Wednesday, October 21, 2009
  Games For Days - Julian Plenti (2009)

Games For Days - Julian Plenti (2009)

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  Carl Sagan - 'A Glorious Dawn' ft Stephen Hawking (Cosmos Remixed) - John Boswell (2009)

Carl Sagan - 'A Glorious Dawn' ft Stephen Hawking (Cosmos Remixed) - John Boswell (2009)

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Monday, October 19, 2009
  Nina Wenhart on Media Art Histories!

The Upgrade! Chicago presents: Nina Wenhart on Media Art Histories!

Austrian artist and Media Art Historian, Nina Wenhart presents her latest research in this free Upgrade! Chicago event at The Nightingale in Chicago.

ARS ELECTRONICA: re:shaping a city's cultural identity
Nina Wenhart

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

8 pm

The Nightingale
1084 N Milwaukee
Chicago, IL 60622


ARS ELECTRONICA: re:shaping a city's cultural identity

30 years ago the first Ars Electronica festival took place in Linz, Austria. Ars has grown to be one of the most influential Media Art festivals and centers in the world. But while much has been written about it, and still more will be talked about its history when Ars celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2009, there has not yet been a comprehensive study about Ars Electronica's influence on the local community and its impact on the cultural development of Linz. This paper investigates the socio-cultural, artistic and geographic traces Ars Electronica has left on the city of Linz. This Media Art historical account also details a very personal history, as the author, being four years old at the time of the first festival and amazed by its fireworks display, remembers the festival's beginnings from her personal experience and – having worked for Ars Electronica's Futurelab for many years - from a professional perspective as well.

The main question of this talk is how the then marginal field of art, science and technology, placed in an even more marginal, working-class and steel-producing city contributed greatly to the creation/development of a new cultural identity of the city, the art scene and the community as a whole. My investigation into the histories of this cultural institution focuses on the regional impact, regional being interpreted as geographically located/rooted as well as interpersonally built.


Nina Wenhart is an instructor for the „Prehystories of New Media“ class at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an independent artist/researcher. She is a graduate student at Prof. Oliver Grau's Media Art Histories program at the Danube University in Krems. For many years, she was the head of the Ars Electronica Futurelab's videostudio, where she created their archives and primarily worked with the historical material. She was four years old, when Ars Electronica started and has stayed connected with it ever since.
Friday, October 16, 2009
  EXPRESSIVE MEDIA EXPRESS October 23 - 24, 2009


Expressive Media Express is a weekend long interactive slate of programs designed to encourage creative use of digital tools and simultaneously showcase Chicago’s energetic New Media community. It will include two workshops, a screening, live performances and an ongoing media installation online and at The Nightingale, organized by jonCates (School of the Art Institute of Chicago), Christy LeMaster (The Nightingale), and Nicholas O’Brien (Interactive Art and Media, Columbia College).



Screen.Grab2 | CHIcast ::

The Nightingale
1084 N Milwaukee
October 23, 2009 8PM
$5 suggested donation

Organized by Nicholas O'Brien (PART I) and jonCates (PART II)

Nick Briz
Jake Elliott
Arend deGruyter-Helfer
Emily Kuehn
Jesse McLean
Michael Morris
Jon Satrom
Micah Schippa

ABOUT Screen.Grab2:

Screen.Grab2 presents a sampling of Video and New Media work using the visual vocabulary of network and digital culture. From glitch to screen savers to realtime audio-video noise to experimental dance pop movies, CHIcast converses with the multi-vocal presence of screen based art located within Chicago. Screen.Grab2 is part of a weekend long slate of programs (including two free New Media art making workshops) called Expressive Media Express as part of Chicago Artists Month.

In PART I of Screen.Grab2, Nicholas O'Brien has curated a screening program of digital works by artists based in Chicago.

During In PART II of Screen.Grab2, jonCates has organized a series of performances of digital and analog computers and electronics that will pop offscreen and into the physical space of the Nightingale.

