Ars Electronica
Ars Electronica 1999
Festival-Program 1999
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Recombinant 9.9.99


Naut Humon

As the titanic stockpile of the 20th century finally sinks and disappears our time to reflect becomes abbreviated. 9.9.99 is one of the last pre-millennial warning indicators before Y2K. Recombinant illustrates this temporarily destabilized condition by recompressing virtual memory capsules with realtime audio cinematics. Functioning as a live 'remix' laboratory, this sonic treatment plant reconnoiters a flickering, visualistic domain and distills these strains into a matrixed offspring. Actively explored here are the junctions between the underground computersound creators and their analog turntablist counterparts.

By tracing the leap in DJ culture, Recombinant accentuates the architextures propagated, from ”Disk” ”Dub” or ”Digital” Jockeys to ”Diffusion” types who project mobile sound objects in space.

This concluding 9 hour action of Ars Electronica 99 will also bear witness to the new orientation of the Prix Ars Electronica category Digital Musics.

Sound Traffic Control
STC (US) is a media-based electronic consortium that features a discrete array spatial AV system through which musicians, sonic sculptors, DJ's and film/video artists form an interwoven surround sound orchestra. Within this network hub, audio signals are morphed through a computerized ”dub dashboard”, creating the metaphor of a sonic airport where ”musical cargos” land, taxi and take off from an audience-inhabited ”runway” amdist the dynamic auditory trajectories. STC serves as the mainframe switching station for the Recombinant events. Naut Humon, who curates and co-produces these presentations also conducts the Frankenstein Symphony Orchestra remix project as inspired by Francis Dhomont , Granular Synthesis and recorded musical history.
Mixmaster Mike (US)
Mixmaster Mike is the Serial Wax Killer who ‘turns the tables’ on vinyl junkie flavorists. As a three-time world champion and veteran DJ with the Beastie Boys and the Invisible Skratch Piklz, Mike has carved a legacy of daring and abstraction that has jolted and inspired other innovators of the genre. By flipping dangerously between hypnotic waves of electro-funk to scorched earth scratching in the blink of an eye he has demonstrated an extra-terrestial streetwise approach as the true ”terror-wrist” from Zektar.
Scratch Perverts (GB)
are the English super DJ crew created in 1996 by Tony Vegas who assembled Prime Cuts, Mr. Thing, 1st Rate, Renegade,& Harry Love. They got together at the infamous Mr. Bongo in Soho, London and since then have traveled to many DJ ‘Battle’ competitions and have won prizes and rapid recognition internationally as the breakthrough wild bunch of turntablism. Their exceptional routines and musicality create a cliché-free whirlwind of ideas and execution second to none.
Powerbook Orchestra (A/ D /GB/ /US /J )
The Powerbook Orchestra made their début on May Day ’99 at the phonoTAKTIK festival in Vienna. Sometimes referred to as the Laptop Orchestra, these particular musicians utilizing their portable technologies were invited to join in a show of solidarity as an instrumentarium of highly individualistic customized software being collectively processed. This practical application conveys an intriguing scenario of total machine automation driven by multiple human interactors who in addition solo their own factions.

Taking part at the 9.9.99 event will be most of the musicans linked with the Viennese label Mego and a few other international agents:
Peter Rehberg, Christian Fennesz,(who both got a Digital Musics Prix Ars Distinction) Ramon Bauer, Andi Pieper, Tina Frank, Florian Hecker, Matthias Gmachl, Oswald Berthold, Gert Brandtner, Russell Haswell, Peter Rantasa, Jim O'Rourke, Stefan Betke, Marcus Schmickler, Zbigniew Karkowski.

