Upcoming Algoraves, June – August 2017

I’ll be performing at a number of Algoraves this Summer, and rather than make posts for each one here’s a list of ones happening between June – August:

Supersonic Festival, 16th June

Supersonic Festival is back in Birmingham after a one-year break and I’m curating and performing at it’s first Algorave. Alongside Mothwasp the Algorave will feature a collaboration between Heavy Lifting and Blood Sport with me on visuals, BITLIP, and Miri Kat.

BUMP, 23rd June

BUMP is a one-day design conference taking place in Kortrijk, Belgium. The lineup features speakers including Moon Ribas and Alex McLean amongst many others. Myself, Yaxu, and Algobabez will be providing algorithmic beats and visuals at the afterparty at De Kreun Rooftop.

bluedot festival, 9th July

After an amazing first appearance at bluedot in 2016, Algorave will be back at bluedot festival in Greater Manchester on 9th July. The lineup includes myself on visuals, with Coral Manton, Calum Gunn, Anny, Belisha Beacon, Canute, and Miri Kat.

Green Man festival, 19th August

Algorave will be making its first appearance at Einstein’s Garden at Green Man festival in Abergavenny, Wales. Lineup includes Qirky, Joanne, littlelifeform, Yaxu, and Chez.io.

If you wanna keep up with what I’m doing be sure to check out my events page or follow my Tweets.

Making of Blood Sport – Live at Cafe Oto video

On 5th May Blood Sport released their latest LP, Live at Cafe Oto which, as the name suggests, is a live recording of a 40 minute set they did as part of their residency at Cafe Oto.

To coincide with its release Blood Sport asked me to create a one-take video. The video below shows track two from the LP, Melts Into.

I first met Blood Sport whilst doing visuals for them + Heavy Lifting at the AlgoMech closing party. The visuals for that night, and my visuals in general, tend to be quite visuals noisy and heavily saturated with colour and pattern.

A post shared by Antonio Roberts (@hellocatfood) on

Under the guidance of Bloodsport I wanted to have each track of piece have its own unique identity. When working in programs like Blender or video editing software it can be quite easy to precisely time changes in visuals to music. If any mistakes, even minute ones, are made they can be rectified before rendering.

In a live setting having this amount of control becomes a lot more difficult and there’s no way to rectify mistakes at a later date. I can plan to cue certain effects but it’s still a constant case of responding to the music. In some ways the precise cueing and triggering of effects could be preprogrammed and automated, but this removes the live element of the live performance.

For this video I turned to my tool of choice, Pure Data. It’s a dataflow language, similar to vvvv, Max MSP, and Quartz Composer, that can be used for both music and visuals. I like it as the flow of data is visualised for you and it lends itself very well to live performances.

Within Pure Data I set up various elements, like the spinning cubes, the tunnel, feedback in the background etc and would trigger and manipulate them at certain times.

click to embiggen

As you can see the from screenshot of there’s a lot of controls and so I rely a lot on random number generators. This keeps things really interesting but can result in unpredictable results. Sometimes some of the over saturation and movement of objects is me scrambling to reset values but sometimes I like these accidents and so let it carry on.

I avoided using prerecorded video and made all of my own source textures and 3d models myself in Blender, Krita, Imagemagick and GIMP.

click to zoom and enhance

click for the biggening

The choice to work with still images instead of gifs or videos was inspired by some recent work I’ve seen from artists like Carrie Gates and Sam Mattacott. I liked how even with just one source image they can create a sense of movement.

For future work I’m going to be moving away from pure Pure Data slightly by incorporating OpenGL shaders which I think will give me a lot more flexibility.

The full 40 minute video will be made available at a later date. In the meantime you should buy their LP. They will be performing alongside Heavy Lifting at Supersonic Festival on June 16th.

Blood Sport – Live at Cafe Oto video

On 5th May Blood Sport released their latest LP, Live at Cafe Oto which, as the name suggests, is a live recording of a 40 minute set they did as part of their residency at Cafe Oto.

