Archive for the 'General' Category

Tarek’s Empty Can’s workshop - June 2008

Monday, April 21st, 2008

Wii Can

Inspired and based on the Empty Cans workshop that started in France in 2004, the Wii Can is a game / installation that uses new technologies and new media in order to break boundaries and connect realities that would not normally meet.
The Empty cans project is a sound and image workshop conceived and given by Lebanese musician and computer programer Tarek Atoui.
Destined to teenagers between 12 and 18 years old, this workshop is about allowing groups of 12 to 16 participants to work on short movies, video clips and video objects where they choose their themes, build their scenarios, film and record the sounds and images they need for it. The originality of the project is that it used a computer game and software especially built for it where through Play Station joysticks the participants can assemble and play their film in live on a public presentation and performance where the film is recorded and then left to the participants.
After several tours and interventions in cultural summer camps in France in 2005, Atoui carried out his project to Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon in summer 2006, then in 2007 with the help of the European Cultural Foundation, the Steim studios and the Today’s Art festival, he got to give to the project an international dimension, and do the workshop in Holland, France, Egypt and Lebanon before inviting groups of participants from each country to travel to Holland, work together and open the Today’s Art festival at the Hague on September 2007.

Wii Can is the new version of Empty Cans designed and conceived for the Stranger Festival.
The game is very intuitive and easy. With 4 Nintendo Wii controllers, 4 gamers are invited to play together. 2 persons play music, the two others play image.
The sound controllers allow to play distinct rhythmic and melodic elements and add audio effects to them, the image ones allow to mix and layer videos photos and text.
The audio and images that they will be manipulating are selections of the Empty Cans 2006 and 2007 databases that will get the players to discover stranger environments and realities different then theirs, such as the suburbs of Cairo, Palestinian Refugee camps in Lebanon, political demonstrations in Beirut,…
In a fun and amusing way, one of the objectives of Wii Can is to create sensibility and awareness towards some realities and contexts that strongly mark the Middle East and the region at the moment such as the Palestinian and Iraqi refugee crisis, the Lebanese political situation, the environmental and urban problems of Cairo,…
In order to do so, a camera is permanently filming the players. With the Wii controllers, players have the possibility of incrust their image and mix it with the other video layers already playing.
If they frequently do this, the game will start behaving differently and projecting other faces, photos, sounds and texts that deal and refer to these issues.
On the artistic level, the aim of forming such an audio-visual band is to incite the gamers to play together, to listen to each-other and therefore to respect and acknowledge one another.
Actually, in this game sound and image are tightly linked together. Algorithms of sound and image analysis will allow sound players to control and synchronize image to sound and vice versa whenever one of the players show s selfish or compulsive behavior.
Finally, linking sound and image to each other will also allow the players to start looking at image as something musical and to music as being a character itself in an audio-visual art work.

Technical means and requirements:
The Max / /MSP/Jitter software for programming and running the game.
A recent Macintosh computer or laptop with intel system and blue tooth
A video projector and screen
A digital video camera
4 Nintendo Wii controllers
1 sound system of good quality + amplification (the presence of subwoofers would be great).

Programming the interface and the controllers, re-editing and creating the sound and audio libraries, collecting and working on “educational” text, audio and photo material
21 days of work

This project in supported and co-produced by the Steim studios – Amsterdam that will be offering a work space and technical work facilities over three weeks for the programming and the building of the game, and that have already supported the Empty Cans project in 2007.


Tina’s plans for 2008

Monday, January 21st, 2008

Ideas for workshops for kids (Workshops will start without any technology and add in over time)
Target Ages: 8 – 13

Workshop #1

• Homemade instrument building –After building prototypes, they could be sensor enhanced in a later workshop. (work in pairs or individually)
• Sound art/collage/sound design – Kids create their own sound effects & storytelling (work in teams of 3-4 kids)
• Brazilian and/or Japanese Taiko rhythm workshops– build on rhythms/choreography in later sessions

Materials: PVC tubes, hoses, springs, cans, plastic tubes, pipes, bamboo, containers, metal, blocks, wood, string, rubber, household items, bowls, pot & pans, plastic buckets, drum sticks, etc.
Steim support: Kristina/Daniel/Jorgen
Outside support: Piet Jan Blauw is very interested in building midi controllers with kids - we are putting a proposal together to Elektor to try to get some support for this.

