Saturday, December 24, 2011

Friday, October 28, 2011

Found Friday 87

Illustration from a 1960's magic catalog

Friday, October 21, 2011

Found Friday 86

Note found in fashion book.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Found Friday 85

Military training exercise, Kahoʻolawe, Hawaii. c.1945.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Found Friday 84

La Regence, Cherbourg, France. c.1950's.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Something New (Typography)

Letter Bomb. 2011.
collage on found book page. 7 x 4-1/4"

Kiss Army. 2011.
carbon on found library card. 5 x 3"

Found Friday 83

Philadelphia, May 1976

Friday, August 5, 2011

Friday, July 15, 2011

Found Friday 81

Robert Brown and dogs, Ballyportry Castle, Corofin, Ireland. c.1960's.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Found Friday 79

Statue of Liberty, August 1973

Friday, June 24, 2011

Found Friday 78

Asbestos Ore Fountain, Asbestos Plaza, Expo 67, Montreal. 1967.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Found Friday 77

Cologne Cathedral and Skywriting, c.1967

Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday, May 27, 2011

Found Friday 75

Cyclist and General Wolfe, Royal Observatory, Greenwich, c.1960.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Found Friday 74

Two Men / Two Buildings. c.1982

Friday, May 6, 2011

Found Friday 73 - The Feminine Touch

The good folks at Moxie Industries have decided to expand Found Friday to include audio pulled from the dusty corners of MI's vinyl archive. This week's edition showcases the musical stylings of The Feminine Touch, an early-1970's duo featuring Ruth Davis and Kathy Sullivan. Clad in orange velour, they graced the lounge at Gentleman Jim's, a steak & ribs restaurant in Lighthouse Point, Florida. Kathy played drums and Ruth rocked the Hammond organ and piano. Recorded at the Hyperbolic Recording Studios in Ft. Lauderdale, this album features such classic lounge staples as "Aquarius", "My Way", and "Snowbird".

Sadly, The Feminine Touch have disappeared without a trace - exhaustive research (okay, a couple of minutes of Google searches) has revealed little. Gentleman Jim's is long gone (the location is currently occupied by an abandoned pizza joint), as is the Hyperbolic Recording Studios.

2031 NE 36th St., Lighthouse Point, FL

Here's a sample of The Feminine Touch covering Chicago's "25 or 6 to 4":

Friday, April 8, 2011

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Found Friday 71

Mrs. Weener and Children, Mrs. Fish, Mr. Pig, Sissig Dog.
drawing from a 1906 spelling book.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Circuit Bent Fun Years Keyboard

Yesterday I decided to take a break from In The Crystal Palace and mess around with some new toys instead. On Saturday I picked up some used kiddie electronics at the Salvation Army thrift store, including a Fun Years keyboard. A cheap Chinese knockoff, this toy keyboard has some interesting features, including several rhythm settings, a record button, and a "one key note" button. The electronic guts are what you would expect to find - a "black blob" IC common to most inexpensive electronics, and a separate amplification chip. To change the pitch I removed the timing resistor & and replaced it with a 500k potentiometer. I also added two photoresistors so that the pitch can also be altered by light/shadow. I also poked around the amp chip and found some nice distortion and feedback bends. Finally, I added a 1/4" output jack.

Overall interior view w/ modifications

View of pitch control w/ 500k pot & 2 photoresistors. Photoresistors are hot-glued inside a wood block which is hot-glued to the front interior case.

Exterior view of pitch controls. Photoresistors are above the knob.

Overall exterior view w/ modifications. The distortion/feedback bends are manipulated by the two knobs at the right.

I'm happy with how this project turned out. The photoresistors add an additional level of interaction and playability, and the distortion/feedback bends add some teeth to the audio. For example, there's a cheesy "Mandolin" setting that repeats the same note as long as the key(s) is held down, but slowed down & distorted has an ominous, driving Krautrock vibe.

Here's a short video clip:

and... here's the same clip but with the video scrambled using Audacity, slowed down 90%, and edited in length to fit original audio:

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Found Friday 70

Post-it note found inside a copy of Joyce Carol Oats' On Boxing (thanks Maggie!)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Databending - Creating and Listening to RTF Files

Last week Boing Boing had an interesting post about using EXE files to create found audio clips. The basic idea is to use an audio editing program such as Audacity to open and listen to raw data files as audio files. The process is called databending and has been around a good many years (I know, I'm always late to the party). Anyway, I played around with this a bit, randomly selecting program files from our computer at home to see what kind of audio they would generate. Uncompressed files seem to work the best since there's more data to "read", although shorter files can be copied & strung together to create repeating noise patterns. Compressed files (such as .jpgs) seem to yield mostly static.

I thought about this over the weekend and wondered if you could have some measure of control, based on the makeup of the original data file. I played around with this a bit more using MS Works word processor to create & export various file types (DOC, DOCX, RTF, TXT, HTML) and open them as audio files. I found that RTF (Rich Text Format) files work great because they contain a lot of data, especially if you use the paint function to draw something into your file (files that only contain text are still pretty small). Also, adding clip art can make for some interesting audio. The only problem with the audio from RTF files is a constant high frequency squeal, which can be reduced/eliminated using Audacity's noise removal feature.

So.... here's an example:

A four-page document containing clip art pictures of accordions and keyboards, saved and exported as an RTF file.

The resulting audio file with removal of high frequency squeal, otherwise unaltered and exported as an mp3 file:

Oddly, the same clip art document minus the two brown keyboards pictures yielded the same audio pattern, but at a higher pitch.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

In the Crystal Palace

The Shameless Commerce division of Moxie Industries is pleased to announce that in our quest for world domination, Kym and I have established the Etsy shop In the Crystal Palace:
In The Crystal Palace is the creative partnership of Robin Miller and Kym Hepworth, husband and wife artists from Savannah, GA, creating mixed media assemblages inspired by found materials from a bygone era.

Here's a sample of a few of the pieces currently available:

Kym Hepworth Mary Had A Little Lamb. 2011.
mixed media assemblage. 10-1/4 x 11-1/2 x 3 in.

Kym Hepworth. Vamp (Louise Brooks)
mixed media assemblage. 15-7/8 x 12 x 3-1/2 in.

Robin Miller. Adoration of the Aerialist. 2010.
mixed media assemblage (wood, collage, plaster, gesso, and acrylic)

4-3/4 x 6-1/2 x 2-3/4 in.

Robin Miller. Total Solar Eclipse of 1851. 2011.
mixed media assemblage (wood, collage, shellac, gesso, and acrylic)
6-1/8 x 4 x 2-1/4 in.

back view

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday, February 11, 2011

Found Friday 67

Mexico, February 1969

Mexico, February 1969

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday, January 14, 2011