CopyCamp 2017 video

The video of my presentation, No Copyright Infringement Intended, from CopyCamp has now been uploaded.

The presentation is largely about the No Copyright Infringement Intended exhibition along with some thoughts about how we can help artists better understand the complex area of copyright.

Photo by Rafał Nowak

Photo by Rafał Nowak

It of course featured sharks 😉 I posted a more detailed writeup of my experience for my Near Now fellowship blog, Curating the Machine.

Copyright as Frame and Prison video

The video from the Copyright as Frame and Prison panel discussion is now online. Many thanks to Michael Clifford for filming it.

Copyright as Frame and Prison

Copyright as Frame and Prison

Copyright as Frame and Prison

It was a very lively discussion, touching on many of the issues from the previous talk in Leicester but also had more viewpoints from within the creative industries. Many thanks to Lisa Beauchamp, Nikolai Nelles, and Francis Clarke for taking part and everyone for attending and having such great questions. If you missed the Leicester talk the video can be seen below.

End of No Copyright Infringement Intended

After a total of 68 days across two venues No Copyright Infringement Intended ended on 23rd September.

No Copyright Infringement Intended

No Copyright Infringement Intended

No Copyright Infringement Intended

No Copyright Infringement Intended

It’s been quite a learning experience and I’ve enjoyed pretty much every step of it! It’s been my biggest exhibition to date and I think it was a great success. I’m having a bit of a rest period so that I can go and teach at University of Westminster and Staffordshire University but I’m already planning thing for 2018.

Thank as always to Nick Briz, Emilie Gervais, Nicolas Maigret, Christopher Meerdo, Jan Nikolai Nelles & Nora Al-Badri, Duncan Poulton, Fernando Sosa, Andrea Wallace & Ronan Deazley for taking part, and to Vivid Projects and Phoenix for being such great hosts. And, lastly, thanks to Arts Council England for supporting yet another one of my projects 🙂

Copyright as Frame and Prison, 14th September

Copyright as Frame as Prison, taking part as part of No Copyright Infringement Intended, will be a conversation around the disruptive power of technological innovation on ideas around copyright.

Featuring a panel including Nora Al-Badri, one of the artists behind The Other Nefertiti artwork, Lisa Beauchamp, Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art at Birmingham Museums Trust, and Francis Clarke, organiser of the Birmingham Open Rights Group. And me.

Using the works within the exhibition as a starting point, a panel featuring participating artists and experts in copyright will discuss how emerging technologies are shaping creative processes, how (perceptions of) copyright enable/inhibit those technologically-enabled creative processes, the appropriateness of appropriation and its effect on creative practices.

This event is free. Tickets can be reserved here and are limited to 30 places. Get yours before they all go!

Memes (for Luc Tuymans), 12th September

As part of No Copyright Infringement Intended I will be leading a part presentation, part practical workshop, Memes (for Luc Tuymans), that will consider the history of the modern meme and how it sits contrary to outdated copyright laws which prevent using existing copyrighted imagery in new creative works.

Inspired by Christopher Meerdo’s 2016 project ♡°☆(ಠೆಒಠಿ)☆°♡ (for Luc Tuymans) participants are invited to create memes using Katrijn Van Giels photograph of Jean-Marie Dedecker as source material. The photograph itself was the subject of a plagiarism case against Antwerp-born painter Luc Tuymans, who used it as source material for his painting A Belgian Politician.

The results will be added to http://katrijnvangiel.tumblr.com/ with a credit to you, and exhibited at No Copyright Infringement Intended.

This workshop is free. Places can be reserved here. Participants will need to bring a computer with image editing software installed. We can advise on free alternatives should none be installed.

No Copyright Infringement Intended opening, 1st September

No Copyright Infringement Intended at Vivid Projects opened its doors to the public on 1st September and it went rather well! Having the pieces arranged differently in a bigger space definitely changes how they’re viewed. Each piece certainly has more space for itself, but in general it’s been a great learning experience having to consider how works can fill a space differently.

