SLAM Productions featured in The New York City Jazz Record

SLAM Productions featured in The New York City Jazz Record, 08-2012. Copyright 2012 The New York City Jazz Record.

© 2012 The New York City Jazz Record (click to view PDF…)

This month, The New York City Jazz Record puts a spotlight on the record label SLAM Productions. [NYC Jazz Record (PDF)…] [More…]

If the musical automaton io 0.0.1 beta++ could feel gratitude, or express thanks, I imagine it would warmly thank George Haslam and his label for taking a gamble on a recording of real-time interactions between human and machine musicians, and including it in the SLAM catalog. Whether io could do, or feel, any of those things, George has my sincerest thanks for all his support over the years!

Available from SLAM Productions

‘io 0.0.1 beta++ (SLAMCD 531) CD cover (copyright 2011, Han-earl Park)

‘io 0.0.1 beta++’ (SLAMCD 531) is available from SLAM Productions. [Details…]

personnel: io 0.0.1 beta++ (itself), Han-earl Park (guitar), Bruce Coates (alto and sopranino saxophones) and Franziska Schroeder (soprano saxophone).

© 2011 Han-earl Park.
℗ 2011 SLAM Productions.

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Han-earl Park and Franziska Schroeder (Cork, 03–26–09)

Nothing directly to do with io 0.0.1 beta++ specifically (nor machine improvisation generally), however, this does feature the constructor and the on-stage colleague of io, and was recorded around the time of the Mach 26, 2009 development and testing process of the musical automaton.

artwork for Han-earl Park and Franziska Schroeder: Park-Schroeder (Cork, 03-26-09)
The complete recording of the March 26, 2009 performance by saxophonist, performer and theorist Franziska Schroeder and guitarist, improviser and constructor Han-earl Park, now with liner notes by Áine Sheil, is now available for download via Bandcamp. [More…]

Originally released in September 2010, the recording was the first in a series of download releases hosted at This bandcamp-hosted edition adds liner notes by Áine Sheil, and the option to download the recording in multiple formats including lossless.

Unlike some of the past download releases from, this one, like Sikora-Smith-Park (Cork, 04–04–11), is hosted at Bandcamp, and available as a ‘name your price’ album. You can still download the recording for free (name $0 as your price) with certain restrictions, but your generosity will help support the performers and their work.

[More about this recording…]

Also by Han-earl Park and Franziska Schroeder

‘io 0.0.1 beta++ (SLAMCD 531) CD cover (copyright 2011, Han-earl Park)

‘io 0.0.1 beta++’ (SLAMCD 531) is available from SLAM Productions. [Details…]

personnel: io 0.0.1 beta++ (itself), Han-earl Park (guitar), Bruce Coates (alto and sopranino saxophones) and Franziska Schroeder (soprano saxophone).

© 2011 Han-earl Park.
℗ 2011 SLAM Productions.


09–24–12: correct error in dates in artwork and Bandcamp album data.

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Annea Lockwood: gritty complexity

I met Annea Lockwood at The Roulette in February which saw the performance of In Our Name. I had the pleasure of talking to her about technological transpositions and the secret lives of everyday (and not so everyday) artifacts. A few days later I posted her a copy of ‘io 0.0.1 beta++’ (SLAMCD 531). A few days ago I got a message from Annea:

This is fascinating and I hope to have a chance to hear and see you and io live. The interaction between io and the three other players is really supple, especially evident in track 4 [Discovery: Intermodulation], and I like very much the gritty complexity of io’s vocabulary, and the fine sense of shaping, timbrally and in terms of gesture, plus the contrast between its timbral character and that of the two saxs and your guitar.

It’s a true honor to have the feedback from a composer with such imagination and skill, and a veteran of exploring biological, technological and social relations. Thanks, Annea!

