Live Blog

Wrapping it up


The last night of Patterns+Pleasure brought mind-blowing performances from artists across a wide range of musical (and not only) styles.

DJ Sniff opened the last night of music  with an explosive set of experimental ‘turntabelism’, playing everything from chopped-up beats and loops to pulsating textures.

Moldover was next on stage. He brought an eclectic mix of retro-sounding electric guitar, noisy electronical sounds …

Analog chaos computers: introduction



‘Analog Chaos Computers’ is a workshop about building your own small analog chaos computer.

Analog computers have dominated the world of science of simulation and process control up until the mid-1960′s. They have mainly been used by scientists to calculate difficult differential equations.

But this is, of course, not what is going to be the goal of this workshop! Instead of solving …

Celebration of DIY culture: Handmade music


Electronic noises from the most subtle and airy to the most harsh and loud ones fill the room with symphonic explosions as the last symposium of the festival starts. The symposium aims to celebrate the DIY culture and recognize some of the most innovative and bold hand-made sound-(and visuals)-generating instruments.

The host, journalist and digital musician Peter Kirn, gives a big hail to STEIM …

Composing in Real-Time with Audiomulch


The opening workshop of Day 3 was an introduction to the software ‘Audiomulch’. The workshop was given by Audiomulch inventor and programmer Ross Bencina.

Audiomulch is an interactive musicians’ interface for computer. It is used for live performance, composition, and sound-design. The software uses a non-linear, ‘signal-flow’ approach with a patcher-style user interface. It can be combined with external …

Improvisation: PLAYING BY EAR


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The first symposium of the day started, as usual, with an opening from STEIM director Dick Rijken who announced an inspiring session that would touch upon most of the topics that have been discussed during the past days. Among those, complexity and improvisation will be the focus of ‘Playing by ear’ symposium.

The theme of the discussion becomes relevant, according to Dick Rijken, …

Nina Boas: An Invitation into Unfamiliar Fantasies


A life-size paper cut silhouette moving back and forth in front of a video projection, held by a woman dressed in black singing French pop songs, surrounded by an audience sitting on the floor: if you recognise this, you’ve just been to a Nina Boas performance.

Boas started her performance behind her desk, drawing a tiny female character on a piece …

Alex Nowitz: Composing Interaction


The final performance of this Tuesday evening was given by composer and voice artist Alex Nowitz. In a spectacular way he made the audience experience what it meant to have full control over your voice and how to explore your vocals and technical abilities.

Alex Nowitz brought two shows to the stage: the first piece was called ‘Minotaurus’, the second one …

JESSICA RYLAN: crazy electronics


Jessica Rylan is an “artist turned engineer”, as she describes herself. It is not surprising then that I found her making drawings with the X-Y plotter (driven by chaotic analog computer solving ) at the Frascati theater today, which you could (and should) have a look at if you’re planning to visit the Patterns + Pleasure Festival these days. As for …



With cap on sideways and baggy shorts, which he directs our attention to, authentic hip-hop gear: “we’re all like that”, Edison brings us into an atmospheric synthesized loop. Here comes the funky drum beats. Warped orchestral bells provide the accent. He bends over his lunchbox controller, tapping and twisting. We get an explanation: “It’s a box with 64 buttons. They all …

HKU’s interactive music+dance installation


Right after the performance of Lightning-Magnetic Self-Rotation, a pilot project with students from the Conservatory of Amsterdam, we had the chance to look into another interactive music (+ dance) project involving HKU’s KMT (Art, Media & Technology Course) Instrument Design class. This time as a presentation (which did make the audience wish for a live performance, hopefully with another …

Intuition and Wonder, Erfan Abdi Dezfouli and Joel Ryan

Joel begins with a metaphorical way to talk about instrument-making: The inside-out trombone.

He begins with the postulation: Instrument making is not interface building. For the one who makes an instrument, it is not even clear what ‘the music’ is. It is not clear until they play the instrument. Considering the trombone, one might say it is an ‘archetypal’, ‘joke’ instrument, …

Gardening Complexity, Koert van Mensvoort


Koert, who has been working with for years opens by saying that he is many things, artist, scientist, designer, engineer, writer, blogger, teacher… but not a musician.