Workshop #2

• Wii workshops
• Teach mini-composition and choreography with wii’s – could expand this to do choreography on floor triggers.

Steim support: Daniel, Frank
Technology: 4 computers with garage band, JunXion and 4-8 wii controllers
Note: Might be possible to do this in collaboration with Klankspeeltuin since they have computers with garage band loaded and a trigger floor already in place.**
Daniel also suggested the following ideas about the wii: encase’ it with a suitable, tangible ’skin’ of sorts. this would be subject of a developing session with the steim workshop crew… further collaboration with frank et al (software dept) would create ‘instrumental attributes’ as basis for a MUSICAL SKILL DEV WORKSHOP

Workshop #3

Reactive Floor with Projections & Lights:
• Build floor triggers with kids
• sound tiles (could be used on floors or walls)
• sound sculptures

Outside Support: Piet Jan Blauw
Materials: Tiles, switches, piezos, rubber, lights, projector, etc.

Workshop #4

MidiBall Revisited Workshops: Hacking workshops to come up with new Sound Toys/ wireless trigger/Balls to activiate sound/lights/projections

Steim Support: Jorgen,Daniel,Frank
Materials: Toys, blow up balls & lots of wireless sensors…

March 31 – April 10
June 2 – June 16 (w/Nime/Steim promotion 6/5-6/7)
July 15 – July 29
August 22 – September 8
December 1 – 10

• Does STEIM have lots of junk stuff/parts lying around for the instrument building workshops?
• Is there a materials budget available for these workshops?
• How much time in advance would these workshops need to be setup to allow time for promotion?
• How many kids is Steim hoping to reach through these workshops?
• Does Steim have contacts already established with schools, kids organizations? If so which ones and who is the liaison?
• Do most kids in the Netherlands between 8-13 speak some English or will I need a translator?
• I notice on the schedule there is overlap with Jon Rose during the end of March/early April– can I realistically expect engineering support while he’s around??
• I am still not very fluent in LiSa or JunXion – do I need to take an orientation workshop before launching into these projects? How important is the promotion of these software tool in the workshops? If this is important, other possible dates I could come would be 3/14-24, but then I would not also be available 3/31-4/10.

Possible Collaborations and Outcomes:
• Collaboration with Klankspeeltuin in the Muziekgebow for workshops: Contact: Anouk Diepenbroek Coördinator Klankspeeltuin Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ tel. +31 20 788 2016 (Ma/Tue/Thu) mobile +31 6 24731571
• Possible Tie in with IADIS- Multi Conference on computer science and information systems July 25-27 in Amsterdam? Focus this year is on gaming
• Possible Steim Tie-in with Melbourne Festival in October (still waiting for more info on this)
• Heiner Holtappels said he was interested in a collaboration with Montevideo…maybe this would be a good contact for Tarek. Email: Tel: +31 20 623 71 01
• Annette Mullink: program manager for Virtueel Platform (formerly at MonteVideo): Email:
• Tie- In with Rhythmix cultural Works Community Arts Center in Alameda, CA
• Document everything – blog style Possible future papers for NIME or articles in advance of STEIM’s 40th?

Personal Project Proposal*
Darbuka with hall effect sensors through plastic head to measure distance of hands from the head – theoretically, this should be a relatively easy retrofit to an existing instrument. Mapping and sensitivity would be the big challenges to make it interesting and effective sonically. Would need tech support from Jorgen and some software assistance as well.
*I could only find 2 of 10 pages from the schematics for the electronic marimbas, so this seems an unrealistic undertaking to overhaul my marimba…

P.S. I had talked about the possibility of hacking a “sensor egg” in a previous draft workshop proposal – the student that I worked with on this at CMU (Eric Schweikardt) is going to be in Amsterdam at the end of February, so I suggested that he stop by Steim before you all leave for japan. Unfortunately, Eric has the only version we made and it is not in working condition.