[More info on the recording…] [All reviews…]

‘io 0.0.1 beta++ (SLAMCD 531) CD cover (copyright 2011, Han-earl Park)

‘io 0.0.1 beta++’ (SLAMCD 531) is available from SLAM Productions. [Details…]

personnel: io 0.0.1 beta++ (itself), Han-earl Park (guitar), Bruce Coates (alto and sopranino saxophones) and Franziska Schroeder (soprano saxophone).

© 2011 Han-earl Park.
℗ 2011 SLAM Productions.

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geologic map of Io

Geologic map of Io: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3168

Credit: U.S. Geological Survey. Department of the Interior/USGS. Williams, D.A., Keszthelyi, L.P., Crown, D.A., Yff, J.A., Jaeger, W.L., Schenk, P.M., Geissler, P.E., and Becker, T.L., 2011, Geologic map of Io: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3168, scale 1:15,000,000, 25 p., available at

[Via io9…]

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seeking performances (Europe, 2013)

io 0.0.1 beta++, Bruce Coates and Franziska Schroeder, Blackrock Castle Observatory, 05-26-2010 (photo copyright 2010, Stephanie Hough)

io 0.0.1 beta++, Bruce Coates and Franziska Schroeder (Blackrock Castle Observatory, Cork, May 26, 2010). Photo © 2010 Stephanie Hough.

Seeking performance opportunities; particularly in Europe 2014: the cyborg ensemble of interactive, semi-autonomous, technological artifact and machine musician and improviser io 0.0.1 beta++ with human musicians Han-earl Park, Bruce Coates and Franziska Schroeder.

See performance proposal for further information (availability, technical requirements, performers’ biographies, etc.).


This quartet (or faux-quartet, if you prefer) performs demanding free improvisation calling on a range of extended techniques. Pieces of dismantled gestures, destabilizing timbres, and impressive synergy.

François Couture (Monsieur Délire)

An idea that would be pleasing to the Futurists of a century ago, a total hymn to modernity…. The completely improvised session requires a lot of attention from the listener, to be fully repaid by that which is a successful experiment.

Vittorio (MusicZoom)

We watch and listen carefully because we know we’re seeing a kind of manifesto in action. What is an automaton? A sketch, a material characterization of the ideas the inventor and the inventor’s culture have about some aspect of life, and how it could be. io and its kind are alternate beings born of ideas, decisions and choices. It is because io stands alone, an automaton, that the performance recorded on this CD not only is music, but is about music.

Sara Roberts (from the liner notes to SLAMCD 531)

An extraordinary meeting between human and machine improvisers. Featuring the machine musician io 0.0.1 beta++ with guitarist Han-earl Park and saxophonists Bruce Coates and Franziska Schroeder, the performance is part critique and part playful exploration, both a boundary-breaking demonstration of socio-musical technologies and an ironic sci-fi parody.

Constructed by Han-earl Park, io 0.0.1 beta++ is a modern-day musical automaton. It is not an instrument to be played but a non-human artificial musician that performs alongside its human counterparts. io 0.0.1 beta++ representing a personal-political investigation of technology, interaction, improvisation and musicality. It whimsically evokes a 1950s B-movie robot—seemingly jerry-rigged, constructed from ad-hoc components including plumbing, kitchenware, speakers and missile switches—celebrating the material and corporeal.

The performances with this artificial musician highlights society’s entanglement with technology, demonstrates alternative modes of interfacing the musical and the technological, and illuminates the creative and improvisative processes in music. The performance is a radical and playful engagement with powerful and problematic dreams (and nightmares) of the artificial; a dream as old as the anthropology of robots.

The construction of io 0.0.1 beta++ has been made possible by the generous support of the Arts Council of Ireland.

The CD ‘io 0.0.1 beta++’ (SLAMCD 531) was released by SLAM Productions in August 2011.

further information

* Additional audio recordings and documentation available on request.

