My bullshit equipment list is better than AFX’s bullshit equipment list.

  • Eclectic Integrator with Phlogiston Gauge.
  • Opposable Mitts with Felt Innards.
  • Mid Range Pneumatic Foklift (n.b. not Forklift).
  • Hot Pockets, Meat Lovers, Frozen.
  • Tyrants (x7)
  • One small Bowl of Tepid Squid Bites in Springwater.
  • 12 meters of Red Sable as used on the Set of Quo Vadis.
  • MH370.
  • Britannica Entries for Ouija to Ouzo.
  • Henry Ford and Walt Disney in a Tacit Embrace.
  • Sepia in a 1 Litre Bottle.
  • lsd-03
  • A Pamphlet denouncing Central Park, dated 1992.
  • The Bomb Dropped on Nagasaki, reassembled.
  • Faintly Heard Sounds of Rats.
  • Photographs of Satan and God for sale for $15,000,000 on eBay.
  • Unsung Heroes in a Packet of 12.
  • Tincture of Racist Jibes.
  • Operation Enduring Freedom.
  • A series of eMails re: Teething Problems at Our Melbourne Data Centre.
  • Sheer Luxury in a Sports Car.
  • A well worn Statuette of Captain Scarlet.
  • 5 Japanese Girls Dancing in Strict Formation, the Camera Pans Slowly.
  • A Cure for Ebola.
  • oliverreed
  • Micrometeorologists and Decidefibrillators.
  • Singapore Sling.
  • Innards.
  • Episodes of Candid Camera, missing half the 4th Season.
  • The Four Seasons.
  • A Betamax Cassette Entitled ‘Viva Sonyland’.
  • Valium. More Valium.
  • A Pair of Dashing Red Pantaloons, Alas Too Small
  • A Near Miss, partly used.
  • Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers.
  • Hector, the greatest fighter for Troy in the Trojan War.
  • My Deepest Regrets for You, and Your Family.
  • Insipid Scissors.
  • Busty Ginger!

7 Bits of Bite Size Bullshit for 2014

1. “Un”.

Prefixing “Un” is a growth industry in 2013 and set for peak nausea in 2014. Music suffered this affectation in the 80’s with “Anti music”, which engendered “Unsound” which got a nice tour schedule, presumably on the basis of what wasn’t on offer. Now that the scribblers have encountered sampling technology we’ve got ‘uncreative writing’, a petulant response to plagiarism, ‘so I’ll plagiarise everything! Naah naah!’, displaying about as much merit as the Christmas carols played on dog barks we got in the early days of sampling. If you ask a scribbler about the worth of uncreativity, they inevitably carry on about plunderphonics and hip hop albums from 20 years ago. Guys, we wore that out a decade ago and it’s time for glitch poems, do please keep up.


Copyright. Do not re-use.

What it really means: I need to keep a cop out from what I am doing in case it gets criticised.

2. “Thinking with”.

Everybody is thinking with. They’re thinking with painting, thinking with sound, thinking with sacking workers. It’s the most pompous possible way of saying that you completed a work process, usually a very traditional one, and then reflected on what happened. That’s like a first year university exercise and it’s shameful to hear senior people patting themselves all over for doing something so bloody obvious. Given the only alternative to “thinking with” is a lobotomy, I guess they earn a pass.

What it really means: I had to ply my trade, and am embarrassed that somebody might think I was just a tradesman.

3. Robots.

Everybody do the robot. Take any old ‘new media’ proposal, replace the word ‘computer’ with ‘robot’, get grant. I already said this many times, all that has changed is that the university wanna-be’s – the corporations that call their workplace a ‘campus’ – are getting heavy with the robot as well. My suspicion is that all the people who worked on AI and robotics in the 1960’s have retired and the youngsters have dusted off their blissful ignorance and are going to run this dream one more time, with feeling. I can’t tell you that AI is always going to fail, but I can tell you I’d rather bet on a horse. For human/robot relationships please see Disneyland. I’m serious, they worked it out decades ago.