Photos below by Chole Minton
No Copyright Infringement Intended

No Copyright Infringement Intended

No Copyright Infringement Intended

No Copyright Infringement Intended

No Copyright Infringement Intended

No Copyright Infringement Intended

No Copyright Infringement Intended

No Copyright Infringement Intended

(more photos can be found here)

Thanks to Nick Briz, Emilie Gervais, Nicolas Maigret, Christopher Meerdo, Jan Nikolai Nelles & Nora Al-Badri, Duncan Poulton, Fernando Sosa, and Andrea Wallace & Ronan Deazley for agreeing to take part in the exhibition. It all really fits well together ^_^

Also thanks to Arts Council England, Phoenix, and Vivid Projects for their support of the exhibition.

The exhibition continues until 23rd September and will be open Thursday – Saturday, 12:00 – 17:00. There’s quite a few associated events taking place, including:

Get your tickets for those soon!

Green Man Festival 2017

I spent an intense eight days at Crickhowell installing my work, Mirrored, at Green Man Festival and I’m only now beginning to process it! Green Man is very different from a lot of music festivals. There’s a real focus on building a strong visual aesthetic and visual arts programme. The location itself is also beautiful and gives a pleasing backdrop to all the activities.

Green Man Festival

I was there to install my work, Mirrored. It was my first time building sculptural works at that size and my first time working outdoors. It was definitely a success, but as with all new experiences I learnt a lot and have a lot that I want to build on and develop further.

Mirrored

Mirrored

Mirrored

Mirrored

Mirrored

(more photos can be found here)

I’m currently thinking about how to develop the piece further, and exploring ways of possibly even ways of reconfiguring it for display in different environments. If you’re interested in displaying them please do get in touch.

Many thanks to Alexis Zelda Stevens and the rest of Green Man for the invite to develop and exhibit new work, and for taking me out of my comfort zone. It was scary but it’s definitely been beneficial for my practice and I can definitely see this being developed further.

V&A Digital Design Weekend, 23rd -24th September

On 23rd and 24th September I’ll be taking part in V&A’s Digital Design Weekend.

Back for the seventh year, the Digital Design Weekend brings together artists, designers, engineers, technologists and the public to celebrate and share contemporary digital art and design. Participants take over the Museum with pop-up installations, robotics, creative electronics, talks, workshops, family-friendly events and more.

The Digital Design Weekend explores human-machine interaction, making and collaborative work. The event coincides with the London Design Festival at the V&A.

I’ll be presenting Exposed and Unauthorised Copy, both of which were commissioned for the Short Circuit Project 2016 – 2017.

Short Circuit - Terminal 3

Short Circuit - Terminal 3

The programme also include rad folk such as Lawrence Lek, Morehshin Allahyari and Daniel Rourke, and much more!

Tickets are free. Get it now.

Five Days of Pure Data – Live Coding

In the years that I’ve been creating things in Pure Data I have amassed quite a collection of unfinished and messy patches. Over the last few days I have been releasing a few of these patches and techniques that I implement when programming in Pure Data.

Live Coding

The last tutorial isn’t that much about actually programming with Pure Data and is more about performing with it. More specifically, live coding. Live coding takes programming to a performative level. There’s been a lot of writing recently about Live Coding so take a look around. I’ve been programming live visuals for Pure Data since 2014 (a lot happened that year). It’s not without it’s problems, some of which I written about in the past.

One problem I’ve found is displaying your patch alongside your visuals. For live coding musicians this isn’t much of a problem as the output of the live patching is sent to the sound card, not necessarily the screen. For people live coding visuals in Pure Data the output (projector) would be needed for both the visuals output and the patch. If only there was a way to overlay the patches onto visuals (like in Fluxus, Cyril and Livecodelab)!

The most reliable cross-platform method to do this is to use Open Broadcaster Software (OBS). OBS is a great piece of software used by many gamers for livestreaming. A great feature of it is to be able to combine multiple media sources into one to then stream or send to a projector or video file.

To overlay your patch onto your visuals first create a GEM window with some graphics in it. In OBS, under Source click the + button and choose Window Capture. Give the new source a name. And then, under Window choose your GEM output window.

Next, create a new Window Capture source and give it a name (perhaps Pure Data patch). You may have noticed that your patch completely covers your GEM source. No worries! Right-click on your Pure Data patch source and click on Filters. In the next window click on the + button and choose Chroma Key. Give the new key a name (White).

