Mon - September 21, 2009

fugitive.philosophy: research blog is where all the action is

As this blog becomes dated indeed, all the writerly action is shaking place over on fugitive.philosophy. I'll eventually archive this mess & give it a new look with a Wordpress outlay -- but until then, this blog will be closing its doors for awhile, save for the infrequent updating of upcoming projects & events I be involved in. But as my main project right now is scribbling away like mad & editing a volume, there's isn't much to play point-and-tell with. You'll just have to wait until the damn book(s) come out. All the commentary is over at FP.

over & out.

.. //.

.. posted @ 04:18 PM     p-link     |

Thu - May 28, 2009

world telekinesis festival : tactical tape loop division (evp-unit)

The Tactical Tape Loop Division (EVP Unit) will be participating in this year's World Telekinesis Competition organised by Noxious Sector.


2009 World Telekinesis Competition
Ministry of Casual Living

Victoria (BC) Canada. May 29 - June 13, 2009

The WORLD TELEKINESIS COMPETITION is a forum for speculative action -- an organized tournament event in which teams from around the world engage in psychic competition to remotely influence the behavior of a candle. Matches are played by lighting a candle at the centre of the official game board, at an agreed-upon time, signaling the beginning of the game. A match lasts for one hour, or until the game candle is extinguished, whichever comes first. The object of the game is to have the wax from the candle drip onto the opposing team's side of the game board. This objective is to be accomplished by remote telekinetic influence. The winning team will be awarded the World Telekinesis Competition trophy, which they will get to keep until next year's competition.


++ TTLD statement ++

TTLD remains disappointed by last year's results. Particularly, the failure of deceased members Konstantine Raudive (1906-1974), a student of Carl J¸ng, who explored the 'voices of the dead' in what he called 'Electronic Voice Phenomenon' (EVP), and William S. Burroughs (1914-1997), who also investigated the unconscious properties of language that control the brain, has led to their expulsion from TTLD's EVP Unit. In their absence, TTLD welcomes the new and alive although distant member Celine Beyond (b. late 20th century; not yet deceased). Beyond, who is a trained psychotherapist, mystic, and holder of a Mark Master in the Arts, adheres to the principle of air-current psychosis brought about by high levels of infectious sound ("noise"). To this effect, she has joined forces with remaining and sole dictatorial member tobias c. van Veen to generate brutal assaults of savage soul-noise. TTLD will prevail under the following:

1. The movement of air currents are capable of causing a candle to quiver or waver. Air currents are the providence of the breath of the dead. The spirits of the deceased traverse the River Styx as souls of air. In Sanskrit, prana; in Greek, psyche or the pneuma of the aura; in Latin, the animus and spiritus of being. Gathering the spirits of the dead -- their disembodied voices -- into a wind capable of influencing a candle's flame demonstrates the telekinetic power of the beyond.

2. While in 2008 TTLD sought to (re)animate the actual souls of the dead themselves, this year TTLD focuses on high-output noise as the physical movement of air into the reception of the psyche itself. Savage noise hysically affects the psychic balance. As the dead are unreliable at best, TTLD now focuses upon noise itself as a mechanism of soul-control.

3. To this end, in 2009 TTLD seeks not merely to extinguish or inflame the candle during the competition, but to overtake the souls of the Noxious Sector themselves, forcing them, under extreme noise duress on a psychic level, to rig the competition in our favour.

+/ + // /.


.. posted @ 05:45 PM     p-link     |

Wed - March 18, 2009

No More Pirate Islands!

I've writ a new article -- "No More Pirate Islands! Media Ecology & Autonomy."

Yes indeed, this piece grapples with Hakim Bey & the possibility of autonomy in a world of ecotechnics, as in, the media ecology of technology that is now 'the world'.

Rave culture, deconstruction, Paola Virno & anarchist theory all make an appearance here while grappling with disappearance & exodus as an autonomous strategy.

The article | Interculture Journal (issue on Media Ecology, 6:1)

Back to hermit status. //
More words forthcoming on the interwebs soon.