What it really means: Computers are associated with dorks, I don’t want people to think I’m a dork so I’ll talk about robots.


Some god please punish the person that came up with ‘STEM’ – the useful studies of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics*, also known as ‘the humanities are useless garbage that should go die somewhere’. It’s like C.P. Snow’s The Two Cultures rolled into a simple slogan STOP THE ARTS for maximum affront and argument. The Arts continue their degrading attempt to hang with the cool kids via idiotic me-too scientism – the ‘social sciences’ and ‘art metrics’. One particular act of desperation is trying to align with some hard science, any hard science, to rub off some of that sweet funding – and this has come to be known as ‘STE-A-M’.

Why does Science need the Arts? Particularly as the Arts have thrown away every distinction and advantage they once had to offer. Yes, they could once make beautiful illustrations of the data that science creates, except of course we don’t teach how to make beautiful illustration any more, merely the idea of getting some support staff to do it. The Sciences can do that just as well, thanks very much.

What it really means: I do too have a real job! I’m an ideas man!

* The only jobs in STEM are weapons. So a slow clap for all that.


5. Coding.

I can hear programmers already gnashing their teeth. Programming, coding, is fucking hard work. So when somebody waltzes in and describes scripting or filling in an event questionnaire as ‘coding’, go right ahead and school them. No, clicking together Little Bits kits is not coding. It’s good to know that you can re-arrange elements to personalise your consumption, but only if you realise that you are still a consumer re-arranging the symbols that the actual coder has provided. Choosing from an a la carte menu, you are not the chef. Either gain the skills and be the chef, or give respect to the person that did the actual coding – yet again the craftsman that the artist fails to respect.

What it really means: I don’t want to be seen as a consumer, and so I’ll claim that I’m a collaborator instead.

6. ‘Curation’.

Here’s a non-word that fires off my spell checker. Once upon a time you would be an artist, but then everyone was an artist. So then you would be a band, or an art collective, but then everyone was that. So you would be a label or a gallery, but you know what. So now everyone is a curator and that’s the best of all. A curator is anyone that likes some stuff, and organises that stuff somewhere. In the 80’s you would make a mix tape for your girlfriend, but the 21st century converts that to ‘curating a series of audio recordings in an emotionally significance sequence on the most appropriate analogue format to evoke the relevant time period for the collected works’. Sounds like a full job! Already people are curating curators.

What it really means: I may not be able to paint, but I can fill a room with paintings. I am better than artists.

7. Clouds. Still happening.

Where a year or so ago you had the suspicion that your private files were going to be used for spam and surveyed by the NSA, this year you actually know that’s the case. You might remember that you were assured that wasn’t so, and frankly if you don’t feel like a farm animal you need to wise up. This is more about the continuing utopian rhetoric of ‘the cloud’ as a universal spice for any possible teaching or collaboration no matter how ineffectual or meaningless. The unopened textbook is not improved by the unwatched YouTube lecture and time spent in turd polishing is better spent on working on the content. The worst possible case is when information is edited down to fit in cloud delivery. They used to do that to women’s feet to hobble them. Don’t call that a breakthrough.

What it really means: Same Great Taste Now In New BITE SIZE Foil Pack!

Jed From Landis

Jed worked at Landis Music back in the early 80s. He sold pianos, and increasingly synthesisers. Jed was the man who found me a whole KORG MS modular system for $250. That immediately places him in Master of the Universe status.

Up on the wall was a picture of Jed in white tuxedo with a white bow tie, sitting at a piano. I seem to remember there were balloons in the background but that might be confabulation from the grog. The photo was from when he played the piano on cruise ships. I like to think that many pretty ladies swooned to hear him play and would drift to his cabin after all night tinkling. But then I know a guy that DJ’ed on a cruise ship years later and he said that most of the ladies tended to be rolled up and down the decks in wheelbarrows by their husbands.

