10,000 Year Clock

10,000 clock concept by Eddie Sottto
10,000 Year Clock concept by Eddie Sottto

We are huge fans of The Long Now foundation‘s 10,000 Year Clock. The Long Now Foundation as an organization “hopes to provide a counterpoint to today’s accelerating culture and help make long-term thinking more common.” This is the idea behind the 10,000 Year Clock, as it will keep time for 10,000 years and therefor provide some girth (time and place) for the concept of long-term thinking. Naturally, it’s taking a really long time to build it (the project started in 1989). Those of us who are interested in long-term thinking really enjoy the process and gradual unfolding of the endeavor – watching its measured, smart and steady progress.

The project began with an observation and idea by computer scientist Daniel Hillis :

“When I was a child, people used to talk about what would happen by the year 02000. For the next thirty years they kept talking about what would happen by the year 02000, and now no one mentions a future date at all. The future has been shrinking by one year per year for my entire life. I think it is time for us to start a long-term project that gets people thinking past the mental barrier of an ever-shortening future. I would like to propose a large (think Stonehenge) mechanical clock, powered by seasonal temperature changes. It ticks once a year, bongs once a century, and the cuckoo comes out every millennium.”

Here’s a recent update:

Clock One – Raise Bore from The Long Now Foundation on Vimeo.

More information is available here: 10000yearclock.net

The Long Now Foundation also hosts a very thought provoking seminar series in San Francisco. If you become a member, you get access to live  audio broadcasts, no matter where you are.  We are members of The Long Now and encourage you to join to! The more of us exploring long-term thinking, the better.

*All quotations in this post were taken from longnow.org

Explore the Possibilities of Exhibiting and Reading Radio and Sound art

This is really interesting and much needed exploration of sound art and sound art exhibition. The exhibition description says it explores “all” the possible ways of exhibiting and reading sound art – quite the overstatement!  I think there will always be new ways to exhibit and understand sound art. In any case, great to see people out there ready to take the journey.

Radio Arts Space FM / online / gallery exhibition / sound arts
Radio Arts Space FM / online / gallery exhibition

The exhibition Radio Arts Space constructs a gallery inside radio space, where Sound art and Radio art works are exhibited. It explores (many possible ways) of exhibiting and reading Radio and Sound art. The project is also complemented by an (international) platform for the discussion of meanings, contextualization, artistic research and the exchange of sound art works.

radioCona, produced by CONA, launched in 2008, is a platform that uses the radio frequency space in art contexts. FM frequency is understood as public space, explored from different perspectives and mediated through artworks audiobooks, programming and exhibitions. radioCona is intervention into public space.

Name that Ringtone!

Our “Name that Ringtone” contest is on its way. We did a test over at our facebook page and the response was exciting – Lots of creative people joined in and gave a handful of ringtones some really creative names.

While the social media test was recent, this  project actually started in 2007 right before I left to attend grad school at the San Francisco Art Institute. This is when these first batches of ringtones were made. The problem then was that cell phone technology wasn’t so great, and companies like Verizon were even disabling features on Motorola phones that would allow the easy addition of custom ringtones. I also ran into problems getting a Motorola phone to work with my Mac computer. So, in summary there were a lot of conflicts and challenges back then.

Well, I don’t have to tell you how things have changed now that the iPhone is universally adored.  It is now much easier to get custom ringtones onto a phone.

The way the “Name that Ringtone” contests works is that all who suggest a name + like Studio Ju Ju on facebook get entered to win a pair of Reveal Bamboo Bambud earbuds, and those who suggest the winning name for a particular ringtone, get a copy of that ringtone for their phone.

Here’s the ringtone currently up for naming. Take a break from the holidays and put your creativity to work. Name that ringtone!

Series 1 12 edit by Sesamedia + Studio Ju Ju

In case you can’t view the iframe above, click here.

Chance in Art – A Fresh Context Thanks to the Series “Documents of Contemporary Art” by The MIT Press

Chance, Documents of Contemporary Art
Chance, Documents of Contemporary Art

Today I must return to the library three books from the series Documents in Contemporary Art. Chance, edited by Margaret Iverson, The Sublime, edited by Simon Morley and Failure by Lisa La Feuvre. I’ve had them for over six weeks now, but it still feels way too early to say goodbye. The truth is that I spent so much time with the essays in Chance that I never got to read the others – so I will once I buy the books for my own library.