[Full performance proposal…]


11–08–12: change of availability from 2013 to 2014. [More info…]

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(musical) time and machine musicianship (part 0.1)

HZ: ‘simple-pattern’ (click to hear…)

HZ: ‘simple-pattern’ (click to hear…)

[Continued from part 0…]

Talking to Melanie L. Marshall after she read the previous post on musical time clarified some matters that were left unstated.

The issue is not so much that a musicality built up from a simple ‘beat detection’ is not possible (such notions of musicality surround us in our music schools, in our writing about music, and, unsurprisingly, in our art-science research). The issue is the implications of seeking and defining, in research, such a trait; valuing such a musicality; and, by extension, practicing such a music.

As argued by Suzanne Cusick, George E. Lewis, Christopher Small and others, musical practice constitutes a political schema—music performs society. The command-control model embedded in a musicality built upon ‘beat detection’ has profound consequences for constructing alternative politics.

As improvisers we desire to step off the simple line that posits anarchy at one end and control at the other—a line that is as familiar as the Cagian denial of agency and the heroic single author.

As creative musicians we struggle to perform freedom—not the ‘freedom’ of Ron Paul’s privileged idiots, but the freedom of Civil Rights, freedom of anti-colonialism, freedom of feminism, freedom of queer politics. The ‘free’ in (so-called) jazz.

We know rhythm is a site of interdependence, but we also know that it is shaped by the agency of all; it is compromise, yes, it is negotiation, yes, it is collective, yes, but it is also play, and it is mutation, and it also holds the potential for revolution.

[Continued in part 0.2…]

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site redesign 02-27-12 screen shot

I’ve made some changes The previous design dates back to March 2010 (one that was launched in anticipation to the performance at Blackrock Castle Observatory), and was the basis of the recent update to The new design incorporates some of the changes made for, reusing much of the same code, adds a new banner image of io 0.0.1 beta++ with Franziska Schroeder, and, I hope, makes steps to address some of the readability issues, particularly on LCD displays. I expect the usual bugs and inter-browser problems. I welcome comments and error reports: contact me or leave a message below.

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(musical) time and machine musicianship (part 0)

HZ: ‘wind-chimes’ (click to hear…)

HZ: ‘wind-chimes’ (click to hear…)

Melanie L. Marshall, in asking questions about musicality, takes a Foucauldian track and asks about musicality’s opposite, and in doing so, discusses and critiques some modern attempts at drawing a boundary between the musical and the unmusical. Melanie pulls up research by Henkjan Honing as an interesting, if problematic, example of such an attempt at drawing the boundary. Honing sketches out some provocative research as part of his TEDxAmsterdam talk. Honing suggests that we have inbuilt, hard-wired musical abilities.

Leaving aside, for the moment, the issues of whether we (scientists, researchers) have access to these pre-cultural, intrinsic abilities (as Bruno Latour might point out, we, at best, have access only to mediation—graphs, charts, sensor data, etc.), and whether our cultural tools, technology and language might make us observe phenomena in specifically cultural ways (can Honing’s ‘beat’ be defined para-culturally?), I think there’s a secondary problem: is ‘beat detection,’ however defined, an intrinsically musical ability? or, put it another way, what kind of ‘beat detection’ might be musical, and does it resemble, or require, the infant ‘beat detection’ as studied by Honing?

A couple of (personal) experiences lead me to be skeptical of the proposition that such simple ‘beat detection’ might be foundational to practical musicality in general, and to latter-day improvised musics in particular.