I would buy just about anything Jed pointed at. I bought a whole host of Electroharmonix drum padsCrash Pads, Syndrums and a thing called a Clockworks which was the ‘brain’ of the pads, if by brain you mean something that could count to 12. I still have that. The rest of it I hit too hard and broke. Jed said it was as if somebody had dropped bricks on them.

I was looking at synthesisers one time and it was a big decision between this and that – back then you’d get a new synthesiser maybe once a year, not like virtual instruments. I asked Jed about it and he said – people spend their life learning how to play the piano.

And as always if Jed said it, it is best to think hard upon it.

The day I walked into a room of my house and saw all the synthesisers I owned piled up in a circle like an electronic Stonehenge – it was Jed’s axiom that came to mind. I got rid of almost all of them, sold them, gave them away, passed them on at cost*. Over the years however, Stonehenge just moved from reality onto the hard drive. Around the beginning of this year it was ImageLine’s Harmless virtual synthesiser. I didn’t want another, but it was on special… and… it sounded nice and…

The first synthesiser I bought, I knew every tiny tweak and turn, every minor movement that would get the thing to do exactly what I wanted. Same for the MS20, I can still work that thing with my eyes closed, get everything from a woman’s voice to a planet dissolving. But let’s be honest: I have much less command over Absynth or Reaktor, MaxMSP or even Harmless. Just don’t have the patience or the time to sit and learn every control. I don’t really need Pro Tools plus Ableton Live plus FL Studio plus Soundtrack Pro. No one does. Anyone who has a passion for music struggles to focus their libido on composing and not on shopping. Like Stewart says, by the time you get electronic music gear set up you’ve forgotten the inspiration that led you there. He’s gone back to the bassoon.

This is a wider issue. Imagine a pack of baying hounds, running here and there chasing whatever fox or rumour of fox is current. The hounds at front are lost but they bark the loudest. Right now they are barking about one thing, tomorrow it’ll be something else; anything will do so long as it allows the chase to keep going. The running about never touches on the heart of the matter – it’s all about chasing ‘solutions’ to things we didn’t need solved.

Some are barking about HTML5 which apparently will bring a revolutionary change to the workings of the Internet – I guess the same change that VRML was going to bring back in ‘94, or perhaps DHTML or what about SVG; there’s been yapping going back a long way. They woof: HTML5 will free the slaves forced to use Adobe Flash (quite happily up to this point) – although how a banner advertisement will be any less annoying when open source remains mysterious.

Very few things made in Flash have so far been beautiful.
Maybe we should concentrate on that rather than learn another way to do the same thing.

There’s one hound up front with a turtle neck sweater and little round glasses – his yapping is all about how a particularly virginal mobile phone will not have any Flash derived software – it would defile the purity. The howling and baying strikes up across the pack: the phone won’t run Flash… but then it doesn’t run HTML5 either. In fact it won’t properly display many web pages, and the whole browsing experience is like knitting a sweater for ants.

Maybe the entire idea of reading on a telephone needs questioning.

There’s another pack of dogs who are howling for more touch screens, more knobs and ribbons and heart rate monitors and Wiimotes and anything else that could possibly modulate a sound or an image. They’ve forgotten that they were once seeking these things to make better music. The audience finds them irrelevant and are increasingly happy with Led Zeppelin. I can’t tease them enough but it’s hopeless, they can’t hear above the noise.

The endless hunt is empty and pointless but the hounds rush on to the next great idea for delivering nothing, faster. Will it be a cloud or pad or a thrown stick? Who knows, they don’t. Their baying deafens our ears.

I am not about to trash my laptop and go live in a tree. That’s pointless. Jed’s advice was to stop and use what you have – REALLY use it – in the service of inspiration. Hold the upgrades: I want to learn how to play an instrument, not buy ‘solutions’. I want to clear my mind of all the shit that pundits and marketers, CEOs and fan boys keep trying to wedge in there. I think we should tell them to get out of our face and we’ll be far better artists for it.