.. posted @ 05:33 PM     p-link     |

Wed - November 5, 2008

ARTrageous & 'Telling Stories'


CHAIN LETTERS has found its way into two upcoming exhibitions. You can see Anne-Marie Comte's interpretation of the performance using digital photography at Whistler's annual showcase of the arts, ARTrageous, and the new Exposure Gallery show in Vancouver, Telling Stories. I'll be at ARTrageous as part of the Surrealism section, dressed as a priest with a whip .. You will need tickets for ARTrageous as it's a full art-party & happening, Thursday November 6th 2008, 7pm-1am, at Dusty's in Creekside. Check it here. Anne-Marie will be at the Exposure Gallery opening, which takes place on Friday, November 7th 2008, opening at 6pm.


The works are for sale. For ARTrageous, two 22x16 prints on canvas were produced. They are available, signed, for $300 each.

For Telling Stories, two bandes dessinees - style photographic prints were produced. Each frame can be purchase for $450 framed, $395 unframed. Individual photos are $150 framed; $75 unframed.



.. posted @ 12:15 PM     p-link     |

Tue - September 9, 2008

chain letters of reactionary love

chain letters of reactionary love . /

[ my greetings from the west coast / toward Upgrade Internationale Skopje . / and the ones that got away . 4 letters released / . photographed . ]

_ LINE // organisation of UI Skopje
_ UI Skopje Project Development WIKI

& if you are in Skopje on Saturday, September 13th 2008 :

12:00 - 13:00 Action / Performance Chain Letters of reactionary love.
tobias c. van veen (Montreal) - City Park

* carried out by members of the Imaginary Border Academy (IBA) Montréal

/ chain letters
/ of reactionary love .

PERFORMANCE . committed Friday the 5th of September 2008, 18h-19h,
West Coast of Turtle Island, Coast Salish Territories.

Unable to bridge the distance, lost chain letters are released to drift in
the wind. Though he bares his chest to the elements, the artist wears a
swallow-tailed suit and top hat to demonstrate his sincerity.



TOBIAS C. VAN VEEN // 2008 .



.. posted @ 10:16 PM     p-link     |

Sat - July 19, 2008

drunker @ mUTEK / berlin robot sex

"MUTEK GROWS OLDER & WISER" .. well .. or at least so goes the XLR8R headline. [[ perhaps "OLDER & DRUNKER" would be more appropriate. ]] In any case: here's the youtube embed for the video I worked on with Ken Taylor. thanks to everyone involved & to the vid editorial team for making it look sweet. LONG LIVE XLR8R.

++ up next is the Kid Koala vid,

++ and some more words on Berlin, specifically a call-out: where are the underground techno DJs of this city..? or does everyone here take DJing to be a smoking sport & think that their reserved 'air of boredom' is at all becoming .. ?

a few recent experiences in Berlin clubs confirm my suspicion that the best dJs in the world come not from the centre but from the periphery. most dJs here approach the mixer like it's a barrel of uranium, a total poison for the fingers, or like some kind of sacred apparatus not to be fooled with. as if to make matters worse, these dJs seem to lack any sense of composition. they've got all the right threads -- the general availability of quality music speaks volumes about how *easy* it is to SOUND good with little or no effort -- but these dJs can't seem to weave a tapestry with the silk threads given them. instead, by the end of the night, you just have all these beautiful threads on the floor, stomped all dirty and in a big mess. where are the tapestry weavers of sonic silk, the journey shamans of sound?

indeed, no wonder that right now Canadian artists & turntablists are at the top of their game here: they have talent, and they truly love the music. for us Canucks, coming from a country that has long left its electronic musicians at the bottom of the heap, dJing & playing live is not a task to be belatedly performed, like a perfunctory bowel movement, but a moment to be savoured, like good sex.

i have yet to encounter a single dJ in all of Berlin (not counting famous foreigners) who knows how to make love to a crowd -- to stomp it, shake it, caress it, sweat it.

i hope to be proven wrong.

++ i've always thought that how someone dances & dJs (as well as cooks) reflects how they make love. side note: given the inability here for a lot of people to express rhythm, either as a dJ or a dancer, is this air of bored roboticism reflected in how the German technoheads perform in bed .. ?

experienced comments appreciated.


