Hac Festival 12 June 2008


Hac Festival 12 June 2008 image
…an evening concert of contemporary audio-visual computer performances. Part of the PULSE Fringe Festival 2008.

hac brings together local, national and international artists working in the intersection of technology, science and the arts. The concert features performances which utilise wearable computing, live coding, hacking, DIY electronics, and digital performance. The performances are multi-disciplinary and innovative, searching for new ways of engaging the audience and artist through computer code, wearable technologies and homemade devices.

Through the course of the evening new computer programs will be written live in front of your eyes, codes shift and morph, sounds and visuals emerge and explode: human movements make 3D worlds shift and stutter: hacked programs shriek and spew out their internal circuits. The performances will span from sonic soundscapes, experimental noise and feedback loops to electronica and techno.

Also there will be some installations in the bar by Phil Archer, Luke Jordan, and The Curiosity Collectives’ Tom Juby and David Chatting. Expect plants to play you music, objects to inflate and deflate, and computer screens to pulsate.

This event is also a networking opportunity for artists, programmers, scientists and anyone interested in the cross disciplinary possibilities and development of computational arts.

Venue: The Chambers, Ipswich Town Hall, Suffolk.
Date: Thursday 12th June 2008
Cost: £5/£4 conc.
Time: 7pm – 12 midnight.
Web: hac…, map, Town Hall Galleries, PULSE Fringe Festival 2008, tickets, train tickets/times

The artists, musicians, programmers and hackers performing on the night are detailed below with a link to their work and a brief bio. Please take sometime to visit their sites as there is a wealth of interesting, challenging, and beautiful work to be explored.
(List is in alphabetical order; this is not the running order for the event).

Phil Archer (UK)

Combining ‘traditional’ instruments such as accordion and ukulele with circuit-bent consumer electronics, Phil’s music incorporates folk-influenced elements with improvised electronic sounds.
Past works have involved modified CD players, electronic music boxes, and the live circuit-bending of a mains-powered Yamaha keyboard by dripping water onto the circuit-board. His music has been played and broadcast around the world, and he has performed with artists ranging from Nic Collins to Dat Politics.

Robert Atwood (CA)

Robert Atwood has been experimenting with improvised performances on improvised instruments for several years, first as part of Toronto’s ‘Urban Refuse Group’ and subsequently as a solo project in London, Uk. He also has explored improvisational music with traditional instruments and effect-processed instruments with Toronto’s ‘Brain Harmonic’, and has used and developed sound feedback and sequencing software for performances with London’s ‘Openlab’ collective, and live-coding feedback patches for Loss-Livecode.

John Bowers (UK)

John Bowers works with home brew electronics, self-made instruments and reconstructions of antique image and sound-making devices, alongside contemporary digital technology. He is concerned with making performance environments which combine sound, vision and human gesture at a fundamental physical level. Recent work includes projects to build a music synthesizer using 19th century techniques (The Victorian Synthesizer), explorations of random circuitry (Ohm-My-God), a miniaturisation of Brion Gysin and Ian Sommerville’s Dreamachine (My Little Dreamachine), and a reconstruction of early television technology (This Nightlife Instrument). He was recently artist in residence at Fylkingen in Stockholm. He is co-founder of the Onoma Research label and also plays electric guitar in the fundamentalist noise rock band Tonesucker. John Bowers was born in, and lives near, Ipswich.

Cracktux (Chun Lee (TW) and Oli Laruelle (FR))

Using Pure Data and Processing, Cracktux, the French-Taiwanese artistic duo, takes the audience through a digital journey of experimental laptop performances, created with open source software.
Both are active members of Openlab, a collaboration of artists who engage themselves in the aesthetics and politics of Free Open Source Software Culture.
Cracktux audio-visual creations are bold, striking and wonderfully relaxing.
Experiments with Light and Air
Tom Juby, David Chatting and the Curiosity Collective
This installation piece explores the use of light and air to create and alter form. The inflation and deflation of the sculpture and its illumination responds to those around it, creating an illusion of life.
Microprocessor, scavenged computer hardware and LEDs.