  • A big part of teaching real-time interactive performance or group improvisation, I found, was getting students not to lockstep; for them to ‘hold their ground,’ to ‘find their own rhythm,’ to express, embody and perform autonomy. (Once we can do that, lock-stepping becomes a choice, but that’s a story for another time…)
  • In group improvisation, input parsing is not an unambiguous matter. There isn’t one correct answer to, say, where the beat is. Furthermore, creative (mis)understandings may be a significant component of the generative engine in improvisation. (I’ll return to the subject of ambiguity in stimulus-response in the context of machine improvisation in a future post.)
  • I’ve been fascinated by creative improvising drummers’ ability to simultaneously generate multiple senses of time (e.g. Oxley, Sanders), to switch and morph between multiple pulses (e.g. Cyrille, Hayward), or blur the boundary between in and out of time (e.g. Black). Inspired, I found a way to do this on guitar by delegating timekeeping to my limbs, joints, digits—to my body and its interaction with the instrument. Charles Hayward talked about drumming as an interaction between physiology and physics. Might the cognitive dimension of Honing’s ‘beat’ be peripheral, perhaps irrelevant, to this cyborgian practice of musicking?

It seems to me that the assumed importance of beat detection as a marker of musicality is itself a form of, in the Foucauldian sense, regulation. Perhaps the assumption of a foundational importance to musicality of a simple ‘beat detection’ stems from subscribing to a command-control model of musicality. In this model the mind is the central hub of the musical. In this model, rhythm is constant, inherited, external and which must be followed. This model, in turn, arises from certain, widely held to be sure, cultural assumptions about desirable and ‘natural’ social and political interactions. What do these assumptions blind us from?

[Continued in part 0.1…]

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Jazz Convention: l’avanguardia è tornata

“The avant-garde is back,” according to Romualdo Del Noce at Jazz Convention. In his review of ‘io 0.0.1 beta++’ (SLAMCD 531), Han-earl Park improvises a “rugged plateau” and “hyperacid notes”, Franziska Schroeder enriches “the other half of the sax… with a naked and experimental voice, together in harmony and dissonance with parallel and converging streams of the thoroughbred free-player Bruce Coates”, and the “charmingly imperfect interplay” between human and machine musicians becomes a drama of the ‘human,’ the ‘other,’ and of cyborgs.

Progetto rumoristico, destrutturato, ad elevato tasso di provocazione e insieme di ispirazione ed ascolto “altri”, io 0.0.1 beta ++ salta il preambolo ed esiste d’emblée nelle iperacide note della distorta chitarra di Han-Earl Park che di getto aprono le lievitanti turbolenze di un trio minacciosamente sensibile (o viceversa) e forte, peraltro, di una piuttosto enfatica auto-presentazione “Sul palco: due uomini, una donna e un artefatto, un mélange sospeso di hardware industriale, militare e domestico. Gli umani reggono oggetti lucidi e graziosi, ma il marchingegno si regge solitario; e mentre la donna e gli uomini producono suono (vibrando l’aria) toccando e diteggiando i graziosi oggetti, l’artefatto suona senza esser toccato affatto. Esso e gli umani improvvisano insieme, rispondendo alle reciproche gestualità musicali”.

Le corde tese di Park imbastiscono un plateau scabro ma di lungo e persistente respiro, vivente nelle articolazioni e nella tessitura della sua fisica elettroacustica; mentre sul versante “meccanico” dell’instrumentarium i modi performanti di Franziska Schroeder arricchiscono l’altra metà del sax (a fianco delle Matana Roberts, Alexandra Grimal, Ingrid Laubrock etc.) di una voce sperimentante e nuda, in sintonia e insieme dissonanza con i flussi paralleli e convergenti del free-player purosangue Bruce Coates, e il tutto si dipana entro uno svolgimento a canovaccio libero e istantaneo, lungo il suo deviante svolgimento interrogandosi (senza eccessivo paradosso) se l’autentica “alienità” sia rispettivamente appannaggio della cosa o, piuttosto e viceversa, dell’ “umano”.

E ancora così prosegue la sofisticata presentazione (peraltro abbastanza sinergica agli intendimenti dei tre): “io non ha inclinazione melodica e non ha addestramento narrativo per prevalere: vi è, però, un definito sentimento di connessione in ciò che Park chiama: gestualità non-periodiche, che nondimeno evocano periodicità”.

