Musically Incorrect Records
Not a secret that Finland has quite a strong noise community, where Pekka Pt could be named as a talent of a newer generation. Pekka PT is a perfect example of a typical modern underground activist who has more projects in his head then he could fulfill physically. Despise your wishes, acknowledgement and fame will be reached much quicker with such amount of projects. Let’s get acquainted with this persona. Greetings Pekka, maybe firstly about your personality? The thing that be the most important for you in interview at the beginning? Hi, my name is Pekka PT. I'm over 20 but under 30 years old and I live in Turku, Finland. At the moment I'm trying to balance between a university student and an idler. I've been involved in the ug music scene for a few years now. I'm a self-styled Caveman Dandy. So how was the urge to experiment with sound born? And how improved do you feel now? In my early teens I had a couple of friends who played guitar and bass, and they asked if I’d like to play drums with them. I had already been listening to music for a while so I thought to give it a try. I switched the drums to guitar quite soon and found new people to play with. I had also slowly started to get interested in a bit more experimental music like 70s progressive rock and some contemporary indie/alternative rock. It's been quite a natural and usual progress from slightly experimental stuff to weirder and weirder shit, I think. Finding something new lead to other new things and so on… I sure hope I have improved as a musician. Since I started I've learnt different instruments, recording techniques, reading/writing music, etc. In the beginning I took some drum and guitar lessons, but everything else I've studied by myself, partly from books, mostly by trial and error. I'm not an expert on anything, but I know about a lot of different things and I feel confident about my ability to make good music of various kinds. On the whole what influenced formation of your creation and world view?
Everything affects everything. As a musician I don't try to copy anyone, but as everyone should know, every riff and chord progression has already been written by someone else. I'm sure that quite a lot of what I've listened to will unconsciously manifest itself in my own music. I think my worldview, just like anyone's, is built around my personal experiences, things I've been involved in, seen, read, etc. I don't think I fit into any specific subculture or ism, or at least I hope so. Only sheep need a leader, as someone said, and only weak-willed and unconfident people need to belong to a certain artificial group or community, or follow a certain dress code. I don't have much hope for humanity, and I don't understand how any thinking individual could have. I don't claim to be special, but I know what my strengths are and how to utilize them, and what my weaknesses are and how to overcome most of them. What people should in my opinion do is to try to find a balance between different extremes in life and be able to go from one to other when the situation calls. That's also what I mean by the Caveman Dandy in the first answer. The typical evolution of individuality to experimental music: punk or metalhead beginning after which comes musical and thought frame rejection, so the space of cognition broadens relentlessly. And here we are in “experimental” and in everything related. It seems that we “stuck” here for a long time. ;) Do you find here any grain of truth? Why have we “stuck” so? What comes next?
It seems that when people get into "experimental" music (with or without quotation marks) they have already listened to other kinds of music for some time, and as experimental music is usually the least available music, it might very well be that stylistically there's not much further to go.
Experimental music, of course, covers a lot of ground and there are several different kinds of it, so if you "progress" from improvised music to noise or from drone to whatever it happens under the "experimental" category, but the music differs a lot. With metal and punk, I think, the genre definitions are much stricter, so something that doesn't sound like punk cannot be punk, whereas in "experimental" music almost anything seems to go (unfortunately there's so much crap that's legitimized by calling it experimental). Having been listening to (and making) music for years, one change I've noticed in myself is that I've become more intolerant of bad music, no matter the genre. Good is good and (On Audiobot). I hope they all will be released before the first Clay Figure rock bad is bad. album. The name Clay Figure came from an Musically Incorrect records, Gelsomina, installation that I saw in some art book Skullpture, Clay Figure, Russian Vitamins titled something like "35000 clay figures on these are all the projects you're busy a field". It was a room filled with small with? (bravo!) Please introduce each (with primitive clay figures. I thought it was an name meanings, conceptions, short excellent work of art and decided to use its name. Luckily I came to my senses soon histories, other pleasant nuances)? enough and shortened it to just Clay Figure. Musically Incorrect Records (MIR) is my cdr Russian Vitamins is a goofy label. See below for more. electro/computer tracker project that has Gelsomina is the moniker under which I make done one full and one split cdr. It's stupid harshnoise. Gelsomina is an Italian shit and I'll probably record one more cdr woman's given name, but more importantly when I have time (only because I have an it's the name of the protagonist of the excellent title for it) and then it's byeFederico Fellini film "La Strada". When I bye