From Honey to Ashes

Mick Grierson, Matt Lewis, Jeremy Keenan and Edgar Curtis
From Honey to Ashes are the world’s only, and therefore finest Electroacoustic Boy Band. With a focus on physical performance, FHTA produce semi-improvised audio/visual pieces, each based on a designated group of sample material . Lampooning rock and roll stereotypes, with a sound and aesthetic influenced by Throbbing Gristle, Kraftwerk and Jimi Hendrix amongst others, the band are unsure where the satire ends and the seriousness begins. The band features Mick Grierson, using the self penned Audio/Visual composition software ‘Mabuse’, Matt Lewis underscoring with his portable foley pit, Jeremy Keenan, chewing it up and spitting it all out in creepy glasses and Edgar Curtis, dancing with his Wii powered ribbon stick.


Daniel Kordik and Monika Subrtova (SK)
Monika Subrtova and Daniel Kordik form the Slovakian duo Jamka. Jamka sees its creative purpose in sound and structure experiments based on improvisation on digital and analogue technologies. With a background in DIY Punk bands, free tekkno and electronic musics, their output is an exploration of the deconstruction and reconstruction of rhythms and textures. They have previous release on their Urbsounds Collective label and their new LP is out now.

Ryan Jordan (UK)

Ryan Jordan comes form a Sonic Arts and experimental music background but works with all available medias through the computer. He has organised many events and performances in the UK and has performed nationally and internationally.
Jordan’s exploration of sound and music performance with computers lead to the development of his prototype MIDI controller, the M.G.I (Movement and Gesture Interface) which was an attempt at bringing a more physical performance element to laptop and computer music.

Now working in the intersection of the arts and sciences he explores and develops systems which merge all medias together through the physical augmentation of the body as a controlling device for computational applications. He is currently studying MFA Computational Arts at Goldmiths, London.

Ed Kelly (UK)

Edward Kelly is a London-based artist working with bespoke live performance software. His work has spanned formal electroacoustic composition, classical score-writing and live electronics. Currently, Dr Kelly is working on a live audiovisual performance system in Pure Data, and the continual redevelopment of this system means that every performance is a premiere as well as an improvisation. Occasional releases of his software reside at sharktracks.co.uk, and as a sometime electro musician his music can be heard at pyramidtransmissions.com (as Lone Shark).

Daniel Merrill (UK)

Dan Merrill is a composer and performer whose specialisation is in electro-acoustic and experimental music. He has toured America and Europe with various ensembles, and is releasing both solo albums and albums with his main ensemble, The Dead Rat Orchestra, whose focus is the combining of folk, free improvisation and DIY approaches to technology. Dan is also the founder of the musical collective Mutebox for the promotion and furtherance of experimental musical activities in the Colchester area. Dan’s technical expertise has involved working as a sound and lighting engineer for various national and international performance arts companies such as Isabelle Rocamora and The Pacitti Company. Dan began teaching at Colchester Institute in 2004 as lecturer in music technology, and now works both in FE and HE.

Matthew Applegate (UK)
Internationally renowned chip tune musician PixelH8 makes his music from reprogramming vintage computer systems such as the ZX spectrum, Commodore 64 and Game Boy. His unique blend of Electronica has taken him across the globe, performing at Microdisco in Berlin, at Apple iTunes, California iPhone Launch and for BBC Radio 1 in London. Highly regarded in this emerging genre of music, he has been interviewed by both CNN and the BBC, as well several magazines and websites all over the world. Pixelh8’s new album ‘The Boy With The Digital Heart’ is out now. For more information visit
Evan Raskob (USA)
pixelpusher the pixelist generates video out of a controlled chaos of photographic images, simple shapes, animations, sounds, and live video feeds. All software is homemade, all imagery are created live; things may go wrong in beautiful ways, and no performance is ever the same.

Aside from lecturing at Coventry University and UCCA (Farnham), Evan Raskob is a video, sound & interactive artist, VJ (pixelist), visual performance artist, and multimedia technology consultant working out of London (UK) and New York City (USA). Recent works include an installation with artist Robert Whitman (‘Turning’ at Pace Wildenstein Gallery), and work developing an interactive LED-lit cafeteria with architecture firm SOM in New York.

Martin Russ (UK)

Martin Russ turns music into dynamic moving pictures: live. No pre-recorded video, no playback of prepared stuff, just live interpretations of music turned into light. If you’ve seen a computer do this already, then you have a surprise coming, because Martin’s software is very different and on a different level entirely. Martin has been using sound synthesizers for many years (and has written a best-selling undergraduate textbook on the subject), but the last three years have seen him moving increasingly into live video work. He has produced over 2,000 software programs to do the music-to-light conversions in that time, so there’s lots to choose from, and any performance is just a tiny sample of what he can do. You can see some of his work at