Dorkbot:4 Untitled


November 5, 2003 - 7:30pm - 10:00pm




Chris DeLaurenti"Pre-Hip Hop Sonic Repurposing": Seattle-based composer, sound artist, phonographer and music writer Chris DeLaurenti’s work incorporates unusual field recordings as well as stolen and found sounds. As a music writer, Chris writes a weekly column for the Stranger, “the score”, which covers classical, jazz and their respective as well as collective experimental progeny. Chris will discuss the history of repurposed sonic materials from Paul Hindemith and Ernest Toch in 1920’s Berlin through Cage, Tenney, Stockhausen and others. He’ll play short excerpts, outline a rough history and comment on the practices and pitfalls of creating such work. His site,, contains essays and resources useful to adventurous music makers and listeners.
Otis Fodder"Listening, Appropriating and Sharing": Sonicabal founder Otis Fodder mines the aural dustbins of society and creates new and surprising work with his findings. An expert, nationally-recognized samplist, his projects often subvert cultural propaganda by turning it inside out in humorous and provocative ways. His projects include The Bran Flakes and 365 Days – a new MP3 file of an obscure and often out-of-print recording a day for a year. For this dorkbot meeting, Otis will be sharing both music and memories, and discussing and playing sampling fodder (digital and vinyl) for the masses. This fodder will include classic sampled material in pop and hip-hop and sources to sample from – from thrift stores to the Main Street. tell you more about Otis and his multifarious manifestations.
Steev Hise"Some Problems and Solutions For Cultural Recyclers": Portland, Oregon-based multimedia artist Steev Hise, founder of (, will be making the trip north to talk about recycling culture, sampling, appropriation, and the legal obstacles to artists doing work in this field. He will also discuss the history of and give an overview of other artists represented there. Steev has been creating experimental music, performance art, video and internet art since 1990. His work centers around the appropriation and recontextualization of pre-existing cultural artifacts – making new art from old. He has presented his work nationally and internationally, and is also a founding steering committee member of the San Francisco Electronic Music Festival. Find out more about Steev at
John Bain"What Does Your Answering Machine Really Want To Say?": local sound artist John Bain (aka Mutant Data Orchestra) utilizes re-wired digital electronics to create sonic environments as performances and installations that deal with issues of autocomposition and the real-time interaction between humans and machines. John will discuss his use of "circuit bending" and how this technique re-purposes socialized home electronics – turning your digital stuff into something completely different. During the talk, we’ll be training a video camera on him as he opens up his gear to show his complex re-wiring methods, the sonic results of his design decisions and how they influence new, custom interfaces. Through this sonification, John will show the two different types of sound that digital memory produces and explain the decisions he makes when attempting to crack a new piece of gear without blowing it up or killing himself. has more.

After-speaker performance


John Bain, Otis Fodder and Steev Hise will be performing after the meeting as Mutant Data Orchestra++.
Join us for beer, cocktails, music, conversation and mingling after the speakers have spoken - and bring work-in-progress for peer review and comment during this last part of the evening if you like: we'd love to see what you've been working on!

More about the speakers:
Steev Hise: Steev Hise, born in Iowa and currently based in Portland, Oregon, has been creating experimental music, performance art, video, and internet art since 1990. At California Institute of the Arts he studied composition with Morton Subotnick and Wadada Leo Smith, sound design with Tom Erbe, and cultural studies with Dick Hebdige. Hise's work centers around the appropriation and recontextualization of pre-existing cultural artifacts; in other words, making new art from the old. He has presented his work across North America and in Europe and Australia, and has collaborated with a variety of other artists including Wobbly, The Evolution Control Committee, People Like Us, and the Tape-beatles. In addition, he has been commisioned to compose music for several choreographers including Amy Drum and Jeanne Herring. In 2000 he received the New Langton Bay Area Award for his internet piece "Detritus Sound Consensus Bakery". Hise's recordings appear on his CD, "Original" (Illegal Art/Cha-Bashira) as well as various compilations including "Deconstructing Beck" (Illegal Art) and "The Toywar Soundtrack" (Etoy). Hise is a founding steering committee member of the San Francisco Electronic Music Festival and the founder of, an internet site dedicated to recycled culture. For more information on his work, or, or write to info [@detritus [.net
John Bain: Sound artist John Bain (aka Mutant Data Orchestra) has a background in architecture and is currently working with sonic environments both as performances and installations. The basis of his work deals with issues of autocomposistion and the realtime interaction between humans and machines. His performances with Mutant Data Orchestra utilize modified digital electronics where a realtime balance is achieved between the performer and machine in an improvisational setting. Similar tactics are used for his installation work, except that the audience becomes the performer.

Mutant Data Orchestra: The Mutant Data Orchestra rewires the products of our digital society to expose the hidden agents within. Through live circuit modification of digital answering machines, cheap digital toys and sound instruments the performers manipulate the data pathways and exert on their sound production without the use of a conventional software interface. These sonic generators produce shards of noise with auto-improvised stabs of high pitched bell and cello tones. At times one can hear the intermeshing of data as a liquid waterfall of sonic information. The Mutant Data Orchestra performs with rewired digital instruments which are designed to occupy a balance between chaos and control. This attractor is utilized to navigate improvised compositions toward ideal aesthetics based on the particular characteristics of each machine. Sonified data is manipulated through added interfaces and network capabilities providing new chip to chip connections within and among individual machines. The artists essentially build sonic organisms live on stage implying hidden sonic urbanism's reflecting the micro-urbanism's of the digital chips and their individual connections. Digital memory does have a sound and the Mutant Data Orchestra exploits this fact.