for RV. The name is taken from first saw the film I was (and still am) Einstürzende Neubauten track "Yü-Gung", fascinated, even obsessed by that which has a phrase "lass'uns noch was Vodka character and the actress Giulietta Masina holen, russische Vitamine" (let's have more who played the part. I started the project vodka, Russian vitamins). in 2001 basically to see whether I could make decent noise. I guess that And that's not all! There's also band called experimentation turned out to be a success, Agonost'ikon, in which I play guitar. We're as Gelsomina's first cd proper, "Disease still searching for our style a bit. The With A Purpose", has been said to be the first cdr was lo-fi monotonic noisy space best harshnoise album ever made in Finland. rock, but we've done also some black/doom recordings and will hopefully Before that I've made a few cdr's and taken metal part in some compilations and done a couple continue to that direction in the future. of collaborations. At the moment of writing this I'm working on the material for the I'm also a part-time member of the band Verde and there's also some collaboration upcoming Grunt/Gelsomina collaboration. projects and other things going on… Skullpture see below. Clay Figure was started in 2000 when I got myself a decent 4-track recorder (which I still have and use). It was originally a 4track recording project for all kinds of experimental stuff that I could come up with, drone, sound collage, folky stuff… I did a few cdr's of that and also did a collaboration live show with Uton. Clay Figure has now, however, turned into a rock band and will probably lose most of its fans (if there are any) when the next album comes out. There's still one compilation cd with "old style" Clay Figure track coming up, as well as collaboration cdr's with both Uton (on Nature Tape Limb) and Verde
makes sense, but it's not the one I had originally in mind. But of course all art/entertainment is open to different interpretations. I don't care what people think of my doings I know what they mean to me, but others might take them differently. Falling ill... Could also mean conforming to rules of society to be able to live in it. Tell what you experience while creating? Do you feel an inner harmony? Or is it inspired by inner anxiety, fear, disbalance? I divide the creative process into two parts: the actual playing/performing music, which is to me very emotional process; and mixing/editing/producing, which is very intellectual process. I can't really analyze my feelings while playing and recording, but of course they have a major effect. If you're too relaxed, you'll be sloppy, but if you're not relaxed at all, you can't usually come up with anything; if you're too pissed off, you only break your things, but if you're not pissed off at all you rarely come up with anything creative, etc. So it's once again a matter of finding a balance.
Skullpture Talking about the new work of Gelsomina “Disease for a purpose” (which is really good by the way), i found the message at the bottom of the cover which is the following: “sometimes one must fall ill in order not to die”. What do you have in mind saying this? Does falling ill mean to do the things that society consider sick and weird , and so to stay alive among all that braindead crowd? Whats your position? Thanks! That cd has got really good feedback, and I'm also very happy with it. The phrase "sometimes one must fall ill..." I stole from a song by a Finnish late 1980s/early1990s pop band Noitalinna Huraa. I don't remember the original context of that phrase, but it sounded good and just stuck with me. I like to take different phrases that I hear or read and put them into new context when writing song lyrics or other things or making up song titles. Anyway, when making the "Disease..." CD I had some major problems with some personal relationships, and I had to push some people out of my life to be able to continue with it. That was very painful and depressing but still had to be done falling ill not to die. This same theme is handled also in some Clay Figure songs. Your interpretation is interesting and
All right so lets take MIR records! Does it have any connections with political incorrectness? What does it (musically incorrect) mean for you personally? And do you consider yourself politically incorrect? Well, Musically Incorrect is obviously a word play on the phrase "politically incorrect". MIR releases music with no concern at all whether it is right kind of music approved by mainstream music listeners or underground trendsetting elite, thus musically incorrect. So in way it's the same thing. I do have political opinions, and I guess some them are "correct", others "incorrect". I don't care what others think about my opinions. I do things my way, whether it's "right" or "wrong". How does MIR work? How do you choose the artists for release? To what kind of music is the label devoted? You do really nice packaging and cover! Those releases are limited edition yes?..and what about distribution, how does it work there in Finland and abroad? Sale or trade which is priority? By buying and trading records I get to hear a lot of new music. Sometimes, if I like the music enough and think it would be suitable and sensible that I'd release it on MIR, I get in touch with the artist and ask if they're interested.
I don't get much demos, and that's good, but I've released a couple of things that I've heard that way. Much of what I've released on MIR is also something that I'm personally involved in.
more to come. Nowadays we use mostly guitars, effect processors and metal junk as instruments. Take a look at Skullpture w e b s i t e a t http://www.iki.fi/mmikkon/skullpture.