Possible artists for STEIM concerts:

• Piet Jan Blauw – (based in hoorn, has been building wacky controller instruments for a LONG time)
• Yann Seznec – based in Scotland, wrote the wii loop machine.
• Ulrich Maiss - Cello & Eletronics – Used to be based in Berlin, not sure where he is now.
• Boris Goldmund: Excellent Harpist who wants to go electric: Is going to be in berlin in early april, is interested in coming to Steim (possibly for an orientation workshop) to further develop electronic harp processing potential.
• Joel Davel - - Joel is one of the main developers of the Marimba Lumina. He’s a terrific solo player and resource of info. Not sure if he’s going to be in Europe or not, but if so, it would be great to have him at Steim.
• Tomie Hahn (w/Curtis Bahn) - — Tomie and Curtis have been engaging in interesting projects for a long time – Tomie’s dance/gestural movement with Japanese sensibilities is really beautiful. I don’t know if they’re going to be at NIME this year, but if so, it would be great to get them up to steim.
• Gerry Bassermann - Gerry is a highly entertaining & talented musician – he plays a mean theremin, guitar, keyboards & more. He currently works for Propellerhead Software which would likely take him overseas somewhere near Amsterdam in the next year.
• Butch Rovan - tp:// — he’s based in rhode island but seems to make it over to Europe every now & then.
• Jamie Allen (is going to be at Newcastle) - — I’m sure Taku has info as to Jamie’s current projects.
• Derique McGee: Circus Arts –Electronic body Percussionist & hambone master extraordinaire. Derique is from California, don’t know if he has plans to be in Europe or not but he has a full body trigger suit and is fantastic with kids.

Artistic committee meeting July 3 2007

Monday, July 2nd, 2007


Main topics:

  • Projects - online on the intranet
  • Workshops - online in a post on the Artistic Blog - on the intranet
  • Concerts -  online in a post on the Artistic Blog - on the intranet
  • Lectures -  online in a post on the Artistic Blog - on the intranet
  • Jamboree - We need to make a plan for a Jamboree and/or other activities so the office can start working on funding.


  • Performance proposal:
  • Gaudeamus muziekweek 2007 / Gaudeamus would like to have a fringe program at steim - Meeting with Henk Heuvelmans, Taku and Robert is scheduled
  • Japan connection 2008 - We need to start raising funds for travel


Notes from meeting on May 30:

* Erika is working on Taku’s visa application as high priority - STEIM would like Taku to continue his role as artistic director next year.
* Atau would like to continue in 2008 - Michel proposes that this will happen on project base.
* Taku’s work will overlap with Robert’s work - we need to talk about this before the summer - Robert will organize a meeting.
* List of issues to talk about later - Robert will plan a meeting:
* next year artdirect Tarek & Tina Blaine
* workshop - hardware interns / try some people on project basis (like Sukandar) / fresh person to manage / no longterm R&D anymore
* Taku interested in R&D himself, and some coordination of the workshop / Jamboree at the end of 2007
* Orientation workshop re-vamp - more regular / Frank & Taku more involved / possibly also Daniel & Jorgen
* Bilgi workshop for Turkish students - is Jorgen involved
* Jamboree planning - also with Daniel’s use of Mackies and guesthouse
* Japan connection:
* feb 5 - march 9
* the plan is a LiSa/junXion workshop with Frank & Robert, and a concert with Michel, Taku and Robert - also working with students
* there is funding for the local travel, lodging & fee
* funding is based upon the fact that steim is coming, so they have to do something
* we need to check for travel costs - Erika? Gaudeamus?
* Robert will organize a staf meeting
* Exhibition at Energetica in the museum weekend - our exhibition doesn’t really fit there - so not for now
* Gaudeamus muziekweek 2007 / Gaudeamus would like to have a fringe program at steim - Robert will contact Henk and setup meeting with Taku / Robert
* Croatia -Rijeka - july / festival artistic group Palach / exhibition & concert by Taku, Robert & Keir Neuringer - this seems unlikely to happen - Robert will check with Erika.

Artistic committee meeting April 11 - 14h

Wednesday, April 11th, 2007

Meeting with Atau, Mazen, Taku, Michel, Frank and Robert about hardware design, concerts, workshops and lectures.

Notes from the meeting (by Taku - edit if necessary):


  • 5 days off in July. Waiting for funding to see how many of Atau’s acts can be included in the program. if not many are included Steim can add some money to make a more full program.
  • Atau network/French scene night around September 20. An Atau hosted night introducing interesting acts from France
  • Bio sensor meeting in the Jamboree program. if we do it again this year.


