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N.A.G. – Postmodernism Marches On

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This is amusing:

    This mangled medley was not remixed by a mischievous D.J. Instead, the mismatched music was generated by new software. N.A.G., as the interactive program is called, works like a cross between Google, the Morpheus music file-sharing network and a Cuisinart kitchen appliance.

    ….N.A.G. was created by Jason Freeman, a 25-year-old New York composer and media artist, who put the program online last week. It can be downloaded from Turbulence.org, the Internet-art site of New Radio and Performing Arts, a new-media arts organization that commissioned the work.

    ….Mr. Freeman said he became intrigued by the file-sharing networks once he began to appreciate the vast music library they contained. But the notion of simply downloading songs bored him, he said, so he decided to develop a tool that would roam the networks, using them not so much to steal music as to render something new.

    ….Debra Singer, associate curator of contemporary art at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, said Mr. Freeman’s software turned anyone into a sample-crazed D.J. “The spirit of it is a sort of subversive populism,” she said.

    Ms. Singer said many practitioners of sound art constructed layers of sampled sounds to create a desired effect. With N.A.G., she said, chance combinations play a greater role. In fact, N.A.G. was partly inspired by John Cage’s chance-driven composition “Imaginary Landscape No. 4.” In that 1951 work for 12 radios, performers would change the stations and adjust volume, not knowing what might be on the air. [NY Times]

Shake it up.

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