As I mentioned, I have to like the artist's music. It also has to fit in with the very broad spectrum that I consider "experimental music", ie. music done with no consideration whether it's proper music. Also, the music mustn't promote values or opinions that I don't approve of, so you shouldn't expect much political music of any kind, christian music, vegan/sxe propaganda or any shit like that on MIR. Thanks for your comment about the packaging. I'm happy with most of my releases, but I admit I could've done better covers for some of the early ones. The editions have been limited between 20100 copies, and from now on probably between 70-150 copies. Uton and Verde cdr's are unlimited. There are some nice distros in Finland and elsewhere that distribute some of my releases. I usually trade with them and get records for myself to listen or to sell/trade onwards. I also distribute some other labels' releases also myself, but I'm trying to cut down on that a little and concentrate mostly on the releases of my own bands/projects. As for sale or trade, when you sell records for money, you can't really lose, money is money. When trading there's always the chance that the records you get will be the greatest things you've ever heard, but also the risk that they're the worst crap you've ever heard and go straight to trashcan after one listening. It's usually the latter, but I still like to trade as much as I can. Skullpture is it a project or a real band? How do you afford to stay together? What determines the longer existence of the band? Intellect or/and open-minded things? Skullpture is a 3-piece band with equal input from each member. I don't quite understand what you mean by the rest of your question, so I'll just write something about the band… Skullpture was formed in 2002 or so by me and two of my friends, and the line-up has been the same since the beginning. We make improvised droning music and aim to be a mix between Vibra cathe dral Orche stra, Throb bing Gristle and Sunn O))). We've released this far 3 cdr's on different labels and there's
The Human Neutron Missile Squad something interesting that I forgot, so any news with that unit? THNMS is a safety valve project of me and one friend of mine. It's for ideas too stupid for our other bands/projects. We just got out our second cdr album, "SKDL Rock", which is a real masterpiece of trash. It includes also covers of Sonic Youth, Hendrix and Kiila. What interests you more in Underground except musical things? I like also films and visual art of different kinds. Some of them coming from underground are good and interesting, but most are just pretentious shite. “....Music could be good, even healing, but music could be evil as well, music has always been used by peoples that want to dominate others!… …as of other things, music have to be criticized, you should look deep into her and make your own opinion about what you're listening at!!” (taken from Cynfeirrd mag) ANY COMMENTS? Yes, music can be used as a propaganda tool for any ideology or aim. Political songs, racist songs, religious songs, commercial jingles, etc. Of course one should listen to music critically, trying to see (hear) what's behind the surface and remember that things might not always be what they seem to be, ie. there isn't necessary just one correct interpretation of certain piece of music. Irony is a fine art.
Are you participating in Finnish cultural/social life? What does it look like from the outside? Of course. One cannot live outside a society/culture, it's no use even trying. You always have to communicate with other people and use services and products provided by the society you live in. If anyone out there claims the opposite, think again. I've been a student, unemployed and done both white- and blue collar work, so I've seen at least some different things and people. I can't really compare Finnish society and culture with other countries as I've only lived in Finland and I'm not one of those experts that know everything about some alien culture when they've read a book or two about it or spent a couple of months there. I don't know if I answered your question, but I hope I did… And notice that here I'm speaking about "culture" in its broad definition, ie. as the whole way of life/system of shared values/etc, not just something that has something to do with arts and stuff. Do you see the classical opposition between high and low art in Finland? …between classics and avantgarde, official art and underground?
in 2002 and has been sold out for a long time already. It featured Michael Knight Ensemble, Cerebral Pals, Sewing Machine, THNMS and Major Volcanics, so it was more of alternative rock, improv, no-wave, krautrock, not noise or ambient. Tell us about Finnish noise/exp./ambient scene! I know there firstly stands big noise magnates as Freak Animal, Kaos Kontrol (a few words about them please!), but I'm more interested in smaller ones as yours Hammasratas, Haamumaa, so any new/old artists, labels, zines to check? One cannot underestimate Freak Animal's influence on the Finnish noise scene, they're by far the most important noise label and distro in Finland, and also very significant in the noise scene worldwide. I'm sure that every Finnish noise fan has bought most of his noise records from FA. Kaos Kontrol is also worth high praise, although I admit that I haven't been that enthusiastic about some of their releases. But it's great to have them around anyway. Hammasratas and Haamumaa are definitely worth checking out. Hammasratas is more concentrated in noise, whereas Haamumaa releases mostly drone/outsider stuff.
Here's some recommendations off the top of my head: bands - Doktor Kettu, Kuusumun Profeetta, Stalwart, Uton, Verde, Circle, Fleshpress, Grunt + its spin-offs Clinic Of Torture and Nicole 12, Strom.ec, The Nihilistik Kitchen Unit, Creamface, Beip, etc…; labels Kult Of Nihilow, Northern Heritage, Ektro, Some Place Else, Bestial Burst, etc…; zines Degenerate/Freak I don't care if art (be it music, film, Animal, Northern Heritage, Maggotmail, painting or whatever) comes from mainstream or underground if I like it I etc… I haven't seen too many interesting Finnish zines lately. like it, no matter who has done it. In the underground you often come across the completely idiotic idea that only underground art is good and true art and everything else is soulless crap. Fuck off no one tells me what to like and what not.
Yesterday's avantgarde is today's official art, it seems, and probably many works of art that are considered avantgarde today will be "found" in the decades to come. Of course there are always things that will remain in the underground forever.