  • First week or July and first week of August to invite 2 groups to record and perform with. He will just need some time in the studio and then curate an concert with those groups and also inviting other groups.
  • Trumpet input analog effect box. also during that time Mazen would like to experiment with different analog modules that can take his trumpet as an input source. Frank, Nico, Jorgen can see if they have something lying around that he can play with.
  • Something in October. Mazen will be in Europe again in October, some kind of concert should be organized then.

To dos:

  • Atau and Mazen need to secure scheduling for themselves, invited artists and steim. Especially Mazen since tickets are getting expensive for the summer time
  • Frank, Nico and Jorgen should see if they have any analog modules that Mazen can use
  • Although July is our low activity month, we seem to have quite a bit going on. Staff scheduling and work load during that time has to be reviewed

Addition by Atau:

I have confirmation from Patrick Fontana of Grenze ( that they are available 20/9. They have also given an idea for something to develop in a mini-residency if possible - this description is in French at the moment, they will have Engl translation next week.

I also had reply from Jerome Noetinger/Lionel Marchetti - they are checking on their availability for 20/9.

Artistic committee meeting March 21 - 11h

Sunday, March 18th, 2007

Meeting mainly about new projects with Michel, Taku, Frank, Daniel and Robert.


  • Projects - online on the intranet
  • Workshops - online in a post on the Artistic Blog - on the intranet
  • Concerts - online in a post on the Artistic Blog - on the intranet


  • Kim Cascone Oct 17 or 19
  • Jaroslaw Kapuscinski/ François Rose - Spectral Analysis as a Resource for Contemporary Orchestration Technique
  • NORIENT SOUNDLECTURE - NEUE MUSIK VON AUSSERHALB VON EUROPA / Thomas Burkhalter / via Roland/Melkweg (Lucas Evers)
  • other lecture ideas: Juan Parra, Kees Tazelaar, Game of life, Robert Henke


  • exhibition at Energetica in the museum weekend
  • Gaudeamus muziekweek 2007 / Gaudeamus would like to have a fringe program at steim
  • Goethe Instituut / for a concert series with duo’s they would like steim to propose a duo for a concert in june
  • Japan connection 2008
  • JAUNA MUZIKA april 20-28 / electronic and electroacoustic music festival Vilnius, Lithuania / Atau, Taku, Robert, Keir Neuringer and Tom Tlalim will go
  • Croatia -Rijeka - july / festival artistic group Palach / exhibition & concert by Taku, Robert & Keir Neuringer

Turntable Music

Monday, February 5th, 2007

A resource for innovative and experimental turntable music in collaboration with TAG
concerts series:

first concert will be on March 9th with Martin Tetrault/Ignaz Schick, Maria Chavez, dj sniff. Future possible acts: ErikM, Toshio Kajiwara, DJ L?K?O?, Institut fur Feinmotorik, DJ Rupture.

web resource, or or something;

interviews, articles, concert excerpts

covering Philip Jeck’s concert at TAG on Feb 14th.

Atau’s notes with Taku’s additions

Sunday, January 28th, 2007

Bringing our “scenes” to STEIM, (Michel: in the way that Nic Collins brought the NYC scene, that Netochka brought the Nato scene.)

Taku – turntable music and research, researchers and developers in the arts,
japanese musicians
Taeji Sawai - laptop musician using sensors, video
Kanta Horio - microscopic sound performer, educator, video
Daito Manabe - digital DJ/VJ, developer, video
Daisuke Ishida - musician living in Berlin, mp3
Kitundu - turntable instrument builder
Jamie Allen - musician, developer, educator website
Jeff Feddersen - musician, sustainable energy researcher, video
Tomomi Adachi - musician, ir-shirt, voice performer
Akihiro Kubota - laptop musician, educator, theorist
Kjetil Hansen - Scratch/Turntablism researcher, musicologist

Mazen – the Beirut scene, instrumentalists, improvisers, sound people
(*to be completed)

Atau – mobile music, research
Drew Hemmett (Futuresonic, locative media)
Zack Settel (SAT Montreal, McGill) – 3D audioscape
Ben Knapp (Biocontrol, SARC) – biosignal interfaces
Stock (V2) – singleboard computers, Gumstix
Lalya Gaye (Viktoria Institute) – mobile music, archiving
Edwin van der Heide
Thomas Dimuzio

Running STEIM
Michel, Robert, Taku
Daniel Schorno ( *need to meet him)
Roland Speckle (outside concerts – *need to meet him)

Will know in January the financial landscape
Need to make a fundraising strategy

New Media money is going to the Creative Industries. Where does STEIM sit w/ respect to this?
Creative Industries = applied research
STEIM = practice based research

Visionary work is about meaning and not just content

Political background – Arts policy in NL is being reorganized, consolidation of funds. International review committees, putting big places (Musictheatre, Concertgebouw) together in same pool as small lab/ateliers (STEIM). Should STEIM stay w/ Ministry and apply for funds or go w/o?