"Although Screen.Grab is designed to enable a dialog between New Media and Experimental Cinema, this installment is also intended to bring together discourses from various mediums through creatively engaging in the familiar frameworks of online and digital tools. The ubiquity of graphical user interfaces (GUIs) and digital iconography evident in CHIcast is approached with a playful inquisitiveness and criticality. The work examines our digital interactions through questioning the supposition of the reliable, accurate, personal, and informative qualities found in New Media environments. In repositioning these characteristics away from the initial excitement and subsequent skepticism of New Media, the material found in this screening steer the conversation into a more colloquial and casual shared exploration." - Nicholas O'Brien




Screen.Grab2 | CHIcast ::

Rainbo Video
Tyler St Clair (Stagediver/Dispyz)
Aaron Zarzutzki
Mark Beasley and Tamas Kemenczy

Rainbo Video (dance pop audio video from Chicago)

Rainbo Video is a musician, filmmaker, and audiovisual artist based in Chicago. Forging everything from dance party pop to euphoric mash-ups and melodic ambient, he makes brightly colored candy for the ears. His films and art are just as kaleidoscopic, integrating optical illusions, cognitive puzzles, found footage, guessing games, cryptograms, and 3-D excursions into surrealism.

Tyler St Clair (breakcore on obsolete hardware from Milwaukee)

Tyler St Clair uses modified and circuit-bent gear including (but not limited to) a VIC-20 & MC-505. He also began work on several Atari 2600 sample playback utilities back in 2003 and has even been seen as a supporter of the UK hacking scene, evidenced by musical submissions to the Hackervoice UK podcast.

Aaron Zarzutzki (realtime noise and glitchery from Chicago)

Aaron Zarzutzki builds homebrew and hacked electronics, mixing together mechanics and codecs and causing analog and digital noise to feedback into each other. He also organizes The Myopic Music Series with Fred Lonberg-Holm and Brian Labycz.

Mark Beasley and Tamas Kemenczy (minimal VGA and CRT hacks from Chicago)

Mark Beasley and Tamas Kemenczy bend naive cathode rays using Arduino microcontrollers handbuilt into VHS video cassette cases, Python programming and old CRT monitors from the beige days of computing.


Free Computer Arts Workshops For Kids Ages 8-15!

Many media savvy parents want their children to safely participate with computer and internet technology. Expressive Media Express aims to assist parents and youth by moving the conversation away from technophobia into creative energy.

Alex Inglizian's BentBox workshop on Saturday October 24th at 10 am gives youth the opportunity to open up everyday toys and to sonically modify them for their own creative purposes.

Similarly, Jake Elliott's Step Mania School on Sunday October 25th at 2 pm relocates youth from passive game players to active game makers, as well as lays the foundation for using free alternative software. Participants will work with an open source dance dance revolution program.

Both sessions are free and provide access to an expandable set of skills, as well as teach the importance of community and collaboration. Both workshops are suggested for kids aged 8-15 and each workshop participant will work with their own adult preceptor for the duration of the lesson. All materials are provided. Workshops will be held at The Nightingale (1084 N. Milwaukee, Chicago, IL 60642)

The accompanying installation is also educational by showing the vibrant history of electronic arts in Chicago through an interactive time-line of tactile technology. Kids will be able to interact with modified computers from several different eras of computer history to see first hand the progression of this technology and the art affiliated with it.

Those interested in participating in these free workshops should contact Christy LeMaster at or by calling 573-289-4329. Early Reservations are encouraged, as space is limited.

Thursday, October 15, 2009
  Program #7 - Jane Veeder and Phil Morton (1979)

Program #7 - Jane Veeder and Phil Morton (1979) from joncates on Vimeo.

Program #7 - Jane Veeder and Phil Morton (1979)


  Third - AnnaMayaHouse (2007)

Third from AnnaMayaHouse on Vimeo.

Third - AnnaMayaHouse (2007)

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009
  All Yr Songs - Diamond Rings (2009)

All Yr Songs - Diamond Rings (2009)

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  8bit Halloween ft. Bit Shifter CHICAGO

One of the premiere Game Boy-wielding 8Bit electronic musicians in the world is Josh Davis aka Bit Shifter, and subVariant and Front 312 are excited to have him perform at Ai Lounge on Halloween. Having played over 100 live shows armed with only two Nintendo Game Boys, and two home-brew aftermarket music programs, he has a dedicated following and has been known to ignite dance floors with his high energy live performances.

