Lovely technology

In technology’s steady march onward, older ways of doing things are abandoned, lost, left for dead on the side of progress’s highway. Yesterday’s tech is sneered at, put down, and said to be good for nothin’. The new tech is better, faster, slicker — and certainly cheaper, from a manufacturing point of view, being less expensive in time, materials, or energy.

Kent’s LA2 compressor

But the gleaners eventually come. The scrapheaps are discovered, evaluated, stripped, sorted. Dead-ends and really cheap crap is tossed. Elders are consulted in how this stuff used to work. And the technology is brought back to life in new ways, with new eyes, and with vision more often backed by art than commerce.

Deconstruct consumerism. Question the traditional modes.

Rob’s typographical sequencer controller

Recontextualize the devices.

Brian’s GainClone amplifier

Today’s technology tends toward the invisible. How small and compact can we make it? How can we remove the spiderweb of cabling? We want transparency; the device is only a player of content. But there is texture we have lost, and that is being rediscovered.

Jörgen’s homebuilt synthesizer modules

Something magical happens when technology is appropriated in such a way as to become art in itself.

Peter’s Minimal Sound Sculpture

Published in: on 11 February 2007 at 12:22 pm  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. John, this is really beautiful and inspirational! It reminds me also of the idea of stewardship; in our haste to move on to newer, bigger, and better, we forget to take care of the current, the existing, the now. So we end up just dumping them — both physically, just cluttering up landfills — and emotionally, by ignoring the value they might bring into our lives.

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