Tag Archives: Eclectro

3 video’s taken at the Rewire festival in The Hague

For this year’s Rewire festival report Eclectro tried something new by making a report containing only 21 seconds video’s.

My contribution

Nils Petter Molvaer & Moritz von Oswald

Food & Fennesz

Villalobos & Loderbauer present Re-ECM live

“REWIRE is an annual festival for contemporary music and related visual arts. The festival showcases relevant developments in the fields mentioned through an extensive music programme, a long run exhibition, screenings, performances and an education programme. The third edition will take place on November 8 and 9 2013 in The Hague city centre. The exhibition will run from November 8 until December 14th.

This year the REWIRE Festival music programme centres on several cornerstones: Nordic Jazz, Indie Classical, Chamber Pop, the Collaborative Programme and Post-punk/minimal wave. It also highlights a number of interesting electronic producers who are developing as against-the-grain vocalists. The night programme focuses on leading, innovatory electronic dance music producers. On Saturday the renowned R&S Record label celebrates its 30th birthday during the ‘R&S Records x REWIRE dance night’. The programme will showcase a few of R&S’ current artists, including Lone, Space Dimension Controller, dBridge and Cloud Boat.”

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Crowdsourcing this years election for the best dance track

This is the fifth year we’re making lists and the fourth year of the Eclectro election widget. The widget is grown up and out of development by now. It has proven itself year after year. Last year we collected almost 70.000 votes.

Crowdsourced
This year we asked the readers of Eclectro on Twitter, Facebook and the blog to submit tracks. And people submitted. We’ve got over 300 dance tracks produced in 2009, with only space for a selection of 100.

Collaboration
We asked some experts to look at the list to make sure we’ve got all important releases. All this was done using Google Docs. People searched audio files, checked if the files really were produced in 2009 and linked to images. Tasks were distributed and within a week from making the decision to do an election this year it’s here. And all of this was done without a single meeting. Amazing.

To everyone who helped, thanks. Feel free to share the widget and vote as much as you want.

Video of the voting widget in action

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The Urban Explorers 2009 video interface

The Urban Explorers video interface (live report) from Wilbert Baan on Vimeo.

For the music and art festival Urban Explorers festival I made a special video interface. During the festival reporters uploaded video with their mobile phones. The video was categorized on artists, venues and makers based on the video title. The project used the Blip API.

Give it a try.

Video interface for the Urban Explorers festival 2009

The report was done by Eclectro.nl reporters. I was supposed to be a reporter as well, but missed the festival because of the birth of Benjamin.

The process of building the interface can be found here.

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The 2008 Eclectro vote gadget

What was the best dance song of 2008?
This is the third year we are organizing an election using the vote widget to determine what’s the best record. We use a simple system where you have to choose the best out of two. This is the easiest choice to make. In the database there are 100 records. You get random pairs. The voting system is a system that’s (for internet standards) pretty much protected against fraud, since you never know what records or combination you will get.

Local results
This year we are taking the voting a step further. If you embed the widget on your social network or website you can see how people vote on your website. For example, this is what tunes the visitors of hypernarrative.com like. You can compare the results against the global results.

Styling
We also made it possible to adjust the width, with this option you make sure the gadget always fits perfectly to the design of your blog. We used OpenSocial to connect the gadget to Hyves, the largest social network in the Netherlands. With one click you can add the widget to your Hyves profile.

What’s so special about widgets and gadgets
Widgets and gadgets have something special. They can act like a website without being a website. Sure, they need a central database to store information, but they are completely viral. Once you drop the gadget into a social network it can easily spread if people can directly (re)share your gadget.

With gadgets in a lot of personal networks you enter the long tail of users. People might have small networks and will maybe only make thirty votes. But if the gadget has a large user base this long-tail of installations could represent an enormous amount of votes. You distribute the voting interface, but not the election.

This afternoon someone told me about a company that’s making a business out of using empty gadget space. If a gadget is used (for example a Christmas gadget) the gadget often remains on the profile, but isn’t removed. This company creates gadgets and once they are no longer used, they use the inventory as advertising space/network. This is a completely new business, and although social networks will not like it, it’s a very smart idea. Use networks, to create your own network.