Now I have two of your beautiful compilation cdrs its #2 'Music Makes a Quiet Mind' that I find quite disturbing, not so quiet (read>noisy); and #3 'Northern Unlights' which is really more calmer, so can I ask you what next?
#4 will probably be released in 2005. I have some ideas about its style/concept already, but I won't reveal any yet as they're not 100% sure. There was also #1 The Moon Is Out Of Order, it was released
By the way if we touched the word 'zine' I know its (zine) one of your newest upcoming project- very interesting and welcomed! Tell us details about it, why are you starting it (wanna loose more money ) and what kind of material should we expect? ..oh and what are your personal favourite Underground papers? The first issue of Dilettante's Digest has just been released when I'm writing this. It's an experimental music fanzine mostly, but I'd also like to include some more film stuff there in the future issues. The first issue has interviews with Verde, Uton, Rats With Wings, Hammasratas and Fencing Flatworm Recordings and a whole lot of record and film reviews. I've already planned the second issue a bit and it'll come out when it's ready. I had planned starting a zine already at least a couple of times before, but it wasn't until in the very beginning of 2004 that I actually started to work on one. Making a zine is fun and also gives me a chance to practice my writing.
more pleasurable to hold an actual zine in your hands and read it while lying on a couch or sitting in a toilet. I always prefer actual 3-dimensional objects to streams of data in cyberspace (yes I'm a materialist), and I'm sure that there will always be paper zines. Any new exp./noise musi(c)k artists that brought lots of freshness to the world noise community that you would like to recommend? I heard a cdr by Elk Fauna from Japan that was just amazing power electronics/noise. Groyxo isn't very new, but he's not nearly as known as he'd deserve to be. Guttural Strap-On from Sweden is another project that I only heard recently, and his work is just amazing dark ambient. I'm sure there are others, too, but can't remember any at the momentâ€Ś
My favourites: Bananafish, Dream Magazine, Broken Face (that was sadly stopped after 18 issues), Degenerate/Freak Animal, MĂ¤nty (a Finnish-written hc/thrash zine), etcâ€Ś The first issues of Rigodon and Night Science zines were excellent, and I'm really looking forward for their upcoming issues. The latest issue of Infected By Dementia was also very good. What do you think about webzines? Their strengths and weaknesses? Are they relevant for you overall? And what about the Underground paper zines, in which point of importance, popularity, productiveness do they stand in nowadays?
What do you think about the noise and industrial music field where such negative phenomenons as sadism, nazism, violence and perversion dominate? you don't seem to suffer from it, don't you ?
If people want to handle such subjects in their works, that's their business. If the subject matter, no matter what it is, Webzines are ok. I read them sometimes is researched and presented well enough, if I have time, but not very often. it'll add to the music and possibly make Usually I just check out interesting reviews and interviews. They are a good it more interesting and comprehensive way of spreading information and easily for the listener. If, on the other hand, "extreme" subject matters such as those accessible (if you have internet you mention are used just for "shock connection available of course), but that can also be a weakness, as it makes tactics", it's kinda stupid. You can usually tell quite easily whether the it easy to publish anything. artist is serious or if he's just playing Writing process is of course always the around with "extreme" subjects. I'm not same, but otherwise making a paper zine into nazism at all, and I don't have much interest for openly political music in defini tely requir es a lot more commitment printing, distribution, etc. general either. Pornography of any kind I like paper zines much more, it's much is always good entertainment, but
cutting a picture from a porn mag or stealing one from the internet and putting it on the record cover is kind of cheap in my opinion. Those people who don't have to prove anything usually do the best work in this area. Do you have any specific places that are close to your heart and that you want to come back to from time to time…to visit, get some energy and so on? If yes, could you describe? If you mean certain locations in nature, sceneries, etc, I'd say no. I lived the first 18-19 years of my life in the heart of the Finnish countryside, so I guess I saw enough of that back then. I still like nature and enjoy a walk in the woods, but I prefer seeing new places instead of returning to the same old ones. I don't know if it's the same thing, but living in a city, there are certain bars, cafes, pizza joints, etc. that I prefer instead of others..? How can one become himself? By doing what one feels like doing instead of what is generally considered good, proper or whatever. I suppose its hard to “escape” from plans so please write them here: There aren't many at the moment. On MIR, there's the new Clay Figure cdr coming up in autumn 2004. I've also planned a couple of other releases, but nothing is sure yet. Grunt/Gelsomina collaboration is progressing slowly but steadily, I don't know when it's going to be finished and who'll release it and in which format. Some Skullpture releases will also be coming up. I'll probably concentrate mostly on Clay Figure in the near future… The official MIR website is also under construction and should be ready when this zine comes out. Good luck with your projects Please write your last comments?
You had interesting and some different from usual questions here, which was nice. Thanks for your interest and support and keep up the good work!