.. posted @ 05:13 AM     p-link     |

Tue - July 8, 2008


Deep, heavy clouds rolling into Berlin @ the moment.

Also rolling in is the final cut of over 24 hours of footage compiled during MUTEK 2008. Thanks to the XLR8R crew for editing together mass amounts of shaky footage into a delightful package that includes the Piknic Electronik Beaver, Poutine, and Crazy Raver Dude Dancing. Unfortunately no footage of Underground Resistance made it, but I will YouTube that another time.

--> [ XLR8R TV 67 ] <--

// , transmission out , //

.. posted @ 05:14 AM     p-link     |

Fri - June 20, 2008

michel waisvisz (crackles no more)

Michel, you invited me into your cracklehaus, opened a world for me, and gave me and countless others the space and time in which to breath and explore the world of sound with your hands, fingers and bodies. We will miss you, and your laugh, and your spirit, and your gestures, those swooping arms, and dramatic movements, that were the true signature of your art. May peace be with you, in love, namaste.

.. posted @ 09:40 AM     p-link     |

Thu - June 12, 2008


[this kind of cut-up image could soon be illegal in Canada! don't chicken out!]

Those worldwide might not know this, but Canada is posed to put into place new copyright legislation that, according to Michael Geist, would be worse then the US' infamous DMCA. Check out Geist's first take on Bill C-61 here.

The first draft of this bill was defeated in December '07 as an unexpected resistance grew amongst us Canucks, with a large Facebook presence and a strong campaign to stop the Bill. Unfortunately much has fallen on deaf ears, and the Bill, if passed, will possibly make unlocking a cellphone illegal in Canada, as well as watching out-of-region coded DVDs. In short, according to Geist, "the DMCA provisions are worse than the U.S. and the consumer exceptions riddled with limitations as the government promotes a strategy of locking down content and launching lawsuits against Internet users."

Moreover, it will be illegal to "distort or mutilate a copyright performance" -- as in remixing will be illegal; hell mixing at all will be illegal. If you blend two pre-recorded sounds together, that's illegal. Turntablism and radio-art and collage will all be illegal. Mash-ups? Forget it. As for penalties? $500 for the first infringement, then $5000, then $10,000. And that's per infringement, as in, per MP3. You will be in jail for about 25 years to life with a debt the size of the GDP if you have a hard-drive of shared songs, remixes, mash-ups, transferred videos, an unlocked cellphone and a few Chinatown kung-fu DVDs.

Right about now I would highly recommend K.W. Jeter's Noir, which is all about future capitalism and the extreme penalties for copyright infringement -- to the point where, after one's spine has been removed (read the book), one lives on as a ghost, can't even die to escape the law, and as a ghost, must collect trash to pay back the massive amount of financial penalties, which accumulate interest faster than the trash-collecting allows. It's an endless purgatory, a living hell, and it's coming to a little capitalist state near you! Steven Shaviro provides an excellent analysis of Jeter's novel in his book Connected, wherein he mixes it with trends in contemporary capitalism. Well, here you go. (FYI in Jeter's novel, to be 'connected' means to be 'fucked' – the rich are unconnected, and can go offline, while the Suits and the worker bees are always online, always connected, and never able to escape the info-copyright-corporate economy.)

Today I got an email from Ministers Prentice and Verner who are pushing this bill. Here's their email. Let 'em know what you think. Let 'em know a LOT. I did:


Thanks for your email but it smacks of a PR move for this hugely unpopular bill, and for good reason -- Bill C-61 ignores the demands of Canadian ARTISTS, the CONTENT MAKERS, and panders instead to the corporations that are currently trying to lock down all culture and render it nothing less than a commodity to be bought and sold to the highest bidder.

For example:

> - implement new rights and protections for copyright holders, tailored to the
> Internet, to encourage participation in the online economy, as well as
> stronger legal remedies to address Internet piracy;

Yes, and this is a problem! We don't need 'stronger legal remedies to address piracy', we need a redefinition of piracy that leaves the door open for content creators and an open sharing system to encourage creativity. We don't need "new rights," we need to reduce the rights of copyright holders who, primarily being corporations, have extended the reign of copyright far beyond what is productive, useful or ethical.

