Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Imagine You Are A Craftsman

The following poem has been posted in conjunction with the post
"Anecdote of the Craft" on

Imagine You Are A Craftsman

That you are working in wood,
When suddenly the pieces turn out not the same.
You are not doing anything different.
To be sure you are not sure
How you were holding the knife,
Or the wood—
Or maybe it was the wood itself.
You stop you lay down the knife
Which is how long the piece will be—
You spread your hand
Which is how wide the piece will be—
You look at the wood
Which by now you imagine looks back at you—so
You continue. The pieces continue
To be different.
Now you have some which are this way,
And some which are that way.
No telling where this will end—
When suddenly the pieces turn out the same.
Now for sure you have some which are this way,
And some which are that way.
You are a craftsman—
You put all the pieces in one pile.

reprinted from A Printer's Dozen
The Bieler Press, Los Angeles
©1992 — Philip Gallo

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

symphony #1 for dot matrix printers

In 1999 I chanced upon this mini-CD, “symphony #1 for dot matrix printers,” at the now defunct music store Let It Be, in Minneapolis. 

The mini-CD jacket contains the following regarding the composition:
The Symphony #1 for Dot Matrix Printers is a work which transforms banal office technology into an instrument for musical performance. Employing twelve dot matrix printers, a dozen computers, network hardware and some custom software, the symphony goes beyond the mere sampling of printer noise: it appropriates the entire office environment. The orchestra of printers is networked to a server, the “conductor,” which initiates print commands at precisely calculated times. Through the manipulation of the electronic character set in the form of printable ASCII files, some of which are included on this cd, the bizarre collection of decrepit office machinery is used to create densely textured rhythmic music.

To hear some of this music go to The User. Scroll down to the Quicktime movie to hear some tracks from the original cd. If you can refrain from increasing the size of the Quicktime movie, the file has sufficient resolution to show the print heads, albeit tiny, in action.

Also to be found on the site are some more recent compositions.


Sunday, August 2, 2009

Ping Pong

Click here for the avant-garde match of the century.