Pekka PT, Puistokatu 3 D69, 20100 Turku, Finland email@example.com
ALGORITHMIC PSYCHOGEOGRAPHY Taken from socialfiction.org
The generic principle applied to the city walk
19th Century opium eater Thomas de Quincey remains the first reported case & indeed the prototype of the obsessive drifter. With no other goal in mind than to satisfy his curiosity about what might be discovered around the next corner, De Quincey spent entire days randomly strolling around London. In the 20th century, the surrealists in the 30ties & the Lettrists in the 50ties elaborated on this urge by transforming it into a systematic practice. In the 60ties the Situationists took this activity to the next level by developing psychogeography: the science of the dĂŠrive, the drift. These dĂŠrives were not random, but persuaded the psychogeographer to use his or her imagination to experience the urban surroundings in a new way. Methods they adopted for this were for instance to literally followed their nose by chasing smells or navigating through Paris on a map of London. What drove the situationists to the streets can hardly be called curiosity - political & theoretical motivations were the key forces. From the 70ties onwards psychogeography kept attracting people but more as an academic bon mot & seldom as something to actually DO. But the curiosity to discover all aspects of the city didn't stop here. It reappeared under the moniker of Urban Exploration. A world wide discipline & an enthusiastic international network of people who spent their free time by "going places where you are not supposed to go". A search on Google opens up this spectrum with dozens of well documented sites. Perhaps the only limitation in the scope of this phenomena is the strong tendency towards sensation seeking, making most activities dangerous &/or illegal. The exploration of public space has often been overlooked as too obvious. It is that which Social Fiction sets out to do with a Psychogeography project of our own. After some initial experiments with the situationist methods, we soon grew dissatisfied with them because we didn't succeed in completely opening up the city. For example, in our first experiment we went around with 2 groups in the newly built town Leidsche Rijn (in the armpit of Utrecht, Holland). Both groups were provided with a map of Rome & left in different directions with the agreement to meet again half an hour later on the south bank of Ponte Garibaldi. Even though we had a pleasant afternoon we felt that this way of manoeuvring was too strongly influenced by the limits of personal tastes, expectations & biases. What we needed was an objective method which gave us the opportunity to stroll around town free of prejudices because we suspected that the psychogeographical effects would be stronger if the route was as clear as possible. We wanted to stroll around in a way that resembled John Cage's dictum that he gave his musicians 'directions but no map'.
Having established all this, our attention was soon focused towards John Conway's 'Game of Life' in which we found the clue we were looking for. The power of the Game of Life is that no matter how simple the rules are, one cannot predict what will happen to a colony in any given situation, neither for the immediate nor for the distant future. The only way to find out what will happen is to execute the program. In this vein we devised a set of rules which carves out an endless route through the city which, we hoped, would not be predictable & which keeps the psychogeographical pedestrian wondering where the logic of the strollalgorithm will take him/her.
These scores can be added up to make for a high-score, thus determining which route out of many is the most powerful. The cross reference of all experiments might tell which specific places have a strong influence on the average agent. An other option would be to equip the ag en ts wi th a ma ch in e th at re gi st er s th e psychogeographical sensations. Machines that are currently better known as lie-detectors. This last option is to horrible to actually putinto practise.
Up until now we have only informally discussed the experiences afterwards. It soon turned out that the rules worked like we expected them to. When an agent is convinced of his knowledge of the city, the contrary is In the summer of 2001 we have undertaken 3 soon proved.A generic stroll is a constant surprise. It is experiments to test our assumptions. The directions we unpredictable where the logic of the direction will push gave to the participants were all variations on this kind the agent to next, not just for the next half hour but for of formula: the 4th next turn as well. Like in the Game of life, the smallest change leads to entirely different routes. When strolling on a 2nd right, 2nd right, 1st left algorithm, 33 generations might bring you to point A. When a second 2nd right agent executes the same algorithm but encounters a street that the first agent could pass but has now been 2nd right blocked, the resulting journey will end up kilometres away. Comparing of routes has also proven that every 1st left minor change in the directions (say the change from 3rd left to right) has an enormous impact on the agents repeat. route. The experiments we will undertake in the summer of 2002, already dubbed 'The Hot Summer of Psychogeography' will result in more detailed insights in the inner workings on the behaviour of our algorithm. At this stage we will present some first observations & suggestions to improve our method. The success of these experiments is dependent on 3 different variables. 1) The ability of the directions to enslave the participant; to create the desire to find out where this all 'will lead to'. 2) The real unexpected 'new-ness' of the stroll 3) The actual enhancement of the agents cognitive map with new images & experiences of the city. The first & second facilitates the third. The actual psychological effects of these strolls are difficult to measure. We propose to develop an objective test to calculate subjective results by giving the stroll a more game-like character. The agent could submit scores to specific sites according to the psychogeographical effects it invokes.