Ennesimo esempio di post-avanguardia “desiderante” (com’era in voga insinuare nell’era della sperimentazione più politicizzata—almeno negli intenti), io 0.0.1 beta ++ vive di ascolto trasmissivo e di performance aperta, che si abbevera nell’istantaneità, e nell’interplay sdogana il segno ed il polso strutturante dell’aleatorietà.

Insomma, l’avanguardia è tornata: non che fosse mai stata davvero latitante, ma gli interrogativi sonori, lacerati e critici, del trio pongono come oggetto radicale la disumanizzazione progressiva e le implicazioni del sempre più preponderante avvento della macchina, forse retrodatando le intenzioni alle prime decadi del secolo scorso e alle relative allarmistiche dottrine, ma riprendendole lungo le forme acutamente nervose e l’attenzione creativa dei medianici e cyborghiani performers e del loro interplay attrattivamente imperfetto. [Original article…]

Translation by Leofranc Holford-Strevens and Melanie L. Marshall:

A noisy, unstructured project, with a high level of provocation and at the same time of inspiration and listening to ‘other’, io 0.0.1 beta ++ skips the preamble and inhabits straightaway in the hyperacid notes of Han-Earl Park’s distorted guitar, which on one go open the fermenting turbulence of a menacingly perceptible trio (or vice versa), yet strong in a rather emphatic self-presentation: “On the stage: two men, a woman, and an artifact, a freestanding mélange of industrial, military, and domestic hardware. The humans hold graceful, polished objects, but the domed assemblage stands alone. And while the woman and men make sound (vibrate the air) holding and fingering the graceful objects, the artifact makes sounds without being touched at all. io and the humans improvise together, listening to each other, responding to each other’s musical gestures.”

The tight strings of Park improvise a rugged plateau but of long-term and lasting, living in the articulation and in the range of his electroacoustic physics, while on the ‘mechanical’ side of the instrumentarium the performing styles of Franziska Schroeder enrich the other half of the sax (alongside Matana Roberts, Alexandra Grimal, Ingrid Laubrock etc.) with a naked and experimental voice, together in harmony and dissonance with parallel and converging streams of the thoroughbred free-player Bruce Coates, and everything unfolds within a free and instantaneous improvisation, throughout its deviant development inquiring (without excessive paradox) whether authentic ‘otherness’ is the prerogative of the matter or, rather and viceversa of, the ‘human’.

And so the sophisticated presentation continues (quite synergistic with the intentions of the three): “io is not melodically inclined and has no narrative training to overcome; there is, though, a definite feeling of connection, in what Park calls ‘non-periodic gestures that nonetheless evoke periodicity.’”

Yet another example of ‘desiring’ post-avant-garde (as it was fashionable to suggest in the era of more politicized experimentation—at least intended as such), io 0.0.1 beta++ experiences a transmissive listening and open performance, which drinks in instantaneity and in the interplay displays the sign and the structuring pulse of the aleatory.

In short, the avant-garde is back: not that it ever really went away, but the questioning sounds, mangled and critical, of the trio set out as a radical object progressive dehumanization and the implications of the ever more dominant advent of the machine, perhaps backdating its intentions to the first decades of the last century and its alarmist theories, but taking them up through the acutely nervous forms and creative attention of medium-like and cyborgian performers and their charmingly imperfect interplay.

Incidentally, this review quotes from Sara Robertsliner notes.

[More info on the recording…] [All reviews…]

‘io 0.0.1 beta++ (SLAMCD 531) CD cover (copyright 2011, Han-earl Park)

‘io 0.0.1 beta++’ (SLAMCD 531) is available from SLAM Productions. [Details…]

personnel: io 0.0.1 beta++ (itself), Han-earl Park (guitar), Bruce Coates (alto and sopranino saxophones) and Franziska Schroeder (soprano saxophone).

© 2011 Han-earl Park.
℗ 2011 SLAM Productions.

