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DJ Spooky at UNC - badgerblog
February 8th, 2008
06:58 pm


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DJ Spooky at UNC
Went to UNC campus this afternoon for two hours of lecture and q&a with Paul Miller, better known as DJ Spooky.

Paul Miller/DJ Spooky (seated) and Paul Jones (standing), UNC, 8 February 2008

Paul Jones (standing), Paul Miller (seated), before the lecture began.

(Also, flickr.)

I last saw Paul Miller when he came to UNC to perform his Rebirth of a Nation work. I will next see him tomorrow night at Duke for his performance of his Video Soul: Wattstax to the Avant Garde. (Who else is coming, or is interested in coming?)

As always, I find Miller intelligent and articulate about his creative process. I highly recommend his book Rhythm Science.

I assume that today's lecture was recorded and the recording will be made available on ibiblio in a few days, I'll probably post a link to it when I see that it's there.

almost raw notes from today follow.


DJ Spooky/Paul Miller, UNC, 3pm Friday 8 February 2008

Miller is editor of a new book forthcoming _Sound Unbound_ at MIT Press
(released this May)

CDs available after the show, to listen, share, copy

as an artist/writer/musician, he found (and still does) that people strongly want to compartmentalize the categories. Or, not and.

software has destabilized some of the boundaries of the arts

originality/derivative works, art/artifact

stack of 4 different CDs, intent to set up a trade economy

George Melies (one of PM's favorite filmmakers) Melies started as magician
"One-Man Band" 1900
start of nonlinear editing
the editor becomes the storyteller

the 20th cent. was "the era of the recording"

edison thought recording

"what happens when all of history becomes an archival game? that's what the Creative Commons is all about."

djing is a kind of filter, a search engine of sound
use music as information
playing with fragments of time

apply old forms to new

digital media, the culture of the copy...it's all software, turn the culture of scarcity on its head
the culture of dispersion

the idea of an "original work" becomes immaterial (that's a pun, folks)

democratizes taste
social network sites (youtube, etc. ) based on the democratization of taste

rent parties reminiscent of the Factory happenings

stickers as infinite multiple, uneasy surface between public & private
see a blank side of a train, you want to tag it

the urban landscape is shaped & molded
the idea of the grid

once jazz and music that evolved in the Amer South hit the cities, it becomes more fragmented

Jamaican tradition, the "sound system" as replacement for the band

at the same time as hip-hop was heading to minimalism by repetition, also in NYC P Glass, Steve Reich & others were bringing minimalism from modern sculpture
as above, so below

General George Owen Squire, headed the US Army WWI telegraph system, founded the Muzak Corporation

the idea of the downloadable file

Robert Rauschenberg (one of his favorite sculptors)

PhD dissertation, core diagram on screen,
Social network of collaboration between the top 55 rappers

Birth of a Nation project

John Cage, "Invisible Landscape"

"birth of a nation" at the Acropolis in Greece

influenced so much of the way people saw films
soundtrack was Wagner, Coppola wanted to evoke the

joe wecker sang how to decode a dvd

Saturday is a "megamix" of one of his favorite films

DJ Dangermouse, the Grey Album

L Williams, TJ Anderson

this is where the world is going


sampling in the 90s revealed what PM calls panhumanism - a kid in Finland can hear music from far away,

creoleization (linguist perspective)

first time in human history where so many cultures have been in collision

transition point in American culture were the Beats (Ginsberg, et al.)
for me the beats means hip-hop

why did repetition become the later 20th century's vocabulary?

minimalism allows people to look at storytelling as a recording process,
easier to "put your own voice" into the mix

Garrett A. Morgan invented the streetlight 1923
prior, the streets were unregulated
the streetlight regulates movement
didn't exist prior to the streetlight

(Note: Makes Morgan one of the greatest urbanomancers of all time)

folk music is usually an open source kind of system

the idea of the fine artist, one person determining an artistic movement (analogous to the rock star concept), developed in Europe

"America is a culture of amnesia"
"memory is a scarce resource"

(Gibson "the future is already here, it's just unevenly distributed")

Lessig shows remixes and describes this as the required kind of literacy for the next century

PM: essentially like oral culture
visual literacy, attention deficit disorder on a huge scale

the word literacy implies text

I like the first Matrix, (even if I have to go to Zion, I have weird peoblems with that)

most people don't know how things work, barely know how their toilet works, the electrical grid,

this is a culture of belief

q: democratization of information, lots of this takes place in the virtual world
what about getting that out into the real world

a: the digital divide
(tells story about being in Angola, and text msging parties)
Seoul Korea having cellphone film festivals

there's always an arms race in the public space
whose voice gets heard?

the underground conditions global culture, I'm not quite sure how
the under is unregulated, and things bubble up
(Note: back to Gibson, the street finds its own uses for things)

technology mirrors desires

corporate culture has colonized so many things

q: is there danger in minimalism & repetition of losing the message,
(Note: generation loss)
and in using technology at all/most people just want to make money & cash in
(very rambling question, not really sure what the question was)

"I like to think of my work as saying another world is possible. Not quite sure what that world is like."

Sat: Classic Memphis soul music


One of the CDs (the one I ended up with):

free CD handed out at DJ Spooky lecture, UNC Feb 8 2008

I keep wanting to shout "SPAAARRRRTAAAAA!" when I look at that sticker.

Current Music: umm, the cd in the picture....
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