careful arrangments of sonic rubbish

KINDLING is an evolving publication series exploring the intersection of digitally shared sound and printed image and text; each worked together or against each other to open a site of conversation for community of makers, listeners and readers by testing new modes of presentation and distribution. While the material form may be less-than-precious, ephemeral or even recyclable, we hope the ideas, feelings or actions it may encourage will remain.

How Buildings Learn - Seth Cooke

Last year, a consultant from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors took stock of my home in Bristol. He told me the survey would be sent as a pdf via email; I asked him for the audio recording of his spoken notes. The visiting field recordist graciously gifted it to me.

Around the same time, we had a security camera fitted. My daughters commented that the audio sounded like “Daddy’s music.” I can now travel anywhere in the world while producing field recordings of my home.

‘How Buildings Learn’ is the third publication in the series ‘Method of Loci’. The first – ‘This Content is Unavailable in Your Country’ – follows trails through Pornhub via videos tagged or titled “Bristol”. The second – ‘⦵ (pour Isidore)’ – transforms Plimsoll Swing Bridge into a tribute to the founder of Lettrism.

The pieces comprising ‘Method of Loci’ are about the transcription of space. Each uses an analytical process to identify a readymade, or a readymade to identify an analytical process. The point defines the perimeter. The perimeter defines the point. Then I argue with myself about how much of the working can be exposed without merely exposing an artwork that doesn’t work.

Field recording is often about access to territory, technique and technology. Change the territory, change the technique, change the technology, and you find yourself transcribing spaces to which you wouldn’t otherwise have access.

Although not in this case. I never left the house.

Seth Cooke, April 2024


One star review of ‘House of Leaves’ by Mark Z. Danielewski, posted 7 months ago by J dR:

Read Michael Ende’s ‘Never Ending Story’ instead, nearly all the good and fun ideas in ‘House of Leaves’ can be found there: a story that generates stories that generate stories, a house changing dimensions, even up to the disembodied scream that travels between universes.

If you like reading experimental literature just for the sake of the experiment, then go for it, but be prepared; some pages are just filled with names of photographers and at other times you have to turn the book upside down and sideways because the author thought it original to write about labyrinths in this fashion.

You should also be very cautious about any piece of non-fictional info or quote given in this book, examples are; Baudelaire’s poem ‘Le Tasse en prison’ starts with “La poëte”; attributing “Database and narrative are natural enemies…” to Manovich (it was Paglen); and a hopelessly befuddled list of sonar-equipped animals gives us dolphins as different from cetaceans. Maybe it’s an example of the author’s sense of humour, but I find that misquoting a fellow author is rather disrespectful.

It’s a pity because there are some well written parts and likeable characters, but the need to be original for the sake of originality ruins what could have been a very enjoyable psychological thriller.

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Rejected workshop pitch for the CRiSAP In the Field 2 symposium, 2024:

While the cartographic map accelerates the colonisation of space, the network map accelerates the colonisation of knowledge. Yet its roots still lie in spatial geometry. From the Seven Bridges of Königsberg to Google Maps, graph theory has scaled to become the primary engine powering the capitalist exploitation of other disciplines. The graph data structure – combined with technologies of machine audition, machine vision, and sensor fusion – underpins the Internet, social media, navigation, finance, communications, situational awareness, surveillance, investigation, safeguarding, large language models, and the social engineering of whole populations. The colonisation of knowledge by data science partitions our minds and our communities into privately owned public space. A single field is seeking to dominate all fields.

In this workshop I will demonstrate how an artist can identify readymades by leveraging graph theory, free or commonly used software, and public data. In doing so, we will encode into the readymade the political, economic, social, technological, environmental and legal properties of the data and the analysis – and expose how the production of knowledge mirrors the production of space. The workshop will conclude by using the process to identify and play back a location-based sound work.

It is my hope that the workshop will be a valuable antidote to the pessimism of the current moment, in which aggressive structures of ownership are burning the platforms on which artists and musicians have come to rely. While a single workshop cannot solve these problems, I aim to signpost a handful of paths forward.

Parazoan Mapping #2 - Taku Unami and Eric La Casa

I am super excited and humbled to announce the upcoming release of Taku Unami and Eric La Casa’s Parazoan Mapping #2, as the first edition of a new project called KINDLING, and will take the form of digital sound and 16 page printed newspaper (Tabloid size, 289x380mm).

Through their individual practices, Taku Unami and Eric La Casa have contributed greatly to what we think about how we listen and practice sound and music, and often indirectly challenging where these two tightly linked categories might collide or overlap. Parazoan Mapping #2 continues their published collaboration started on Erstwhile recordings in 2015, with the highly ecommended Parazoan Mapping. In keeping with their preference to avoid word-based explanation, I will write no more about Parazoan Mapping #2 and let the work speak for itself.

KINDLING is a new venture for me, publishing the work of other artists, which I hope will evolve to explore new forms of what a “sound-art publication” might be and develop into a site for a form of sound-community conversation through making.

While KINDLING will be fairly tightly curated, no doubt reflecting my own particular interests and biases, with a number of artists already invited to contribute future editions, I will remain open to proposals and ideas. However, funds are limited, and while I hope KINDLING'S scope will be expanded and broad, it will also remain somewhat tightly specific. If you have a fantastic piece of music with an equally great cover-image for its packaging, we are perhaps not the project for you; if you are interested in working sound, image and/or text together, each contributing to what we might read as “the work” in a more expanded manner, then I would love to hear from you.

All KINDLING editions will only be available in physical form with accompanying digital audio files until sold out, after which they will be available in digital-only form.

Available here: Kindling 001 : Parazoan Mapping #2
or email eamon AT sonicrubbish DOT com to order direct.

KINDLING editions are also available from
Rope Editions - South Korea
Omega Point - Japan
Shamefile Music - Australia
Les Presses du réel - France

KINDLING edition 001:
Parazoan Mapping #2 - Taku Unami and Eric La Casa