The often heard first reaction on our algorithm is that it won't bring us very far because our stroll will end up in a loop. A second thought is often sufficient to eliminate this idea: as long as you are not walking in one of those rare pure symmetrical cities this won't happen very often. Until now it has only happened once in approximately 30 strolls that someone got trapped in a loop. This didn't happen immediately but after an hour, so in rare urban constellations it does occur. Another thing that might stop the stroll prematurely is a dead end. We argue that this should be seen as a worthwhile result. Under no circumstances should the agent resume his or her stroll by just breaking the deadlock & continue executing it in a randomly chosen direction. However, in reality the agent doesn't want to spoil his/her afternoon & goes on in some arbitrary way.
A more dubious problem is the vagueness about what exactly is the next 'right' turn & whether something is a turn at all. Especially in squares, parks & complex traffic flyover this often is a debatable issue. Until now we have always told the agents that, when faced with ambiguity about which turn to take next, they should resume the algorithm as reasonably as possible. This is not the best solution we can think of. One of the strongest points of our directions is, that if repeated under the same circumstances the same route should emerge, subjective factors will harm this quality. On the other hand we feel a certain hesitation to modify our set of rules if this hurts the elegance of its present simplicity. The best solution for this is yet to be found. Another essential part of the generic principle we have to address in our 2002 experiments is the factor of interplay between different agents. In most generic situations, the agents proceed in their specific way by reacting to changes in the environment. In the game of Life for instance, the surroundings of the agents are other agents who also obey the same rules. In our experiments the agents behave according to simple rules in a surrounding which is subject to its own rules. Occasionally different groups of psychogeographers run into each other. Should this influence their stroll or should they just say hello & resume their separate ways? We tend to think that the environment provides enough complexity to the game, but perhaps an extra rule that regulates the interplay of agents may add to the flavour. We have also considered a stroll without any directions other than interplay between participants, applying the principle behind the birds or boids swarm to the city survey. This might actually be great fun, but for now we restrain from this method out of the consideration that this probably doesn't s help our real purpose: the exploration of public space. Besides, people might just be too stupid (or too smart?)to follow 3 simple rules which regulate personal behaviour on the behaviour of others. We are not interested in giggling. Finally some words on the patterns that emerge when executing the algorithm. Even though closed loops do seldom occur, half loops & spirals do happen quite often. Especially spirals tend to emerge with some regularity & that is a wonderful thing. Spiralling means that you are strolling around the same streets generation after generation without ever making the same combination of streets twice. This pattern offers great psychogeographical effects because in this way a certain, 'objectively' chosen area (note: not subjectively as the situationists chose their areas) can be mapped & experienced thoroughly. After a while the route suddenly pushes you into another directions, perhaps your route then prescribes an tenfold of turns, if luck will have it, you have to cross large bridges, or you have to wait a long time for the next turn in some endless straight street, making you cross large distances.
What also might happen with some probability is that you'll walk half loops, which if you look back at the map afterwards are only small deviations from a large loop. Future explorations will show what patterns emerge with what predictably. Furthermore we look forward to testing our method in areas with a different structure than the ones we've tried. Perhaps the psychogeographical effects differ widely when applied in the grandiose setting of Berlins Unter dem Linden. We are also looking forward to give it a try in the centre of Italian Cities like Venice & especially in Sienna with it's peculiar structure.
...i couldn't stop with the article above, cause, let's agree, a phenomena of Psychogeography requires more profound research (at least on paper) that's why i'm asking Wilfried - the head of socialfiction.org... ~ What about systematic drifting model as stated in Algorhytmic psychogeography ? Do the rules make the activity more interesting? Does the game become scintillating? What about Situationist models? How do you personally find navigating through Paris on a map of London or chasing smells? * The idea of drifting, the idea of going somewhere without a destination has always implied the desire to break free from daily habits and to temporarily put yourself into an open-ended system that makes you go places you would never go otherwise. Traditional drifting techniques like the ones used by the situationists (and before them by the surrealists) tried to achieve this by relying on subjective criteria: instincts, the unconscious or, (in case of manoeuvring in Paris on a map of London), on imagination, of making it up as you go along. These are all just techniques to get you thinking according to a logic different from the one you respond to in daily life. The algorithmic approach is just another technique, but one in which the logic is based on simple rules outside of yourself. The paradox of generative systems (a system with simple rules that get applied over and over on changing situations) is that from simple rules unpredictable results can enfold. This is why simple instructions for walking (like "first left, second right, first left, repeat") result in trajectories which are completely different from normal walks, of which you can't predict where you will be after 4 turns. This is especially true if you think you know the area you are exploring well. The second important aspect of algorithmic walks is that it doesn't depend on criteria of taste. Drift based on association or 'free will' always will contain some sort of personal taste, expectancy or at least some desire to GO somewhere. Perhaps algorithmic walks are just a sign off the times, 200 years ago the universe was compared with was at that time cutting-edge technology: the clockwork, nowadays we think of the world in terms of computers and software. * ~ Has the extent of the town, its lay-out complexity - any stronger affect on psychogeography (its success?)