electronics workshop - building photoreactive oscillators
Short epilogue on my trip to Belgrade.
I attended loads of talks/lectures at Resonate, saw folks (some of them even people who's influence touched me since times ago) showing off their wicked works there, giving insight into their processes, sharing some good thoughts and discussing the current course of events in the new media world. Some weren't totally gripping, but several really pushed my synapses on how to go about things, switched some angles in my perspectives and sparked lots of ideas. My favourite were these right here:
Shane Walter from onedotzero, awesome guy
Memo Akten - most inspiring talk ever
Then I also attended a workshop called The Sound of Matter led by Italian artist Rudi Punzo. The subject was to combine electronic components and assemble them into a sound sculpture of sorts. Some of the 15 registered people didn't show up and we didn't get solderless bread boards from the start so things got delayed a bit and we didnt end up with robots, but it was super fun nonetheless. Finally 'learned' to solder and built a trippy oscillator - only that mine didn't work in the end because the audio out was broken :0 (I'll fix that soon and deliver a video, promise). We hooked that up to some LEDs and solar panels and had a lot of fun tweaking the knobs, I'm sold.
We also means I met some awesome people during that workshop and the conference itself. I read that there were a bit over 2500 attendees and my guess is that a third of those were locals, another third from Central Europe and the rest from all over. Lectures started relatively early, 10-ish, relative as the nights were long due to plenty performances going on in several locations. I didn't have the energy to watch them all, though, cause I really wanted to get the most out of the lectures. But still it was so good feeling a proper bass wave running through my body again, can't even begin to recall when was the last time (already feels like I write that out a lot ...). The best of those were definitely Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith with her superb live synth performance at 10A.M. featuring visuals that made me double check if I was sober, Belgrade local producer Jan Nemeček usually doing awesome ambienty stuff (copped a nice tape of that), who was playing a proper techno set opening for Squarepusher. Man, let me tell you that I've seen a heck of a lot of performances and I love this dude's music down to the bits, but his latest release didn't quite take off with me so I was unsure what it's going to be doing with me. Dude straight up delivered. He showed up in a fencing suit, set up his gadgets in front of two massive LED walls, which probably dismembered themselves in the second the set was over and totally wrecked it. The sound was unbelievably crisp and he went full-berzerk-mode, going all out with everything the gadgets had to give. Not much of the dancings, but since the optics were also outright spasm-inducing-fantastic it was an fulfilling, awe-inspiring experience. The last 20 minutes or so Mr. Jenkinson did us the favor of pulling his 6-string bass out and turning things a bit more to the mellow side by virtuosing out some of his classic themes. 10/10 would go and see again at any time!
So after my first hours of being a bit sceptic of where I landed my reception totally changed over the days while I strolled through this charming city. It does play by its own rules and doesn't give its hidden gems away for nothing, but that's kinda the thing about it. I did a short excursion out to nearby Novi Sad with the bus (haha, would give a lot just to watch myself trying to figure out how to get the proper tickets :D), it was nice there, but surprisingly intact and seemed more like it could be located in Poland or Czechia. That was alright, too, but can't compare on any scale. I've had some great eight days down there and tanked up my inspir-o-meter to the fullest.
Yes, I would come again and I recommend anyone getting the chance to pay Belgrade a visit.
The sky hasn't cleared up and the drizzle went on and off today. I opted to walk a route eastwards of my quarter visiting some orthodox churches, parks and plazas, casually strolling through the neighbourhoods. Man, this city is really something. Everything is so run-down, outright crumbling, it makes me wonder how long it will last. 50 years tops if no one does anything about it, a hundred Dinar on that. But it totally has its charme, people don't seem to give too much fucks, street lights only count for vehicles - if at all - no one really bothers to be looking/appearing overly stylish (one of the things bothering me most about Scandinavia) and you feel like you're absolutely free do roam anywhere you wish and do anything you set your mind to. That's uniquely awesome, but it couldn't hurt to have the walkways paved with cobblestones instead of dog shit and cig stubs once in a while ;)
I got used to look out where I tread quite fast and enjoyed the different facets of Belgrade's quarters. Some are chill-oustide-at-the-comfy-cafe, some folks-just-and-only-live-here, some go all we-offer-exquisite-junk-why-nobody-do-the-buy? and some people-hang-out-at-night-shops-are-open-all-day-round-ish. It's very gripping soaking up the atmosphere and watch people go about their doings. Best place for that is one of the markets open each Sunday and whaddayaknow I accidentally stumbled right into one. So many people, so much eatable stuff pulled right out the ground and wherenot. Everybody and his dog had a stand and who couldn't afford placed himself on a chair in front of the entrance gates and offered freshly cut lilacs and the likes. Or a single pair of shoes worn for fifteen years plus (and nothing else) Really, though? :|
Didn't overdo it with the walking to give my joints some rest, grocery shopped food and pivo for the next days and fixed myself lunch at my HQ before I went out for another walk. This time I headed to the Sava river, got caught up in some detours, accidentally attended a photo exhibition that is just about to open in two days and crossed the bridge to Novi Beograd. But that part of the city can wait for another time and it was getting to dark for my camera to handle anyways so I returned to the appartment.
Can't wait for the sun to show up tomorrow, I bet it will give this scenario a whole new perspective.
Too darkso, way too much noise, monochrome comes to the rescue!