I once worked on a project where the company’s website was so complex and detailed and, frankly, byzantine, that by the time we first visited the company’s actual office I wondered where the skyscraper was hiding. You’d never know from the company’s massive online presence that it was really just a few dozen people working on the top floor of a two-floor building. Sometimes such confusion is willful, an act of strategic dissimulation, a game of tactical artifice. Sometimes it’s a matter of putting on airs. Often it’s just bad planning. Either way, the company came to mind when I wandered by this extensive doorbell situated at the entryway of a modest two-story apartment building. The verticality of the form brought to mind soda cans that have the silhouette of a glass bottle drawn on them, as well as depictions of the very condensation that the can was designed to diminish. Of course, this doorbell grid isn’t really a skeuomorph, per se. It’s more of an aspiration. The architecture curator at a museum once described the faux lofts being built in San Francisco as “townhouses in drag.” This doorbell is playing its own sort of low-budget dress-up. It’s skyscraper cosplay.An ongoing series cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt.
Marc Weidenbaum founded the website Disquiet.com in 1996 at the intersection of sound, art, and technology, and since 2012 has moderated the Disquiet Junto, an active online community of weekly music/sonic projects. He has written for Nature, Boing Boing, The Wire, Pitchfork, and NewMusicBox, among other periodicals. He is the author of the 33 1⁄3 book on Aphex Twin’s classic album Selected Ambient Works Volume II. Read more about his sonic consultancy, teaching, sound art, and work in film, comics, and other media
• Autumn, 2019: I'll have a new piece in The Wire.
• December 13, 2019: This day marks the 23rd anniversary of Disquiet.com.
• January 7, 2020: This day marks the 8th anniversary of the Disquiet Junto.
• March 2020: A chapter on the Disquiet Junto ("The Disquiet Junto as an Online Community of Practice," by Ethan Hein) appears in the forthcoming book The Oxford Handbook of Social Media and Music Learning (Oxford University Press), edited by Stephanie Horsley, Janice Waldron, and Kari Veblen.
• There are entries on the Disquiet Junto in the forthcoming book The Music Production Cookbook: Ready-made Recipes for the Classroom (Oxford University Press), edited by Adam Patrick Bell.
• The Disquiet Junto series of weekly communal music projects explore constraints as a springboard for creativity and productivity. There is a new project each Thursday afternoon (California time), and it is due the following Monday at 11:59pm: disquiet.com/junto.
• My book on Aphex Twin's landmark 1994 album, Selected Ambient Works Vol. II, was published as part of the 33 1/3 series, an imprint of Bloomsbury. It has been translated into Japanese (2019) and Spanish (2018).
Most Recent Posts
Since January 2012, the Disquiet Junto has been an ongoing weekly collaborative music-making community that employs creative constraints as a springboard for creativity. Subscribe to the announcement list (each Thursday), listen to tracks by participants from around the world, read the FAQ, and join in.
• 0415 / Seasonal Metal / The Assignment: Tinsel is your latest instrument.
• 0414 / Mod Cons / The Assignment: Compose one or more sounds for an appliance/device/gadget of your own choosing.
• 0413 / Objective Thankfulness / The Assignment: Highlight one piece of musical equipment for which you are particularly grateful.
• 0412 / One Chord Wonder / The Assignment: Play an extended chord where the instrumentation of each note changes as the piece proceeds.
• 0411 / Wrapped Up / The Assignment: Record a piece of music as a gift for someone special to you.
And there is a complete list of past projects, 415 consecutive weeks to date.
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Most Recent Comments
Patrick Glynn: "Hello, I’m looking forward to hearing what you’ve been listening to. Thanks, Patrick "
Michael Mennell: "ok, glad I could help. Do you have a link to that MicroFreak video btw? I had posted it to our..."
Michael: "Yesterday, this post had a video (mistakenly?) linked at the top featuring a MicroFreak. What was that?..."
Marc Arsenault: "Are you saying, it’s like a smurf’s arm with a plum in its fist? "
David Neale-Lorello: "Would Thomas Dolby be one of the heroes or the mascot? "