Commission Music

Commission Music
Bespoke Noise!!

Saturday, 31 March 2007

New Auction / the Future of Music

Since my first two auctions are done tomorrow, I just put up number 3. I'm trying to figure out how to stagger them. It's a new and different phenomenon for me to think a week ahead. I don't know how to add a "buy it now" button. I suspect it costs extra. Using eBay actually adds a fair bit of overhead in cost and time. Also, it adds some overhead for the commissioner in that they need an account and then they wait. I'm weighing my options in whether I should move to a shopping cart model instead. Given the low cost, I think this time overhead is probably a large disincentive. It seems like a $14 commission is an impulse buy for most. Also, I'm unlikely to gather a biding war or anything.

The future of music, of course, is not a one-size-fits all model. Other options include things like the Buddha Machine (Is there really a little Buddha inside? I should take mine apart.) The music is inherently in an object, thus making it something other than being (only) data. The Women Take Back the Noise compilation is also, similarly, the music of the future. The packaging includes a little crackle box, in the shape of a flower. The music inside is Creative Commons licensed. The goal of the project is greater exposure for the artists participating, and I think their design achieves that goal well. the crackle box makes the object itself something tangible to buy. However, the data on the disks is still shareable. This gets the widest distribution possible, since people who want something they can hold get such a thing, and they also get something they can share. The more people have the disks, the wider the likely sharing of the data encoded on them. Very smart.

It's also taking a subversive look at femininity. The packaging is all bright colors and there are flowers on the CD, but the contents is noise. This subversiveness both challenges and reinforces a gender binary in that it defies expectations by containing noise, but supports the binary by encoding the gender of it's participants with flowers. I think it's really great and I wish the participants the very best of luck. I'm also really glad I'm not on it, because of the flowers. Traditional, even if subversive, symbols of femininity make me very very nervous. There's a group of women in the San Francisco Bay Area who don Betty Page wigs and wedding dresses for all their gigs. Some of these women are really punk rock. It's a really smart way to make comments on the expectation of gender. But for myself, I can't embrace it even ironically. There is absolutely no way I could stand in front of people in long hair with a dress. That's my own issue. But I often feel kind of left out. I don't get any sort of male privilege as far as I know, but I feel really uncomfortable participating in actions designed to raise the status of women as anything other than a consumer or spectator. A group called Fresh Meat has just issued a Call For Work by gender variant artists. I hope they want sound installations too.

In other news, the little woman in off in California chopping down trees (it's like anti-arbor day there) and I lost my cell phone, so theoretically I should be getting lots of things done, like my new Michael Savage piece and my super nifty code for HID and wii in SuperCollider, but um, yeah.

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