Chance is made up of short chapters of interviews with artists and artist writings. Also included are writings by art historians and I assume curators. In Chance the earliest writing is from 1944 and the most recent from 2010. Because the writings come from a span of 7 decades, it allows the reader to draw his or her own conclusions about how the history of chance emerges and inspires contemporary artists. It is without the pretentiousness and crazy language that often obscures writings on art history. The chapters focus on the artist’s intention, plainly communicating ideas

The Sublime, Documents of Contemporary Art
The Sublime, Documents of Contemporary Art

and inspirations. You often get to read about the artist’s line of inquiry in his or her own words. I enjoyed reading one essay at a time, and then taking a few days to reflect on what was said.

In Chance I found some of the most interesting writing on Cildo Meireles that I’ve come across. It also gave me a new appreciation for the work of Yoko Ono and I was introduced to William Anastasi who I wrote about in an early post. A combination of chapters together presented a fresh context to consider the work and influence of John Cage.

My work in sound arts is interested in the ephemeral and transitional, the rapidly changing and complex layers of daily life and the mashing together of natures and cultures. Chance, of the series Documents in Contemporary Art provides me with a fresh context to consider my work in sound arts and sound installation. I’m ready to go out and buy the series.

Failure, Documents of Contemporary Art
Failure, Documents of Contemporary Art

Because I’m also interested in how ideas are transmitted it’s worth noting the story of how I was able to get access to these books. They were loaned to me by The Fletcher Free Library in Burlington, Vermont who had to get them through interlibrary loan through Middlebury College but originally from Marlboro College in Southern Vermont. When I got the books they appeared as if they had never been read or even cracked open.

Also I have to give a cheer “Go MIT Press!” one of my favorite publishers – great job with this series. Thank you.



Sound Arts for Hunting Season

This sound piece is inspired by Saturday, October 29, 2011. On this morning there were two distinct sound events, the early morning gunfire of hunters in the woods and sound of the leaves rapidly falling from this tree. The sound piece is created from the field recording that was originally recorded with the video you see here. The audio and the video in the final piece unfold in real time. The piece was made on the Studio Ju Ju grounds.

Distorted transitions of leaves falling and guns firing. Hunting season, machines, birds, deer, traffic, tree, sun + rain.

“Sink” by William Anastasi, a Quiet Premonition in 1963

I recently was introduced to the work of William Anastasi. There are a few essays about him in the book CHANCE that is of the Documents of Contemporary Art series (2010). This book is a fascinating read for anyone interested in how chance has played a role in contemporary art. Anastasi’s work “Sink” from the 1960s is just fantastic. It is a floor piece made with the following instructions: “Set a rectangular piece of hot-rolled carbon steel level on floor. Pour on it a measure of tap water so that the resulting pond holds its position short of overflow. Each time the water evaporates, repeat.” You can find more about it here.

I believe I’ve found two images of the same piece, (it seems he created at least four of them in 1963) one of the photos appears to be taken in 1963 in an exhibition (with water) and the other taken when (dry) and up for auction in 2009.

Sink 1963 Rolled Steel, water 20" x 20" x 1/2" Collection of John Cage. Source: http://www.williamanastasi.net/Mainframe.htm
Property from the Collection of John Cage and Merce Cunningham, Sold to Benefit the Merce Cunningham Trust 2009. Source: http://www.christies.com/LotFinder/lot_details.aspx?intObjectID=5263533


Sound Art Event Commemorates 9/11

This may be one of the more elegant 9/11 commemorative events for this year’s 10th anniversary. It will be broadcast  online all day on 9/11/2011. We’ll update this post as more information comes out.

Bell ringers at the Exeter Cathedral in the UK are set to commemorate the victims of 9/11 with a recital of John Lennon’s famous anti-war song ‘Imagine.’


Sound Art in 2011

Wave Organ in San Francisco

“Sounding the Depths” is an informative survey of sound art in 2011 and the 50 years that led up to it. It’s important to note that Futurists were experimenting with sound art in the early 1900s, so sound art has at least 100 years behind it. Also, there is sound art that is much more challenging that the works described in the article- but that’s probably because the site hosting the article is about homes, so the article is talking to people who might want to buy sound art for their home. In any case, it is interesting written piece and it is great to see sound art getting more attention (because it is getting more attention).  My favorite work described in this article, one that you could not have in your home,  is the elegant Wave Organ in San Francisco. It’s exciting to see sound art getting attention in articles like this, hopefully this is a step forward in the public’s understanding of this niche art form.  If you are interested in sound art and contemporary art, read more here:

“Sounding the Depths”