The Dawn of DIMI
Posted by Dr Grey in Satellite
The Dawn of DIMI
Edited by Mika Taanila
Format: avi and | Size: 1.52GB
Total Runtime: 180mins
Subtitles: English (incl.)
Release date: June 13, 2003, at the 50th Venice Biennale
is considered a prophet of artificial-intelligence research, headband videos and artificial reality, often being 10-40 years ahead of his time. He has appeared on topical TV shows and written futuristic articles speculating on the future of mankind and on the relationship between man and machines. Mika Taanila’s latest documentary Future is not what it used to be features never-before-seen archival material from the early years of electronic art, including excerpts from Kurenniemi’s unfinished experimental short films. The film is built around Kurenniemi’s maniacal collection project. He constantly feverishly records his thoughts and everyday observations, and the objects and images around him, with the ultimate aim of merging man and machine, reconstructing the human soul. The film puts forward Kurenniemi’s idea that, about 40 years from now, quantum computers will make it possible to revive an individual’s consciousness using a huge archive of photographic evidence and video footage.
Most of the material heard and seen in the documentary consists of archive segments accompanied by Kurenniemi’s own voice. The film footage comes primarily from Kurenniemi’s own 16mm short films and extensive TV archives. The film also features Kurenniemi’s 8mm home movies, flashes of his incredible Video diary project and its predecessor, the Cassette diary, from the early 70s. The contemporary scenes show Kurenniemi at work in his home in Helsinki’s Katajanokka. His apartment at Luotsikatu provides continuity of location, as much of the archive material features this same “researcher’s cave”. According to Kurenniemi’s own “principle of individuality”, all his work and research - articles, plans, visions of the future, films, home videos, lectures, TV interviews, work at the Heureka Science Centre, compositions and the fantastic electric instruments he has built - reflect the same holistic ideas.
Erkki Kurenniemi has explored various ways of transposing emotional states into direct sound events. The first “automated instrument” he built was the Andromatic, a synthesizer commissioned in 1968 by the Swedish composers Leo Nilsson and Ralph Lundsten for their newly established Andromeda studio. That same year, an old friend, M.A. Numminen, invited Kurenniemi to design a new kind of electronic “collective instrument”. The result was called Sähkökvartetti (Electric quartet), a mind-boggling combination of four instruments in one: a drum machine, violin machine, voice machine and melody machine. After that, Kurenniemi developed a range of digital instruments. The first was called dimi-a (Digital Music Instrument, Associative Memory), which retrieved stored data based on the contents of memory cells rather than their addresses, thus making the use of the limited memory space more efficient. The dimi-o (Digital Music Instrument, Optical Input, 1971) transformed video images into real-time music. This worked well, for example, in accompanying dance performances. The musician could also pan the entire audience with the camera, thus involving them in the creation of the events heard in the concert. dimi-s (a.k.a. “The sexophone”) was conceived by Lundsten and technically constructed by Kurenniemi in 1972. With dimi-s the players held contacts with which the instrument sensed when they touched each other and generated sound sequences dependent on the intimacy of the person-person contact. The contacts controlled the synthesizer. Kurenniemi also designed an instrument called the Electroencephalophone (dimi-e), in which the electronic sound was monitored by electrodes behind the player’s ears, recording changes in the user’s brain activity.
Kurenniemi created the first commercially manufactured and marketed microcomputer already in 1973, which was two years before the American MITS .
The torrent includes:
– The Future Is Not What It Used To Be by Mika Taanila (52 mins)
Documentary film about Erkki Kurenniemi
Premiere: 20 November, 2002
Duration: 52 min
Directing, script, editing: Mika Taanila
Cinematography: Jussi Eerola
Sound design: Olli Huhtanen
Music: Erkki Kurenniemi, Jukka Ruohomäki, Sähkökvartetti, György Ligeti
Production: Ulla Simonen, Lasse Saarinen / Kinotar
– Pan sonic plays Kurenniemi - live at Kiasma Theatre November 21, 2002 (59 mins)
– Reconstruction of “Deal” performance (1971) by Kurenniemi (6 mins)
– DIMI-Ballet (1971) by Kurenniemi (12 mins)
– Six experimental films made by Kurenniemi during the 1960s: ‘Electronics In The World of Tomorrow’, ‘Computer Music’, ‘The Punch Tape of Life’, ‘Flora & Fauna’ and ‘Carnaby Street’ (altogether 42 mins)
– Generative Basic II computer animations by Kurenniemi (7 mins)
– Picture/text gallery of all Kurenniemi’s electronic instruments, with his own liner notes + comments
– Picture/text gallery of Kurenniemi’s Tonal Theory. Speculation on the relationship of mathematic and musical harmonies.