Gardening Complexity is for him one of the most important stories of our current time: If we consider our planet, it has not just a geosphere, but a biosphere that took …




Everybody is at least familiar by now with STEIM’s Cracklebox, so that needs no introduction (for those of you visiting Patterns and Pleasure Festival, you have the chance to play with a real one here, or even buy one – that’s the background noise you keep hearing throughout Frascati these days).

But some people want to have their own Crackleboard instrument, …

Gardening Complexity, Staas de Jong

We are going to be given a brief look at Staas de Jong’s research: touch and musical interaction. He has brought a cactus and delivers the following discourse:

‘Let’s say I come with a deep question: what is a musical instrument, and what can it be?

How could we go about this discussion?
We could think of things we know, systems, and make …

Interview with Glitch artist Rosa Menkman


Since when have you been busy with Glitch art? How did you get into it?
Rosa: In 2006 I visited an exhibition called ‘World Wide Wrong’ by the artist collective Jodi. This was my first run in the glitch, and since then I’ve been exploring glitch in many different ways. In 2008 I had my first performance concerning Glitch art.

Do you …

Lunch concert, Lightning-Magnetic Self-Rotation



Lightning-Magnetic Self-Rotation is a multidisciplinary pilot project at the Conservatory of Amsterdam under the guidance of Jos Zwaanenburg and Nick Granville. The main idea behind the project – GENRE plays no role. A mixture of jazz, classical, pop and technology, the group’s music combines composed and strictly predefined material with completely open improvisations triggered by (and here’s the catch) …

Gardening Complexity, Sonia Cillari

Sonia Cillari speaks to us and shows us works concerning Performative Spaces and the Body as Interface.`

Her interests, fascinations, lie in understanding space, the body, the human senses, sensing spatial experiences; how can we redefine the way we understand interaction in contemporary art? How do we reconstruct our internal and external worlds by means of our sensorial system? ‘The only entity …

Workshop Glitch Art: Error as Art

Glitch Pony

With the guidance of Rosa Menkman, the participants investigated some of the ways in which they can manipulate images. The first way in which they changed the visual aspect of the picture was by changing and copying the picture data in it’s .bmp file. By messing up the picture’s inner structure, the visual outcome was differentiated, giving the image the …

Gardening Complexity, Dick Rijken

Dick Rijken introduces the symposium on Gardening Complexity, which is both the theme of the symposium as well as one of the research themes to be investigated by STEIM the coming years.

This theme is interesting because the idea of complexity is around us. The international monetary and banking system is becoming so complex that it is impossible to predict. The …

Workshop Glitch art: Introduction

According to visual artist Rosa Menkman, our guide through the world Glitch art, 10 A.M. is far too early to organise a workshop. Nevertheless the Glitch art workshop has begun, with the necessary amount of coffee, of course.

Glitch art uses corruptions appearing in programs, but instead of seeing them  as errors, Glitch artists give another meaning to them. They use …

author & punisher



First evening’s last act was Tristan Shone from California, also know as Author & Punisher.

Author & Punisher is a one-man-doom-and-drone-metal-band playing custom fabricated machines and controllers. Tristan obviously feels that heavy music should also be performed on heavy controllers, as you can tell by taking a look at his setup. The physical strength needed to actually perform on this instrument …

TOKTEK vs SIMON BERZ, a match made in heaven



With an up-front warning that their performance would either be something brilliant or something ‘that sucks’, toktek & Simon Berz bashfully admitted that that’s what they love about their collaboration. And at the end of the show, that’s what the audience loved too. The result was stunning, overwhelming, funny, strong, loveable. A perfect roller coaster of electronics.

Tom Verbruggen alias toktek, one of the Dutch …

Fuyuki Yamakawa: The body as an instrument and more


Many in the audience had curious expectations about Fuyuki Yamakawa’s performance. Those who have seen him before (abroad, as this was his Netherlands premiere) or checked out his video on the web knew that this was going to be an intense performance. And that is was. Definitely.