Tom Loftus of says of Bit Shifter’s performance,“[B]y the time Davis jumped to his rave-up 'Parapersona Crash,' the walls started to shake and what little hesitation the audience may have had over dancing to a kiddy toy's 'bleeps' and 'bloops' vanished.”

“We booked him ...and I still think it's the most people that have been in the Tank at one time--hundreds and hundreds of people…” says Mike Rosenthal, Artistic Director of The Tank in NYC. “ Bitshifter just rocked the place--just blew us all away.”
Josh Davis says of the 8bit sound, “This is a really distinctive sound-set that anyone of our generation will have most likely been exposed to during childhood and as a consequence of that it became hardwired into our aesthetic sensibilities….but it was always off-limits creatively. So, people who grew up with 8bit and 16bit video game consoles--if they were musicians, they were able to dabble in just about *anything* else….”

Liz Revision of subVariant will open by digitally spinning minimal tech-house, glitch, and IDM; Mr. Automatic from Front 312 brings electro, new wave, and acid house; and Onefiftyone from Chicago Workgroup plays nudisco.

Bit Shifter explores high-energy, low-bit music composed and performed on a Nintendo Game Boy. The result is an unapologetically fun foray into an evocative and distinctive sound-set, executed on a console generally misperceived as being technically limited. Made possibly by two home-brew Game Boy music-making programs, Nanoloop and Little Sound DJ, Bit Shifter's music adopts and subverts the playfulness inherent in the familiar Game Boy sound-set, repurposing it into the service of novel idioms. Based in New York City, Bit Shifter has performed over one hundred shows worldwide, having recently circumnavigated the planet in a 20-date world tour with fellow chiptune compatriot Nullsleep.

subVariant is a Chicago-based record label and events production company known for its both its innovative electronic music releases and creative packaging, as well as its edgy and boundary-pushing live events and music showcases. Front 312 has been promoting an eclectic night in Chicago for over a year featuring house, electro, new wave and industrial at Liar’s Club, although individually its members have been churning away in various underground electronic realms, and have collected a diverse group of dedicated followers. Together subV and 312 bring their diverse crowds together to experience Halloween in a cool downtown location with an excellent, creative and diverse lineup unique in Chicago for Halloween.

Tickets are $20 at the door, $15 presale at, or $17 day off with an RSVP to

The first 30 people with presale tickets will get a free surprise treat bag featuring cool stuff from local businesses and online shops.

A very limited amount of free tickets for people video game industry are available. Send a link to your LinkedIn page / corporate bio / other credentials to lizk {at} subvariant . com as soon as possible.

Ai Lounge is at 358 W. Ontario, Downtown Chicago. The night runs from 10pm – 3am. A late night sushi menu is also available, as is $10 valet parking.

Bit Shifter interview

Bitshifter-"The World Has Turned and Left Me Here" (Weezer cover) by quantazelle

“The World Has Turned and Left Me Here” vocal track
from Bitshifter (Weezer Cover)

“Activation Theme” by Bitshifter (Original Instrumental)

“Bitshifter Interview”
“Interview with Bitshifter” (Longer, more technical




Liz Revision:
Sunday, October 11, 2009
  Black / White - The Raveonettes (2008)

Black / White - The Raveonettes (2008)

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  Can't Seem To Make You Mine - The Seeds (1966)

Can't Seem To Make You Mine - The Seeds (1966)

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Friday, October 09, 2009 (YouTube) - jonCates (1999.12.02) (YouTube) - jonCates (1999.12.02) is a screen capture of an Adobe Premiere Quicktime playback error which pixelbleeds into operating system.

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  breakcore kid - kukowa (2008)

breakcore kid - kukowa (2008)

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Thursday, October 08, 2009 - jonCates (1999.12.02) - jonCates (1999.12.02) is a screen capture of an Adobe Premiere Quicktime playback error which pixelbleeds into operating system.

Labels: , (frames) - jonCates (1999.12.02)

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(Film, Video and New Media department at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago; New Media Art Histories; Art Games + Independent Gaming Cultures; Open Source, Artware + early Video Art; Computer Witchcraft + Majikal Media Art)

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