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JazzWord: AI in an improv session

This one’s really interesting. Perhaps not the warmest review (in comparison to, say, those at MusicZoom, CloudsandClocks or Monsieur Délire), maybe not the fairest, but Ken Waxman’s take on ‘io 0.0.1 beta++’ (SLAMCD 531) at JazzWord, in which the machine improviser is “unobtrusive and egoless” and “thoughtful pauses” signpost the authentic human, I think is a reaction to some of the anxieties and unanswered questions (though, obliquely asked via the io enterprise) of the artificial. I’m also intrigued by the threat of replacement (“robotic players won’t be taking all the musicians’ jobs any time soon”) that informs this and other reviews. I plan to respond to these (thus warranting an extra entry in the ‘theory’ category), but in the meantime, here’s Waxman’s critique:

With improvisations matching traditional instruments with electronic manipulations now commonplace, Cork-based guitarist Han-earl Park personifying Dr. Frankenstein, has created a non-human artificial musician from ad-hoc components including speakers, kitchenware and missile switches. This CD is a literal record of how the non-human, prosaically named io 0. 0. 1 beta++, sounds in concert with flesh-and-blood counterparts….

For a start, Park, who regularly plays with trumpeter Ian Smith and drummer Charles Hayward; alto and sopranino saxophonist Bruce Coates, co-founder of the Birmingham Improvisers Orchestra; and soprano saxophonist Franziska Schroeder, a lecturer at Belfast’s School of Music and Sonic Arts, all have long histories of working with advanced, experimental musicians. These include live-electronics stylist Richard Barrett and accordionist Pauline Oliveros. Moreover io 0. 0. 1 beta++ is unobtrusive and egoless enough—no surprise—to warble its staccato particle contributions without trying to engulf or show up the humans. Its contributions are unique enough on their own.

For instance on the initial ‘Pioneer: Variance’ and ‘Pioneer: Dance’ contrasting alto and soprano saxophone trills and squeaks are put into bolder relief as the otherworldly flutters, oscillated tones and flanged rotations of the machine are kept in a straight line by Park’s legato picking. The thoughtful pauses audible in the guitar playing confirms Park’s human-ness, especially when compared to the grainy whistles and juddering vibrations that arise from io 0. 0. 1 beta++. Additionally, while the machine’s gradually swelling splutters and harsh quivers demonstrate broken octave counterpoint to the saxophonists’ multiphonic oscillations, its hissing abrasions retreat into the background as Park’s spidery licks become more rhythmic.

Nonetheless the machine further demonstrates its versatility on the 59-second ‘4G’, with metallic muted trombone-like snores and even raises the question as to whether io 0. 0. 1 beta++ or extended saxophone techniques are creating the air pops and abrasive tongue flutters on subsequent tracks. In the main crackling reductionist resonations are attributed to its properties, while any legato or lyrical intermezzos are, more likely than not, propelled from the instruments and imaginations of full-fledged Homo sapiens.

Succinctly as the three demonstrate on ‘Return Trajectory’, during which io 0. 0. 1 beta++ appears to have taken five, an additional voice—human or otherwise—is necessary to create a pleasing sound picture. The guitarist’s connective down strokes plus the swelling layers of contrapuntal reed timbres are distinctive and solipsistic enough on their own.

Notable in demonstrating what artificial intelligent can contribute to an improv session, this CD also confirms that the very artificiality of AI confirms that robotic players won’t be taking all the musicians’ jobs any time soon. [Read the rest…]

[More info on the recording…] [All reviews…]

‘io 0.0.1 beta++ (SLAMCD 531) CD cover (copyright 2011, Han-earl Park)

‘io 0.0.1 beta++’ (SLAMCD 531) is available from SLAM Productions. [Details…]

personnel: io 0.0.1 beta++ (itself), Han-earl Park (guitar), Bruce Coates (alto and sopranino saxophones) and Franziska Schroeder (soprano saxophone).

© 2011 Han-earl Park.
℗ 2011 SLAM Productions.