BTW don’t wait for the academics to lead the changes. I just got this in an email:

“This concept will need to incorporate a vibrant materialism of the image’s sensory and cognitive strata and an evanescent immaterialism of its affective qualities. Rather than locate our conference in the space of negotiation between disciplines or media (the “inter-“), we propose the opposition, transit and surpassing of the interdisciplinary by a “transdisciplinary aesthetics”, and its conceptual and physical practice of a “transdisciplinary imaging.”

Trans – the upgrade to Inter.

* Recently a ‘lifestyle’ magazine contacted me for an interview. Everything seemed to be in place until I mentioned I didn’t have any ‘old gear’. That killed it; I mean who wants to talk about music when you can stand in front of old gear.


Attention Cyber Digital Artists!
You are invited to CONTROL 2010: an exclusive symposium to be held Friday – Sunday in NYC next week.

Courtesy of Apple we’ll be touting the new iPad.
But there’ll be plenty of other REAL  KNOB ACTION.

Some of the talks on offer over the first day:

  • DJ Skewl will patch the iPad to send a control over OSC to MaxMSP controlling Reaktor modulated by a Wiimote under the robotic control of a homebrew Arduino driven LEGO vacuuming robot.
  • Kurt M will demonstrate touching a Lemur to generate a sound tone converted to a control voltage that modulates a light source picked up by a photocell wired to inputs in Processing that operate a PD patch over MIDI to pan a 440Hz test tone through a 6 speaker array.
  • I’ll be there controlling an iPad with another iPad.
  • David Pseudonym will be sending wireless signals to an Netbook running Javascript that shows pictures of mice to a homebrew cat that will then drag an iPad off a table onto a Whoopee Cushion.
  • Nancy Spudgen will present her now legendary demo of beaming microwave signals under the control of an iPad at high intensity to pop a whole bunch of toads in a bucket in time with a Foreigner track.
  • MC Lollipop will use a prototype iPad GSM as a support mechanism to snort some fine ass cocaine.
  • Micheal Dorkmeister will show his 1024 button monome and world’s largest ball of MIDI cables.
  • VJ Hu Pop will be sharing a way to embed Quartz Composer patches inside Jitter inside Quartz Composer inside Jitter to make a 3D rotating doughnut.

The latest iPad applications will be on show including Fart Piano Professional sending out wireless OSC to a homebrew hydrophonic speaker array in the ladies toilets. See the SQL pipe organ! Thrill to the Fastest knob twiddler in the East! Blog booths and Cloud Rooms and NYC’s biggest Twitting Twister!


We also have expert debates on Saturday:

  • Open source: mainstream in 2011 .. maybe 2012″.
  • The future: 8 bit chip sound on 64 bit recording or 64 bit chip sound on 8 bit recording”
  • Closest approximation to a human relationship: Touch VS Tactile devices”

Sunday Night – a special concert presentation: Taking the chance out of John Cage.

For all his supposed success Cage was notoriously lacking in control. He allowed chance and circumstance to determine his musical outcome. But what if Cage had an iPad? We think he’d think different! Hear your favourite Cages placed in a cloud controller context!

TICKETS ONLY $250 for all three big nights!



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Sinking feeling you had when they told you they already had somebody. They just wanted to be a friend. Tuesday in their lounge room with their parents right there. Everybody knew about it except you. You walked home slowly and stared at the ground. For MacOSX.

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When he got really old he couldn’t even jump on the couch any more. He would just piss wherever he stood and no one wanted to pet him because of the stench. You came home from school one day and your dad said he had run away. But you knew he’d taken him to the vet. This is version 2 with all the plug ins.