To coincide with its release Blood Sport asked me to create a one-take video. The video below shows track two from the LP, Melts Into.

The full 40 minute video will be made available at a later date. In the meantime you should buy their LP. They will be performing alongside Heavy Lifting at Supersonic Festival on June 16th.

Blood Sport - Live at Cafe Oto

Copyright as Frame and Prison video

CREATe have put the video from the Copyright as Frame and Prison panel discussion online.

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

The panel featured exhibiting artists Andrea Wallace & Ronan Deazley (Display at Your Own Risk), Duncan Poulton (Pygmalion), alongside myself, and Dr Shane Burke (lecturer in Law at Cardiff University).

May thanks to the audience for attending and for such great questions, and to CREATe for filming it.

No Copyright Infringement Intended continues at Phoenix until 21st May.

No Copyright Infringement Intended Curator’s Tour, 11th May

On 11th May I’ll be conducting a curator’s tour of the No Copyright Exhibition currently on at Phoenix in Leicester

Join No Copyright Infringement Intended curator Antonio Roberts for a guided tour of the exhibition, followed by a chance to ask questions about the show. The tour will be preceded by a short presentation called Ctrl + C, looking at the one-way system of cultural appropriation by corporations.

The tour is free to attend. No booking necessary.

There will be two tours on the day taking place from 13:00 – 14:00 and 18:00 – 19:00. This will be a great chance to ask questions about the works and curatorial decisions. See you there!

Elephant Magazine – Copyright as Medium

Issue 30 of Elephant Magazine was released in early March and, in a similar vein to issue 27, focuses on copyright:

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 82

The first copyright law, made in the eighteenth century, granted artists the exclusive right to control the copying of their original creations for 14 years. Too brief a period? Perhaps, but by the beginning of the twenty-first century, copyright’s term had grown to cover the life of the artist plus 70 years – which means that Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avigon will remain protected until 2043, 136 years after it was completed. Too long, surely?

In this issue we look at the twentieth-century phenomenon of “copyright creep” and its implications for artists working in the Digital Age.

The issue features an article from Dr Shane Burke titled Copyright as Medium. In the article he talks to several artists, including myself about copyright the use of copyright as a theme and driving force behind the creation of artworks. He pays particular attention to the “Blurred Lines” sonification piece I made the Common Property exhibition at Jerwood Space in 2016.

“The piece is effective only as long as it pushes the boundaries of what is acceptable. As the laws change I would need to change the work to reflect this. Overall for it to be effective it needs to do the opposite of what is permitted by law. It is only by doing this, and highlighting how, quite frankly, stupid these laws are that I can hope to bring about change.”

Asked how he feels about the fact that copyright law may impact directly on the form of this works, Roberts averred: “I’m happy about it but it also confuses me. I’m annoyed by the fact that a change in law can physically alter the state of an artwork (e.g. if I were ordered to censor/cover up offending parts of the work) or change how it’s perceived. At the same time, if in doing this it can help to start a discussion around copyright laws then I’m happy to be a part of it.” When asked if he considered copyright law as an artistic raw material in terms of his work, he replied: “Yes, as long as law can physically alter the appearance of an artwork then law is something tangible that can be manipulated and worked with.”

Go read the whole article on their website and buy the latest issue of Elephant Magazine for more.

Copyright as Frame and Prison: A Public Discussion, 28th April

On 28th April from 18:30 to 20:30 there will be panel discussion, Copyright as Frame and Prison, to coincide with the No Copyright Infringement Intended exhibition currently on at Phoenix in Leicester.

Alongside our exhibition No Copyright Infringement Intended, this discussion will highlight the disruptive power of technological innovation on culture and copyright.

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

The panel discussion will feature exhibiting artists Andrea Wallace & Ronan Deazley (Display at Your Own Risk), Duncan Poulton (Pygmalion), alongside myself (I curated this whole shindig), and Dr Shane Burke (lecturer in Law at Cardiff University).

This event is free. Tickets available here.