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Beyond Planet Earth Tweetup: dreams of the future

Some thoughts and questions from the Scientific American / American Museum of Natural History Beyond Planet Earth Tweetup on January 18, 2012.

Planetariums are cathedrals

Hayden Planetarium
I’m moved by the planetarium: I travel to the stars I cannot see, struggle with the scale of what I cannot fathom. Modern planetariums demonstrate the grandeur of God’s creation, but in a secular scientific context. They bring the distant close; make visible the imperceptible; make manifest the abstract.

They are also, like the panoramas of old, playgrounds made of technics.

Visualizing the artificial and the far away

Curiosity Rover
A favorite moment: our tour-guide and pilot of the planetarium refers to the image of the Earth suspended in the dome as a ‘data set.’ Isn’t the discipline of data visualization one of the most impressive of recent human enterprises? It changes everything—science, politics, culture. It affects the way we study and think about music. It affects how we make decisions about war.

I imagine that Bruno Latour’s Janus would point out that data visualization is technoscientific rhetoric. I imagine that Donna J. Harraway’s cyborg would remind us that (imperfect) high-resolution imaging lubricates the military-industrial complex.

Are we still Victorians?

American Museum of Natural History
The forgery is as old as the dream of the artificial and the simulated. In the museum, surrounded by simulated environments of reptiles and amphibians, I’m again reminded of the panoramas and dioramas (also technologies for bringing the distant close) of old colonial exhibitions. In the bad old days, scientists didn’t exist as a discreet class or occupation; science was a hobby of the economically comfortable. And here we are, glasses of wine in hand, costumed in geek wear.

Is culture more durable than technoscience?

Woman in Mars
Fritz Lang’s (blond) Woman in the Moon reappears eighty years later as a (blond) Woman in Mars.

Even as our scientific understanding of the universe changes—demonstrating admirable and jaw-dropping mutability—does our culture stubbornly lag behind? I ask this as, although theories of the origin of the universe, the nature of intelligence, or the treatment of disease has changed radically in my lifetime (sometimes between issues of my favorite science magazine), our dreams are not keeping-up. Can we not apply this mutability to our culture? or are our cultural imaginations still those of cave men (that we recognize in the male, square-jawed astro-hero of George Pal’s films).

How does our culture shape our view of Out There?

Virgin Galactic
Does George Pal’s free-market enterprise of Destination Moon inform Richard Branson’s dream? Does that pulp/Hollywood context make Virgin Galactic culturally intelligible? Traveling Out There stands-in for dreams of expansion. We are still territorial animals reaching for higher ground.

Is Out There Frontier Myth one of White Flight?

mission to mars
George Pal replayed the Pioneer myth; transposing Out West and Back Then to Out There and Way Out When. Sometimes the dreams of the future, however apocalyptic, played out fantasies of racial purging—let’s dream of starting again without the impurities of the Right Here and Right Now. For all the secular humanist transcendence and technology (and war machines) as poetry, Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke couldn’t help but portray a future as white as the space station interior. Lightness—a glow that eventually engulfing the innocent, pure, embryonic übermensch—contrasting with the unknowable, perfect, inscrutability of the monolith, the blackness of space, and the darkness of our fur-covered savage ancestors.

Twitter transcript: @hanearlpark+#amnhsciam

modern planetariums are like old cathedrals: demonstrate the grandeur of god’s creation… but w/in a secular scientific context #amnhsciam

