My final for Computational Media is called ITP Mixtape.
As a musician living in the beginning of the 21st century, it took me a few years to grapple with the fact that I am solely responsible for the production and distribution of the work I make. It seemed as though technological advances in the tools to create media arts and music production, as well as their price points, became much more accessible.. just in time for the music industry to crash and burn. The consequence turned out to be a double edged sword, in fact. Artists had to learn how to be self sufficient in every aspect of their artistry, from creation to distribution. I was directly affected and influenced by this trend, and in my formative years as a young musician I leaned in on the approach, deciding that I would eventually make my own record label.
I was always inspired by DIY record labels as a teenager, labels like Sub Pop, Epitaph, and Matador. Those were the labels that most of the bands I listened to were on. It was an attractive answer to the major labels that were ridden in capitalist ideals, primarily in how they handled their artists and production. The correlation between the political ideals of the bands and HOW they distributed their music was harmony. I don’t want to get too involved in explaining the history of record labels, but to put it simply, I am nostalgic for them, and their relevance as cultural ambassadors. In an age where people just download songs digitally and don’t listen to albums, nor really care how they are produced, it cheapens the experience of understanding the artist. My impetus to use the term Record Label comes from a place not only of nostalgia, but the record label as a means of connecting ideals and identity with the art itself. I still find relevance in the platform for platform sake because of this.
I understand that the distribution itself is quite a labyrinth, what works and what doesn’t is really up in the air. Artists like Jay-Z have even teamed up with cell phone companies to package a record release within the purchase of a cell phone. Also, new platforms like Spotify and Pandora have created a new monopoly over music distribution that doesn’t really approach the action on a democratic level. Artists are forced to accept cents to the dollar for their downloads. I feel like the scope is wide open to create more efficient ways of music distribution and my ICM final is an experiment in this vein.
I wanted to control not only what people want, but where they are while they are getting it. I am also interested in taking people out of the black hole of their cell phone screen and create more meaningful social experiences outside of technology. I thought applying this experiment to a project of bigger scale can achieve just that.
I collected work from 12 ITPers and made a mixtape, using geo-location as a tool to bring people together. The point is to obligate people to be in a certain place at a certain time to be able to download the art. If they are not in the specific location it is impossible to download. The page simply doesn’t appear and another page pops up giving the person instructions to be in the right place at the right time.
The interface was drawn on P5.js. I created a button that leads to the html page that the links exist on. Here are the pages.
If the person isn’t in Washington Square Park, the page with the map of WSP appears, with the words “Come Hither.”
If they are in WSP, the mixtape page appears.
This is the link to test out the project in WSP: https://marcoitp18.github.io/itp-mixtape/
ITP Mixtape Interface, drawn on P5:
Interface if you are NOT in the Park..
If you ARE in the Park…