“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 â€˜R&S Records x REWIRE dance nightâ€™. The programme will showcase a few of R&Sâ€™ current artists, including Lone, Space Dimension Controller, dBridge and Cloud Boat.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 …
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.