Looking at potential inside STEIM
Atau – look into the workshop (in part by Michel’s request)
Jorgen – find ways to situate his work, make him feel less isolated ( *need to meet him)
René – could the fascination w/ Tesla be used in our new concerns about Energy?
Frank – MacMini as singleboard computer

Joel – the problem of doing research – his wish to continue visualization workshop presented at ZKM

Common projects
Archives – archival and documentation work from over 30 years of archives. How to approach this? How to organize? How to disseminate?
Have applied for grant to make a STEIM book w/ timeline.
Andreas Otto, Lueneburg Univ, PhD thesis on STEIM.
Jamie Hodge wants to do interviews.
Need an intern.
Shall we invite a researcher such as Lalya Gaye [Atau]?

CD releases – there must be some material from all the recordings of concerts to publish a series of STEIM CD’s.

Jamboree – Jamboree was a success, and proof that STEIM can quickly, autonomously organize important events that connect people in the field. Hardware day thanks to Taku – sort of his first intervention as co-director? When to do the next one? Fall 2007?

Space – New space next to foyer

DEAF2007 – April 10-29. What could STEIM do?

Themes – Mazen (* to be completed)
Workshop – with electronic musicians meeting improvisers. Sonic improvisation, focus & concentration, limitations, …

Themes – Taku
Turntables Music - re-examining the practice of turntable music from a STEIM point of view (experimental musical interface, technology and musicianship, improvisation). Organizing concerts, inviting turntablists to develop tools, and working toward a new theorization toward the practice.

Sensor Interface and Instruments - Continuing the tradition of developing sensors instruments for musicians and artists. Release of JunxionCore, introducing a hardware workshop within the regular orientation workshops.

Energy Research and Collaboration - Working with Atau to develop new ideas and applications for alternative energy sourced instruments. Organizing a meeting with other artists and developers in the field to exchange ideas and initiate new projects.

Educational Collaboration - Building new relationships with universities and organization in the US and Japan for student/artist exchange. Integration with orientation workshop and internship.

Musicianship in Electronic Music - Examining what is the discipline of live electronic/computer music. Wether it means to develop a new sensor interface or to understand your software and sound material well. Working with Mazen look at how acoustic musicians develop a sonic aesthetic through an intimate relationship with their instrument and their ear. This theme crosses with the turntable music, sensor interface/instrument and energy research.

STEIM archives - Work toward an online archive of past and current activities. blogs, wikis, videos, archive radio. Integration with STEIM website with the help of Robert and Kristina.

Themes – Atau
Mobile – help in organizing the Mobile Music Workshop w/ Robert, Kristina, and de Waag, May 6,7,8. Atau is on steering committee. Making this also one of his activities for the co-directorship helps him bridge the international team and local team.

Energy – understanding Michel’s interest in this topic, and tying it to increasing concern in the area of arts and interaction design of the environment and sustainability. Example:
Ideas: Could we build a simple performer-bound electric generator so that performer gestures and movements could generate enough electricity to power his instrument [Michel]? Try to conceive of audio circuitry that could run on variable voltage, or at least stepped voltage (1.5v, 3v, 5v, 12v) [Atau]. How to involve Rene and Jorgen?

Biosignal Interfaces – bring Ben Knapp to present different EMG, EEG, ECG, GSR interfaces for music. Add the STEIM touch to Atau’s BioMuse? Discuss potential interest in this area and look at related work (Peter Desain –

Post-Laptop – looking at mobile devices, single board computers, non-computers, ubicomp distributed systems as ways to imagine a post-laptop music scene. Work w/ Frank on MacMini as singleboard computer. Bring in Stock w/ Gumstix – what support does he need that he has difficulty on his own or at V2? Discussion on things like Arduino now that we have seen it and the guy.

* To Do
Look at scheduling for the year
Plan studio time w/ Robert for projects