Disclaimer: Eclectro is a non-profit blog, we just do it for the love of music and love for the people making music, we will never sell gadgetspace ;)

Eclectro loves …
The gadget on Hyves
We couldn’t have made a gadget this advanced just by ourselves. I really want to thank the guys at Freshheads for helping us with the code, flash and database structure (did you know they turned an old office-vault into a dj-booth/club). And also special thanks to the gadgetguys at Open & Sociaal, for connecting the gadget to Hyves and OpenSocial.

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The Eclectro Last.fm Lovewall installation (video)


Eclectro Last.fm Lovewall (interactive bluetooth installation) from Wilbert Baan on Vimeo.

Yesterday we had the first Eclectro party. As written in the last post I was working on a bluetooth/last.fm application. And it worked :)

The Eclectro Last.fm lovewall is an interactive installation that uses bluetooth to scan for mobile phones. Visitors are asked to change the bluetooth name of their phone into their Last.fm username.

A laptop scans the room using the open source Roomware software. It connects to random visitors and searches the Last.fm database for similarity. It then shows the similarity on a big screen by showing the profiles. A percentage and five artists both have in common.

Review
The installation worked well and I got a lot of very positive feedback by enthusiastic visitors. A few things I learned.

  • It is possible to have a zero percent match but still have artists in common.
  • Similar artists are often Gorillaz, U2, Muse, Air.
  • It is very easy to join, people see something happen and they think it’s too difficult to join. If you tell them that all it takes is changing the bluetooth name of their mobile phone they are really surprised.
  • Explain, explain, explain.
  • People like seeing their avatars on a screen. Only showing avatars would probably make a successful application by itself.
  • Make the screen dark. I used grey photographs and still the brightness of the beamer lightened up the entire place.
  • The internet connection at public places is almost always difficult (unstable/low signal).

The interface with testdata (working demo)

Open in new window

And the photographs

Last.fm + Roomware installation
on Flickr

Last.fm + Roomware installation
on Flickr

Opbouwen
on Flickr

Poster Eclectro loves Last.fm bluetooth friendfinder
on Flickr

Zaal
on Flickr

Standby3
on Flickr

Starborough test de dj-tafel
on Flickr

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Mashing up the first Eclectro party, bluetooth, meeting new people and your Last.fm profile

concept eclectro bluetooth kit

This saturday we have the first Eclectro party in De Unie in Rotterdam (which itself is pretty amazing). It’s the first offline event for something (a group of people blogging) that until saturday does only exist online.

To Eclectrofy this evening we started thinking about doing something extra with the location. How can we make the place visually and interactive exciting as well. Without making it too difficult to use or showing computers.

This reminded me about the Roomware project

The Roomware Project is an open-source framework for interactive spaces. It allows developers of multiple origins to enhance any venue or event using technologies such as BlueTooth and RFID.

What I’m making for this saturday
Basically Roomware turns my Mac into a server that is able to read bluetooth names and convert this data into xml. We will ask people at the party to change the bluetooth name of their mobile phone into the username of their Last.fm account. With these Last.fm names an application searches the Last.fm API and extracts data about two random visitors and tell them how much Last.fm similarity they have and which artists they have in common.

Meet new people
The project autorepeats and makes new random matches with names of people that are actually in the room. The results are projected on a screen. Showing public information about people is a gimmick, but it might encourage visitors to meet new people.

Things to do before this saturday

All the technology works. What’s left is finding a beamer, finishing the design and the timing of the interface. The application doesn’t need much time to load, but I’m thinking about adding finctional timing to make it more exiting to watch.

For example first show one player. Show the second player a few seconds later. And finally show the bar (hearth) that indicates the percentages. And maybe add some hidden messages when people have 0 or 100% Last.fm similarity.