Thanks to @amnh and @sciam for an eye opening, questions raising event (and food for a future article or two). #amnhsciam

final one for Charles Ives fans #amnhsciam #charlesives

how much do our enterprises—scientific, curatorial, social—owe to older dreams of imperialism and empire? #amnhsciam

inexplicable need to hear a maniacle laugh 😉 #amnhsciam

blond woman on mars? are we still in Fritz Lang’s pre-WW II dream? #retrofuture #amnhsciam

artful robotics for fans of io 0.0.1 beta++ #amnhsciam #robotics #automata

so what is the gender/race make up of a mission to mars? #wearestillchildrenofgeorgepal #amnhsciam

overheard: “I want to blow something up!” #michaelbayhasalottoanswerfor

public service announcement to fans of Mathilde 253 #amnhsciam #charleshayward #iansmith

snapshot #theselfreflexivetweetup #amnhsciam

update on uniform at tweetup. women wear cardigans, men wear beards 😉 #amateuranthropology #amnhsciam

is this just a rerun of George Pal’s capitalist imperialism in space? #amnhsciam #capitalism #wevebeenherebefore

iPhone camera, meet Hubble CCD; Hubble, meet iPhone. #cyborgencounters #amnhsciam

you really were flying in a tin can #davidbowie #astronautics #amnhsciam

you really were flying in a tin can #davidbowie #amnhsciam #astronautics

you guys have got to come down. Iggy Pop doing a presentation! #notreally #amnhsciam

“the universe is a much more interconnected thing” #thingsscientistssay #amnhsciam

musicologists need to say things like “if a bacterium ate Manhattan” to get the public excited 😉 @drmelmarshall #musicology #amnhsciam

possible reaction to goat’s cheese? #amphibian #cheese #amnhsciam #blugh

favorite use of language: (image of) earth referred to as a data set. #language #dreamsoftheartificial #simulacrum #amnhsciam

in among exotic animals, post planetarium, I am reminded of old panoramas and colonial exhibitions. we are still Victorians… #amnhsciam

science as a bourgeois pastime? in many ways we are still Victorians. #wineandcheese #amnhsciam

what’s the opposite of emergent behavior? combine free food with circular tables 😉 #emergence #amnhsciam

Lunar flyby. #socool #amnhsciam

those same astronaut archetypes #amnhsciam

Dark Star. Carpenter’s vietnam era social satire. Our propensity for mindless violence transposed into space. #retrofuture #amnhsciam

HAL 9000 cultural shaper our expectations of machine intelligence #amnhsciam #retrofuture #AI

thus far, space travel is reserved for white folk #amnhsciam #retrofuture #scifi #race

all hail Doug Trumbull! #amnhsciam #retrofuture

when worlds collide: revisiting my childhood 😉 #amnhsciam #retrofuture

do we still expect our astronauts to be square jawed heros, good hearted comic sidekicks, or elderly scientists? #amnhsciam #archetypes

In so many ways Fritz Lang was the Michael Bay his time 😉 #amnhsciam #retrofuture

echoes of George Pal’s irony-free, free-market rhetoric in Richard Branson’s enterprise? #amnhsciam #culturalcapitalism #retrofuure

where’s Steve Mirsky? #amnhsciam

amphibians are beyond beyond planet earth #amnhsciam #itmakessensereally

exit under a artificial blue sky #amnhsciam #dreamsoftheartificial #simulacrum #panorama

smart casual? metrosexual? slackerwear? Informal initial survey of the (male) dress code at #amnhsciam. #amateuranthropology

sitting in the planetarium within a sea of glowing smart phones. #amnhsciam #dailydada

participating in the @sciam @AMNH tweetup at 6pm EST today. #planetology #space #robotics

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Beyond Planet Earth Tweetup

NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory: Curiosity’s sky crane maneuver (image copyright 2011 NASA/JPL-Caltech)

image © 2011 NASA/JPL-Caltech

Nothing directly to do with io 0.0.1 beta++, but I will be participating in the Scientific American / American Museum of Natural History Beyond Planet Earth Tweetup on January 18, 2012, starting at 6:00 pm (EST). [More info…]

What does this, however indirectly, have to do with improvisation, semi-autonomous machine musicians, and real-time interactive musical automata? The answer lies between one of the most artful robotics projects, and the relationship between io’s generative innards and the harmony of the planets….

Here are the relevant twitter handles: @hanearlpark, @AMNH and @SciAm.

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