were gloriously sunny, and I ended the first by driving my bicycle down an inviting track to find a small clearing on the side of a river with bush on either side, and a short walk down to a deserted beach. Millions of sandflies of course..

    Anyways I woke up sometime in the wee hours for pressing ablutionary business. Emerging from my tent, it was quite bright, so I assumed the moon was out. Having done what I had to do, I looked up - and stood awestruck for a full minute. The light I was seeing came not from the moon but from the stars and the milky way. I have never seen that many stars. It was incredible, probably the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 6 posts Report

  • Hard News: Remember where you heard it…,

    Jeremy wrote:

    Being able to browse into the Flying Nun category and order chronologically would be excellent.

    Only if you're not interested in the hiss/noise component, which is quite an important aspect of the older stuff recorded with a more lo-fi aesthetic. Noise and digital compression don't play nice with each other. I have some German dub-techno stuff (Rhythm & Sound, if you're wondering) that's built largely from drum machines and analog tape hiss and it completely refuses to encode in a way that captures what it's about..

    Russell: you're joking, right? Whereabouts does it talk about that?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 6 posts Report

  • Hard News: Aggregate me, baby!,

    Tell me, why should I be excited about the iTunes store? So I can pay money to get mp3s of the same music I can download for free anyway -- why bother? Ok, so it's more 'legal', whatever that might mean in a world of mass corporate media subversion of the purpose of copyright, but come on, show me a music lover who doesn't download mp3s via p2p and I'll show you a music lover who hasn't heard of p2p.

    Besides it's still the same crap. With iTunes you're merely replacing letting Sony/BMG/RadioWorks give you access to teh cool with letting Apple give you access to teh cool. For all their proficient design department, Apple are still in essence a giant multinational corporation, just like BMG or Warners.

    I get all my music needs freely and legally satisfied by netlabels, largely hosting Creative Commons content: Thinner/Autoplate for dubby electronics, 12rec for post-rock noodling, and one for idm/ambient stuff.

    Unlike the iTunes store, netlabels are actually a challenge to the status quo. Here's an interesting perspective on the whole thing. And here's some academic research looking at 'Netlabels and Open Content'.

    And finally, as a musician, the perceived value of the iTunes store to me is zero, while netlabels on the other hand offer a tantalising vision of post-material, post-commodity musicking.

    So I ask again: why should I be excited?

    f r e y
    live music with machines

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 6 posts Report

  • Hard News: Uncapturing Content,

    Interesting.. As a musician (blatant plug: I'm more interested in the ideas surrounding Goal 2 (about New Zealanders being "at the forefront of creating and sharing digital content"). And this all seems in pretty good order.

    I like the emphasis on the ideas of sharing, in particular the second Proposed Action, to "provide support and advice to communities on the standards and tools that enable creation and sharing of content".. I work for a company called Lumen Digital, we do (among other things) localised digital storytelling but with the aim being to get at it from both sides, as in both the retelling of existing stories and the creation and recording of new ones. Anyway it's the sharing part that has emerged as most interesting about digital tools (given as how digital makes duplication an effortless task) and it's good to see that reflected.

    As far as Creative Commons goes.. As a musician, I see copyright as getting in the way of audiences finding out about me. If people like my music so much that they are willing to go the trouble of sharing it with their friends, it doesn't make sense for me to restrict them from doing that. Moreover, it seems that filesharing makes the idea of paying money for recorded music go back out the window from whence it flew in not one hundred years ago. If I'm to make money out of what I do in a way that makes sense I have to perform, just like every generation of musicians before this abberrant blip of the 20th century, since for an audience member being there is something that it is still impossible to digitise. In this context Creative Commons seems to me to be the only sensible way to offer recorded music.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 6 posts Report