Eclectro presents Kettel (live)
The third man (live), Gastón Arévalo (live) & Starborough (dj-set)
November 15th, De Unie, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Entrance € 8,- (order tickets)

De Unie

I will make a video of the system in action for hypernarrative. You can also visit the party this saturday to play with it youself. We can have a beer :)

More drafts
draft

draft

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Urban Explorers 2008, reviewing the experiment


While waiting for Murcof at the airport we asked Jimmy Edgar if he would like to improvise something on an old Casio keyboard. Recorded on the roof (full recording) of Schiphol (Amsterdam airport / AMS)

The festival was a great success. Exhausting, but really great. During the festival we made around 400 posts on the special microblog.

What worked
Mobile services worked very well. Sending a photo through Mobypicture and directly sending an audio file through Gabcast give a really strong storytelling experience. Twitter messages are like SMS. Great to keep context in the timeline without actually having ‘to produce’ something.

Avatars on Eclectro Live

I think our idea to connect everything you post to an avatar (like Twitter), and make the coverage as personal as possible really helped keeping it clear for our viewers. At least for how much this is possible given the enormous amount of information produced. Organizing it on time gives a very good overview of what was important or special during the festival.

Microblogs are really strong live applications. Afterwards they are less exciting to watch. You can use it as a collection of material where you can search items for articles elsewhere.

The WordPress XMLRPC is wonderful. From the 400 posts we have published almost none of those was made on the website itself. The posts were created using other websites and automatically posted to Eclectro.nl/live. Making publishing really easy.

What didn’t work
Video is difficult. Or at least uploading video is difficult. if you record a video it is still difficult to upload. When we recorded a video in high quality using a mobile phone (N95) the files get easily close to 10 Megabytes. If you want to upload/e-mail these files using UMTS you’re not only giving your battery a hard time, you’re also making it impossible to upload anything else during this process. Wifi often wasn’t available and when it was it was too unstable to upload or e-mail video.

I think services like Qiktv or Seesmic Mobile are interesting because the web-server is recording instead of your camera. Unfortunately those services can’t directly post a recording to a blog, yet.

We used a photo camera for recording video as well. This worked very well, the quality is good and Flickr is a great service for distributing files shorter than 90 seconds. The files recorded with the 8 Megapixel Sony Camera are around a 100 Megabytes. Uploading a 100 Megabytes in size. This requires you (or your laptop) to spend at least a few hours on a restaurant Wifi. Missing out on the festival. In the end we uploaded most files at night or in the morning.

We recorded the interviews on DV camera. This worked perfect, since there is no urge in getting the longer interviews directly on the web.

Two blogs
My idea was to maintain two blogs. The Eclectro blog and the Eclectro Live blog. /Live would be about us, a personal story about how we experienced the festival. The main blog would present interviews and reviews. This was just too much. We simply couldn’t make all this in a weekend and have a good time.

Ideas for live blogging / micro blogging
Op de parkeerplaats
zoom
You need a central spot with a computer and good internet connection. A central spot on the festival where you can empty a camera and upload a batch of files.

Think about what you want to do and if this is possible. Think about how you keep it clear to your audience what they are looking at. Most people don’t know what is happening and they have to understand what it is and why you are publishing. We explained it with a short introduction movie.

A few people asked me to add more structure to the website and make it easier to scan what happened over time. I think we need even more timeline based structure in a next version.

If you are telling a story make sure to tell everything. Tell what you expect and afterwards tell if your expectations were right or wrong. Make returning jokes / running gags. Keep it personal and keep your audience informed.


Jimmy Edgar performing on stage later that day


Hauschka is playing at the Urban Explorers festival 2008, Dordrecht, Netherlands from Wilbert Baan on Vimeo.
Hauschka adds little things like bells, plastic and metal to the piano using tape. A piano mash-up :)

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We started!


Inge talks to Greg Haines about why he moved to Berlin and about making a living as an artist.

We started with the Urban Explorers festival live coverage. We are using WordPress as an aggregator for information we publish on several other websites like Flickr, Mobypicture, Seesmic, Vimeo, Ustream, YouTube, Twitter and more.

The next days we will be running around the city of Dordrecht. Everything we do can be followed on the special micro blog. This afternoon we will be picking up two artists at Amsterdam airport. Tonight we sleep in an old squatted villa in the centre of Dordrecht.


Hauschka talks about how he works

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