Sketchblog – Offline

Rack 1



A bit of a throwback to “1968”, although with nowhere to go at the moment. A warm-up exercise…

The Art (And Code, And Writing) Happens Here


Remember We Said No Future?

When I was a child, outdated visions of the future seemed comical.

Now I think it’s having a vision of the future that would seem comical to a child. The future will be like the present only more so. This isn’t the end of history, only the end of the future. “The cultural smog of the internet” is a product of (and a producer of) this causal and aesthetic flatland.

William Gibson groks this, although I can’t find the quote just now. Damn. Knowledge clearly isn’t flat enough yet.

(The title is a quote from the ageing punk character Blank Reg in “Max Headroom” – “Remember we said ‘no future’? Well, this is it…”)

Inhuman Aesthetics

Hubertus Bigend would love this.

If we ignore the role of luck, making money by trading stocks and shares requires that you have good information and that you act on it quickly. Stock market trades are exploits, the use of secret information to gain advantage in a system. Human beings cannot act faster than computers, and in particular human beings cannot act faster than clusters of very fast computers located as close as physically possible to the stock exchange and programmed in functional languages using highly tuned algorithms.

But when the “information” that a “market” represents is simply the information in the computer systems that make up its trading systems, markets cease to even pretend to be representations of value and become pure attack vectors.

Deep in the consensual haullucination of the stocks and shares market lurk daemons. The effects of these inhuman agencies produces inhuman artefacts with inhuman aesthetics possessing the naive and threatening charm of Cold War audio synthesizers. Sawtooth waves, square waves, knives. It’s like someone’s plugged a Moog
or a Korg into the stock market and then hacked it for MIDI. This isn’t the music of the spheres, it’s the sound of value being sucked out of society’s marrow by machines. But the machines are just a means to an end. They are not what is truly inhuman here.

Quantitative Aesthetics

Seeing colours with an iPhone app:

The quantitative aesthetics of an online t-shirt seller:

Illustration Art on quantitative aesthetics:

An objectively beautiful (sic) face identification grid, from the above article:


Quantitative Aesthetics: the most popular colours in the web’s brand logos.

I have just created a google group about hierohacking: the goal of
this group will be to discuss applied neurotheology, see how we can
“hack the sacred”, use intelligently and rationally religious thinking
and practices for personal purposes; discussion will be of course about
various ASC (altered states of consciousness), technologies, BCI, etc.
But also about the creation of symbolic architectures and mythologies.

Crowdsourced literature: Amazon Mechanical Turk workers asked to write a Proust blog.

15th Anniversary “Hackers” Party – Celebrating the 1995 film about hacking that’s so bad, hackers love it.

New Music

Zola Jesus – Stridulum 2

Cathedralic, filmic, operatic synth-backed (not in the cliched 80s revival sense, but in a more interesting unusual noise sense) modern goth. Already transcending the genre, and in doing so moving it on. There are no such thing as goth bands, only goth fans.

Pretentious, Moi? – Pretentious, Moi?

Pastiche eclipses parody in this enjoyably over-ripe meditation on 90s goth. A guilty pleasure, not to be listened to unironically.

Underworld – Barking

Underworld cash in dance music’s debt to them, helped by a variety of guest producers, with their best new album in ages. Just ignore the godawful last track.

Factory Floor – A Wooden Box/Lying

Like Zola Jesus Factory Floor have both a strong music-historical literacy and a desire to break out of that cage through experimentation. There’s no point in repeating cultural experiments, even when that experiment is “Floorshow”, but again there’s great promise and immediate rewards here.

Ulterior – Kempers Heads

Drum-machine backed rock that’s aware it’s 30 years since the first Dr. Rhythm and that you really need to sound like you’re on a stage rather than in a bedroom. Psychedelic in its hypnotic, driving beats and rhythms. Goes great back to back with Factory Floor (and vice versa).

Interpol – Interpol

Do you remember Interpol? Interpol do, and they sound just like them here. It’s the sound of the end of something, but no less enjoyable for it.

The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing – Now That’s What I Call Steampunk Volume 1

Steam? Check. Punk? Check. A comic but nonetheless critical take on applying class consciousness to victorian science fiction. They lose one punk point for being able to play their instruments and gain one steam point for the first wax cylinder release of popular music in a century.

This Is It – Work In Progress

This Is It 1“This Is It” is currently at the five-finger-excercise stage. 

This Is It 2

These forms will lead to forms that do what I want, and then I will be able to work out what it was that I wanted to do. 😉

This Is It 3