> - clarify the roles and responsibilities of Internet Service Providers related
> to the copyright content flowing over their network facilities; and

As in : clamp down on ISPs for allowing BitTorrent and other sharing networks endorsed by, for example, the CBC..! This is like shutting down telephone traffic because people talk about TV shows. ISPs should NOT be pressured in this manner, and sharing networks should be *encouraged* rather than villified. That I cannot access Canadian-taxpayer funded content from the CBC using BitTorrent due to the ISP restrictions is a HUGE problem.

And is there any talk here of the CRTC breaking up the current monopoly we have in Canada between Rogers/Bell/Shaw/Videotron, that is driving up Internet, cellphone, landline and TV access prices, leaving Canada one of the most expensive places in the world for telecommunications?

> - provide photographers with the same rights as other creators.

Fine, what of DJs? Audio-collage artists? Electronic musicians? The list goes way past photography (which was invented in the late 19th century!). C'mon folks, get with it. We're in the 21C now. Stop trying to turn back the clock.

> What Bill C-61 does not do:
> - it would not empower border agents to seize your iPod or laptop at border
> crossings, contrary to recent public speculation

The border guards can ALREADY seize your laptop and copy all of your data -- as the CBC has been reporting -- so what you are saying here is that nothing has changed! Sure, border guards aren't *empowered* because they already are seizing data!

> What this Bill is not:
> - it is not a mirror image of U.S. copyright laws. Our Bill is made-in-Canada
> with different exceptions for educators, consumers and others and brings us
> into line with more than 60 countries including Japan, France, Germany and
> Australia

No, it goes much farther than that, and is directly a pressure of the MPAA and RIAA on Canadian interests. We all know this. The rhetoric is the same. The scare tactics over camcording in Quebec, etc, are easy to see. Stop trying to pull the wool over our eyes: this bill will open the door for the RIAA and MPAA to sue Canadian consumers.

> Bill C-61 was introduced in the Commons on June 12, 2008 by Industry Minister
> Jim Prentice and Heritage Minister Josée Verner.

Who should be tarred & feathered for selling Canadian culture to the corporations.

You will be remembered for sending us all down the pipe, dear Ministers -- but then we wouldn't expect anything less from the Harper Gov't: while Canadians at home see their culture cleaved into pieces by corporations eager to sell & sue, Canada abroad pretends it can fight more wars. We're just trying to be just like our Southern neighbour -- and right when the old Bush regime is on its way out, finally. Disgusting. We're running years behind with the cost of our telecommunications and now trying to become like everybody else in the race to the bottom rather than thinking creatively as to how to address the massive technological changes that have already taken place.

-- tobias c. van Veen
turntablist, artist & curator

> For more information, please visit the Copyright Reform Process website at
> Thank you for sharing your views on this important matter.
> The Honourable Jim Prentice, P.C., Q.C., M.P.
> Minister of Industry
> The Honourable Josée Verner, P.C., M.P.
> Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women
> and Official Languages and Minister for
> La Francophonie


.. posted @ 02:58 PM     p-link     |

Thu - April 24, 2008

digital breakdown

object, 2007.
Assembled (used + non_used) digital hardware.
Digital percussion object includes Nietzsche’s hammer.

soundOBJECTS exhibition,
curated by Wilfied Agricola de Cologne

17 April - 10 May 2008.
dis_organised by
La Sala Naranja,
La Nau, Valencia, Spain.

part of _

* unfortunately I have no idea as to what the hell is going on with the exhibition. The whole thing seems to have fallen apart, if not into complete chaos (the organisers -- Toni Calderon, Imo Pico and Jose Mir -- apparently summarily announced on April 16th it was to be an self-organised artist exhibition, in order to absolve themselves of responsibility?), and I have not heard anything reliable since from either the curator or the organisers. See Wilfried's attack on what he calls a 'scandal' of the 'TRIO INFERNAL' here. If it's at all like he makes it out to be, I can only reiterate his frustration, and I just hope the object makes it back to me safe & sound.