No Copyright Infringement Intended opening, 7th April

April 7th saw No Copyright Infringement Intended open its doors to the public. The exhibition, taking place from 7th April to 21st May, features work by 10 national and international artists, each exploring the relationship between copyright and culture in the digital age, investigating how the concept of ownership and authorship is evolving and coming into conflict with outdated copyright and intellectual property laws.

(photos below by Pamela Raith)

No Copyright Infringement Intended

No Copyright Infringement Intended

No Copyright Infringement Intended

It was really encouraging to see a large number of attendees, each with lots of questions about the ways in which the works challenge copyright and how it relates to their own practice or interests. Copyright is a sometimes complex issue and so I’m glad people didn’t shy away from learning more about it 🙂

No Copyright Infringement Intended

No Copyright Infringement Intended

No Copyright Infringement Intended

No Copyright Infringement Intended

My thanks go out to Chris Tyrer at Phoenix for the invite to curate this exhibition, Gino Attwood and the rest of the team at Phoenix for their help installing the works, and, of course, the artists – Nick Briz, Emilie Gervais, Nicolas Maigret, Christopher Meerdo, Jan Nikolai Nelles & Nora Al-Badri, Duncan Poulton, Fernando Sosa, Andrea Wallace & Ronan Deazley – for agreeing to be part of this exhibtion. I couldn’t be happier with it!

There will be two events during the exhibition: a panel discussion about the themes of the exhibition and a curator’s tour. More information on these will follow.

There’s plenty more photos from the opening night and installation photos available on my Flickr stream. If you take any please let me know and/or tag them with #nocopyrightintended.

There are plenty of printed programmes available (designed by the awesome Kerry Leslie) which is a work of art in itself. Message me if you want one. It’s also available online for your viewing pleasure:

The exhibition continues until 21st May at Phoenix. It will then go on to Vivid Projects in September.

Ways of Something at Flatpack Festival, 9th April

Flatpack Festival, in association with Vivid Projects, will be presenting the first UK screening of all four episodes of Ways of Something on 9th April from 12:15 pm – 2:30 pm at The Victoria.

Lorna Mills, features 114 net-based artists reinterpreting John Berger’s original Ways of Seeing, leaving only the original script and voice-over in tact. The resulting piece features animation, 3D rendering, gifs, film remix and webcam performance.

I’ll be there wearing my Vivid Projects Curator hat and will be doing a short introduction to the screening (I contributed to episode two). It’s also worth checking out the screening of the original Ways of Seeing that will be happening a day earlier on 8th April. In fact, just check out the whole of Flatpack Festival ’cause it’s awesome.

Imperica – Copyright, Culture, and Creativity

Imperica recently released the first issue of its digital magazine. I’m happy to have contributed an article called Copyright, Culture, and Creativity. The article focuses on how large commercial corporations appropriate and exploit internet cultures and aesthetics.

Beginning to understand copyright on even a basic level can be a career in itself and take years of study. Just as no users of technology read the terms of service, no artist spends their time studying the Statute of Anne in order to understand Copyright. And why should they? We’re in the business of creating art, not law.

It is this naeivtiy and lack of understanding which corporations, with their teams of copyright lawyers, can exploit in order to push the boundaries of what is acceptable. Artists, which includes anyone creating anything (yes, even a tweet is your work of art), do not have the luxury of being able to call upon the advice of expensive legal teams every time they create an artwork.

One such example of this exploitation is Left Shark. This high profile case centers around a meme born out of Katy Perry’s performance at the 2015 Superbowl. The performance featured Perry performing with dancers in costumes, including two sharks positioned either side of her. Viewers noticed that the shark on the left appeared out of sync with the other one, appearing even slightly drunk. The internet loved this and quickly Left Shark was born, with the memes appearing almost immediately.

It’s a good article to read to gain a greater understanding of the concepts behind No Copyright Infringement Intended.

The magazine also features some great articles and essays from Philip Ellis, Catherine Young, Ana Mendes, and more (they’re also looking for contributions for issue two. It’s available to buy now for £/$/€2.