? What about village where, it seems, everything soon becomes clear and boring? Or maybe actually its not so, just you have to know how to behave in situation - follow the rules, have a play or something? ... ;) ~ * This is all very personal, some people are completely insensitive for what goes on around them and other people can have fun for hours by watching very small things. Robert Walser, a nearly forgotten German writer wrote a [very] short story about this in 1914, the last 2 sentences say it all. Here is his story:
A Little Ramble I walked through the mountains today. The weather was damp, and the entire region was grey. But the road was soft and in places very clean. At first I had my coat on; soon, however, I pulled it off, folded it together, and laid it upon my arm. The walk on the wonderful road gave me more and even more pleasure; first it went up and then descended again. the mountainous world appeared to me like an enormous theatre. The road snuggled up splendidly to the mountainsides. Then I came down into a deep ravine, a river roared at my feet, a train rushed past me with magnificent white smoke. The road went through the ravine like a smooth white stream, and as I walked on, to me it was as if the narrow valley were bending and winding around itself. Grey clouds lay on the mountains as though that were their resting place. I met a young traveller with a rucksack on his back, who asked if I had seen two other young fellows. No, I said. Had I come here from very far? Yes, I said, and went farther on my way. Not a long time, and I saw and heard the two young wanderers pass by with music. A village was especially beautiful with humble dwellings set thickly under the white cliffs. I encountered a few carts, otherwise nothing, and I had seen some children on the highway. We don't need to see anything out of the ordinary. We already see so much.*
~ All right let's take practice, how should we start it? (own psychogeography project). And the most important why should we start it? (practical suggestions from your side). How interesting is it to have a psygeo a projects in group of people and alone? Overall is there a big interest with this thing? ~ * Ha! You can do psychogeographic walks alone but it is more fun to do it with some other people. Just decide on a time and place to meet. Everybody decides on an algorithm or you can prepare one for them (or any other approach you want to try); then everybody goes their own way. Beforehand you agree where and when to come together. But this is just how I do usually prepare these walks, but there are no rules! When you feel like it you can add a way to document the experiences encountered during the walk, but this is not really necessary. As for WHY you would want to do this I can't give a proper answer, do it because you want to do it for whatever reason, otherwise don't! Happily enough there are quit a few people interested in these kind of experiments. Actually I think psychogeography, as part of a wider trend in developing something I call DIY (do-it-yourself) urbanism, will continue to attract people in the years to come. * ~ In Algorithmic Psychogeography the projects overlooked take up the year 2001-2002, and where is '03'04? What are the plans for 2005? ~ * The first algorithmic (or more specific generative) walk was done in the summer of 2001, and because it worked better than expected it seemed a good idea to open source these algorithms, and to do this we called for the "Hot Summer of Psychogeography 2002". This was basically an invitation for people to organise their own walks on this basis and to get in touch with us. Off course people were free to add or change to the rules as they saw fit. The response was surprisingly enthusiastic and during 2002 several groups in several places (New York, Vancouver, London, Berlin, Lisbon, Paris) did these walks. After the 'hot summer' people went their own ways, but the network that arose during all this still exist and most of them are still doing things which are related to psychogeography. These days the focal point would be the Psy Geo Con Flux, a conference in New York, organised by Glowlab and the Brooklyn Psychogeographical Association, which was first held in 2003 and should take place every year. As for 2005, my personal plan is to continue thinking about PML, which is short for Psychogeographical Markup Language, which is a way to capture the psychogeography of a place in a machinereadable format. What I want to built, (or actually what I want to write H.P. Lovecraft like stories about) is the moment when Artificial Intelligence will be used to design cities and which will then result in entire new psychogeographical effects. * ~ What kind of Psychogeography (models) do you see in the future? How will the bigger industrialization and urbanization affect it? ~ * I'm not sure about the future, I just hope that people will keep finding out about it and will add techniques and philosophies to it. I also think that new ways to document walks will prove very important in the next few years, but that might also be my personal obsession. As for cities, they keep changing, new technologies will change the way we live and consequently the way we use the city. This will also effect the psychogeographical qualities of cities, which are also closely related to issues of public space and a healthy street-life. * ~ I've read somewhere that Psychogeography has some relation with Occultism - any comments? ~ * They won't like me saying it, but in my mind, this is a typical English phenomena. It was in England where the London Psychogeographical Association (LPA) kept psychogeography a practical matter at a time psychogeography was turning into a dusty artefact discussed by selfobsessed academics. Their specific interest was in how London was composed according to magic principles and lay-lines. I can't say much about it, but it is a counter-cultural history of looking at the world that has a long standing tradition and definitely makes good reading. *