In the next window, under Key Color Type choose Custom and then select the colour. You should choose white (#FFFFFF). You may need to change the settings under Similarity and Smoothness to get the right look.

If you’ve just tried this in Pure Data vanilla you’ll notice that your objects are also transparent. I’m using Purr Data (which you should too). In this version of Pure Data all of the boxes are slightly grey, resulting in them not being transparent when you apply the Chroma Key.

Imagine a scenario where you’re collaborating on an Algorave set with a musician and there’s only one projector. Both will want to project their code but there’s only one projector. What to do?! Luckily a combination of OBS and desktop sharing has you covered.

TidalCycles code from yaxu

If the musician can share their desktop over a network then you can add that in as a source in OBS and do the usual thing of applying a chroma key filter. However, this requires you both be on the same network, which isn’t always possible or efficient. However, if one of you has a recent Android phone you can get over this hurdle and have high quality desktop sharing quality.

On your phone create a wireless hotspot. You don’t need to use mobile data for this so feel free to turn it off.

Connect both machines to this newly created network.

On the remote (musicians) laptop, open Desktop Sharing options and enable the option “Allow other users to view your desktop”. You can choose to require a password and have a user confirm on each new access request.

On the host (visuals) machine open Remmina Remote Desktop Client.

In this new window click New. In the next window change the Protocol to VNC – Virtual Network Computing. In the Basic tap below click on the … button.

You should see the name of the remote computer listed. Click on one of them.

Finally, press Connect. When you try to connect to the remote machine you may get a prompt asking the user to confirm that the connection request is permitted.

Once the connection is approved you should see the remote machine on your computer!!! 🙂 And now you can go back to OBS and add that window as a source, apply a Chroma Key effect and then overlay it onto your visuals.

Sadly you can’t then use this source to apply as a texture to your objects in Pure Data, but it’s a great start to merging visuals and music live code. I first tried out combining my own code and visuals at the Chemical Algorave in Newcastle and it went really well. I also made use of OBS’s “Apply LUT” filter to change the colour of my whole video output.

MVI_3763

Chemical Algorave

I then tried incorporating a musicians code at the Algroave at BUMP in Kortrijk.

A post shared by Antonio Roberts (@hellocatfood) on

I’m hoping that this will help lead to more collaborations between Algorave musicians and visual artists 🙂

Five Days of Pure Data – Stop Motion

In the years that I’ve been creating things in Pure Data I have amassed quite a collection of unfinished and messy patches. Over the next few days I’ll be releasing a few of these patches and techniques that I implement when programming in Pure Data.

Stop Motion

It was at the Co-Position meeting of the Libre Graphics Research Unit in 2012 that I first encountered Toonloop. It’s creator, Alexandre Quessy, gave a live performance using lights, Lego pieces and other objects. I was really quite in awe of how stop-motion was used to create quite an enjoyable performance.

Of course my first instinct was to try and recreate this but in Pure Data. I wasn’t the first to try, and I in fact have some memory of seeing Toonloop’s creator himself trying to write something similar in Pure Data although I can’t find any sources…

My first instinct to recreate Toonloop was to use [pix_write] to write a series of images and then play those back using [pix_image]. The problem there is that there’s no easy way to read an arbitrary set of images from a directory.

In the end I learnt about [pix_buffer_write] which allowed me to story an image frame into a buffer which I can then call back using [pix_buffer_read]. So that’s the basic functionality sorted! When I went to Databit.me in 2013 Axel Debeul helped to improve the patch a lot. The improvements allowed me to save a video from each animation. You can find the most recent version of the patch below

That’s where the problems start to arise, some of which I haven’t solved yet. The videos are created via [pix_record]. When a frame is captured it is sent to [pix_record] and then recording is paused. However, when you look at the saved video it has a really weird frame rate and doesn’t play smoothly. Even when the frame rate is set explicitly it somehow doesn’t work.

Don’t ask me about the cat ears

Perhaps making a video out of the animations is something to be done in post processing rather than in Pure Data. [pix_record] has always been a very complicated object to work with so perhaps I need to investigate further and try to find the right configuration of all of its many options.