Out of this the following individual acts will be ready for action:
Pita (A), Fennesz(A), Rehberg & Bauer(A), General Magic (A), Skot(A), Farmers Manual(A), Haswell(GB), Hecker(D), Fennesz/O'Rourke/Rehberg(A/USA/GB), POP, cd_slopper(A/D), (mazk J.)
The User (CDN)
is an artists’ collective formed of two members: architect Thomas McIntosh and composer Emmanuel Madan. Their Symphonies for Dot Matrix Printers focuses the listener's attention on the physicality of a nearly forgotten ”ambient” technology which transforms obsolete ubiquitous office machinery into a system for musical performance. By providing this local area network orchestration of organized printer noises as ”instruments,” the user's application objectifies and reduces individuality to an abstract, almost generic ideal. It questions the usefulness and current worth of the technologically progressive state as it is visibly juxtaposed with its ancestors who in theory have subsided into redundancy.
Thomas Brinkmann (D)
prenatal explorations / composition of watermusic and cavedrawing/ early reflections about electronic / minimal music while ringing the bells of the neighbourhood houses. Also first actionism with brother Rolf Dieter (ACID).
Later studies about fucking against worms while ringing the bells (Jannis Kounellis) at the art-academie of Düsseldorf and machine-theorie (Oswald Wiener).
Still ringing the bells …
Richie Hawtin (CDN)
sprang out internationally from his alliance with the Detroit/ Windsor techno scene sharing with fans the energy he's experienced overseas with a DJ career that spans over a decade. His DJ performances have evolved into near live performances titled Decks, FX & 909 where he plays on two turntables, an effects processor and a drum machine. He also helped start the Plus 8 record label and his new media company Minus, which focuses on technological advances and the internet. Under his long-held Plastikman guise is a plethora of releases including ”Consumed” which received Honorable Mention in the final Prix Ars Digital Musics category. The atmospheric quality inherent in his minimalized approach to the techno medium is unique to the genre.
Ikue Mori (US)
moved to Manhattan from Tokyo in 1977, started playing drums, and formed the seminal New York No Wave band, DNA, with Arto Lindsay and Tim Wright, creating a radical style of rhythm and noise, and achieving legendary cult status in rock music. In 1985 she started using drum machines in the unlikely world of improvisation. Using standard technology such as drum boxes, she has created her own highly sensitive signature style. Over the years her collaborators on other projects have included John Zorn, Zeena Parkins, Fred Frith, Eyvind Kang, Kato Hideki, Kim Gordon, Tenko, and film maker Abigail Child. Currently she is a recipient of the Prix Ars Digital Musics distinction award for her ”Birthday” piece.
Barry Schwartz (US)
The label ”bricoleur” (tinkerer or handyman) is very appropriate for Barry Schwartz whose interest in ”fusing technology and nature” is based on the assumption that ”manipulating natural phenomena helps things that we couldn't otherwise explain.” Equal parts death wish, weird science and hotwired art, Barry's theatre of shocks and jolts give brand-new meaning to the word ”turntable.” His version is a larger-than-life physical apparatus which harnesses live wires, stainless steel discs, and thermal-reactive substances which are ignited by alternating electrical currents.
Stefan Betke (D)
Pole: Knusperdub (Honorable Mention—Digital Musics)
Otomo Yoshhide (J)
was born in 1959 in Japan, active worldwide as a turntable player, guitarist, and producer. Especially notable in his musical career is his main unit for eight years from 1990, GROUND-ZERO (now defunct). Otomo is also known as a composer of numerous soundtracks for film, from Chinese and Hong Kong cinema to Japanese underground, and has received high worldwide exposure for these works as well. Since the demise of GROUND-ZERO, Otomo has been busy starting his new projects DJ Tranquilizer, Filament, I.S.O., and production works for CD label AMOEBIC and numerous remix works.
Scot Jenerik (US)
is a conceptual artist who primarily works with the mediums of sound, performance, instrument building and sculptural packaging. He scrapes, pounds and plucks his custom-built instruments ”Thor” and ”Volatile”. His presentation is a focused physical interaction, directed at balancing and collapsing the relationships between structure and chaos, and delicate, tempestuous actions of sound.
Mazk (J)
is a duo consisting of Masami Akita, one of the most respected Japanese noise artists and better known under the name of MERZBOW, and Zbigniew Karkowski, Polish-born composer of contemporary music who is now based in Tokyo where he collaborates closely with Japanese noise scene. Their music is ‘extreme computer electronica’ created only with powerbooks. They have been performing around Japan for the last two years and released a CD entitled SPL on OR label in UK. The performance at Ars Electronica will be the first ever appearance of MAZK outside of Japan (Honorable Mention–Prix Ars Electronica 99, Digital Musics).
Sam Auinger (Berlin)
composer/sound designer, with Bruce Odland for the HIVEMUSIC performance installations … rachel de boer (Amsterdam …. videoartist and a founding member of the Dutch DJ group EYEGASM) present
Linz 2 times 9 min 9 sec
part 1 : Flugmotorenorchester
part 2 : Hivemusic
Virtual Appearance ”Modules"
Granular Synthesis (A)
Title is FORM 1, FORM 2, FORM 3
The credit goes to GRANULAR SYNTHESIS for Ex-Machina, Robert le Page, Canada
Christian Marclay
Performer, sculptor, and sound artist Christian Marclay has been experimenting, composing and performing with phonograph records and turntables since 1979. Marclay mixes a wide variety of records on multiple turntables, fragmenting and repeating sounds, altering speeds, playing records backwards, spinning, throwing, scratching, and otherwise manipulating records to create his unique ”theater of found sound." He became an important figure in New York City's downtown new music scene in the 1980's. His extreme DJ manipulations predate by two decades the ”turntablists" of today.
Terre Thaemlitz (USA)
is a long-time audio experimentalist and DJ whose sonic works exploit the contrasting functions of music as a socializing force and a point for subjective release. The Super-bonus presented at 9.9.99 comes from a recent project FagJazz which was recognized by this year’s Prix Ars Electronica Digital Musics jury. Through the crossing of musical genres, Thaemlitz hopes to complicate notions of music's universality by approaching various genres as systems of representation, the signifiers of which may be engaged at will and without the rigorous training typically associated with such specializations.
DJ Olive (USA)
audio janitor and member of the group We from Brooklyn, New York. On his sonic cleanup rounds he has encountered many refuse containers filled with 20th century debris for those of you who still remember back that far.
Carl Stone (USA)
is a powerbook composer who has toured extensively around the globe bringing his unique, eclectic soundworks to concert and radio formats. His brand of electronic manipulation forges through the worlds of timbre and sample collage with visual references.
Kit Clayton
Currently located in San Francisco, Joshua Kit Clayton is a producer and DJ of electronic music. His music generally drifts from minimal and moody techno/house, to abstract sound sculpture. He has been releasing music since 1996 on various labels and started a project entitled ”The Mimic and the Model”, which is a series of electronic music pieces paired with visual art.