.. posted @ 01:02 PM     p-link     |

Sun - April 13, 2008

'til death do us a part

--> [ 'til death do us a part ] < --

\commissioned by Turbulence
communiqué with the dead.

" Experiments in Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) using two reel-to-reel machines in an attempt after Konstantin Raudive & William Burroughs to establish contact with the dead. In the 21C electromagnetic tape is an anachronism. Dead media unwinds time from its spools. The dead are no longer human; and when the inhuman expire, do the inhuman become more human than human, at the moment of death? Two electromagnetic machines capture the unfolding of an era in which memory encodes the loving caress of electron imprinted tape. Two tape machines in tandem share their memories, silent at first but slowly amplified through continuous re-recording & simultaneous playback. Time out of joint falls in & out of tape sync; more inhuman than human loops the frequency."


SERIAL CONSIGN INTERVIEW. The ever_crisp Greg Smith has kindly elaborated a few cut_up questions over on Serial Consign concerning the recent [ 'til death do us a part ] project for Turbulence ...

.. / the words open up a few of the wires & inspirations that spirit into the work, from exappropriating static machines for dynamic interventions (or rather fingering these machines to quivering states) to digging up Burroughs & Konstantine Raudive. I feel like the words reverse the old maxim (at least for DJs) that crate-digging is grave-digging... Who knows what records are buried in the blank media? But I digress. The piece itself is the place for further words. And for the persistent, one will even find a slapshot at MTL.

/. / ./ ..

.. posted @ 11:02 AM     p-link     |

Thu - April 3, 2008

Programmable Media_II ./

On April 11th / 08 I will be speaking at the Programmable Media II conference hosted by PACE Digital Gallery, NYC. The event is organised by as part of their Networked_Music_Review and Networked_Performance projects that aim to document the evolution of performance & sound in network culture. I'll be dialoguing on the relationship between the ears & the eyes, or sound performance and the visual, on a panel featuring others including Helen Thorington, Adam Nash (speaking from Second Life, no less) & LoVid. [bios of participating artists]

Friday April 11th, 10am_6pm (EST)
Pace University, Multipurpose Room, 1 Pace Plaza
Second Life - 10am_6pm (EST) at this link.

Turbulence has been commissioning net & technology arts since 1996 (!), and before that Turbulence (aka New Radio & Performing Arts) was behind the New American Radio series of national radio-art broadcasts. As the curators & minds behind Turbulence, Helen Thorington & Jo-Anne Green deserve more than can be said here for supporting up-and-coming artists in the technology arts and for providing inspiration, infrastructure & wisdom ...

Part of my involvement with the conference stems from a sound-art piece, [ 'til death do us a part], investigating 'networked sound' commissioned by Turbulence... The twisted evolution of the concept went through a metamorphosis for me as I pondered what love might mean for machines, or that for machines to communicate, they must begin with love (*by love I think I mean, something from the raw intensity of anger to zen companionship -- somewhere inbetween is the erotic).

I didn't want to tread into the digital realm, as so much of Work is a digital interface these days that I wanted my human experience with machinic love to have the intensity of a hands-on relationship. Thus I ended up turning to reel-to-reel machines & the experiments of Konstantin Raudive with blank media in his attempt to record & communicate with the 'voices of the dead'. (I had no idea at the time that John Hudak was exploring similar terrain -- though in the digital realm -- for his Turbulence commission, Voices from the Paradise Network.) This led to a series of investigations of the sonic realm arising between two networked R2R machines, a simple mixer and a DSP processor (to add spatialization and stereo channel manipulation to sometimes mono signals). These investigations revealed a performative realm, a space to improvise and develop a capacity to 'play' the machines, or rather tweak & twiddle their hard knobs into spasms of ecstasy, cries of joy &, at times, moans of despair. The machines sang to me & each other, & I was drawn into the deadzone... the project launches live on April 11th & I will blog it here.

../ ../ ..

.. posted @ 10:59 AM     p-link     |