The performance started by Yamakawa using his own forehead as a drum and hitting …

Ground (Jeroen Uyttendaele & Dewi de Vree)


Markus, audience member, 20:32: “The only expectation I have is no expectations. I desire to be overwhelmed with the unexpected, to be caught by surprise and to hit the pillow in shock and awe! To me, it feels like it’s in line with musical cross-media events, like Robodock and the experimental events taking place at Smart Project [Space]/[LAB]111. It’s like …

Experts Meeting, Archiving the Unarchivible

During the first Expert Meeting of the festival, a variety of individuals from different institutions and fields came together to discuss the process of archiving. How should we archive our video, digital and media culture and for whom do we do it? Among the participants were Kristina Andersen, Arie Altena and Lucas van der Velden.

The meeting started by asking everyone …

enactive spaces: ready and set to go


Having worked on getting the output from the sensors on the network into the computers the Enactive Spaces workshop participants were finally ready to place the sensors around Frascati theater!

The space set up on the staircase got an infrared sensor that will move the playing position of a sample played back on two speakers if you come close to the …

The New Past, Nina Wenhart


Nina Wenhart speaks of her experience documenting and archiving for the Ars Electronica Futurelab’s videostudio.

The archival work included cleaning up, annotating material, and making descriptive notes, such as those search terms which might be used in order to find the work in Google. This approach was used with all the materials found and with interns who had almost zero knowledge, …

The New Past, Kristina Andersen


Kristina Andersen explains and demonstrates her work in what she calls ‘archiving the unarchivable, collecting the STEIM stories’. How do we deal with the past and document that which hardly can be documented? Yes, you can capture it on video, but the ‘what it was about’ escapes.

We are granted images of a stage, a room full of dusty boxes …

enactive spaces: brainstorming



Having finished setting up the network and installing all needed software, the Enactive Spaces artists had a look at the three available spaces within Frascati that will be used for setting up the interactive installations.

Space one will be a part of the staircase close to the theater’s entrance. The shape of the wall is especially suitable for projecting sounds and …

The New Past, opening by Dick Rijken


People chat in the front rows. Music sounds, and an animated projection of the festival artwork is accompanied by the sung words ‘feelin’ just fine’ and the room fills.

Dick Rijken, director of STEIM introduces the festival, speaking of the now of STEIM, in 2011:

Patterns+Pleasure is related to the fact that we do what we do because we think it is …

setting up enactive spaces

ES 01

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“Enactive spaces” just finished a brief introduction about the Sense/Stage system. The core of the Sense/Stage hardware is called a “MiniBee” board. It is designed to be low cost, small, usable for control of motors, LEDs, and other actuators. The MiniBee is used with Arduino. After uploading the Sense/Stage firmware to the board you can start hooking up sensors and actuators.

The …

Introducing the new past


The first part of ‘The New Past’ symposium gave an insight into Kristina Andersen’s digging through STEIM’s attic. She found pictures, posters, newspaper articles, homemade instruments and movies showcasing moments from STEIM’s history. Through her archiving projects Kristina aims to tell stories and save them from disappearing into history’s bin by giving them a context ‘in the now’.

A …

Exploring Enactive Spaces


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The opening workshop of Patterns + Pleasure has just started. “Enactive Spaces is a hands-on introduction to distributed sensor networks for artists.” The workshop will explore the potential of every-day rooms and spaces as reactive environments.

During the six-hour workshop three groups are going to build three functioning interactive sound and light installations throughout the Frascati theater. The sensor technology used is …

Live Blogging from Frascati


We’re still busy building up the settings for the first day’s events and gigs at Patterns + Pleasure Festival. This is how the concert hall looks like now. Hope you’ll be here to see it packed with people tonight, during performances from Fuyuki Yamakawa, Author & Punisher, Ground and Toktek vs Simon Berz. In the meantime …