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Sharing needles was a really bad idea. You are going to have to avoid anything that will harm your liver; alcohol, paracetamol. We will try a course of Interferon, which can reduce your symptoms but there’s no known cure. Runs on OSX10.5 Leopard or OSX10.6 Snow Leopard.

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Greatest collection of dreary wet grey days stuck at home. Weekends, Monday mornings, Thursday nights some have pouring rain but there is drizzle included. Boring and depressing, many include phone calls from people enjoying themselves in sunshine without you. You need to read the .NFO carefully before installing. Tested on Vista.

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Last Wednesday you realised dying is the complete end of all existence. There is no afterlife and all your actions and achievements throughout your life are utterly worthless. Complete negation of life that is inevitable no matter your station. Comes with scan of manual and keygen this is a repack of last weeks scene release which was nuked.



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Latest Academic Fashion News

A gasp has gone out around the Academic Fashion Scene with the announcement that BRUTALIST U are bringing FRANK GEHRY in to design their new Fun House. BRUTALIST are of course best known for owning the ugliest building contemplated by the mind of man – the Dark Tower otherwise known as The Vertical Slum, Elevator Action or Long John Silver. But as their VC explains: “It’s lonely. Being the ugliest is only a surface pride – the tower needs a friend and so we have brought in someone that can top the very worst in architecture.”


Gimmee a 'B' Gimmee a 'U'!

GEHRY is known for his design process in which drawings are made onto paper which is then torn up and thrown in the bin (and sometimes pissed on) to be retrieved by the builders fighting off packs of starving dogs. Some of his best work includes Leaks When It Rains at MIT, the Whachamacallit of Bilbao and I Can’t Believe It’s Not A Joke of LA. His design is sure to be at odds with the existing structure, space, time and student comfort!

We asked students at BRUTALIST how they felt about this exciting development and they didn’t care that much.


Reminds me of ... um ...

We were sure that other universities would be just green with jealousy and got straight on the phone. But YE OLDE TIME UNIVERSITY pointed out that in the current retro climate their Gargoyles were back in style big time and in fact were acting as additional unpaid teaching staff. A heavy breathing spokesperson for the DEATH STAR laughed for some time in a musically deep and ominous voice before pointing out their current plan to destroy KUNST KAMP and replace it with a deep pit was ‘the boldest architectural idea – the complete negation of a building – no walls, no halls – the blackest anti-building. And besides – it saves money’.

Whew! Exciting times in spending federal funds! Don’t forget – for the latest academic fashion and gossip this blog is hot hot hot 24 7 with the freshest!

Olde Tom’s Booke of Dreames Interpreted According To Venerable Knowledge And Wisdome


Withe extra e’s on thee ende of everythinge.

Dear Tom, the other night I had a musical dream – I heard a beautiful sound like a thousand singing voices, golden and rhythmic, it had an amazing subtle melody and pulsed with joy and I was so very sad to to wake and feel the melody slip away from me. If only I could hear that music again. How can I have this dream come back to me?

– ‘Wagner’

Ye have woken thyself from SNORING so LOUD ye have verily BOXED thine own ears with the DIN of it. (Surely ye do not share a bed or the lady of the house would be VEXED to distraction). However to return the snores apply equal parts strong ale and curried meat pudding and be assured that thy very WALLS will shudder with thy musical eruptions.

Dear Wizard, only you can help me! I dream that I am walking down the street – but wearing no pants! Everyone is ignoring me.What does it mean?

– ‘Naked’

The BIBLE makes clear the wearing of pants is for GOOD CHRISTIAN FOLK and shalt not be mocked by animals that have NO SOULS. An animal may have the Waistcoat as its only garb, and leave the nether regions revealed to all to know it as a CREATURE.

741donald-duck-postersYet the TROUSERS are not suited to a BEASTE. And so in this dream we see thy FORETAIL flapping in the wind for all to see thy BESTIAL URGES. It is a dream of hidden lusts and ye should make haste for the confession box where the father will see about thine URGENT PENANCE.