~ And what other projects related to personal life would you like to present and comment? ~ * The latest project I started working on is called "OnlyOneNativeSpeaker", the sub-title is: the Collaborative Babylon Bonanza. It is a project that brings together language projects. The most obvious category is constructed language, there is zillions of people out there developing there own languages. But I'm also interested in finding language where nobody ever does, or in systems from which language can grow between 2 entities wishing to talk to one and other. A good example of the last category is Lincos developed by Hans Freudenthal, a professor in mathematics who developed a way to built a language together with extraterrestrials. Truly amazing. There are several reasons for doing this project, but the most prominent one is that language reflects the environment and culture it comes from, I wonder what artificial languages can tell about the borders of our imagination. This is the website: http://socialfiction.org/onlyone Do get in touch if you have done something which might be relevant. *
~ Are there any similar (or not) nature organizations that we could check on the net? (give some links please!) ~ * there are many websites, groups, people, dealing with psychogeography. but here is a few of my favourites Http://glowlab.com ~ http://headmap.com ~ http://epram.pitas.com ~ http://www.c6.org/evol/anticolony/ Http://www.monoculartimes.co.uk/ ~ http://www.philosophyinc.com/vahp/index.htm Http://www.psygeo.com ~ http://locative.net http://space.frot.org ~ http://tecfa.unige.ch/perso/staf/nova/blog/ and you will find many more psychogeography links, texts, walks, etc at http://socialfiction.org/psychogeography and I keep bookmarks at http://del.icio.us/socialfiction ~ What were the most striking towns, places explored and why? Have you any plans about going to other countries (Lithuania for example) with similar intents? To the completely alien place where people are talking in "ufo" language, where architecture, and what hides behind the corner is even more unpredictable? - would that be even more effective? What do you think? ~ * I still liked the first one best, because it was were I lived, at a place I thought I knew very well and than it was proven to me that there was loads I never saw before and suddenly the world seemed a lot bigger and richer. There have some other interesting cities, Toronto is a good town, because it based on a grid, but it got all these dirty back alleys. I have never been to Lithuania (but would love too) but I have been in Riga (which at least is in the Baltic) to do psychogeography and that is an excellent city to drift in. Belgium cities, or the centres at least are excellent for algorithmic walks to, because the streets are so narrow and the streetgrid is one big mess. *
What influence does drifting make to your brain, feelings? And how is it common in your daily life? * Actually, walking stimulates the production of endorphins (the bodies painkiller which is very similar in chemical structure to morphine) while the rhythm of the moving legs tends to hypnotise you. Nowadays you would call it the runners high, like these marathon-runners who can't stop running. Walking helps you to think and because psychogeography is the study of psychogeographic effects, the 2 are a perfect match (: ~ Can you imagine drifting in the Moon!? Share your views and feelings? ~ * a drift on the moon would be excellent. Actually I remember a story about how the Association of Autonomous Astronauts did a drift based on a map of the moon in London. The goal was to find a spot to play 3-sided football. * thanks for the interview and interest
SMELL THE STENCH http://home.earthlink.net/~thedweller/id3.html I've decided to survey Australian diy noise/experimental label that caused first influences to me, but further i see, that perhaps its pointless, as it seems that i've stick in more or less the same circle of people as Leigh Julian. Anyway let's smell the stench. The stench that comes from Leigh's room filled with hundreds of records and stacks of vodka bottles. I don't know if anyone is releasing records in such pace in our world as Leigh. That is welcomed, praiseworthy and encouraging, though let's not forget that the production is made with minimal resources (xeroxed covers). Sometimes the figuration is not so fair towards the contents, but in the meantime there's an improvement displayed by non-usual cd packaging, colours and so on. Production is orientated to trading and Leigh is one of those sincere persons who spread exp. music in real non-profit ethics (we all know that no profit could be made at all, unless you start press real cds, but it is a question too). Musical contingent is wide, but noise/experimental stands at the first place. You'll find here such faves as: EMIL BEAULIEAU, MOURMANSK 150, HINYOUKI, S.A.F.B., FLUTWACHT, SONIC DISORDER, NAPALMED, SUPERFUCKERS, CHEAPMACHINES, OUTERMOST, TONI KANDELIN, IL MESTRUO DELLE PUTTANE, LUASA RAELON, ANES SANGLANTES, GELSOMINA, GUTTURAL STRAP-ON, NOVA-SAK, ODAL, etc etc... Actually, in this digital world Smell the Stench still remain cassette label, though cdr production increased notably. Such numbers as 100+ traded cdrs in a month gives an effect of conveyor, but if it not respond to quality, than it's ok. So let's touch a few tapes and cdrs: SOLDNER "Klanhobie" cassette - German industrial ambient project with a shroud of darkness, slow tempo, minimal concentration and tight precision. Serious and grim mood. Desolated buildings, grey landscapes, dull sky - these are Soldner specifics.