Dear Old Chap, dreamed I ate a enormous marshmallow. The next morning my pillow was gone. Ideas?

– ‘Pillow Biter’

It would seem thine answer will soon be found in a FLUFFING of thy nether regions. If indeed this is not the ruse of one that liveth under a bridge!

Dear Tom, I have a constant recurring dream that I have failed to study for my mathematics exam – and the exam is happening today and I have no idea of how to answer anything. Then I realise that I am actually Chief Executive Officer at Bank of America and the exam was long ago! How do I stop this dream from playing over and over again?

– ‘Ken Lewis’

The mathematicals – being a saucy arte thrown hither and yon to the pleasure of he that maketh it – can used to pretend the mouse as the moon or the very reverse. And the dreame in this case works to reverse the nature of time. You are found at a reckoning WITLESS and empty of knowledge and so it is that ye write ERRORS in thy booke. YET the truth runs the other way and in life ye find thy booke fore ye with ERRORS already written. Now ye must ponder long and harde what WITLESSNESS brought thee to this place.

Dear Tom I dreamed I was sleeping with my mother. And I didn’t care.

– ‘Your Son’

Know that thy mother has this very day described a dream of shit-a-bed, and so DREAMES are shown to reveal GREAT TRUTHS.




“So, like today I was reading an article about something, y’know like Global Warming or something heavy like that. It was the World section because I was hoping for stuff about Michael Jackson and that doctor. But I was reading this and then I noticed I was completely alone y’know? Like no one else on the whole planet was reading what I was reading right then. I was really struck by this overwhelming feeling of isolation… here I was, like an astronaut all alone on the moon. It was really frightening but at the same time it was so awesome, like I’m the one, the pioneer spirit. What I do totally makes or breaks this moment. I’m like whooah and I wanted to tweet about it straight away! Like it says Tell your friends. Comment on Twitter. But like, how can I Join the conversation when I’m all alone? I started to cry but then I hit Read Tweets and forgot all about whatever it was.”

The Pirate Bay sell out big time.

Noble heroes The Pirate Bay have sold their stolen goods emporium this week for 60 Million Kronor. Of course none of the actual goods were stored at the site, so one must wonder what was it that they actually sold? We have been told again and again that these selfless shining knights offered nothing more than you could do via Google. So what was it that they actually sold? The service took nothing from the original owners and pirates don’t use the warez that they download and no one in the organization was in it for a profit, so I am compelled to ask again – WHAT WAS IT THAT WAS WORTH 60 MILLION KRONOR?

Could it be that the material they provided was valuable? Obviously.

Did they create the value that they just sold for 60 million kronor? No, they deny it. It was all free!

Could it possibly be that the value of the material comes from the intellectual property inherent in the materials offered via the Pirate Bay? The intellectual property that the new owners now hope to properly repay?

Do pigs shit?


My gripe here is not with piracy. It’s with liars. It’s with people that justify their actions with doublethink and denial. People who talk high morals and act no morals. People that claim to be harming no one and then walk away with a tidy profit, which should have gone to the people, great and small they parasitically infested. At very least they are just another big talking web startup, living off other people’s work, so quit with the pathetic Robin Hood shrill.

They claim that they aren’t going to get the money, I do not believe them. In any case it should never have been theirs to decide. When you steal somebody’s moral rights – do not allow them to say how they want their art to be distributed – you are a thief. Money isn’t even part of that equation.

The cottage industry, the swapped DVD, the download, it’s no big thing. I find my stuff on Blogger all the time, sucks for me, but I just ask that they please instead direct people to come pay me the 5 bucks and maybe they do. I certainly don’t think somebody should be prosecuted and fined. If I hear some of my sounds in another person’s music I just hope it’s not crap. Hope Stockhausen thinks that of me.

But these guys, it’s no wonder that a political party started in their name. Because corruption needed to enter its natural habitat.